ICC World Twenty20 June 6, 2009

An England supporter's thoughts on the opening match of the World Twenty20

The waiting is over
65

The waiting is over. The World Twenty20 has begun. Cricketers from all corners of the globe have descended upon England, to test their skills against each other, and entertain the watching public.

It was a tremendous shame that the opening ceremony had to be cancelled due to the rain – I guess the world will never know now what spectacular displays would have unfolded on the famous Lord’s turf. Congratulations are due, however, to David Morgan and the Duke of Kent for bravely pressing ahead with their welcoming speeches despite the conditions, ensuring that the tournament had the official launch it so richly deserved.

Watching on my television, it was hard to tell whether the PA system conveyed their words audibly to the crowd at the ground – I do sincerely hope so, it would have been a shame for them to miss out. And how fortunate we are to live in an electronic age when microphones make such things possible.

Despite the weather, Lord’s was looking a picture as always, the new floodlights successfully blending in with the striking mixture of old and new architecture that has become the old ground’s signature. I particularly like the Grandstand. It is functional but very elegant. You had to wonder whether Thomas Lord could possibly have imagined the opening match of an international Twenty20 tournament taking place on his ground bearing his name just 222 years after the first Lord’s came into existence.

The famed drainage facilities at MCC head-quarters certainly proved their worth on such a wet day – a lesson to other grounds around the world. It would have been very disappointing if the opening game had had to be cancelled along with the opening ceremony. Fortunately, that did not happen. The ground staff must be complimented for their efforts to ensure the game went ahead.

Both teams looked very smart in their clean and freshly ironed kit. And it must have been a real thrill for the umpires, Stephen James Davis of Australia and Ellawalakankanamge Asoka Ranjit De Silva from Sri Lanka, to officiate on such a high-profile match.

On a global scale, the opening of the World Twenty20 might have been overshadowed by President Obama’s important speech in Cairo, and on a British scale, attention has been fixed on the apparent implosion of the Labour government. Nevertheless, it is exciting that, with the first game completed, the World Twenty20 is finally underway.

I am sure there will be some excellent matches over the next couple of weeks.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ahmed on April 3, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    Very nice program you got. I ralley enjoy all the channels you supply me and my family. Especially Live The Ashes Cricket I like very much.

  • Forex Autopilot on December 19, 2009, 0:23 GMT

    I somehow dont agree with a few things, but its great anyways.

  • has9 on June 9, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    brilliant stuff, not for everyone to understand the joke being made. But i cant even blame new commers for not getting what the joke was, there is actually a lot of hype surrounding your articles and obvious there will be some Tom,Dick and..... reading you article by you for the very first time and wondering where is the humor. For all the people who ask why no comments on the game, let me ask you who would a writer end with "...with the first game completed..." and on the next line "sure there will be some excellent matches....". Its just brilliant :)

  • FunkyRaj on June 9, 2009, 4:09 GMT

    Utter genius! That last sentence is pure class.

    Pity so many comments here show such a one dimensional understanding of the English sense of humour! I guess you either get it or you don't.

  • Lets All Laugh At Australia on June 9, 2009, 1:51 GMT

    I can't help but feel this blog has gone over some of the blogger's heads somewhat.

  • R Green on June 8, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    How wonderful that the tournament started off with a gentlemen v players game; not seen at Lords since 1962.

  • Adway on June 8, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    Congrats Andy! For making the first page!

  • Balaji on June 8, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    "Nevertheless, it is exciting that, with the first game completed, the World Twenty20 is finally underway." Funny! So this match even though England were caught napping with their nappies visible, wasnt even worth a mention?

  • Moemz on June 8, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    I cant believe how literate some of these readers are. Come on folks... its called SARCASM!!!

  • hedayat esmat on June 8, 2009, 8:58 GMT

    hi all kiven peterson bat real well and about chris broud ball very well agisnst pakistan

  • Ahmed on April 3, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    Very nice program you got. I ralley enjoy all the channels you supply me and my family. Especially Live The Ashes Cricket I like very much.

  • Forex Autopilot on December 19, 2009, 0:23 GMT

    I somehow dont agree with a few things, but its great anyways.

  • has9 on June 9, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    brilliant stuff, not for everyone to understand the joke being made. But i cant even blame new commers for not getting what the joke was, there is actually a lot of hype surrounding your articles and obvious there will be some Tom,Dick and..... reading you article by you for the very first time and wondering where is the humor. For all the people who ask why no comments on the game, let me ask you who would a writer end with "...with the first game completed..." and on the next line "sure there will be some excellent matches....". Its just brilliant :)

  • FunkyRaj on June 9, 2009, 4:09 GMT

    Utter genius! That last sentence is pure class.

