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The Cricket Thread, Mark 2


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watching the Big Bash semifinal on WillowTV, I just find some things about cricket to be disappointing, for example, Perth put on a monster total of 193/5 from 20 overs.. but the rain came so a new total will have to be calculated, which will make Sydney's job near impossible, except they are rooting FOR the rain, if they can't get five overs in due to rain, they'll advance because they had more points in the regular season (there's no reserve day for the game).


It's kinda like game seven of the ALCS being rained out, and the team with the better record advances to the World Series. Very Anti-climactic 

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so, they got it in at the last moment, IF no more rain occurs, Sixers need 54 runs off 30 balls. So one team faces 120 balls, the other 30. That's... ridiculous.


that's T20 for you.  everything is taken up (or down) a notch

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Ok, if I'm up at 9:45 am on a Sunday, I'm going to inflict my madness on all of you.


As most of you know, I'm a fairly new cricket aficionado. I am also came to it from a non-traditional manner.. My family is not an expatriate family from one of the major nations who play the sport.. nor does my work environment obsess about the sport (which is two of the major ways that folks get pulled into the sport here in the US)


I started as a night owl worker.. trust me, when you're working 2-10 am and NOTHING IS GOING ON, you're willing to watch ANY sport, no matter what, as long as its live. For me, it was the 2004 (I think) Ashes series from Australia. Despite the fact that the sport has a number of archaic rules (try to explain the LBW rule and it's various sub-rules.. for example "Oh, he can't be out LBW, as that ball pitched outside leg..."... and wait for the completely blank stare you get).. I found something interesting in the sport. Perhaps it was the fact it was the perfect sport to have on while you did real work or whatever. But it was something calming...


Oh wait. Did I say calming?


Obviously, this was the age BIPL (before the Indian Premier League).


Twenty20 cricket has as much to do with real cricket as Home Run Derby has to do with Baseball. The purists raise their nose and sniff in derision at the very mention of it.. but there's no doubt that it took the sport away from the era of cucumber sandwiches and "stiff upper lips" to the era of rock stars and the "modern experience". You decide if it's better or for worse.


But, we come back to India, and how seriously they take cricket. 


Whenever there's a popular sport, there's celebrities that play it. For example, the Celebrity Games that happen in Baseball and Basketball as part of their all star weekends. Or, if you're like me, and getting, experienced (a better word than old), the old MTV Rock and Jock games..


Needless to say, the games in question are more a giant in-joke then serious competition.


So, obviously, India has celebrities play cricket, but the games must be even more hit and giggle then Twenty20 already is, right? Nope.


I give you, the Celebrity Cricket League!


The League features eight teams made up of movie stars from eight different regions of Indian moviemaking.


And they take it seriously. They keep stats just like they do for the real players. They'll mention "That's the first 50 for him".


That's not to say there isn't moments of hilarity.. there's plenty.. after all these are not professional cricket players, so you'll see plenty of swings and misses, or near collisions in the field.. not to mention that one of the teams is named the Bhojpuri Dabanggs.


Yes, the Dabanggs.


What's a Dabangg?


It's a cop action movie (and sequel) that's big in Indian Cinema.


So, rooting for the Bhojpuri Dabanggs is like.. I dunno.. rooting for the San Francisco Dirty Harrys.


Most of the commentary on WillowTV (america's #1 source of cricket) is in a language other than English, so other than some loan words from english (stuff like Strike Rate, Semi-finals, etcetera) it's sometimes hard to understand.


That's ok. Cricket is a universal language. Even bad cricket.


But it's a hell of a lot more serious than Rock and Jock.


Thank god.


edit: Oh cool, the CCL puts their games on YouTube:




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In Test Match news: Yesterday. New Zealand just wanted to survive the third day, they were 94-5, still 152 runs behind, and facing an innings defeat to India.  Thanks to some tenacious batting from McCullum (281*), Watling (124) and Neesham (96), New Zealand has scored 477 runs for the loss of a single wicket. McCullum could be the first New Zealand cricketer to score 300. Remarkably, for a game that looked like an India win, it begins to look like New Zealand are the only team with a chance to win now.,

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crazy finish in SA/AUS, as the umpires give an extra half hour to South Africa (if the result is pretty much decided, the umpires can grant an extra half hour to try to complete play that day.. and Australia were 7 down and 200 runs or so behind).. South Africa were going nuts trying to get wickets as there was worries that the fifth day would be rained out, leaving the match a draw), and with two overs left in the half hour, a part time bowler who ironically referred to himself as a "pie-chucker" got the last Australian wicket.

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