Thursday, February 24, 2011

The big match: who will be the biggest disappointment?

So. World Cups. You don’t get them that often. Only about once a year – in between Ashes tours.

The weekend brings England’s big match. We play tournament favourites, India. People think India will win because they are “local” and therefore their side is immune to debilitating toilet strikes which bedevil sides coming from the “potable water belt” from where most of the other participating countries come – as well as the non-cricket playing nations also.

Local boys also include Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. All these countries share the same strategy of having one or two alright players and then the rest used chiefly to clean up the skids marks off the others’ kit. So hopefully the sub-continental sides will turn up nicely over the next twenty weeks.

Much has been made of the money-grabbing length of the tournament. Personally, I like cricket. Similarly to that annoying bloke on the train who simply cannot get enough of his ring tone, I can happily watch Pakistan destroy Kenya again and again. Especially when all hope of an upset is extinguished within the first ten minutes.

Anyway. England. A knackered bunch of workhorses far from home for too long. Children’s lives are missed, wives are abandoned, girlfriends are restless. It’s as if the lesson of Alan Johnson have been entirely forgotten.

England will lose. I feel safer territory after the Ashes. England have been practicing that homesick brand of the game that we all familiarly know as “shit”. Even the Dutch took our bowlers to the cleaners. And no one know why the Netherlands plays cricket.

Don’t they have their own friends?

No. Nor do India, mind. But, the difference is: they shall beat England. Their kit will be the cleaner. Sreesanth will make sure of that.

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