It’s been a busy few days of travel, doing quality control on Lions and the cricket, which has been so heavily interrupted with rain that it’s been essential to keep the guys company at the Lion stand. I mean the only other options are Pepsi and KFC. I’d rather eat cow dung.The much anticipated show off between Sri Lanka and SA turned out to be a damp, rained out affair. Crowds were excited, stadium packed, music was going and then ……. nothing. Rain. In an area that apparently never gets rain. The cricket gods are trying to tell us something. What a shame the match (old news by now) was reduced to 7 overs. So SA won. Whooppeeee. Like anyone can get excited about that. You can’t call it a real victory? It takes longer to play tiddly winks, arm wrestle a team of dwarfs and its too short to enjoy any real amount of Lion, or choke on your KFC. So I’m not sure why the Proteas are all excited about that. I guess you take a victory in which ever way it comes. So they will now face an upbeat Pakistan team who have at least managed a few decent matches and had a chance to bowl and bat more than 10 overs. That happens on Friday in Colombo and please – no more rain for now. At least we managed to watch one great match in Colombo on Sunday with India thrashing England. The problem with being non Sri Lankan or Indian is that all the locals assume that if you turn up at an England match, then you’re English. Noooooo!!! Once again the standard curious smiley face “Sorry you lost no?! You from England?” NO! I have a tan. I’ve even been accused of trying to blend in with the locals. The English are white. Snowy, bluish white. And when they see sun they go Pink. “Australia?” HELL NO! Not that I have anything against either of them. Really. But on the list of teams I support they are dwindling at the bottom somewhere…..
Anyway, India are looking good for the WT20. In my now, almost guru like state of cricketing knowledge, I don’t understand why everyone seems to be knocking them for having too many batsmen and too little bowlers. Harbhajan and Chowla were doing a fine job on Sunday. I think they are a team to watch. Nothing flash at this stage, but they have all the talent and ability. Kohli on form is something to watch, Gambhir is solid and Raina dangerous. Yuvi is back and looking good. Then let’s not forget Captain Cool. He maintains a level head throughout and has the skill to turn around any match. Never underestimate this side.Monday saw another rain soaked event with W.Indies playing Ireland. Now that was a shame. I came so far to see Chris Gaye smash a few sixes and all I get is Chris taking wickets. Not that I mind. Some self styled English cricket fundi a few seats down muttered in disbelief that they could bring Gayle on to bowl. 2 wickets later – eat your words pom. We also met some delusional Irish blokes at the bar (where else would you meet Irish blokes?). They were seriously under the Lion induced impression that Ireland could win. I almost did a Protea and choked on my beer. Unfortunately they never got to be humiliated by Gayle destroying them on his own as the rain settled in and the match was off. Next time maybe Ireland! The Irishman was eventually dragged off by his wife, still muttering something about Zimbabwe and Bob getting more money from the ICC than Ireland does. Just focus on your own game Paddy, forget the politics.
So, Colombowed out we head South again. This time to check out the women’s action in Galle. Getting here was interesting as well. Simple train trip from Mount Lavinia to Galle. Don’t Stop at Go and get off at the end of the line. Which we did, except the end of the line was in some place about 80kms from Galle. It seems that in our sheer delight of getting to the station with what we thought were seconds to spare, getting a ticket and actually getting onto a train that had empty seats, we failed to double check where the bloody thing was headed. It’s not as if that many trains stop at Mount Lavinia, at about the same time as the one you need to get. Maybe the over extended visit at the Lion stand due to unforeseen circumstances and rain may have added to the dehydration and therefor lack of focus and attention to detail that is required when boarding fast moving objects going somewhere. Anyway, on the brighter side of things – we had a seat for most of the way. Then we had to get a bus for about 90 minutes to Galle, from wherever it was that we were.It was packed. Standing room only. There is something to be said about traveling 90 minutes in close confines, pressed up against total strangers, with your armpit in their face. It’s like a blindfolded roller coaster ride that you try to ride like a wave, holding onto your bag with one hand and any other object that may or may not be permanently fixed to the bus. It’s good exercise though. Your biceps get a workout. And parts of your body that you never imagined had muscles. Like your toes. They turn into vice like claws, gripping through your plakkies (slip slops or flip flops depending which plakkie wearing country to come from), trying to keep you glued in your position, fighting against the lunges and lurches of the torpedo, while trying hard not to crush an unsuspecting granny’s toes. Not to mention your butt cheeks. They just inadvertently tense and release on their own rythm. A bit like an 80s aerobics class.
We are staying stumbling distance from a cool stadium in the fort area of Galle, the weather looks fine, so lets see what the women can do. There was no fan fair in opening the men’s tournament, so I’d imagine this may be even more low key if possible. SA face Sri Lanka and after their beating against England last week, lets hope they can pull something out the hat. I may have to send someone onto the field to streak as part of a diversion if needed. Go SA!!!