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Wait till he takes guard in Mumbai
March 30, 2011 7:54 PM   Subscribe

"I've never been in a stadium that feels like this one. Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, people from different castes and classes, speakers of a dozen languages, all citizens in the Republic of Sachin. The stern cops give wide smiles and thumbs-ups. The chant goes from "Sachin! Sachin!" to "Hoo … ha … IN-DI-A!" They are interchangeable."

A feeling arises, a rare one, that you are part of a group watching something special. The power of sport is that, on occasion, it redeems the messes we create around it. Cricket can be stronger than the forces changing it. Victories are fleeting, but the poems are what matters. I don't know if cricket is about to be ruined, or if Sachin is no longer needed, if he's retiring or if he'll defy expectations and play 10 more years. These are things we can guess about but never know.

I do know this: I am a fan. I am sunburned but do not care. I lose track of time. That's not a narrative flourish. Hours seem like moments. Rapture comes to the people here. I see Sachin constructing a score, and I understand the planning, and the years of experience, that lead a man to this field on this day, and to the artistry he now holds as part of himself, like a chamber of his heart. We are congregants in a church. We are watching the son of a poet. The stand-up comedian is serious. This is a perfect at-bat, Andy tells me. This is art, and I am lucky to see it. Soon, Sachin will be gone. This feeling will be gone. Right now, it is alive. It has the power of a name, immortal and pure.
posted by vidur (74 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sri Lanka!
posted by chunking express at 7:56 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Brothers don't chant against each other. The real team to beat (again)....England.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:15 PM on March 30, 2011


You can't use "real team" and "England" in such close proximity to each other.
posted by vidur at 8:21 PM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm hardly a cricket fan but even I tuned in for the last few overs of the India-Pakistan semifinal, just to feel the energy of the crowd and watch the jubilation of the Indian side when they won.
posted by peacheater at 8:26 PM on March 30, 2011


We almost named our son Sachin, seriously. I miss the way the entire country is immobilized while the world cup is on. I once sat in the airport in Bangalore, my flight delayed to accommodate the end of the India-Pakistan match, thousands of people glued to the TV.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:38 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


This wasn't quite enough context for me as an American, so here's the background: He watched a match in the group stage of the cup. India advanced to the semi-finals, beat Pakistan, and will play Sri Lanka on April 2 for their first cup in 28 years.

Great post, by the way.
posted by shii at 8:52 PM on March 30, 2011


That was actually a really thoughtful article, whether you're a cricket fan or not (and perhaps especially if you aren't).
posted by peacheater at 8:59 PM on March 30, 2011


I didn't put more links/context because I thought the article works well on its own, especially given that the author was new to the sport too.

But: Cricket explained (for Americans) and a previous fpp on Tendulkar/Cricket.
posted by vidur at 9:15 PM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I work with a lot of Indian expats, and I casually asked one of them how the match went today. I could tell immediately by the look on his face that India won. He was getting drunk dialed by his friends back home all day.

I'm trying to think of an American equivalent to something like this. The Superbowl, well, it's a big deal to us, but the opposing teams aren't representing two nuclear powers with an uneasy relationship with each other. Maybe the Miracle on Ice would count, but that was just a one time thing.
posted by TrialByMedia at 9:44 PM on March 30, 2011


It's not Sachin that's driving them, it's Poonam.
posted by unliteral at 9:52 PM on March 30, 2011


We almost named our son Sachin, seriously.

I worked with a (Indian) guy in New Zealand that *did* name his son Sachin. Fair enough, too. I can't think of a kiwi cricketer that I'd feel strongly enough to name my kid after. Maybe Richard Hadlee, but... nah.
posted by gaspode at 9:54 PM on March 30, 2011


oops, that first bit was quoted from Slarty.
posted by gaspode at 9:54 PM on March 30, 2011


Fantastic article.

I'm struck by how what seem to be the two greatest stars in India, Sachin and Rajinikanth, are both totally solid, morally upstanding dudes. Kinda puts the rest of us to shame.
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:55 PM on March 30, 2011


gaspode: "oops, that first bit was quoted from Slarty."

Heh, for a moment I thought, wow, two different people in this thread both almost named their sons after this guy? And they expressed it the exact same... oh, wait.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:01 PM on March 30, 2011


This is why I love sports writers.

