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.