February 3, 2011

Blaming the Eden Gardens? Look at the Colosseum

And how India's construction industry has manfully taken some of the World Cup pressure off the team's shoulders
100

The World Cup moves ever closer, and the teams are finalising their preparations in readiness for the action. India are grateful that the nation’s construction sector is cannily deflecting attention and pressure away from the team. Sri Lanka and West Indies have been focusing their attentions on mastering the mysterious mathematical intricacies of Duckworth-Lewis, and spending large amounts of time sitting around not playing cricket, which, given the tournament schedule, is arguably the best practice they could have wished for.

England will soon return home from Australia for their scheduled 20 minutes of team bonding and conditioning work in a Heathrow airport waiting room before jetting out to Bangladesh, fully refreshed, to launch their campaign. Australia, having honed their one-day skills during the Ashes by refusing to bat for more than one day at a time, and refusing to bowl in more than one innings in a match, are finding form, perhaps buoyed by the knowledge that Steven Smith was a six-year-old boy the last time anyone other than them lifted the World Cup.

Pakistan look like they could beat anyone, including themselves – I believe the draw is such that a Pakistan v Pakistan semi-final is a possibility, if both Pakistan and Pakistan qualify from their groups, and do not beat themselves in their respective quarter-finals. They seem to unearth teenage centurions like archaeologists find bits of broken pottery at an ancient Greek dig, then, similarly, look at them for a bit, discard them, and say, “Plenty more where that came from, I’m sure”).

South Africa are locked away in a special research laboratory trying to formulate a new and even crazier way to be knocked out of a tournament, concerned that their form in this regard has dipped in recent years – they have been knocked out of recent tournaments in mostly fairly uninteresting ways, and will be looking to return to their world-leading form of 1999 and 2003.

Bangladesh, who play all their group matches and potentially a quarter-final on home soil, have won seven of their last eight ODIs in their own country, have never lost a World Cup match in Asia (0 losses from 0 games, admittedly), and, after beating New Zealand in four consecutive matches last October, now technically own Brendon McCullum. New Zealand themselves are potential dark horses. For the 10th world cup in succession. Zimbabwe will be looking to build on their promising showing in 1983. And the rest will be preparing to try to enjoy their tournaments as much as possible, in the knowledge that the ICC have reorganised them as far away from the 2015 tournament as possible.

Sadly, the group stages, which promise to be both long and long, have already suffered a major blow with the removal of the India v England match from Kolkata. Old Testament fans would say that it was inevitable and appropriate that a match scheduled for a ground named Eden Gardens should be thrown out due to people not doing what they had been explicitly told to do. First Adam and Eve, now the CAB. When will it end?

It is certainly a major disappointment for everyone, other than the cricket fans and hoteliers of Bangalore, but the ICC inspection report seems to suggest that Eden Gardens has ticked virtually every box on the How Not To Prepare A Stadium For A Major Event checklist. The Garfield Sobers of incomplete cricket grounds.

When the ground was inspected, eyebrows were not merely raised, but flew off the top of the ICC inspection team’s faces at such speed that tournament director Ratnakar Shetty’s brows are now rumoured to be circling the world in a low orbit, desperately seeking clearance to return to Mr Shetty’s head in time for the tournament opener on February 19.

Personally, I have never even tried to renovate an 80,000-plus-capacity stadium in time for a tournament in any sport, least of all cricket. My relationship with deadlines is at best frosty, and at worst mutually hostile. I habitually struggle to finish things on time – blogs, tax returns, stand-up shows, meals, snoozes, sentences, jokes, arguments, baths and innings, my own childhood, to name but a few. I also, as the CAB seems to have done, often take the “it will probably be fine” approach to decision-making, a labour-saving but not always effective tactic.

