Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Done and dusted!

/krkt/ n.1 ME. [(O)Fr. criquet grasshopper, cricket, f. criquer crackle, of imit. origin: cf. (M)Du. krekel cricket, f. imit. base.] Any of various jumping, chirping orthopterous insects of the family Gryllidae; esp. (more fully house-cricket) Acheta domestica, formerly a familiar insect living indoors near fireplaces, ovens, etc., or (more fully field-cricket) Gryllus campestris, found in meadows etc. Also (w. specifying wd), any of various other insects related to or resembling the crickets.Comb.: cricket-frog a small N. American tree frog of the genus Acris, noted for its clicking call; cricket-teal dial. the garganey.

Excerpted from Oxford Talking Dictionary
Copyright © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lightning has beaten the odds and stuck thrice at the same place! The kangaroos are cock-a-hoop over the pitch; punter's men have done it again; their sledging shall ramble on;
a pigeon is fluttering away into the oblivion called retirement; a "class" act has concluded and the curtains have been brought down on Lara's theme; the blue billion are aghast; and the marathon world cup has finally ended, in dramatic fashion! The inevitable has happened and proven that it is inevitable after all!

ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 kicked off in style.. it had all the ingredients to make it the most happening tournament ever... and more, for it was being celebrated in Carib style! But I suppose certain things about it, which many didn't fear initially despite their imminence, were a foregone conclusion after all. A 2 month long carnival turned out to be too flat (as the pitches in zone are), and failed to capture our excitement. More or less the kind of thing which can spoil your road trip if all four tyres on your car were to burst in unison! Men in blues were dumbstruck by the blues next door.. bookies ran amuck, endorsements faced a burnout, our men ran for cover behind the Wall.. much to the disappointment of well.. er.. just about everybody under the sun I guess. But atleast the blue billion were fed some food for thought!

Besides India and Pakistan's shocking knock out from the league, the remainder of the tournament was by and large uninteresting. The Aussies simply shoo-ed off all skeptics and went about their task with surgical precision.. the kiwis came a cropper largely due to injuries and form woes, SA were at waterloo yet again, England had a bunch of stand-up comedians in their camp, the Windies appeared to have big goodbye to glory days for good (and Lara has finally hung up his boots!), Lanka were anyway second best and ofcourse there were a few alsorans to make up for the motley crowd.

I stopped stopping by the union to catch the live feed the moment Dhoni tried his exquisite late-cut off the wizard on his first ball, on a middle stump line, only to be shown the door for wonderfully guarding his wicket. Wish he could show some heroics from behind the stumps! Alright, agreed it was a pathetic show by a lackadaisical bunch of freak shows... but what beats me is that even the other teams literally sucked! The final was no better.

Imagine the FIFA World Cup final being contested for 60 minutes.. or a 3-setter for the men's championship at Wimbledon.. 28th April had all the makings of a sad day for a gentleman's game. Weathergods permitting, the Aussies took charge with a belligerent Gilli - I almost sank in my seat at the imposing target they set. Futile hopes had been pinned on the lions, their pride, the swashbuckling Jayasuriya and of course the wiz. But their roars were tamed down to a hush! The sledgemasters had fixed it all.. in the way they know best.. beating the living daylights out of their opponents. Glenn has come out the better of the Bonds and the Malingas even at twilight, as one star called Irfan has already dropped 20-odd K's in his prime! Sri Lanka did put up a decent fight, but this one was just a bridge too far for their might.

It is nothing new for the World Cup championship game being one-sided; with due regards to that, our glorious campaign of 1983 was arguably the most nail biting encounter, besides of course the 1987 rubber. But the on-field drama that happened some 3 overs before the finish shall never be digested. Of all 24 on the ground, the umpires evinced maximum concern over light and had to bring the game down to a grinding halt. SL were chasing a random infinite number, Ponting knew no clue of the revised target he was defending and the umpires went to sleep over the course of things! The live feed had all the ingredients of a parody in it... the Aussies huddled up in jubiliation, the batsman were amused at being offered light and instructed to take it (more so like the compulsory electives we've seen in college :D ), ground staff hurried on to the field to prepare for the presentation ceremony... GREram was laughing his ass off on Cricinfo's jokes at the proceedings and I was gtalk-ing with him through all of this.. when suddenly the umpires played foul. They apparently wanted the last 3 overs to be played out the next day.. quite a match it would have been, poor ol' cricketers losing a precious Sunday, the World Cup decided with nobody to cheer from the stands! Wonder what brainwaves were tunneling between he minds of Steve Bucknor and Aleem Dar?! Fortunately the captains intervened and had the issue done and dusted away with.

Even the presentation ceremony was nothing near interesting, for the Aussies seemed to be totally bored at having won three in a row! Glenn had a fitting farewell to bid, but that apart, the whole affair appeared to be some bungled up, and mismanaged one as those symposiums we've seen in college. All in all, it has been one forgettable experience. GREram summed it up aptly when he said "It is a travesty of a world cup final!"

I only pity that wretched soul some seven seas away from home, who sits in a lab under artificial light, fights against a stubborn and artificially intelligent entity that just won't behave, and whose only hope against hope hopen this spring, besides eternal sunshine, was to find solace in the world cup and unwind at the courtyard cafe!

Alls well that.. well.. ends!