Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cricket, cricket, luverly cricket

Listening to: 'She Wants To Move' by N.E.R.D. [Fly or Die]

Oh it's all happening in this World Cup. Two of the biggest cricket powerhouses (the biggest powerhouses in terms of fan base and sponsorship) kicked out in the first round, the hosts not being able to beat any major teams in the Super 8s, the reigning champions bulldozing their way into the semis...non-stop entertainment and quality sport. And if the on-field performances weren't enough to grab your attention, the off-field happenings definitely would. Here's the list, as best as I can remember it:
  1. Indian cricketers' houses torched after their loss to Bangladesh
  2. Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer killed in his hotel room, less than a day after Pakistan's humiliating loss to Ireland
  3. Andrew Flintoff sacked as England vice-captain due to his drunken disorderly behaviour after England's loss to NZ; other players involved are fined
  4. Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq resigns as captain and retires from ODI cricket
  5. Greg Chappell resigns as India coach after India fail to qualify for Super 8 stage
  6. ICC orders YouTube to remove all World Cup clips from its video database
  7. High ticket prices result in low audience turnouts for matches
  8. Brian Lara hints at a rift between himself and West Indies selectors
  9. Lara announces his retirement from ODI cricket after the World Cup
  10. Rumours of Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody's return to Western Australia after the World Cup surface
  11. Sri Lanka are criticised for resting key bowlers in a dead-rubber match against reigning champions Australia
  12. Duncan Fletcher resigns as England coach after their loss to South Africa and subsequent failure to reach the semis
  13. Brian Lara announces that his post-World Cup retirement will be from all forms of the game, not just one-days
  14. NZ rest Bond and Oram in their trouncing by Australia, apparently due to stomach bugs and niggles
Bloody hell that list is long...and there's still one week of cricket to go.

Can we make the finals? I think so. Can we lift the cup? I hope so. We have major batting concerns...Tharanga is not in form; Sanga, despite having an excellent run with the gloves and the pen, isn't concentrating enough to stay at the crease and score some decent runs; the tail seems to crumble every time, regardless of the platform laid by the upper middle order. All that constitutes a huge worry for us against the likes of Bracken and McGrath, and Bond (although we have managed to overcome him before)...all on pitches apparently not suited to us sub-continentals. And then assuming all goes according to everyone's expectations, we'll have to bowl to Hayden, Ponting and Symonds in the final...all three of whom look like only a bolt of lightning could get them out.

Everyone loves to love Sri Lanka and hate Australia, and many are hoping for a rematch of the '96 World Cup. At the end of the day, I don't care who our opponents are, as long as we're in the final. Although thrashing the Aussies would make victory so much sweeter.

Go Lanka!

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