The final of brotherly love
A lot was made in the lead-up to the World Cup final about the brotherly nature of the bond Australians and New Zealanders share with one another, with players and fans from both sides of the Tasman waxing lyrical about their blessedly unique relationship, and of how fitting it was therefore that they should be playing the World Cup final against each other.
Indeed, the final was nothing if not a showcase of fraternal love. First, the teams enacted the equivalent of that old favourite of a rough-housing game among brothers, whereby one of them playfully pins the younger sibling under him until, red-faced, paralysed and on the verge of tears, the younger gives up the fight and submits by screaming "uncle". In fact, so much fun was derived out of this particular activity that the Kiwis were made to say "uncle" many, many times over the course of the match. Good times.
There also appeared to be plenty of invective being hurled at New Zealand during the course of their innings, especially from that lovable old rascal Brad Haddin, but then again, ha ha, it was only of the kind that one brother can feel comfortable enough saying to another, you know? No hard feelings, bro.
And when David Warner took apart the New Zealand bowlers early in the Australia innings, he could just as well have been carrying a wet towel in his hands instead of a bat, which he used, like any big brother will tell you he has the right to do, to thwack against the bare, unsuspecting skin of his younger sibling.
When asked to comment on all the bullying during an intervention disguised as a post-match press conference, Michael Clarke objected to the term. "Look, everyone knows that the family that fights together stays together," he shrugged.
Brendon McCullum was unavailable for comment as he had locked himself in his room and skipped dinner. Sometimes I worry about that kid.
ICC to help cricketers identify journalists who insulted them
The World Cup saw at least two instances of offended players mistaking people for journalists who had offended them through their writing. Both Virat Kohli and Ahmed Shehzad picked on the wrong guy, and who knows how many other similar instances went unreported.
With an eye to nipping such embarrassing incidents in the bud at future tournaments, a proactive ICC has announced that it will from now on be organising special meet-and-greet events early on in the piece to help each butt-hurt cricketer identify and memorise the face of the man who wrote all that shit about him in that one article a while back.
"Journalists are asked to bring a copy of the offending article with them, along with two forms of photo identification so that the cricketer in question can be fully satisfied you are the right man," said one organiser.
The two parties will also be given the chance to work things out right then and there, if they so wish, by having the cricketer punch the journalist in the face - oh, a couple of times or so should do it. If the journalist declines this opportunity to put things behind them, they will agree that the cricketer reserves the right to gesticulate wildly and cast aspersions on the nature of the writer's relationship with his sister from a safe distance during practice.
Indian fan undecided about buying new World Cup edition razor
An Indian cricket fan stood paralysed waiting in the checkout line at his neighbourhood grocery store yesterday, unable to decide whether or not to buy the new Team India World Cup edition razor blade he had just spotted on display.
On the one hand, the team had lost, rendering the purchase of said razor blade slightly gratuitous, "silly" even. On the other, they hadn't really done as badly as all that, had they? Or had they?
Given that he already had a razor that worked perfectly well, what exactly were his motives in buying the new World Cup edition razor, he wondered. He supposed he liked the colours, which were the colours of the flag, after all. And what was wrong with expressing a bit of patriotism? Even if it was within the confines of the bathroom?
Besides, the razor was endorsed by Virat Kohli, unless he was mistaken. That had to be a good thing, right? Wait a minute, how could that even be? Could someone seemingly born with a beard become a spokesperson for a razor blade company? He supposed anything was possible these days.
Anyway, that was beside the point. To buy or not to buy, that was the question. Oh, why couldn't they have just lost to Bangladesh or something in the quarters, he thought. It would have made this decision so much easier - he wouldn't have touched this razor blade with a ten-foot pole, then. But this whole losing in the semis had complicated things enormously. He wished his wife were here, she would have set him straight, one way or the other.
At publication time, the man had been sighted still standing around inside the grocery store, a full day since arriving there to buy some eggs and bread, trying to decide whether or not to buy the razor. His wife, meanwhile, had reportedly filed a missing-persons report as a formality before moving on with her life without so much as a second thought.
Questions Americans ask about cricket
Every once in a while Americans seem to suddenly develop an interest in cricket. This curious phenomenon is usually precipitated when an American, usually someone named Chad, chances to click upon a weird-looking Google Doodle, which then directs him to a World Cup cricket tournament being played in some exotic locale. This is then typically followed up by a half-hearted visit to Wikipedia, and culminates in the most preferred method used to learn about the game: cornering that one colleague at work who's from India or Pakistan or whatever with the following series of questions:
"Hi, uh... I'm sorry, what's your name again?"
"Cricket is like baseball right?"
"Cricket isn't at all like baseball, is it?"
"I really liked Shaun of the Dead. Do you think I'd be good at cricket?"
"What's with all the bearded people everywhere?"
"Can you explain how 'offside' works?"
"What's with all the glowsticks lying about all over the place when a ball hits them? They look like they belong at a rave. What do you mean you don't know?"
"What is 'tea'?"
"Why does it 'rain'?"
"What did you say your name was again?"
"Nice chatting, bud. We should do this again. What are you doing four years from now?"
R Rajkumar tweets @roundarmraj
All quotes and "facts" in this piece are made up, but you knew that, didn't you?