I am, therefore, in no position to criticise Eden Gardens and those responsible for it not being quite as finished as it might have been. I would also add: let he who has never not completed a roof structure, not installed bucket seating, not removed workers’ accommodation units, not completed corporate boxes, security perimeter fencing and a precinct around a cricket ground, not confirmed the lighting levels, not installed the entry gates, not ensured the camera gantries are suitable (although, to be fair, who was to know the game was due to be televised?), not provided plans for a venue’s building program or its health and safety certificates, not been ready to provide suitable hospitality facilities for ICC sponsors, not installed electronic replay screens, not ensured radio commentators can see the pitch, and not had an adequate back-up power supply, in time for a World Cup, cast the first stone.

India playing England at one of the world’s iconic cricket stadiums would have been one of the highlights of the tournament. Let us console ourselves by assuming that it would almost certainly have rained all day in Kolkata on February 27 in an unseasonal one-day monsoon, which would have been a far greater disappointment.

Stadium completion is not a problem unique to this World Cup, or India. I went to Rome with my family in December, and, I can report that, despite having been started almost 2000 years ago, the Colosseum is still not even close to being ready to host top-level cricket. Furthermore, having been designed in an era when cricket bat technology was in its infancy, its boundaries are too short. And, due to changes in the laws of cricket over the last two millennia, its facilities for keeping lions now seem unnecessary.

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

  • Kumar Sridhar on June 10, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    Andy: Brilliant..and the fact that you have a type of humor (self-deprecating) makes it even more enjoyable. The part about, wait a minute, I can NOT single out a certain part as being funnier..The entire article was hilarious..Would love to attend one of your stand up shows (being a stand up comic, myself (admittedly, American), would love to get some material from one your routines) so please let us know when you are in the US of A.

  • Andy O on March 2, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    Good one !

  • Prakhar Jain on February 17, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Bloody brilliant!! Keep 'em coming...!

  • Sakshi on February 16, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Funny AND sarcastic! Haven't read anything better in the longest time. Awesomeness!!

  • simon on February 9, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Another great piece, thanks Andy. You might want to add a disclaimer of some sort, though, to protect yourself. @HMK, commenting above, is "Literally laughing [his] backside off".... ouch...

  • Akshat on February 9, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    Absolutely hilarious....!!!!!

  • Rakesh Maganti on February 7, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Awesome, Brilliant!

  • Sourav kr on February 7, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    Hey hw can pak play pak in the s/f?????? Only in Andy Zaltzman's world i guess :P Neways superb piece....

  • don on February 6, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    pakistan zindbad. thats all i have to say.

  • vinod kossery on February 5, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    A very interesting article full of sarcasm which made me laugh to bits. what u have forgotten to add is that this was a conspiracy against the Bengali babus. How ridiculous to suggest that Sharad Power and Dalmia are fighting ...they dont even talk to each other or look at each other when they meet..so how can they fight? The conspiracy theory has been gaining momentum..first it was the IPL teams which conspired and dropped Ganguly..then the Eden gardens fiasco..then now when the last bastion of the communists wanted to salvage the Bengali pride the BCCI again puts spanner into the works (this the left govts are famous for)by rejecting kochi from taking Ganguly.....surely a CBI inquiry should be ordered into the whole chain of events....but jokes apart it is a tremendous loss to cricket if Eden Gardens does not figure in the world cup.whoever responsible should be caned....

  • Kumar Sridhar on June 10, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    Andy: Brilliant..and the fact that you have a type of humor (self-deprecating) makes it even more enjoyable. The part about, wait a minute, I can NOT single out a certain part as being funnier..The entire article was hilarious..Would love to attend one of your stand up shows (being a stand up comic, myself (admittedly, American), would love to get some material from one your routines) so please let us know when you are in the US of A.

  • Andy O on March 2, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    Good one !

  • Prakhar Jain on February 17, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Bloody brilliant!! Keep 'em coming...!

  • Sakshi on February 16, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Funny AND sarcastic! Haven't read anything better in the longest time. Awesomeness!!

