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23 wickets fell in 1 day. The day before that 8 wickets fell for 214 runs. The day after that 1 wicket fell for 155 runs. And the cockles of internet’s heart were warmed by this example of awesomeness of Test Cricket. Blogs, tweets, comments were hailing the second coming of Test Cricket and it seemed everything was right again.

Now just change the stadium from Cape Town to Karachi and the teams from Australia to Sri Lanka and from South Africa to Pakistan. Would the world have accepted it with the same joy? Or would they be calling for an enquiry? Would they have hailed the revival of Test cricket? Or would they have asked for a report on that pitch? By now every columnist, bloggers, tweeter and their extended families would have suggested that something was amiss and ICC would have definitely banned Karachi for a couple of years. Am I wrong? 
23 wickets fall on a single day, mind you the day before it and after it didn’t show anything particularly wrong with the pitch, and no one finds it suspicious? Where are all the conspiracy theorists? What happened to all the keyboard warriors? Or is that reserved just for teams from the sub-continent?

Where has all the cynicism gone? If there was no devil in the pitch then what was the reason for such mindless batting. Surely when your team has lost 4 wickets for next to nothing you expect the players to apply themselves a little better. If Lyon and Siddle could add 26 runs for the last wicket then why did it take 9 wickets for the Australians to realize that? Even South Africa lost 6 wickets for 10 runs before the last pair fought it out for 13 more runs. 

Yet there are no eyebrows raised. No question marks hanging in the air. Is it that the problems in cricket must always be borne by the sub-continental teams while the rest of the teams are busy ‘saving’ Test cricket? The world of cricket must realize it cannot be taking sides here. There cannot be two standards if the game has to be saved. Just like senseless cynicism is destroying the game in the sub-continent, mindless euphoria will be its end elsewhere. It’s time to level the playing field.


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