You won’t see anything about this in the NY Times, so I am taking responsibility for giving you yesterday’s news today or is it tomorrow’s news yesterday. This is all about the Cricket World Cup, currently being played throughout England and Wales.
South Africa finally won a match today. They beat Afghanistan. So they are on the board. Even though they should have won on paper, they played well and confidently, which is big part of cricket, up in the old noggin. I take a little heart because Pakistan lost the first three games in the 1992 World Cup, and their fourth game was rained out, exactly what South Africa’s record is now. Pakistan won that World Cup in 1992. So the Boers are not completely cooked, not yet anyway.
One of the more entertaining aspects of the matches is that Michael Holden is an occasional commentator. He is from the West Indies and he has a really beautiful deep bass baritone islands accent. Michael Holden was one of the feared West Indian pace bowlers from the 1980s. They were called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and his nickname was “Whispering Death.” It’s a real treat to listen to Michael Holden carry on behind the microphone. This morning he said, ” I don’t know about you but it seems to me that not just him but the whole team got up on the wrong side of the bed.” Michael Holden knows how to best the English at their own game.
Tomorrow India plays Pakistan at the Old Trafford in Manchester. This is very important to a lot of people, especially if you are an Asian living in Britain. Some refer to the Pakistani pace attack as the Rawalpindi Express. I am rooting for Pakistan because India is just too good. India has a perfectly designed cricket team. Plus they have a very lethal fast bowler whose name is Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah bowls at an average of 145 kilometers an hour. Not to be outdone, Pakistan has a player called Shadab Kahn. I am not making any of this up. So it’s a “bum rush shutuppa you face” kind of contest. Border military skirmishes have started over a lot less.
It seems likely that the four teams to make it into the next round (the semi-finals) are India, England, New Zealand and Australia although the tournament is barely half done. My favored sides (South Africa, the West Indies and Bangladesh in that order) are going to need some kind of divine intervention of the loaves and fishes variety to succeed.
The lords of cricket have got the proverbial moose turd pie all over their dumb mugs because they decided that England and Wales should host this Cricket World Cup. What they forgot in their more senior of moments is that it rains a lot in England and Wales. In fact it rains so fucking much that four games have already been cancelled to date, and they will not be replayed (another stupid rule that the same godfathers came up with). So far, India vs New Zealand, South Africa vs the West Indies, Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh and Sri Lanka vs Pakistan have all been rained out, hardly a ball bowled. Rather than be awarded two points for a win, the rained-on teams share a point each. This is more than unfair, but the English have centuries of practice at being more than unfair. There really is a simple solution to all of this. Don’t hold the competition in England and Wales! Sure it rains in other places, but South Africa is in the middle of a deadly drought, and in India when it rains, well they call that the Monsoon Season, i.e., it has a beginning and an end like all seasons should (radical climate change notwithstanding) and one can at least try to plan around it accordingly. If maximum points were granted for the non-played games, then Cancelled Matches would be on top of the table, beating out India and New Zealand, who are so far both unvanquished. These people, the major domos of our sport, are the Boris Johnsons of cricket, not to be confused with Boris Yeltsin, a rather drunken former world leader, or Boris Spassky, whom apparently was quite good at board games. dominoes and the like. Nevertheless they are buffoons, worthy of the Johnson mantle.
So that is my weekly report. I could tell you more but somebody sabotaged my television set. I am actually sure it was the Iranians. I have a grainy black and white video of a gang of individuals upending the rabbit ears antenna on the roof. It’s them without a doubt.