I couldn't give a fuck about cricket, and despite Thompson's supposed explanation of the rules, I still have no freaking idea how it works (days long? wickets? tie score? wtf?). The whole cricket as a microcosm of India and Sachin as a symbol of a newly globalizing nation is also probably totally flawed and bogus. But who cares!

He made me care about something I know zero about and have zero interest in, and did it by making points I probably disagree with. Now that's what I call writing!
posted by serazin at 10:31 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why cricket will never catch on in India (Or, the world's worst political prediction ever).

One of the images I remember from visiting India in the early Nineties is a huge line of neck-craning people outside a shop, peering at the village TV set for the cricket.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:05 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know if it's true anymore, but Sachin and my uncle were very good friends a few years ago. My uncle's son was hit by a car in Mumbai some time ago and was in very bad shape. Being a good Indian boy, he was obsessed with the national team. My uncle talked to Sachin, and he got the whole team to come by the hospital room and hang out with my cousin in his body cast for a few hours. Sachin was the last to leave, after signing everything in sight and giving my cousin some batting tips.

No real point to this story, except to confirm that, yes, Tendulkar is the man he seems to be, and he's very kind to young boys in pain. He was excellent to my cousin-brother, and I will always be grateful to him for that.
posted by Errant at 11:23 PM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is a perfect at-bat, Andy tells me

Interesting...he was dropped four times and only saved from being given out LBW by the review system. Could have been very different - could have been a rapid 30 and then out.

I'm also starting to wonder if SRT might never get another international century - leaving him on 99, standing, like Bradman's 99.94, alone, just short of an incredible milestone, but a huge distance out in front of everyone else.
posted by Infinite Jest at 11:52 PM on March 30, 2011


Brothers don't chant against each other. The real team to beat (again)....England.

I really don't think that's true. For India, Pakistan and then probably Australia are the big rivals. For Pakistan it's definitely India. Don't know about Sri Lanka but I'd imagine it's India. For the West Indies in their heyday it was Australia. For New Zealand, Australia - but we'll take anyone. For Australia, probably England when they were good, but India or West Indies in the 90s, South Africa more recently. (England, of course, are long out of this tournament anyway).
posted by Infinite Jest at 11:55 PM on March 30, 2011


I'm also starting to wonder if SRT might never get another international century - leaving him on 99, standing, like Bradman's 99.94, alone, just short of an incredible milestone, but a huge distance out in front of everyone else.

Even if he retires from ODIs after Saturday without having scored a century, he is still going to be playing Tests. It shouldn't be too difficult for him to get a hundred there.
posted by vidur at 11:56 PM on March 30, 2011


There were a few very bleary-eyed Indian Kiwis at my workplace this morning, and one or two flat-out absent from an over-abundance of joy.

I'm afraid I'll be compelled to support Sri Lanka, though, in the final, given my family connections. Either way, one legend of the game will retire on a high note, the other on a low.
posted by rodgerd at 11:58 PM on March 30, 2011


I commend the way this post was framed and I can see why people will find this article attractive, but I personally can't be bothered going past chapter 2. I don't actually follow top level cricket these days at all (thanks to Warnie & co's smug attitudes from the 90s) but I'm well versed in the sport and appreciate its nuances and eccentricities from a distance. And yeah, all hail Sachin.

But I just am so over this seemingly intractable compulsion US sports commentators/writers feel to compare and contrast baseball and cricket. I and (I'm sure, a metric fuckload of) others just couldn't give a rat's arse whether America "gets" or takes up playing or wants to learn about all the esoteric dimensions of the sport of cricket. But it is its own sport with its own history and its own vernacular and its own traditions and its own statistics. Just fuck the fuck off with the baseball analogies (and I actually like baseball). Not everything needs to be filtered through an American prism.
posted by peacay at 12:08 AM on March 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Irony requires a certain amount of self-confidence," Lydia says. "You have to have built enough of an identity to turn around and reject it, or to laugh at it. I think that's something that takes time."

The entire article is worth it just for that insight.
posted by the cydonian at 12:16 AM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can't use "real team" and "England" in such close proximity to each other.

