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2015/03/27 / tocovava

it is over soon & who cares?

This weekend the Cricket World Cup ends. Hosts Australia and New Zealand meet in Melbourne for the final match. The tournament started on Valentine’s Day. And for forty days (or forty nights) live matches floated over from the other side of the globe. Matches were played in a bright, far-off tomorrow of summertime while it was -8 degrees, night, and yesterday in Benton Township.

As far as I know, the only other people out here watching the matches are the two Indian supporters who run the store over by the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport. Their largest security-camera screen was तबदील to show satellite replays of the matches from the night before. The mood in the store, usually rank with need, was like a sheath of bliss in February and March as India were world-beaters. “India play smart cricket” they told me whenever I went in for a Dr. Pepper. They knew the strengths and weaknesses of the teams, and all about the grounds where the matches were held, and they were accurate in most all of their predicted results. Until India lost to Australia in the semi-finals. I haven’t had the heart or stomach or teeth for a Dr. Pepper since India lost. I’ll let them grieve for a bit on their own before asking them to dissect it.

The rules of cricket are pretty clear to me. But understanding the strategy, the nuisances of new balls and night-watchmen, the mathematics of the Duckworth-Lewis method, the mythology, and the heartache, all of that is like discovering a new world floating in front of me. What little I know about cricket came from staring at screens and leafing through a few books. In a book by English great Geoffrey Boycott I found a poem.

Cutting Off The Front Foot                                                                                                                            all words from Geoff Boycott on Batting “Chapter 17”

It is natural,

the cut off the front

Popular with young

you will occasionally see it in country, lower-order

probably provides their best chance.

More accomplished do not use

there are more sophisticated alternatives

But for youngsters who lack strength it is useful.

The execution is natural

and simple enough.

The left foot

well forward

with the weight

on the left leg,

and down

with arms at full stretch.

The stroke is not favored too much

but it is effective.

It usually works.

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