Mandatory Rant (A Day Late)
[Update: A day after Pakistan’s defeat to Ireland, Bob Woolmer, the team coach was found dead in his hotel room. Originally attributed to stress, the Jamaican police now think there could be something ‘suspicious’ about the death. No use indulging in tabloid-like speculations – hopefully the truth will emerge soon. But it has been an interesting World Cup to say the least. ]
Having fun with friends, playing Wii games and consuming home-made authentic sushi – all in a drunken stupor – has its advantages. It shields you from the pain of having your team’s ass walloped by one of the bottom-rungers of world cricket. The drawback, however, is that while you have been trying to ward of the after-party dizziness brought about by the trifecta of sake, vodka and beer (to say nothing of the other assorted liqueurs) all the other blogger’s have expressed their juiciest rants (see among others: here, here, here and here, where it took an upset loss of the Indian team for the eminent blogger to open up comments!).
Well, the loss hurts now – like the inside of my head. Upsets are expected in one day cricket, but the manner of capitulation to a team that does not come close in talent or experience is inexcusable. The only solace is that as a cricket lover, watching seventeen year old Tamim Iqbal smash the vaunted Indian pace attack with imperiousness (that reminded one of a Sourav or Sachin of old), was a joy to watch. Also impressive was Bangladesh’s determined performance on the field – the way they threw themselves at everything, their opening seamers cleverly exploited the conditions, and the spinner kept it on the wicket without trying anything fancy. Still, it does not explain how a batting top-order with three players of 10,000+ runs could not cumulatively put up 150 runs on board.
There will be the inevitable post-mortems by pundits and armchair know-it-alls alike: should Dravid have batted first, should Sehwag have played, how is it that a nation of one billion is unable to produce a championship cricket team etc ? Office goers hanging on to minibuses in Kolkata will speculate that such a thing would not have happened under Dada’s watch and really without him it would have been a worse massacre, Joy Bangla !! Houses of players will be senselessly attacked (like this). But, a few wins after this, perhaps a (not too probable) run into the semis and the fickle collective memory of the nation will erase this loss. If not, then some heads will roll.
The other big news from yesterday of course was that the ‘minnower’ than Bangladesh, Ireland won against Pakistan, on St Patrick’s Day no less. Usually after each World Cup disappointment since ’91, there is a section of cricket fans that take solace in ‘we at least beat Pakistan’ argument. Thanks to Ireland, even that won’t happen this year ! For fun, watch some ‘highlights’ from that game: