Friday, March 23, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different

ICC Cricket World Cup

After bitching all around about having to pay RM400 for the bloody broadcast of the ICC Cricket World Cup, the tournament is gaining momentum. You either love or hate cricket. Its 22 players waiting around for one ball for half a day, that's one day cricket; stretch it over 5 days its called Test cricket. For those who like American sports (high scoring, a buzz a minute) then one day Cricket World Cup is as close as it will get ... just remembered a brilliant American joke...

I hate American beer, when I drink them its like makin' love in a canoe ...
Cos its fuckin' close to water ...

Anyway back to the game. For the uninitiated, cricket is only played very well by the Test teams, sort of like a Champions League. Teams do get added as a Test team, but its like getting Singapore to legalise chewing gum (could happen, may happen, but will take a bloody long time). Current 10 Test teams include England, South Africa, Pakistan, Australia, NZ, Zimbabwe, India, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. However, even among the 10, there is a huge gulf in terms of ability. The bottom two Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are always considered not always fully qualified for Test status. So one can imagine in a World Cup when they include countries outside the Top 10 as part of the competition. They include countries like Bermuda, Canada, Holland, Scotland, Ireland etc... Most are called minnows, but an air of respectability is encouraged and they are referred to as associates during TV commentary sessions.

The minnows gap with the top 5 teams is like, say for soccer, comparing Brazil/Holland with minnows such as Malaysia or Singapore - I am not kidding. But it makes for a lot of fun scoring. Hence the two biggest upsets so far in the preliminary rounds was when Ireland beat Pakistan - so much so that the coach Bob Woolmer died sometime after the game in his hotel room (and the case is being treated as suspicious of foul play). Latest reports say that there could traces of poisoning, and the storyline gets entangled with speculation that Woolmer was about to lift the lid on Pakistani betting syndicates and match-fixing. As unfortunate and sad the incident was, it has the makings of a pretty good movie.
Another was Bangladeshis playing out of their skin to beat India. Even though Bangladesh is also a Test team, it hurts India a lot more as they see Bangladesh as an inferior, poorer, "how dare you whack my balls", you are not worthy- kinda neighbour.

I don't particularly support Pakistan or India cricket because their fans act like a-holes most of the time. Love you when you are winning, would burn your house down when you are losing - pretty f'cked up mentality. Its more than just a game in that continent, top players get treated like royalty, and will be "untouchable" by selectors - they stay around forever, cannot be removed just like the old English fart-bags judges no matter how slow/old they are. But lose a game or two, the fans will burn effigies, posters ... man, those players dare not go home for some time. What a f'cked up thing! Btw... happy that India lost. Man, I would love it if Sri Lanka beat India tonight and kick them out of the tournament. Trust me, the Indian players would be hanging around in Barbados for a couple of months more if that happens: nobody would want to go back home. One of the funniest scene from the World Cup was when Bangladesh was about half an hour away from overtaking India's runs total, the cameraman panned to a section of the stands where there were a huge group of Indian fans before, now its all empty but they left behind the posters and banners. One of the bigger ones read "India-Champions Of The World", it was so funny. I mean for them NOT to take the signs home with them. Its sad but that's not the way true fans of the game should behave.

The Australians still look clinical and has very deep batting to get them to the finals, and oldie McGrath still looks to be a match winner. Sri Lanka is playing extremely well, and I would bet on them to win if the Aussies do not make it.

1 comment:

DanielXX said...

Did you read about the Pakistani coach Woolmer being murdered? All evidence points to it being an insider who did it. The police, I believe, suspect the Pakistani players. It is quite possible that they kelonged the match against Ireland (corruption) and murdered the coach before he could surface his suspicions (he probably unearthed some evidence from the match).