    Pity so many comments here show such a one dimensional understanding of the English sense of humour! I guess you either get it or you don't.

  • Lets All Laugh At Australia on June 9, 2009, 1:51 GMT

    I can't help but feel this blog has gone over some of the blogger's heads somewhat.

  • R Green on June 8, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    How wonderful that the tournament started off with a gentlemen v players game; not seen at Lords since 1962.

  • Adway on June 8, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    Congrats Andy! For making the first page!

  • Balaji on June 8, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    "Nevertheless, it is exciting that, with the first game completed, the World Twenty20 is finally underway." Funny! So this match even though England were caught napping with their nappies visible, wasnt even worth a mention?

  • Moemz on June 8, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    I cant believe how literate some of these readers are. Come on folks... its called SARCASM!!!

  • hedayat esmat on June 8, 2009, 8:58 GMT

    hi all kiven peterson bat real well and about chris broud ball very well agisnst pakistan

  • Gomzy on June 8, 2009, 7:55 GMT

    Wow Dutch Team,It was a Crushing defeat for England.England should be ashamed.

  • blahblahdoh on June 7, 2009, 20:04 GMT

    Don't talk about the match. I mentioned it once, but think I got away with it.

  • mikeindex on June 7, 2009, 18:54 GMT

    some very funny moments here - namely the comments of those readers who failed to spot the sarcasm.

  • Machiel van der Nat, Netherlands on June 7, 2009, 17:40 GMT

    Nice description of the conditions, draining system and atmosphere at Lord's at the start of the event - as a cricketfan (also of the England squad, that plays a lot more often than the Dutch!) I really appreciate that! It must be that ancient british sense of humour to "ostrichly" forget to mention about the game itself.. Funny man, I like that kind of humour! Sense of humour is on of the strongest abilities of mankind to survive. Btw : Kevin Pietersen is SA-born from Dutch offspring "wink wink"

  • dinesh on June 7, 2009, 17:37 GMT

    wat fart...there is no satire or genuis in this,bland...

  • dr pratul sinha on June 7, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    I occasionally come to the confectionary stall. I was disappointed this time because there was no mention of the match at all. or is there a link somewhere on this page which will take me to a the next page. Mr. zaltzman you have disappointed me by not covering the match completely. The following points have not been covered. 1) The toss has not been covered. 2) The first innings has not been covered (being in india I slept after the first innings. 3) My failure to read the morning news in india was not covered (nothing different was expected) 4) The shock, that came late in the day on hearing about the delibertae absence of the link for the next page on Mr zatzman's blog, was not covered. 5) The preparation for the ashes series has not been covered. 6) Mr. zaltzman could have researched and written about the various treatment for achilles tendon over the ages. 7) Mr. zatzman could have enriched us with the effects of tea on a cold rain drenched evening.

    please give the link

  • Srinivas on June 7, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    Vow awesome article. Didn't waste a "key" for that match.

  • Sreejith on June 7, 2009, 16:37 GMT

    Brilliant! If English cricket breathes its last.. as I fear it is going to pretty soon at this rate.. what I will miss the most is the writing on cricket as this article demonstrated.

  • Duke on June 7, 2009, 16:28 GMT

    The last sentence just puts it over the top. Brilliant satire!

  • Prithu on June 7, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    Great article, Andy. Read it the first time and was completely dumbfounded but then after reading through it again, I was laughing quite hard. Yes, the drainage system truly is miraculous at Lord's. For those who don't get it, try looking for any mention of the opening game. Then think about what the opening game was. Then think why there is such a lack of acknowledgement to it...

  • Owen on June 7, 2009, 16:07 GMT

    Brilliant! I'm sure Andy feels like every other English fan. Myself, I now feel free - I have divorced myself from anything to do with English cricket after over 30 years of (mostly) misery following almost every ball. I now never have to burden myself with watching a cricket match again. Well done Netherlands and thank you - I can get on with my life without this constant dross. Collingwood et al - best of luck and get lost.

  • gSarkar on June 7, 2009, 15:37 GMT

    Its time ICC should think about saving matches from rain. Covering the whole stadium will be an expensive option but may be we can find some other exciting ways like playing in rain. May be Umpire can change the ball to a lighter version in heavy rain situation so that game goes on.

    Rain is making the difference between football and Twenty20. We should do something to eliminate this.

  • Neil on June 7, 2009, 15:34 GMT

    Brilliant, Andy! I'm not sure what's funnier though..your article or the fact that it has gone over the heads of so many!

  • Alf on June 7, 2009, 14:19 GMT

    One of your best efforts but I fear most wouldn't get it.