  • simon on February 9, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Another great piece, thanks Andy. You might want to add a disclaimer of some sort, though, to protect yourself. @HMK, commenting above, is "Literally laughing [his] backside off".... ouch...

  • Akshat on February 9, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    Absolutely hilarious....!!!!!

  • Rakesh Maganti on February 7, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Awesome, Brilliant!

  • Sourav kr on February 7, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    Hey hw can pak play pak in the s/f?????? Only in Andy Zaltzman's world i guess :P Neways superb piece....

  • don on February 6, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    pakistan zindbad. thats all i have to say.

  • vinod kossery on February 5, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    A very interesting article full of sarcasm which made me laugh to bits. what u have forgotten to add is that this was a conspiracy against the Bengali babus. How ridiculous to suggest that Sharad Power and Dalmia are fighting ...they dont even talk to each other or look at each other when they meet..so how can they fight? The conspiracy theory has been gaining momentum..first it was the IPL teams which conspired and dropped Ganguly..then the Eden gardens fiasco..then now when the last bastion of the communists wanted to salvage the Bengali pride the BCCI again puts spanner into the works (this the left govts are famous for)by rejecting kochi from taking Ganguly.....surely a CBI inquiry should be ordered into the whole chain of events....but jokes apart it is a tremendous loss to cricket if Eden Gardens does not figure in the world cup.whoever responsible should be caned....

  • Anand on February 5, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    Only 2 words for you Andy - Thank you @Nick- i found your comment almost as funny

  • Subir Ranjan Das on February 5, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    It is good to be sarcastic at times under veiled hilarious haze of witty remarks.

    Should we reserve our comments then on the Caribbean Islands hosting international tournaments after the tragic death of Bob Woolmer, reason being secuirty not up to the standard?

  • Fad on February 5, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    Hahaa Lolz excruciatingly hilarious :D

  • Arul on February 5, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    ROFL LMAO LOL. and more lol....

  • Nisar Ahmed on February 5, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Analyzed harsh realities in a fun....Really entertaining.

  • honestbharani on February 5, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Zaltz Waltz back at its best.. :)

  • P Satish on February 5, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    I agree with the question about television facilities. I mean if someone had grand designs of televising then Eden Gardens should have been informed beforehand; maybe around 25 years prior notice!!

    And anyway were all games from the Colosseum televised? Just because it is the BCCI and India you guys make a big deal of it. I cannot recall a single game from the Colosseum ever being shown on TV. All we have is some poorly compiled highlights package titled(even more poorly) "Gladiator" with Martin(or was it Jeff) Crowe batting on and on and on.

  • Amrut Joshi on February 5, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    Super funny post!!!!

  • Nadeem on February 5, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    Nice article. Especialy the number of acheivements by Eden Garden construction people before WC.

    Also good article about Pakistanies, who can only beat themselves. Great article , i love it.

  • Bhargava on February 5, 2011, 1:45 GMT

    Superb. Keep writing Andy. We all love you.

  • Sundar on February 5, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    Good one mate... with all the hypes around, you have described the facts in a humorous way!

  • DK on February 4, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    Brilliant again, as usual.

  • Iszaltmangod? on February 4, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    Andy. Your best ever.

  • Gurjot Singh Ahluwalia on February 4, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    Awesome! Where is that recommend button people ???

  • Milind Jadhav on February 4, 2011, 21:51 GMT

    Made my weekend...LOL...great stuff...enjoyed it thoroughly! How many pints of ale would I have to buy you to do a stand up show at the local pub? Keep it coming...

  • darkamdusias on February 4, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    Love it!

  • Amar S Dwadasi on February 4, 2011, 21:42 GMT

    Great piece indeed, especially England’s scheduled 20 minutes of team bonding, Oz honing their one day skills, and your relationship with deadlines. Good goin Andy!

