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The Sachin Tendulkar of Cricketblogging
February 28, 2011 7:34 PM   Subscribe

For me, this was a first experience of seeing India play at home, and of Sachin Tendulkar playing in front of his own people. I chose a good game with which to start. I can think of few, if any, experiences in sport to match watching Tendulkar succeed in a home game. Roger Federer may occupy a similar status of universally-acknowledged greatness within tennis, but I think it is fair to say that Switzerland is not quite as passionate about tennis as India is about cricket. If Federer were to simultaneously play tennis whilst hoarding gold and providing banking facilities for dubious dictators, perhaps the fervour of his support would match that for Sachin. But the Swiss population is unlikely ever to top the one billion mark.
Don't know a thing about cricket? Wouldn't know a wicket from a googly? Don't worry, you won't have to know a thing to enjoy Andy Zaltzman's World Cup Blog. He is traveling around Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka attending various games. Zaltzman is best known to the world for the fabulous podcast The Bugle which he does with John Oliver. Therefore it should come as no surprise that he also does a cricket podcast. And he tweets about cricket too.
posted by Kattullus (19 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
For the record, I know almost nothing about cricket and I enjoy reading Zaltzman's blog immensely.
posted by Kattullus at 7:36 PM on February 28, 2011


Best cricket blog. Bar none.

http://aftergrogblog.blogs.com/cricket/
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:44 PM on February 28, 2011


"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat a week it's been in sports!"
posted by John Shaft at 8:15 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've occasionally read his columns and enjoyed them, but I don't approve of cricket right now because I don't have TV and I can't watch the New Zealand team be mediocre at the World Cup.

For anyone that doesn't have a lot of cricket knowledge/awareness, it's worth mentioning that cricinfo, the website that hosts Zaltzman's blog, is pretty much the world's goto website for cricket - it's cricket's Google, Wikipedia, New York Times, ESPN and Arts and Letters Daily, all rolled into one. Its live scorecards pretty much get me through the work day when there's cricket being played (protip: there's always cricket being played).
posted by doublehappy at 9:01 PM on February 28, 2011


Here's a fantastic cricket flash game... really, I didn't think it was possible to fit so much of the spirit of the sport into a browser game, and I'm quite amazed at the implementation.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:11 PM on February 28, 2011


Wow, interesting coincidence. I happen to be in Dhaka, and some friends scored tickets to the Ireland/Bangladesh match a few days ago. It was quite an experience.

My only previous experience with cricket was watching test cricket on TV in the UK, and suffice it to say there is a big difference between test cricket, at least as I remember it, and the one-day international (ODI) cricket played in the World Cup. So I was impressed not only with the fervor of the fans, but also the speed of the game. (Although it was noted by my companions that, like some US sporting events, they seem to be taking breaks in play for TV commercials now.)

The Ireland/Bangladesh match ended up being a fairly tight game, and to say that the crowd was pleased with the result at the conclusion of the match would be an understatement. Although there were only about 50k people in the stadium at the end, when we exited it became clear that just about everyone in Dhaka must have been following it on TV and poured into the streets when Ireland's last wicket fell.

We're staying in the university area here in Dhaka so it was all vuvzelas and "Bangladesh, To the Death" until 3 or 4 AM, but I was surprised and impressed that the celebration seemed to be devoid of violence. Crowded and loud, sure, with pounding on passing cars working their way through intersections, but I didn't see any cars overturned or set on fire, which I'd sort of come to expect from US university celebrations. (Part of that may be attributable to the lack of alcohol.)

Anyway, it was a fantastic event and anyone -- particularly from the US where we really don't do cricket -- traveling through this part of Asia would do well to get themselves tickets to a match (or, barring that, find a local tea stand with a TV). Quite the sport, and provided you're cheering for the home team, wonderful and accepting fans.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:15 PM on February 28, 2011


A cricket tragic friend of mine just found out, to his horror, that he can't get drunk at the grounds he's attending. He's travelled the world with his wife getting drunk and watching cricket. I guess he just assumed.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:14 PM on February 28, 2011


You know who else liked cricket?
posted by From Bklyn at 12:30 AM on March 1, 2011


.... and I direct everyone to comments on The ZaltzMan I already made in the previous thread. :)

And here's why this World Cup is history in the making, regardless of how it proceeds. It is Tendulkar's last chance at winning the World-Cup. To repeat myself, perhaps no other sports-legend currently playing in any other sports has ever gone without getting the top award in that sports.


