Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why I love English cricket

Listening to: nothing

So unless you're just back from a day trip to Atlantis, you'll know that Sri Lanka gave England a real thrashing today. A lot of my Lankan fb friends seem to have forgotten that we dropped Morgan thrice (two of those chances being absolute dollies...luck of the Irish, eh?) but it didn't matter in the end, so I won't be a spoilsport. Today's performance bodes well for the semi-final on Tuesday, and I hope we deliver. Being the realist/cautious optimist that I am, I won't be as arrogant and cocky (and to be honest, downright irritating) as some of my friends and claim to have a hand on the trophy already...but I'll gladly acknowledge that we have the talent and the form to go all the way.

And that is all I'm gonna say about Sri Lanka's performance in this post. The rest of this post, I want to dedicate to the England team and its supporters. I've been getting a lot of stick from people for supporting England in this WC. A lot of Sri Lankans can't understand how I could support a team of our 'colonial oppressors'. To them, I say: wake up (and grow up), we're not in the 1940s any more. A lot of Sri Lankans can't understand how I could support a team that's not my 'home' team. To them, I say: I was born in the UK and I've spent almost 15 years of my life here...I'm almost 28 - you do the math. A lot of Sri Lankans can't understand how I could support two teams. To them, I say: watch me.

So England aren't the best team around. So what? Did ardent Sri Lankan cricket fans only start supporting our team after '96? Oh wait...:D. But seriously, I like the attitude of this England team. They enjoy their cricket, and they have a laugh. They try hard, and they can take defeat. There's an excellent team spirit, and a sense of gratitude towards the fans that is lovely to see. They seem like the kind of people I'd want to go down to the pub with after work on a Friday. I won't deny that it helps that a lot of them are extremely easy on the eye, but that's just a bonus. I also won't deny that they've had lapses in sportsmanship (Colly's jelly-gate comes to mind), but I think they more than make up for it the rest of the time.

For instance, look at this tweet from Graeme Swann after today's match:
He didn't bowl that badly, but he got thrashed around the ground nonetheless. To finish a match like that and a) give due respect to your opponent, b) put it in perspective and c) compliment the opponent's home crowd...I think that's big of him. He could've moaned about the fatigue, the heat, the noise, the fact that the Taj (I think?) nightclub music kept them up last night...but he didn't.

And what of the fans? I don't need to remind people about the behaviour of some cricket fans when their team loses *cough*India*cough*Australia*cough*. But here are two responses that appear to be representative of the sentiment in the UK:

The first, from the lovely englandcricketteam tumblr (which you must visit if you want yummy pics of yummy England cricketers :D ) -
And this from BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James, in a reply to Sri Lankan BBC Radio 1 DJ Nihal -
It makes me proud to be Sri Lankan, and proud to be an England cricket fan.

I suppose a part of me feels pressure from my Sri Lankan friends to feel guilty about liking anything about England, sport or otherwise. After all, I'm only here for uni, right? If 'home' is where you feel safe, happy, welcome, and that you belong...then this is 'home' for me. I'm not saying it always has been, or that it always will be...but for now, it is. A lot of Sri Lankan friends will call me names and what have you, but that'll just make me feel more at home in the UK, far away from their judgemental narrow-mindedness. Home is where the heart is, and right now my heart is snug as a bug in a rug in the UK. If you don't like it, that's your problem.

I shall end with my favourite picture from today's match, courtesy englandcricketteam:
Awww Moggie

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My own 'special' World Cup

Listening to: Radio 1

Now unless you've been living under a rock for the past month or so, you'll be aware that the 2011 Cricket World Cup is in full swing. The group stage has just been completed, so I figured now would be a good time to present to you my World Cup. If cricket's not your bag, do not fear...this post has more to do with cricketers than cricket ;-)

Anyway, a quick intro for those of you not following the tournament. There are ten full ICC member teams and four associate teams, in two groups. They are as follows (associate members marked with asterisks):
Group A
New Zealand
Sri Lanka
Group B
South Africa
West Indies
Yes, that's pretty much all you need to know. Now for the rules of my tournament...which, to be fair, isn't really a tournament. It's just one match, played between two World XIs.
  1. Each team ideally consists of players solely from one group (see above).
  2. The quota is two players per full member team, and one player from the associate teams in that group.
  3. Players can be those withdrawn due to injury.
  4. When a full member team cannot source two players, that place may be filled in the following ways:
    1. Another full member team in the same group may choose an extra player from their squad, failing which...
    2. The associate teams in that group may choose an extra player from their combined squads, failing which...
    3. The associate teams in the other group may choose an extra player from their combined squads, and loan that player to the opposition.
  5. The best looking team wins (duh!).
OK, so after extensive research (i.e. tv coverage, cricinfo squad photos and Google image search), I've finalised my two World XIs. I cannot confirm or deny that the above rules were finalised after said research, but it matters not. Behold the finalists!