  • B.P.Srivatsan on February 4, 2011, 21:20 GMT

    Now I can enlighten all of those who are interested in knowing the real cause behind the incompletion of the facility in KOLKATTA in time for the opening match on 27th Feb between India and England in the reverse chronological order. Although we can place the blame anyone's broad shoulders it must surely land on one of the following for reasons known to all and sundry. 1. Ganguly for not being bid for the IPL.4. 2. Shah Rukh Khan for not bidding for Ganguky. 3. Sharad Pawar for being the ICC chief. 4. Greg Chapell for having been the Indian coach. 5. Sachin Tendulkar for creating chaos in a past world cup match against SriLanka. 6. The Monarchy of England for establishing their first outpost in Eastern India. 7. Adam and Eve for inhabiting the Eden gardens. The list can be long and endless but I conclude here to coincide with the inevitable seven wonders of the world. May the more knowledgeable readers design the many more reasons responsible for the inevitable debacle that befell us.

  • Ravi on February 4, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    Oh, I loved the South African team story of them being locked down to find a crazier way of getting out....

    Awesome article! Cheers....

  • Clive on February 4, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    Classic!! They say that one must be careful what one writes because it runs the risk of being read. This one had no risk. The moving finger writes and having written ... Just amazing!!

  • Vikram on February 4, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    Andy, you ought to be a commentator for the World Cup and beyond! If you do, I can guarantee that Test cricket will be back to being glorious.

  • Raj on February 4, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    Ruddy Brilliant. You outdid yourself. LFMAO

  • Sharjil on February 4, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    wow - thank you - that gave me a good laugh! particularly what was said about s africa, if they can devise a spectacular way to knock themselves out once again i want to witness it!

    an avid England, Bangladesh and Pakistan supporter.

  • Topgun on February 4, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    Lol I love this post, really entertaining and harshly true

  • Krishna Chovishya on February 4, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    The best I have read from Andy in a long time! Especially the piece on hostility with deadlines and comparison to the Colosseum was hilarious!! Keep this good work up!!

  • MJG on February 4, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    Hilarious !!!.... A pleasing article to read amongst all the hype and hoopla and all other negative news coming out lately. Keep up the good work.

  • Sanjeeva on February 4, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    Comparison of eden garden to colosseum takes the cake!!!

  • Kisnel on February 4, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Very funny!

  • Sree A on February 4, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Good One, Think a lot of packed stuff in this article! Is it deliberate to leave the poor Pak Trio, for deliberatly bowling no-balls? I mean, come on, they after all bowled no ball, they did not bowl anything, did they? How can they be charged if they have not bowled any balls?

  • krishna darooka on February 4, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    If eden garden match between india and england is not played there then World cup must be cancelled. Power should be removed from the ministry as well as from ICC head,Lorget must go too.

    Ofcourse those who are actually responsible for the delay of construction should be put behind the bar for long term

    Requesting and appealing KOLKOTTA public rise for the occasion don't swallow insult ,don't allow any thing less than match to be restored for world cup to continue \

  • Nitin on February 4, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    Extremely funny and hilarious. Well done

  • srik7 on February 4, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    Wow... one of the best I have read on Cricinfo's funny corner. Line after line its gets better. Great going.

  • Ram Natarajan on February 4, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    Andy, you outdid yourself. Esp the Pak vs Pak part, your experience with deadlines para and the icing on the cake: the incomplete coliseum!

  • Harsimran on February 4, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    For some reason listened to one of the world cricket podast after reading this... Andy, you definitely must start doing those again with world cup approaching :-)

  • Janak on February 4, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    "New Zealand themselves are potential dark horses. For the 10th world cup in succession" ..... absolute beauty... :)

  • sambhav on February 4, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    hahaha.....hillarious. !! Luv ur articles andy !!

  • Hemant Naik on February 4, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    Andy, you are just brilliant. Well written mister.

  • Yamir Shamim on February 4, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    Very nicely written article Andy. You pretty much summed the start of the world cup.

