Tuesday, March 20, 2007

India, Pakistan, Ireland, Bangladesh... and Bikinis?!

I have to admit that I have been overlooking the early rounds of the World Cup (particularly when Australia has not been involved), but there have been some events that bear examining. The cricket World Cup basically involves three tiers of teams: the first tier is composed of the top Test playing nations - countries that have been playing top competitive cricket for decades or longer (examples: Australia, England, India, Pakistan, West Indies, South Africa); the second tier is composed of countries that have only recently begun to play Test matches (Bangladesh, Kenya); and the third tier is made up of the real minnows (Bermuda, the Netherlands etc.).

One of the inhabitants of the "Third Tier" is Ireland. Known more for their hurling, Gaelic football and rugby, you wouldn't expect much from them other than to turn up, get beaten soundly, and then to go out and get really drunk. As luck would have it, they actually had a game on St. Patrick's Day against one of the "First Tier" teams, Pakistan. But here's the thing. The Irish totally won. To put this in perspective, this is like a Div II College basketball team beating, say, Kentucky.

I do have to say that if you asked me which "First Tier" team I could see booting a game to Ireland, Pakistan would be my choice - they are a mercurial side, capable not only of beating any team by any margin... but also of losing to (almost) anyone. And you might have to remove the "(almost)". The loss to Ireland may be the lowest point in Pakistan cricket history. And you can bet Irish Jim is loving it!

On a sad note it seems that Pakistan's coach, Bob Woolmer, passed away the next day, apparently of natural causes. He was 58.

On the very same day India, another "First Tier" team, played Bangladesh, an inhabitant of the "Second Tier". In this game India followed their neighbours, also going down to the scrappy underdogs. Craziness.

And just in case you thought there was nothing else going on, England's star play Andrew Flintoff was dropped and stripped of his vice-captaincy after he had "toppled into the water after a late-night drinking session at the Rumours Nightclub near England's team hotel in St Lucia". If you ask me, what's the point of playing cricket in the Caribbean if you can't go a little crazy?

Just in case all this cricket stuff is going over your head, here's a good introduction to the game from my homeland, which was thoughtfully sent to me by the Good Doctor. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

The direct link is here if you can't see it in your RSS reader.

This game is going to catch on like wildfire.


  • While at the bar on Saturday night, we watched college wrestling. Being half in the bag, we know the basics but couldn't figure out the scoring. We compared it to cricket. Guys can watch a cricket match just because it is a sport and they want to figure out how to score the thing.

    Is there any cricket shown on regular cable that you know of?

    By Blogger StB, at 11:01 AM  

  • It's pretty elusive - the only time I have stumbled across it on TV was when I was in a LA hotel room suffering from food poisoning (from an Outback Steakhouse no less - long story).

    Cricket is really one of those games where you need to sit down and watch it with a "native speaker". But I totally get your analogy - it's one reason why I love the Olympics.

    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 11:05 AM  

  • I'm still stunned that legspinner Danish Kaneria apparently wasn't even on the roster for the Ireland match. That's something that must seem particularly odd to an Australia fan.

    By Blogger Jestocost, at 11:13 AM  

  • Jestocost - it was my impression that Kaneria has been a little hit and miss in One Day matches, and so is not a guaranteed selection. It could also have been a fact that Pakistan just assumed they would steamroll Ireland, and so didn't need to produce their best side.

    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 11:37 AM  

  • Hiya Garth - nice talking to you during the AC blogger happy hour.

    : )

    Go Ireland!

    Love the Australian Bikini team!

    I sometimes watch the cricket matches in Prospect Park here in Brooklyn. Now if only these guys were in their swimming trunks instead of their proper gear...


    By Blogger loona, at 2:32 PM  

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