Cricket World Cup 2015
by Jarryd Wood
The 2015 edition of the Cricket World Cup is upon us. To give you an idea of my own excitement for the six week long spectacle to be played out in Australia and New Zealand, imagine a small child just about to open that long-awaited and much nagged-for Christmas bauble he knows his parents finally capitulated to giving him. Now imagine this child managed beforehand to ingest a significant amount of Steri Stumpie (chocolate flavour, of course) laced with vodka, carelessly left in the fridge by his inattentive teenage sibling. That is how excited I am, frothing at the mouth and all.
Alas, almost nobody on earth feels like this about what can be construed as a rather boring ball game that sometimes lasts days without anybody actually emerging victorious. If you have no interest in the nuance, intricacies and suspense that the Cricket World Cup is bound to dish up, there is plenty else going on to help you get some kicks.
Chris Henry Gayle is a batsman who plays for the West Indies. Never mind how he fares on the field, just have a look how he behaves off it. Gayle has morphed from a talented batsman and phlegmatic character into the Kenny Kunene of cricket. He is living it large, enjoying his money and fame while lounging around with bikini models and getting buff, Instagramming it all as he goes.
I could bore you with the technical reasons why more and more balls are being hit into the crowd than ever before in the history of cricket, but I won’t. Suffice to say that taking a catch in the crowd has now become so part and parcel of cricket that sponsors are paying thousands of Rands in prize money to those who manage to pull it off, often one-handed.
But not everyone is born a natural fielder. Especially not John Bunton. He tried to catch a ball smacked into the crowd by Indian batsmen Sourav Ganguly in 2003 and ended up looking like this:
As if the glasses weren’t insult enough already. Life is just tougher on some than others.
It is just about unheard of that cricket players actually get involved in physically violent confrontations on the field, unlike their counterparts who play rugby or football. Explains a lot why Bakkies Botha never became a world-class all-rounder and Vinnie Jones gave up on his off-breaks at such an early age.
What cricket does offer is verbal violence, employed as a tactic to get under an opponent’s skin and throw him off his game.
One of the best examples of this happened in the 1990s. Zimbabwe were playing against Australia and Zim’s No 11 batsmen, Eddo Brandes, was facing the truly brilliant Glenn Mcgrath. Not surprisingly, Brandes could not hit the ball for love or money causing Mcgrath to lose his cool and snap at him “Why are you so fat?!” Brandes shot right back “Because every time I fuck your wife, she gives me a cookie”.
Take that, skinny people.
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