Internet holds a one-sided view on this Cricket vs Football debate, rather disproportionately. This post is my attempt to tilt that scale towards Cricket.
If hundreds of bloggers think they can cherry-pick ten lame reasons in favor of Football, I can certainly pick a fifteen against it, even better ones. To be brutally honest, the ability to host a football match during rains is the only fair argument favoring it, rest of the stuff are really boring and consequential to who is playing it.
To my American readers, I am referring to Soccer and not American version of Rugby . Also, stop calling it Soccer and call it Football. Call your game something else 🙂
Here you go:
- Results and closure: More than 25% of Football games go draw, and about 8% of matches are even goal-less. You can hit me with the numbers if you disagree and you better have a useful reference point to support your claim. If I were to drag myself to a pub and watch a game with the smell of sweat, and fart; I would at least need a result and nothing less. Cricket might offer the same aromas, but It would, most certainly, deliver me a result. Be it win or lose. This is called closure.
- Entertainment: In Cricket, there is always exciting stuff happening on my screen; continuously and relentlessly. In Football, I am expected to get excited with ball passes. Did you really buy that HD TV for watching 20 hamsters running on wheels?
- Game Spirit: Cricket wins hands-down on this parameter. There are several instances in cricketing history when the team captains chose to ignore the game’s rules and let the rival player continue play. That is just to keep the game’s spirit up! I never heard of this happening in a football match. Hence, Cricket is called the gentlemen’s game. This brings me to my next, the most critical point.
- Dishonesty: When was the last time a Cricket player faked a nudge or injury? It would have become a headline immediately, and half the world would have joined in condemning it. Whereas in Football, it seems, every player is allergic to another human or his breath. Even proximity or the scent of them can make them fall like a felled tree. Evidently, this is Business as Usual, and it is not even frowned upon, forget condemning it.
- Referee: Blatant mistakes can happen in Football, Cricket has much better umpiring. For instance, even to this date, we debate God’s hand winning the game in 1986. Cricket has the patience to wait for a third umpire decision and has a better review system.
- Technology: Cricket adopts newer technologies regularly ensuring course of the games not left for luck or fate to decide. How does Football compare to that?
- Flavors: Cricket comes in various sizes and shapes. One favors adrenaline (e.g., T20), one favor talent (e.g., ODI) and the other favors resiliency and endurance (Test). Let me know if there are different formats of Football matches.
- Diversity of skills: In Football, you can technically play a team full of Ronaldos against a team whole of Messis. However, you can never play a Cricket game with 11 Virat Kohlis against 11 Jaspreet Bumras. Cricket team consists of players with various “distinctly mutually exclusive” skills, not Football.
- Commercial viability: Cricket provides more opportunities for brands to endorse their product. In Football, please wait for half-time. It is a matter of few years before Cricket would overtake both the popularity and revenue generation.
- Commentary: Football commentary is boring. It primarily consists of recitations on who passed the ball to whom till something exciting happens.
- Fitness vs skills. Football warrants fitness over skills. I am not talking about the common denominator skills; I am referring to specialist skills. Let me take an example, a Chahal can devastate an opposition with his wrist bowling skills. Can that happen in Football?
- Inclusion: Can you imagine a differently abled person, say someone with childhood polio with a withered arm can play a Football game. As a matter of fact, in Cricket, some of them have dominated the game for decades and became legends.
- Safety injury or death: This comparison is alarming. I gather its around 120 vs 9 deaths throughout the history of both the games. Injury, fatal or otherwise, I think, is even bigger statistics. I do not have numbers handy. Cricket has changed over the last few decades to be safer for its players, but Football remains the same.
- Fights: Just like its players, Cricket’s fans as gentlemen too. They clap and sip tea. Except for Pakistani fans breaking TV sets they rarely indulge in fights. I do not need to explain how it works for Football. I have witnessed riot police and helicopters being called for a game in east London.
- Football is socialistic and Cricket is capitalistic. Period.
I do not expect my readers who are also football fans, to be nice to me in the comments section. Try to be friendly, else I will understand you are part of #14. 🙂