  • Alfred on June 7, 2009, 14:08 GMT

    BRILLIANT article. The point is made that England supporters' mouths are all completely zipped. No excuses, no arguments.

  • A bugler on June 7, 2009, 13:27 GMT

    Wow. There is some spectacular point-missing going on there. Presumably these people go to see Waiting for Godot and then demand their money back because that Godot guy never showed up.

  • sathish on June 7, 2009, 11:37 GMT

    Hahaha.

    Genius article.

  • freshair on June 7, 2009, 10:28 GMT

    Nice humour Andy. A touch of Oscar Wilde in you.

  • James on June 7, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    Great article! Probably the best I have read following the England mess up.

  • simon on June 7, 2009, 10:01 GMT

    actually, the comments from the (apparently numerous) people who don't seem to get this are almost as funny as the piece... :)

  • stephen on June 7, 2009, 9:18 GMT

    As far as I know nobody has commented on the fact that England lost to New Zealand in an identical manner in the mini series only last year. New Zealand scored two runs off the final delivery through an overthrow and no backing up. It therefore amazes me that this was not discussed and lessons learnt. I know people will argue that in the heat of the momemt things can go wrong. However these are professional players and the captain should have made the others aware of staying calm and at least not to lose the match on the final ball. It was all very frustrating to lose in this manner once again. If you never look at where you go wrong you never improve.

  • Rahul on June 7, 2009, 9:08 GMT

    shit! read it is "caring". And I was talking about dumb readers, lol :P

  • Rahul on June 7, 2009, 9:07 GMT

    Amazing!! Thats creativity at its best without carrying about dumb readers. I finally gotta say, am a fan of yours, though still without wings. :)

  • aloo on June 7, 2009, 9:03 GMT

    NOT FUNNY

  • arnab on June 7, 2009, 8:31 GMT

    This is how the field of literature critique started I suppose! A bland article or a masterful example of irony; the reader decides and bestows meaning and pertinence as he/she sees fit!

  • arnab on June 7, 2009, 8:30 GMT

    This is how the field of literature critique started I suppose! A bland article or a masterful example of irony; the reader decides and bestows meaning and pertinence as he/she sees fit!

  • Amit on June 7, 2009, 8:22 GMT

    I love Andy usually; i honestly do, but think that this is some sort of twisted experiment by Cricinfo where they serve up utter dross under the name of Andy and see how many still comment about the "brilliant" article which lower mortals "didn't get". Dude, this time, the emperor is wearing no clothes, and guess what, people noticed

  • Rohit on June 7, 2009, 7:28 GMT

    The first time I read it, I was wondering who had written this article. I realized I missed something and read it one more time; I couldn't help but smile.:) I never thought you could write like this! And lots of people commenting seems to have missed the point altogether. Well done.

  • Felix on June 7, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    Awesome!

    If ever there was a way of kicking somebody in the face subtly, this has to be it!

  • Rudy H on June 7, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    OK, right, just got the joke ... sorry slow on the uptake.... It is rather funny. Well done.

  • Jay on June 7, 2009, 6:01 GMT

    who are you? and what have you done with the real Andy Zaltzman mate?

  • simon on June 7, 2009, 5:48 GMT

    lol! Andy you're brilliant!

  • boom on June 7, 2009, 4:18 GMT

    Andy, is that you ?

    this is a disappointingly drab article !!

  • Paul Eccles on June 6, 2009, 21:36 GMT

    Everywhere amongst English fans in the various 5 stages of grief - Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance

  • Paul Eccles on June 6, 2009, 21:35 GMT

    No comment - South African

  • Jasneet on June 6, 2009, 21:14 GMT

    Ignorance is bliss. Very funny.

  • aba_cadaba on June 6, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    Hmm...could not quite understand what the writer was trying to say. It seems everything he wrote was a sarcasm. Hmm..the English--fot them all that matters is the Ashes. I would love to see them lose badly at that too....of course, what else to expect from such a pathetic team as the English..and such a losers attitude about the game from the supporters.

  • arnab on June 6, 2009, 20:00 GMT

    eh what? usually enjoy your columns - Shastri to Shastri I will never forget. (i) was this written by your son? (ii) do I detect a certain snootiness towards twenty20?!

  • Junaid Asghar on June 6, 2009, 19:09 GMT

    Just like a good English supporter, which Andy is, he has completley ignored the result of the match. No comments on match except "with the first game completed, the World Twenty20 is finally underway."

  • A bugler on June 6, 2009, 19:00 GMT

    An excellent analysis, Mr Zaltzman, I think that pretty much sums up everything that could be said about the first match.

    I hear you're not doing a show at Edinburgh this year. I hope that's because of the Ashes. That is the only acceptable excuse. Including fatherhood.