    I would love to see you predict the winner - or in your way of writing - how are you eliminating all others (:-

    Best regards yamir

  • Ahmad on February 4, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    Really good article..well written..great humour.

  • Miles on February 4, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    I find your refusal to use the word 'stadia' odd, particularly when 'millennia' is used above, instead of 'millenniums'.

  • paarth on February 4, 2011, 16:18 GMT

    lolz.. i could have died laughing had i not been in office.

  • Aditya Dhar on February 4, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    Fantastic article! Always a joy to read your work.

  • Supratim Chaudhury on February 4, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    Cricket-Comedy at its best........ :)

    The way Mr. Zaltzman has keyed down the last-moment-preparations of Sri Lanka, West Indies and South Africa made me laugh out loud......

    Finally, being a Kolkattan from the core of the heart, it is soul-rending to have lost such a big battle..... :(

  • jagmohan dalmia on February 4, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    @#$% %^&## b$$%$ f$%^ pfff hufff...@#$$$% %%%%^&&....

  • Arjun on February 4, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    Hilarious! keep em coming. Page 2 has added a fantastic facet to this site...

  • JVD on February 4, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    Brilliant, as usual ! Loved the last paragraph.

  • Jim on February 4, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Ama-Zalt-Zing!!

  • brk on February 4, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Andy,

    You are a card !

    If this article were an archery contest and the backsides of everybody were the targets, each sentence hit the bull's eye with a dull but definitive thud ! The targets would find that the sentences were blunt but the pain was really pointed !

    Your wit and usage of irony is masterly and on this topic, you have crafted a masterpiece.

    Kudos.

  • Jyotil on February 4, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Andy you dont understand the Eden Garden thing. Its a master stroke and absolutely pre-planned as your preparation for the test cap was. Last time India played a world cup match there the stadium almost got torched and organizers had to ask Vinod Kambli to cry more hysterically so as to spray water to douse the fire. BCCI is superstitous, they didnt want bad omen come in way of an Indian win and hence they asked CAB to not finish anything coz even a single thing completed may have prompted ICC to let the match be on just as they have let everything in cricket run on a slab and a girder. They shifted it to Bangalore where when India played their last WC match they thumped Pakistan batting first, got doubly thumped in the first 15 overs and then an utter gentleman called Venkatesh Prasad whose only act of anger in the life uptill then was when his introduction read "a slow but occassionally medium paced and genial as a goat bowler" got better of Aamir Sohail's brain explosion.

  • HRK on February 4, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    Literally laughing my backside off...what a start of my Friday! SL v/a WI series' D/L calculations, South Africa's lab research and Bangladesh's undefeated record were the best part.

  • zain on February 4, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    the bit about the roman collisieum was funny! and Also about Pakistan...which is completlely true!!

  • Jim on February 4, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    I'm not the greatest fan of the ICC, but why aren't they getting slammed in the press of every nation at the World Cup for the ridiculous state of the itinerary. Did they not learn last time in the Windies? If it was FIFA who had mucked up a football torunaments schedule to this extent the media would make Sepp Blatter their public enemy number one (again). However the goons at the ICC seem immune from this on any large scale...England were the best ODI side in 2010, make no mistake.

    With the pure idiocy of the long, drawn out ODI series against Oz (which I understand is the fault of the ECB/ACB) along with a World Cup where the group stages will last a month, by the time the domestic season begins in England I'm going to be sick of cricket due to a winter overload! Too much cricket due to pure greed! I can't wait for the IPL to begin... not!

  • Sidharth on February 4, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    Andy: you are tremendously gifted writer!!!! The piece abt rome is splendid to say the least.. :) Thanks for such a brilliant piece

  • Mathew Kuriakose on February 4, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    My goodness me!! You have made my day/my month. I have not read anything so atrociously funny in so many years. Thanks.

  • Jose on February 4, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Hilarious, best ever!

