"Retrospection is a beautiful thing", Rahul Dravid had said in 2004 after he was criticised for declaring the innings in Multan when Sachin Tendulkar was just six runs short of his double century. But thankfully India won the game and it was Virender Sehwag who overshadowed everyone with his triple ton.
However, right now I am more interested in Dravid's statement than the context of it, for as a year has come to an end, it's just the right time to retrospect. It's required more so because what happened in 2009 will influence the events of 2010 and after. And hence here is a list of events that has changed cricket forever.
T20 ruled 2009: While the world is divided into many factions over which format of cricket is a threat to the other two formats and the game itself, the shortest version stole the thunder in 2009. With events like IPL 2, World T20 and Champions League T20, the 20-over format dominated the year. Although the market prepositions that T20 offered was talk of the town, it was also brought to the notice that too much of anything is bad and will not be accepted by the fans.
Freelance cricket: Andrew Flintoff has set the example and many may soon follow the suit. Freddie, who retired from Test cricket after the Ashes, rejected the ECB contract to go freelance. With all these mushrooming T20 tournaments, it's financially satisfying for the cricketers to go freelance and play for various teams. According to a recent survey, over 60 per cent Australian cricketers prefer cash over country.
WADA's whereabouts clause: While sportspersons across the world abide by it, our own Men in Blue were against it and made it clear. World Anti-Doping Agency's clause of giving whereabouts details of three-months in advance did not went too well with the Indian cricketers as they thought it invaded their privacy. They had the backing of their cash-rich Board that took the matter to the ICC. The clause right now stands null.
This stance can trigger all other athletes to voice their opinion over the clause and ask for its nullification.
Umpiring Decision Review System: The UDRS, as it is usually called has, has divided the cricket in two groups. One that thinks it's derogatory to the on-field umpires, and the second that says the UDRS brings down the margin of error in the game, hence reducing the pressure on the on-field umpires. Originally brought during the India-Sri Lanka Test series in 2008, it was modified in 2009 but the ruckus that it has created, it isn't a distant possibility that it will have further modifications.
Attack on Sri Lankan team: Ironically, there is nothing human, forget beautiful, about what happened on March 3, 2009. Sri Lanka sent its cricket team to Pakistan in a friendly gesture. But what followed was terror and trauma for the visitors and the game. Many Lankan cricketers and match officials were injured in a terror attack in Lahore. As a result, Pakistan lost the hosting rights of ICC events - Champions Trophy and 2011 World Cup matches - and no team was ready to come for a bilateral series and preferred neutral venues. With situation getting worse every day in Pakistan, cricket may have to wait long before it returns to the strife-torn nation.