  • LouJag on June 6, 2009, 18:33 GMT

    You, sir, are a bastion of propriety. Godspeed.

  • Paul, Chichester, UK on June 6, 2009, 18:26 GMT

    Chuckle. I think you've just about captured the key points of the game there Andy. Good review.

  • waterbuffalo on June 6, 2009, 18:13 GMT

    Now this is more fun than football's world cup, where without the referee's and linesmen's help the South Koreans could never have made it to the SF of 2002. Minnows do not need the help of 3 officials. They can win fair and square. I thought there would be upsets but not in the opening game, well, well and now the Windies have destroyed Australia, too. I have no doubt Holland will beat Pakistan, too, and roll into the latter stages of the WC. As for England, all this worrying about the Ashes will cost them if they lose to Pakistan. How often do we have to be reminded that the Ashes are the highest honour in Cricket? Give it a rest, Collingwood. If you guys don't want to play, don't. Just be a good host and chase the rain away, so that teams like Pakistan and India and SA and NZ can try their very hardest to bring some joy to their countries.

  • Shankar on June 6, 2009, 18:08 GMT

    Huh? Hardly funny man!

  • Ben on June 6, 2009, 17:50 GMT

    Very good. It's a shame you recorded The Bugle before the match, it would have been interesting to hear what state you were in afterwards.

  • Tapan on June 6, 2009, 16:47 GMT

    No comments on the match itself?

  • Sagar on June 6, 2009, 16:41 GMT

    Andy - You've just taken satire to a different level. The same level that Netherlands took their cricket to.

  • Nandu on June 6, 2009, 16:12 GMT

    Brilliant!!! Truly, truly brilliant....

  • Rudy H on June 6, 2009, 16:01 GMT

    Er... care to comment on the match Andy? Or did you take the result for granted like the England team? ;o)

  • murali on June 6, 2009, 14:59 GMT

    hello this is realuy superb fantastic match for t20 cricket game

  • Dim Rat on June 6, 2009, 14:35 GMT

    so your "thoughts on the opening match" are to ignore the match altogether? typical englishman! this blogpost itself is quite spooky in its serious tone. overall, as damp as the day Well done Holland! Viva la Orange kits!

  • Andre on June 6, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    Disappointing blog today ! Where are the cricket, the satyre and the whimsy ? I bet your mind what cold / frozen by the rain and low temperature ! Bring on the Ashes !

  • hari on June 6, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    All's well,that the opening botch -up was so well covered-up, but Mr.Zaltzman does'nt seem to have an opinion on the actual match when England botched up, maybe he realises nothing could cover up naked amateurity of the English Performance against the men from Orange & its neighbourhood .....

  • Nirvanam on June 6, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    Andy, what an amazing way to convey your message! I liked it and if any of the English players happen to read this particular post of yours, it will get them to wake up. If they don't figure it out, well...isn't that what is being said of them anyway? Good one!

  • sid on June 6, 2009, 14:06 GMT

    Do I detect some sarcasm ?

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  • sid on June 6, 2009, 14:06 GMT

    Do I detect some sarcasm ?

  • Nirvanam on June 6, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    Andy, what an amazing way to convey your message! I liked it and if any of the English players happen to read this particular post of yours, it will get them to wake up. If they don't figure it out, well...isn't that what is being said of them anyway? Good one!

  • hari on June 6, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    All's well,that the opening botch -up was so well covered-up, but Mr.Zaltzman does'nt seem to have an opinion on the actual match when England botched up, maybe he realises nothing could cover up naked amateurity of the English Performance against the men from Orange & its neighbourhood .....

  • Andre on June 6, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    Disappointing blog today ! Where are the cricket, the satyre and the whimsy ? I bet your mind what cold / frozen by the rain and low temperature ! Bring on the Ashes !

  • Dim Rat on June 6, 2009, 14:35 GMT

    so your "thoughts on the opening match" are to ignore the match altogether? typical englishman! this blogpost itself is quite spooky in its serious tone. overall, as damp as the day Well done Holland! Viva la Orange kits!

  • murali on June 6, 2009, 14:59 GMT

    hello this is realuy superb fantastic match for t20 cricket game

  • Rudy H on June 6, 2009, 16:01 GMT

    Er... care to comment on the match Andy? Or did you take the result for granted like the England team? ;o)

  • Nandu on June 6, 2009, 16:12 GMT

    Brilliant!!! Truly, truly brilliant....

  • Sagar on June 6, 2009, 16:41 GMT

    Andy - You've just taken satire to a different level. The same level that Netherlands took their cricket to.

  • Tapan on June 6, 2009, 16:47 GMT

    No comments on the match itself?