  • zaltzsman fan on February 4, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    Brilliant Article, Wonderful, loved the colosseum part

  • Shahzaib Khalid on February 4, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Goodness gracious man "Pakistan look like they could beat anyone, including themselves", "South Africa are locked away in a special research laboratory trying to formulate a new and even crazier way to be knocked out of a tournament, concerned that their form in this regard has dipped in recent years – they have been knocked out of recent tournaments in mostly fairly uninteresting ways, and will be looking to return to their world-leading form of 1999 and 2003", analogies to other teams, the eden gardens and colloseums. Ah, man.

    You took the breath away with this piece of yours.

  • Ali A on February 4, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    ahaha..Love it...'its facilities for keeping lions now seem unnecessary..' I'm sure those boundries are still bigger than many of those in New Zealand stadiums

  • Big-D on February 4, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Ha ha! I normally find your articles vaguely humorous or involve clever stats/technical statements but I really found this amusing: Aus bat/bowl only once and SA tourny exit were good. However, the list of incomplete tasks was my favourite part. Thanks Andy.

  • Goat on February 4, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    Excellent blog - however, your knowledge of Adam and Eve's sin in Genesis is a little off: they were thrown out for doing something they were explicitly commanded not to do, not the other way around. So they are actually the polar opposite of the CAB!

  • Dubby49 on February 4, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    Ah Andy. Never tire of getting your correct perspective on how cricket should be viewed.

  • PJ on February 4, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    Are you serious? That article was awesome. I am going to read it again after posting this comment. I might then post another one saying how great it was the second time around...

  • Vijay on February 4, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    Very laboured, Andy. The hallmark of your articles are the incisive humor and sarcasm. Guess you are also getting tired and jagged. A break will help, perhaps?

  • Ahmed on February 4, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    There is nothing left to comment. Thats all the bitter truth.

  • Rajesh on February 4, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    LMAO

  • Christy on February 4, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    " First Adam and Eve, now the CAB. When will it end " .. LoL

  • Ullas on February 4, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    This is an awesome article..really funny...really nice choice of words and context...

    Who is this guy.....future Russel Peters or his guru???

  • Asad Shairani on February 4, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    Bravo!

  • Arun Ramkumar on February 4, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Pure Genius! Awesome piece,mr.Z. Cricinfo's posting guidelines ask us to talk about which areas of the article we liked while commenting but since that would involve copy pasting the entire article above, I shall pass.

    PS:tremendous week of humor on page 2 this.Anand,Sidin on the Heavy Ball and now the Zaltster.

  • Arif Mobeen on February 4, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    hilarious! esp. the bit on Pakistan and SA preps.

  • Neal Collins on February 4, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    Chuckled my way through this from start to finish. Absolutely cracking.

  • Surya on February 4, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Yet another brilliant piece from Andy.. and i have same word to say... Awesome..

  • guest on February 4, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Australia, having honed their one-day skills during the Ashes by refusing to bat for more than one day at a time, and refusing to bowl in more than one innings in a match : Good one

  • kamal on February 4, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Andy you're the Saviour of Page 2... Finally a funny stuff .... Though comparing Eden with Colosseum was over the top, Enjoyed a lot.... Keep up the good work...

  • Parthasarathy on February 4, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    Interesting. Have to read your sentences twice or thrice, since an ordinary english speaking Indian. However, I would like to read more your writings. Good idea to think the game would've been washed away on 27.

  • Dr. Arif on February 4, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    This is the best article I have read so far, in what 150000 years. Each sentence has been framed to perfection and I think none other than Zaltzman, could have drafted better... Looking forward to more such articles..... !!!!

  • Saad Ghori on February 4, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    "When the ground was inspected, eyebrows were not merely raised, but flew off the top of the ICC inspection team’s faces at such speed that tournament director Ratnakar Shetty’s brows are now rumoured to be circling the world in a low orbit, desperately seeking clearance to return to Mr Shetty’s head in time for the tournament opener on February 19."....nothing but lol lol and lol on this piece of artifact

  • Paras on February 4, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Good one. Keep going......

