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Posts Tagged "Cricket"

India, Sri Lanka really, really care about cricket

India won the Cricket World Cup today. I could post the score and would bet that not one in a hundred of you would understand what it means; I certainly don’t.

But those in India, well, they know. And they care. And they’re celebrating the country’s first World Cup victory in 28 years.

Mumbai erupted in a frenzy, as loud, hysterical cheers and the explosions of fire crackers announced the return of the coveted World Cup to this cricket-addicted nation after 28 years.

Ecstatic fans, wrapped in the Indian flag have invaded the streets and the drums are out.

The sky is lit-up. It is as if Diwali - the festival of lights - has arrived early. It is an unbelievable sight.

A much less jubilant scene in Sri Lanka after they fell so close to reaching the sport’s pinnacle (I assume this is the biggest event for cricket, but I’m not sure).

But by then the match was lost and, as India won, the fans slumped in their chairs, silent, in seeming disbelief. Sri Lanka had been great but not quite good enough on the day.

Yet even after it was all over, there were two more rounds of fireworks, as if to celebrate even this achievement.

I wonder if The Big Picture will have a gallery of the celebrations in India.

Cricket diplomacy for India and Pakistan?

India defeated Pakistan today in the semifinals of the cricket World Cup.* But something much more important may have went on above the match in the grandstands of the two cricket powers.

From the New York Times:

When it became clear that the teams would meet Wednesday afternoon in the Indian city of Mohali, the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, issued a surprise invitation to his Pakistani counterpart, Yousaf Raza Gilani, to join him in the grandstand.

Mr. Gilani has accepted. The prospect of the two leaders’ sitting together for hours in a relatively informal setting has many here asking what they will talk about, and whether a breakthrough could be possible between the two fractious, nuclear-armed neighbors.

For the Indian subcontinent, where few things stir public passions more than cricket and politics, the twinning of such a high-stakes match with such high-stakes diplomacy has created an irresistible spectacle. An enormous audience is expected to watch the match on TV, and India has ordered a sweeping security clampdown in Mohali, including closing the city’s airspace.

Mr. Singh’s invitation — it was also extended to the Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari, who declined — is another example of how Mr. Singh has repeatedly tried to advance diplomacy with Pakistan, often over the resistance of the Indian political opposition and even some members of his own Indian National Congress Party. In New Delhi, Mr. Singh’s overture has drawn a mixed reaction: some analysts praise his determination to push forward while others call the invitation a political stunt that risks undermining the lower-level talks that began this week.

Not exactly ping pong diplomacy, but another example of sports can sometimes help with bigger things.

The atmosphere at the cricket World Cup

ESPN has a great look at the atmosphere around the cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka Bangladesh. It has basically shut entire countries down — just as the soccer World Cup does to some countries.

But it’s hard to imagine even the soccer World Cup having an atmosphere like this:

The street is a sea of green-and-red flags. On poles, on passing cars, on headbands. Families who live in the buildings across the street lean over balconies to look. There’s a blur of details. AK-47s with folding stocks on the backs of soldiers. Riot police wading into the crowd with swinging sticks. When the sun goes down later, street performers blowing fire into the air.

"I’ve never seen anything like this before," says the Indian television reporter.

"It’s absolutely crazy," says the man from the BBC.

The shrill blasts of whistles, honking horns, the buzz of vuvuzelas, shouts, cheers, singing, drums, constant chants of “Bangladesh! Bangladesh!” The noises lose their individual properties and become one noise, unified, constant, loud. Every so often, for no apparent reason, it ticks a notch louder, then another, changing gears. This goes on for hours. Workers string blue lights on the side of the stadium, which match the blue lights in the trees and the ones hanging across the road. The celebration outlasts daylight.

Awesome. Now if someone could only explain to me 

Cricket novice may get sent to Aussie cricket match because of Twitter

A strange story flagged by The Associated Press.

Ashley Kerekes of Westfield has a Twitter username of “theashes,” similar to international cricket’s most celebrated rivalry between Australia and England. Cricket fans from around the world bombarded her with messages after the 66th Ashes series began Thursday. She issued a series of polite denials before lashing out in all caps that she was not a cricket match.

Now she might go to this year’s match, which is in Australia, because of Twitter. Strange.

Kerekes now has over 10,000 followers and her latest tweet says:

At work. Teaching the toddler some cricket chants! He loves to yell “Oi! Oi! Oi!” but “Barmy Army” doesn’t quite come out right. :)

i have no idea what the hell goes on in cricket

I learn this from a sentence in an ESPN Cricket story (apparently, ESPN covers cricket at cricinfo.com) about the match between India and Sri Lanka. Actually, it’s not the entire story, just the first sentence of the lede paragraph:

The second humdinger between these two teams this week ran the gamut from wonderful to what-the-heck as runs and wickets flowed in equal measure in good batting conditions.

Umm… yeah.

Is this what foreigners think when reading stories about American football?