The game that can make the world cup
I was slightly late for the bus that takes us to the ground. By the time I had come back after buying my regular English tea and a slice of the lemon cake, the bus had left. In place was standing a taxi, which had a mix of English, Irish and South African supporters. With us, Indians, joining in, it represented what the world cup should have been all about: multiculturalism. And with our Bajan taxi driver joining in the animated cricket conversation on the way, it was a perfect exemplar of what the world cup has been missing so far: "passion". A miniature painting of what an ideal cricket world should be -- friendly banter mixed with strong nationalist feelings.
Sean, our Irish supporter who owns a pub "Lads of the Village", at Dartford in Kent is understandably delighted with the performance of his team so far.
"I did not know any of the players before I came here except Neil O'Brien who plays county cricket. It has been a revelation seeing these blokes play. We celebrated the victory against Pakistan as if there was no tomorrow. Though cricket is still restricted to the Dublin area in Ireland, this world cup should give the game a fillip", says Sean.
Cyndi and Paul Coxedge, our English pair, were nervous but excited. They own a Fish and Chip shop just up the road from Sean's pub and are enjoying every bit of their first world cup. Having reached Barbados on the 7th, they are still awaiting that element of magic from their favorite team. "It is time they fire. Vaughn isn't leading very well", says Paul. "You must be very sad after your team's exit?", asks Cyndi. If I start telling her what happened back home, she will miss the entire match! Rather, it is their day and the day which can make this world cup. It deserves to be made and the passion visible, as we get off the taxi, tells me there is a very good chance.
Finally, it was fun to know that our South African lady isn't a serious cricket fan but rather a forced cricket convert. Married just two weeks ago to Richard, member of the TV crew, at Antigua, Carina is a loyal wife trying her bit to enjoy her husband's passion. The world cup would love to have more loyalists like her, we told her.
As I wrap up this blog, England has won the toss and has elected to bat. I am tired of having watched Ireland and Bangladesh in action. It is time the big boys entertain us. Only then will Paul and Cyndi have the opportunity to click photos to put up on the walls of their shop. And only then will I have the determination to go up to Kent and see the photos in June once I am there!