  • cool on February 4, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    ha ha way 2 funny!!!!!! andy u rock loved the pak n SA bit

  • eye_scream on February 4, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    Brilliant! Especially on deadlines. As a Saffer though, I take great exception to your claim that our semi-final elimination was not up to standard. Collapsing to 27-5 inside 10 overs through some ridiculous shot selection is right up there with not running a single with one to win, or misreading a chart and playing a forward defensive to ensure you don't win.

  • Himasagar on February 4, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    Hilarious! zaltzman @ his best

  • Nick on February 4, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Perhaps lion-facilities are necessary. Nothing would make a better way for South Africa to get eliminated from a tournament than disqualification due to the lion (who was a last minute selection) playing in the slips and charging the batsman to attempt to eat his kidney.

  • kiran on February 4, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Nice article....... very true , hilarious and thought to be given by the ones at the receiving end of this article....... gr8 andy

  • Nishad P on February 4, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Best. Post. Ever.

  • Pranay Lapasia on February 4, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    Brillant stuff!! Absolutely hillarious. Specially archiologist stuff for Pakistan cricket.

  • Kamran on February 4, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    Andy, your list of things you have been struggling to finish on time cracked me up... Great stuff...

  • Sagar Singh on February 4, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Good article....! Difficult to conclude who you are making fun of though.A match at EDEN GARDENS would have been a highlight of the tournament but i don't think it would make much difference to all the cricket fans.I personally do not agree with the ICC's decision of having a ten team WC but it's still better than a sixteen team tournament that goes on for more than two months...

  • sanjeev jayswal on February 4, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    funny article, especially comment on Australia(Australia, having honed their one-day skills during the Ashes by refusing to bat for more than one day at a time, and refusing to bowl in more than one innings in a match) and South Africa (South Africa are locked away in a special research laboratory trying to formulate a new and even crazier way to be knocked out of a tournament,)

  • Sanjay Naik on February 4, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Let he who has never laughed out aloud while reading an Andy Zaltzman piece write a negative comment!

  • siddharth on February 4, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    haha awesome & crazy...

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • siddharth on February 4, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    haha awesome & crazy...

  • Sanjay Naik on February 4, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Let he who has never laughed out aloud while reading an Andy Zaltzman piece write a negative comment!

  • sanjeev jayswal on February 4, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    funny article, especially comment on Australia(Australia, having honed their one-day skills during the Ashes by refusing to bat for more than one day at a time, and refusing to bowl in more than one innings in a match) and South Africa (South Africa are locked away in a special research laboratory trying to formulate a new and even crazier way to be knocked out of a tournament,)

  • Sagar Singh on February 4, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Good article....! Difficult to conclude who you are making fun of though.A match at EDEN GARDENS would have been a highlight of the tournament but i don't think it would make much difference to all the cricket fans.I personally do not agree with the ICC's decision of having a ten team WC but it's still better than a sixteen team tournament that goes on for more than two months...

  • Kamran on February 4, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    Andy, your list of things you have been struggling to finish on time cracked me up... Great stuff...

  • Pranay Lapasia on February 4, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    Brillant stuff!! Absolutely hillarious. Specially archiologist stuff for Pakistan cricket.

  • Nishad P on February 4, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Best. Post. Ever.

  • kiran on February 4, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Nice article....... very true , hilarious and thought to be given by the ones at the receiving end of this article....... gr8 andy

  • Nick on February 4, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Perhaps lion-facilities are necessary. Nothing would make a better way for South Africa to get eliminated from a tournament than disqualification due to the lion (who was a last minute selection) playing in the slips and charging the batsman to attempt to eat his kidney.

  • Himasagar on February 4, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    Hilarious! zaltzman @ his best