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2-min read

'World Cup Not Found': Leave Alone Fans, Even Players in England Can’t Watch Matches on TV

What’s clearly emerging is that the broadcast deals in England that have made the World Cup possible are also making it cumbersome for the fan or even the player to find.

Zoya Mateen | News18.com

Updated:June 11, 2019, 2:34 PM IST
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'World Cup Not Found': Leave Alone Fans, Even Players in England Can’t Watch Matches on TV
(Image: England Cricket/Twitter)
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The rigmarole of the Cricket World Cup can truly sweep anyone off their feet. Sample this: Just over the weekend, India managed to turn the tables by brushing aside Australia on Sunday, a game which also saw Virat Kohli show statesmanship, with his exemplary gesture of encouraging his fans to lay off Steve Smith.

England is already boasting a record of more centuries than they have made in any World Cup before. And while the English were at their marvellous best in brushing Bangladesh aside, the spirits were dampened by the unexpected hand of Pakistan, which registered an incredible win.

Sri Lanka have seen their numbers four to seven contribute a grand total of nine runs across two matches, while the dominance of New Zealand is set to be challenged by India, the only other unbeaten team. But who knows? It might just be the rain that has the last laugh.

Twelve days and 14 days later, we are still a dim blip in the foothills of the World Cup journey. So much to soak, so much to digest. And while it’s not possible for all of us to cower under sunshades, over after over, in the sprawling stadiums – the game’s rush manages to finds us still, in our drawing rooms and through our blaring television sets. Thank god for television, as some might say.

Now imagine being unable to do even that.

The World Cup is not only hidden from your view, but its participants, too. In fact, several cricketers in England, the host nation, are reportedly unable to watch the world cup matches in the confines of their living rooms or hotels. Yes, the game that finds it origins in the carefully manicured lawns glimmering under the moody English sun, is now facing a broadcasting overcast.

This admission was also made by Jonny Bairstow in an English daily on Saturday, wherein he spoke about how he hasn’t watched any of the England games because he does not have a Sky subscription.

There are websites of course, like the BBC and ESPNcricinfo, with the rights to rapidly get highlights clips online. However, when such clips like Sheldon Cottrell’s or Ben Stokes’s wonderful catches go viral on Twitter, they are taken down immediately.

According to a report in Evening Standard, Channel 4 has the free-to-air highlights rights, but England’s win over Bangladesh on Saturday was not shown until 12.20am on Sunday morning.

Sometimes, highlights are aired as late as 1am and even then miss out on important moments from the match.

For instance, Glenn Maxwell’s cameo during the chase against India was completely skipped over during the highlight package.

Indian cricketer and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, too, flagged the issue on Twitter a few days back and revealed that his hotel in England was not airing the World Cup.

What’s clearly emerging is that the broadcast deals in England that have made the World Cup possible are also making it cumbersome for the fan or even the player to find. ​Many people in the host nation have demanded that the English cricket authority ensures the free and uninterrupted screening of the World Cup, which is at the helm of witnessing some of the best performances in the country's history of the sport.

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