World Cup 2016 Finalists

Oh, that world finalists. Reeks of close but no cigar. Well, at least we showed up for all but four balls of it! No questions, 20/20 is a great format. If the Windies win fails to re-ignite passion in the Carribean for the Noble Game then, we might aswell all just pack up our bags, chop our Size 3 Gunn & Moore – banished to the loft – Bats into kindling and swamp our Nieces and Nephews with Basketballs.

It is not easy following Live Cricket living in China. Most Chinese people I have met seem to think it is an odd form of Baseball. Many Americans also think the same. But where there is a will, there is a way. Taking a much needed ‘Teacher Break’ on the Tropical Island of Hainan. The Climate somewhat resembles that of the Caribbean, and it is on a similar Latitude. But not a cricket ground in sight.

Having watched two thirds of the Semi between India and WI, before falling asleep infront of some slight ‘buffering issues’ on a neighbour’s sofa, I was locked-in for the final. I presumed it would be India. So did he. Once Gayle had gone, and the over rate was ticking up, I thought there was no way back. How wrong we were.

The challenge of finding somewhere to watch ‘The Game’ rose last Saturday. We managed to find a Saffer who knew of a place. His tip turned out to be a good one. The Dolphin Sports Bar in Sanya came up trumps. By the time we arrived England were about 100 odd for 4. It sort of went downhill from there. A few late blows from Willey gave us something to bowl at.

I soon realised that barely anyone in the bar was actaully that bothered about the Cricket. Only when the Cricket screen switched to Football and I voiced an, “Oii!!’ did I realise I had two brothers-in-arms, Indians. It was a fantastic moment having Gayle caught on the boundary.

Sadly, after we had suffered the Football Screen moment, the Sports Bar only managed to recieve a very weak stream for Sky Sports 2 Live HD. I wish I knew why, as it meant viewing was pretty much a waste of time. The two Indians were following on their phone, as was I. Every 5 minutes or so we would see the TV screen updated to a fresh new freeze-frame some six or seven balls behind the info we were getting from our phones.

When the Windies needed 19 off the final over, I admit I did think of Bruce Reid and Allan Lamb but it was only a fleeting thought. This was ours – surely. “Six!”, cried one of the Indians. “Six”, cried another. “Fuck”, I whispered to myself. “Six”, the first one shouted. To rub salt in the wound Carlos Braithwate smashed Stokes for a fourth consequetive six to win the match. Kapil Dev / Eddie Hemmings – eat your hearts out. What a way to become ‘Finalists’. Well done WI.




Alan Lee

So very sad to read of the passsing of Cricket journalist Alan Lee. He once came to talk at our school and one bright spark asked him (in 1990) why it was that Footballers could command such high salaries but Cricketers pay lagged so far behind.

The photograph in the Times, showed the late Christopher Martin-Jenkins, John Woodcock, Athers, and Alan Lee. Athers commented John Woodcock could very well outlive them all. To die at 54 is too young. I enjoyed reading his work.