I’ve been quite surprised at the online reaction to England’s Cricket World Cup win last night. So many calls that Stokes’ inadvertent extra boundary shouldn’t have counted, or should have counted for less (fewer?); so many people saying that the final outcome being decided by the number of boundaries in the game was “unfair” or “too arbitrary”.
Allow me a couple of points, if you will.
Firstly, it’s fine to be irrational, as long as you know you’re being irrational. Sport brings out the irrational side in a lot of people, and yesterday’s game encouraged it even more simply because it was so spectacular, so topsy-turvy, so big: and so damn close. The fact that it was played in such great spirit and with such gracious sportsmanship only adds to the emotion, and to the belief that neither side deserved to lose: that they should have simply declared it a draw (which is clearly hugely irrational, but it’s ok, because I know that I’m doing it).
Secondly, it’s really not “unfair” or “arbitrary” to decide a game in any given manner, just so long as the participants are aware of the rules ahead of time. It would be ridiculous to get to a tie at the end of the Super Over and then choosing a method to decide the winner. I’m sure that no-one could have believed that it would ever come down to how many boundaries each team had scored, but since there was a chance that it might, maybe Kane Williamson (yes, lovely guy) should have rallied his team to score more boundaries. Mind you, since this is kind of the aim of the batting side in cricket generally, I’m not sure why they weren’t trying to do this anyway.
It’s unfair (and irrational) to cherry pick the method of deciding the game only once one gets to the stage where one has to. But still, people thought they’d give it a go. Some other suggestions to decide the game might have been: using the result in the round robin matches (England would have won), the overall net run rate (England would have won), relative positions in the ten team league (England would have won), wickets lost in the Super Over (England would have won), overall boundaries scored in the tournament (England would have won).
But those all seem to have been ignored, with many people seeming to have settled on the number of wickets lost in the 50-over final, which conveniently would have meant that New Zealand took the match, and with it, the World Cup. Of course, it we’d all known about that up front, presumably both captains would likely have encouraged their side to try and lose fewer wickets (which is – again – pretty standard stuff unless you’re raking in some dollars in from some dodgy bookmakers).
Of course, it simply comes down to anti-England sentiment. Which is why we have to hear about all the different original nationalities of the players every time we play.
Everyone: England should accept more immigrants and put them in positions of responsibility. ECB does it. Everyone: Not like that.
And which, of course, is rather irrational.
But we’ve covered that already, haven’t we?
So here’s a photo of the World Cup winning team, full of diversity (except that they’re all men, obviously), who scored more boundaries than their opposition yesterday.
I should have shared this earlier. Or even last night. Still, better late than never.
I remember when SA played the 438 game. Having watched Australia score 434, everyone thought the contest was over. Everyone except one guy in Forries, who I can distinctly recall saying “I dunno, hey? I think we might just do this.” That was during the innings break.
And of course, SA did just do it, scoring 438, and the world is still speaking about it to this day. Yesterday, England blitzed that record, and we should be speaking about that for years to come. Except that the game as a spectacle was ruined by Pakistan not coming close to challenging that monumental total.
Still, it’s recorded for posterity here now. So at least no-one will ever forget.
It was a good night for the kids’ first cricket match, and it was topped off by a last ball win for SA which has obviously set the expectation bar far too high for any future visits to Newlands or any other sporting venue. (It’s worth noting that Alex’s first ever football match finished 7-0.)
Cricket’s very laid back, even when it’s very exciting. There was plenty of opportunity to take photos. Go look.
Sod the Government, the captains of industry and the so-called experts countrywide who all say that there is no quick fix. I think they’re blinkered. If everyone builds their own little power station, we’ll be sorted. As far as I can remember from my physics lessons at school, all you have to do is make steam (water + heat), turn a turbine and Bob’s your uncle. For your average Southern Suburber, with a pool (water) and a braai (heat), that’s surely not such a big ask. Apart from the turbine bit.
That actually worked for a while. Until my wife found out.
There are easier ways to solve the drought. Just let me buy tickets for a cricket match.
I’m not a huge fan of cricket (sidenote to self: huge fan = potential wind shortage solution), but I do like live sport and so I thought I’d make a plan waaaaay in advance of… well… of today, and buy some cricket tickets for the kids and I. Mrs 6000 had other plans for this weekend, so I only needed three. And that was a good thing, because tickets for cricket are not cheap. They’re between 5 and 10 times the price of going and watching a football match. But then, this is an international cricket match. But then, they’re more than twice the price of watching an international football match.
I digress. Often.
I bought the expensive tickets, for a cricket match in the middle of February, in the middle of summer, in the middle of a drought.
Can you guess what the weather was like this week in Cape Town? Yep. It was lovely. Temperatures in the mid-thirties. Cloudless skies. And can you guess what the weather is going to be like in Cape Town next week? Yep. You’re not wrong. Gorgeous. Temperatures in the high twenties. Wall to wall sunshine.
And, dear reader, can you guess what the weather is like in Cape Town today? The day of the expensive cricket match. The first cricket match I’ve ever bought tickets for. The first cricket match my kids have ever been to?
Grey. Wet. Chilly. Miserable.
On the positive side, it did rain today, meaning that there will be no need for anyone to water their gardens tomorrow (Saturday being one of the days you’re allowed an hour of watering). And that gave me an idea. If you can donate enough money for me to buy expensive tickets to expensive international cricket matches on a regular basis, I think that we can basically guarantee enough rain to replenish our currently understocked local dams (42% full this week).
You can try this crazy scheme by donating some money to my cause. Just leave me a comment below and I’ll be in touch to give you payment details.
Give it a go. But give it a go soon, remembering that there’s a T20 match between SA and Australia on Wednesday 9th March. Yet another opportunity to sit on a damp grass slope and watch an empty field standing in the rain.