For the record, I know almost nothing about cricket and I enjoy reading Zaltzman's blog immensely.

Surely, you meant listening to his podcast? :) Bugle fans represent! (Or whatever the meme is)
posted by the cydonian at 1:15 AM on March 1, 2011


I do know something about cricket, and that India England match was truly one of the grat ODIs, Amazing result.
posted by wilful at 2:53 AM on March 1, 2011


Can I just say to those who don't know the game but have had their interest piqued to go to any cricket site but this one. cricinfo is an excellent place to start.

Sorry, K, I'm not trying to make an enemy, but I would hate to lose potential converts to the game because their first experience was through this ... person's blog.

This is the worst cricket blog I have ever seen. I'd argue that it isn't even a cricket blog, since most of the writing seems to be about Zaltsman himself.

I've played and watched the game for 30 years so my experience of the game is quite different from yours, Kattallus. Maybe this is the perfect place to start but I found it so irritating it made me feel sick.

To sully the name of the Little Master by applying it to this excrescence has upset me, so that is probably colouring my thinking as I write.

Sorry.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 6:13 AM on March 1, 2011


Can I just say to those who don't know the game but have had their interest piqued to go to any cricket site but this one. cricinfo is an excellent place to start.

This blog is on Cricinfo!
posted by chorltonmeateater at 7:25 AM on March 1, 2011


devious truculent and unreliable: I've played and watched the game for 30 years so my experience of the game is quite different from yours, Kattallus. Maybe this is the perfect place to start but I found it so irritating it made me feel sick.

That makes sense to me. Music fans often hate the most popular songs by the bands they love (e.g. R.E.M. fans and Losing My Religion).

To sully the name of the Little Master by applying it to this excrescence has upset me, so that is probably colouring my thinking as I write.

"The Sachin Pendulkar of Cricketblogging" was used with a degree of irony.
posted by Kattullus at 7:50 AM on March 1, 2011


This blog is on Cricinfo!

Yes, among others. That was my point


"The Sachin Pendulkar of Cricketblogging" was used with a degree of irony.


"Pendulkar" ? I can see some irony there, but I failed to see it when you spelt his name correctly.

Sorry, irony isn't a strong point.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 9:32 AM on March 1, 2011


Ha ha ha! That's almost as embarrassing a misspelling as when I misspelled Andy Zaltzman's name in my original post about The Bugle.
posted by Kattullus at 10:07 AM on March 1, 2011


devious truculent and unreliable: "Can I just say to those who don't know the game but have had their interest piqued to go to any cricket site but this one. cricinfo is an excellent place to start.

Sorry, K, I'm not trying to make an enemy, but I would hate to lose potential converts to the game because their first experience was through this ... person's blog.

This is the worst cricket blog I have ever seen. I'd argue that it isn't even a cricket blog, since most of the writing seems to be about Zaltsman himself.

I've played and watched the game for 30 years so my experience of the game is quite different from yours, Kattallus. Maybe this is the perfect place to start but I found it so irritating it made me feel sick.

To sully the name of the Little Master by applying it to this excrescence has upset me, so that is probably colouring my thinking as I write.

Sorry
"

Have you considered sending this as an email to the Bugle? It'd almost certainly be read aloud with relish on the podcast.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:31 PM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping Zaltman's new nickname for Ian Bell - The Sledgehammer of Eternal Justice - catches on.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 5:39 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


let's wait and see what name he comes up with for Kevin O'Brien. Hope you all saw that innings, at least the highlights. One of the greatest ever, I got shivers just following the ball-by-ball on cricinfo.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:11 PM on March 2, 2011


My favorite bit so far:
My daughter, who likes to please, came up to me a couple of days ago, and said: “Daddy, I really love cricket.” I swelled with pride – “I may have my practical, organisational and logistical flaws as a parent,” I said to my vigorously nodding wife, “but clearly, I am doing the most important part well.” I turned back to my daughter. “That’s great, sweetie,” I replied, giving her a well-deserved cuddle. “And who is your favourite cricketer?” I asked. She pondered for a few seconds, perhaps weighing up the relative merits of Bradman, Sobers, Hobbs, Tendulkar, Kamran Akmal and Tavare. “Daddy, my favourite cricketer is Roger Federer.” Evidently, I still have some difficult parenting work ahead of me.
Incidentally, this is not the child which Zaltzman famously and accidentally delivered himself in his bathroom.
posted by Kattullus at 10:16 PM on March 18, 2011


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