Thursday, April 21, 2011

Inshallah, we will win in the Caribbean

Back to bilateral international cricket, that species of the game, which increasingly finds it harder to justify itself if not part of a long-running rivalry. The West Indies and Pakistan square off today and it says something for the fall of West Indies cricket that one is not more excited. For these two teams have provided, in the past, some of the greatest test series of modern times. They are unlikely to provide any of the cricket or the intensity of those series in in the current encounter.

For one thing, the two teams present the cricketing face of two of the most dysfunctional cricket boards in the world and always manage to show traces of those forces that have systematically undermined the game for them. Pakistan still retains some of their flair; the West Indies struggle more than they do to bring their older panache and verve to the pitch.

Even more depressingly for this fan, the Caribbean does not seem to provide the right atmosphere at the ground either. Something has gone missing; and all the music over the PA, the banners, do not help. If anything they serve to remind us of the constructed nature of the excitement.

Still, I'll watch (if willow.tv, who deserve a scathing post on their own, can get their act together). Inshallah, some good cricket might just show up. A new Pakistani quick might decide to make an appearance (as you can tell, I haven't bothered to check team rosters); the West Indies might implode even more spectacularly. Cricket can feature a car-wreck or two as well as anything else.

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