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This, that and the other. Mostly the other
Blogs : Highs and Lows: Purple people, sandwich love, and the return of Shoaib
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
The New Pakistan
Competition for the title was fierce. In the final analysis England, who at most stages in their games gave Ravi Shastri cause to shout - not that Mr Shastri needs cause to shout - that all three results were possible, shot ahead of India, who had rocketed into contention by losing nine wickets for 29 against South Africa. Pakistan themselves were mostly monotonous, not mercurial, despite the best efforts of Kamran Akmal.
As India hunted down the last few runs to victory in the final, in the commentary box Ravi Shastri channelled his inner Nostradamus. Back when India won the World Cup last, he informed us hectoringly, they were captained by a man whose surname began with a D. Just like now! Back then the president of the BCCI was NKP Salve, from Nagpur. Just like now! (Shashank Manohar is from Nagpur.) The weight of these revelations sent tremors through the Wankhede Stadium, which communicated themselves to MS Dhoni out in the middle, who, realising it was ordained in the stars, hit a six to get the match over with. You owe Shastri, India.
The Post-Modern Question
If Navjot Sidhu hasn't yet got the sack for referring to a certain team as cockroaches, does that not make him a resilient little cockroach himself as well?
The Non-Violent Revenge
After the final: Harbhajan crying, Sreesanth mere feet away, dry-eyed. No slapping involved. Who'd have thought we'd live to see the day?
Cornered by Nasser Hussain after he had taken three wickets against England, Devendra Bishoo managed to get away with as few syllables in his replies to the questions he was asked as there were numbers in his economy rate - a fetching 3.4.
"You seemed to enjoy that?" "I really enjoyed it."
"Is that the pace to bowl on this pitch - slightly slower?" "Yeah, slightly slower."
"Two hundred and forty - a good score?" "Yeah, it's a good score."
They don't teach you this stuff at the Chris Gayle School of Post-Match Dead-Batting.
More than Sidhu, more even than "Deano" Jones, the thing that did not just get our goat this World Cup but drugged our goat, led it to a shed out back, slaughtered it, made of its flesh a curry and ate it with lashings of our collective bheja, was the Official World Cup Song. From hell. Where its "composers" must burn for all eternity.
In a sane and just world, the tournament theme would have been this song instead.
This World Cup was marked by the unseemly sight of geriatrics like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Muttiah Muralitharan refusing to act their age and insisting on throwing themselves around on the field. Imagine, then, how heartening it was to see one particular senior citizen actually playing in a manner befitting a greybeard. Props to John Davison of Canada, 40, who after deflecting a yorker to fine leg against New Zealand decided to walk, not run, to the other end, and was duly run out.
In Bangladesh's match against South Africa, the crowd applauded loudest when Shakib Al Hasan took a single to push the team total past 58 - the score the side were all out for against West Indies earlier in the tournament.
Andre Russell unveiled his super power in West Indies' game against England: pretending to pull out of his run-up a second before launching into his delivery stride. Yes, very classy.
Among the laundry list of offending items that would not be allowed into the PCA Stadium in Mohali during the India-Pakistan semi-final were: persons wearing black or black turbans. Thus did the authorities, in one fell swoop, stop all potential miscreants and terrorists dead in their tracks. For, as any fool knows, all self-respecting agents of terror are constitutionally obliged to wear black at all times.
The Other Afridi
You've seen Vitruvian Man; at the Mohali semi-final we got Vitruvian Woman, courtesy Sonia Gandhi, who did a convincing Shahid Afridi impression, arms aloft, after India won. Son Rahul clapped demurely in the foreground.
The Cancelled Exposition
If you thought she was just a tease, no. Poonam Pandey was good and ready to get naked for the good of India. And would have, had the vile cricket board not got in the way.
She was serious about it. "I am serious about it," she confirmed in a letter to the BCCI a day before the final. "As many studies conducted by various universities abroad confirm, such performances boost and inspire people to perform better in any field, be it sports or otherwise.''
She was confident no morals would be depraved in the process as she would be "going nude in private with consulting adults for a therapeutic purpose" Only, the revelation would happen in Paris, she stipulated, to avoid controversy innit, thereby performing the nifty feat of covering her posterior while threatening to take off her clothes.
"I am willing to go the extra mileage," she informed valiantly. Alas, no reply was forthcoming from the board to this offer of improved fuel-efficiency and we must assume Ms Pandey's offer has lapsed with the confounded World Cup win.
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