A cricket tournament involving India is going on but no match scheduled for the weekend.
Because if there was one, my mind would have hung in balance. I can imagine one side of my brain not giving a damn to the cricket proceedings after witnessing the way we lost to New Zealand the other day. And the other side, questioning my faith in this cricket team of ours while tempting me to spend my weekend watching the 12 men in blue, (including the super-sub: so what if he gets out on a duck?) all in the hope that things will change. I must also tell you, that it is this other side of the brain which makes the audiences come back to watch cricket time after time.
I was, of course, spared of this dilemma this weekend.
Instead, trust the Ashes to give you that adrenaline rush while it revives Test Cricket. My dear readers, I have just witnessed the England-Australia encounter at Trent Bridge and trust me, it makes me wish you have witnessed it too. For if you have not I hope that you do not follow cricket at all- such was the intensity of the game. Riveting, spellbinding and all the ingredients of a classic test match thriller you could possibly think of.
My loyalties lie with England on this. An automatic choice since though I respect the Australians, I think while they have won almost every series (in the last decade or so) that has come their way, it has only rendered cricket predictable and boring. England and India have been the only countries who have raised their game to such a level that has made the Australians rethink their plans.
This series has had it’s funny side too. The Australians celebrated the draw at Old Trafford. That is a rare sight, Aussies celebrating a draw. And in this test match, the outbursts of Captain Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich when they got out in the second innings. We haven’t seen the Australians do that lately, have we? Mind you, this is not sledging. I think it is only happening because this current Aussie lot is yet to learn lessons on handling defeat. Steve Waugh, in this regard was a much decent man. You will notice, people in India have a lot of respect for him. Ricky Ponting’s case is just the opposite. Obviously, he doesn’t care.
Meanwhile, it celebration time at Trent Bridge. As I write this, Cricinfo screams “England hold their nerve in yet another thriller”. I have been also told the Manchester Uniteds, Liverpools and the Chealseas will have to be content with the smaller columns in tomorrow’s newspapers. For now, it’s just Vaughan, Trescothick, Freddie Flintoff and co. For now, it’s just cricket.
I can see this test match doing a world of good to cricket in the original Country of the game- which lately, like India, has been so much deprived of quality Cricket.
By the way, if England wins this Ashes, I say, grant Knighthood to all of them.