World XI A
Australia -
        Shaun Tait, Brett Lee

New Zealand -
        Brendon McCullum, Tim Southee
Pakistan -
        Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz
Sri Lanka -
        Angelo Mathews, Kumar Sangakkara
Zimbabwe -
        Ed Rainsford

Associate -
        Seren Waters (Kenya)

Due to the lack of talent in the Zimbabwean, Kenyan and Canadian sides, the World XI A squad is one man short. The other teams are equally bad, so as per the rules, the eleventh man is therefore sourced from the Associate team squad for World XI B -
        William Porterfield (Ireland)

World XI B
Bangladesh -
        Rubel Hossain

England -
        Stuart Broad, Eoin Morgan
India -
        MS Dhoni

South Africa -
        JP Duminy, Graeme Smith
West Indies -
Associate -
        Ryan ten Doeschate (Netherlands)

Due to the lack of talent in the Bangladeshi, Indian and West Indian sides, the World XI B team is four men short. Thankfully, the English side is abundant in eye candy, so included in the side are -
        James Anderson
        Andrew Strauss
This leaves the World XI B side two men short, so from the Associate teams, we include the following -
        Nigel Jones (Ireland)
        Alexei Kervezee (Netherlands)
So there you have it. As far as I'm concerned, this contest can be simplified to Angelo Mathews vs. Eoin Morgan...and since I'm planning on marrying Eoin Morgan someday, I'm going for World XI B. But seeing as I'm democratic and all, I'll let you decide.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How did I feel?

Listening to: Radio 1

First of all, thank you very much to everyone who commented on my last post. I purposely didn't talk about my own reaction, because:
a) I didn't want to influence anyone's response, and
b) I genuinely wanted to know how you would feel.
So now I will tell you how I felt.

Overall, I couldn't care less. When I heard it, I'll stung a bit. But my very next thought was a big fat 'meh'. I was facing my back to the guys so luckily I didn't have to look them in the eye, but anyway I just completely ignored them and walked towards the dancefloor and joined my friends.

A lot of you had suggested retorts I could've used. To be honest I wouldn't have wasted the pleasure of my attention on them, but if I had, I probably would've said something along the lines of "Thanks for the tip, Captain Obvious". I mean let's face it...I know I have miniature boobs, I see them every day. It's one of the many things about my body that I hate (there's a long list). But...I've come to terms with it. In fact, I've come to terms with the entire list (almost). And that's why it didn't bother me. Nothing to do with the perpetrator, the venue or the value of the comment. All to do with me.

Looking back at at the episode, I can break down the moment between the initial sting and the final 'meh' into micro-thoughts...and it goes a little something like this:
  1. Ouch!
  2. It's ok, only a little prick *tee hee*
  3. This is proof that sexual harassment isn't just a 'Sri Lankan man in a bus' thing
  4. Wait, so that was the only negative thing they had to say about me?
  5. Yeah, go ahead and watch this ass as it walks away, way out of your reach.
Ahem...yeah OK so I may have added a little bit of swagger to my walk towards the dancefloor :P

So there we have it. To be fair, they were just stating the obvious. I suppose a part of me just assumed that that's what guys think when they see me any I wasn't surprised in the least. Don't get me wrong, I know the statement was offensive, but I wasn't 'offended' as such...I've been told far worse (namely "she should put a bag over her head"). With regards to this episode, I suppose "water off a duck's back" is a good way of describing how I felt. I consider that to be a good thing...don't you?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How would you feel?

Listening to: nothing

You're at a club, handing over your coat to the cloakroom, and the guys behind you start hassling you with the usual 'all right darling', 'give us a dance eh' nonsense...and then you hear one saying 'she could do with a boob job'.

How would you feel?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Oh the irony!

Listening to: 'Salt Skin' by Ellie Goulding [Lights]

When Shorty's man was writing up his thesis, I went crazy with the red pen and inserted commas all over his draft in order to simplify the otherwise-incomprehensible academese. I've just started going through my own thesis in preparation for my viva, and what do I find on page 3?

There's a comma missing.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Listening to: some crap

I wish the world would just fuck off and leave me alone. I hate this feeling...this "I should hide away and protect others from my volatility" thing. My head feels like it's gonna explode and I have this urge to stab something. Or break some crockery. Or insult someone. But I know that won't make things better. Nothing will. Heck I thought this Evening Primrose Oil was supposed to calm the mood swings? wtf.

I know I should deal with it. Meditate or something. But whatever. Later. For now I'll just tell the world to fuck off. And to those of you that think PMS is some kind of excuse or a joke or something, let me kick you in the genitals repeatedly for a week every month for about 30 years and we'll see how you like it.

Hell hath no fury indeed.