I dunno. England are world champions at T20 and have just won the Ashes in Australia. They have proven to be laughable in the ODI format, but there are reasons for that. Yes, that's Paul Collingwood, the only Englishman in the top 50, just above an alcoholic and a specialist bowler.

I fully expect the little master to make his 100th century in the final.
posted by tigrefacile at 12:18 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Growing up in Scotland, being interested in cricket was pretty much regarded as being a little bit English i.e., worthy of scorn and derision. We had a cricket grounds in my hometown; we used to sneak through the fence and play football on it. So I had absolutely no interest in or understanding of cricket, until the last world cup, during which I was sharing a desk with a Pakistani and a Sri Lankan. I think my learning curve was a little bit like Thompson's here, although with a slightly smaller travel budget.
posted by Dim Siawns at 12:20 AM on March 31, 2011


Just fuck the fuck off with the baseball analogies (and I actually like baseball). Not everything needs to be filtered through an American prism.

I actually hate baseball. But this article's use of baseball analogies gave more understanding and appreciation of the sport than I've been able to get from my Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi and English coworkers over the last month.

I mean, it's written from the perspective of an American who went to India knowing nothing about the sport. I'm guessing that there is also, somewhere on the Internet, plenty of excellent cricket commentary for those familiar to the game. I'm Canadian -- everytime I read a foreign article comparing curling to shuffleboard or hockey to soccer, I just hope that it helps introduce an exciting sport to new followers.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:30 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


As an Indian-American who understands cricket and doesn't really like baseball, let me assure anyone reading that the article is well worth your time.
posted by Errant at 12:39 AM on March 31, 2011


Alright, so I finished the piece finally. Two observations:

1) My respect for Tendulkar has increased greatly if it's true that he reads history, and not just popular authors, in his spare time. A Coelho or a Dan Brown in his room would show that he's trying to keep up with the Joneses; a history book, particularly a book like 'The Last Nizam' that doesn't make the rounds among the chatterati, shows an inquisitive mind. It also shows that Tendulkar appreciates what good books can do for you; they calm you down by instilling a sense of stillness, as Yann Martel puts it, mostly by making you drive time instead of the other way around.

2) While the author accurately notes that seats for the non-India games went unsold, the reason isn't apathy as he hinted at. Instead, the reason is class, and it's a tale that illustrates New India much better than a trip to Najafgarh. Consider this: only 4000 of the total 31000 seats available for Saturday's final at Wankhede Stadium will be directly sold to the paying public. 

Everything else goes to the new jagirdars in the feudal fiefdom that is contemporary Indian cricket: cricket administrators, corporate sponsors, politicians, administrators, their chelas and so on. Even those buying tickets aren't really representative of anything; they'd have to pay INR 12,500 a ticket for the priviledge of sitting in cramped conditions for seven hours. INR 12500 is more than what a one way ticket from Singapore to Mumbai for tomorrow would cost; it is also about twice as expensive as a decently placed seat in Singapore's Formula One. 

This, added to the fact that all of the matches were played in only 4-5 cities would explain why not many people bothered about the Australia - Zimbabwe clash in Motera; why would you chase your local satrap or pay half your monthly salary to watch a match whose result is a foregone conclusion when you can do all of that while flying the Indian tricolour as well?

That Cricinfo's writers didn't recognize this shows that they've been a part of the bubble as well. Don't get me wrong, I love reading Rahul Bhattacharya, Manjrekar and Sarda Ugra, but it's important to state how things are.

Yup, if passion for cricket is dying in India, it is because international cricket has become a sport for the ruled. While that it has become this in six short years (six, because I blame the current crop of administrators for this, those who elected themselves in 5-6 years back) is indeed breathtaking, the fix is also breathtakingly simple: expand international cricket to more destinations, open the tickets up for regular people, people like that cabbie's kid for example, and get cricketers to participate in 'regular' tournaments like Moin-ud-Dowla. That's where a previous generation of school kids (VVS Laxman) met its (imperfect) heroes (Mohammed Azharuddin), and was inspired to take up cricket as a creed. Forget grace and character and all that nonsense; that is how dreams are built. Not necessarily by watching players on pay-per-view.
posted by the cydonian at 1:33 AM on March 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


Another way that dreams are built, without grace and character and all that nonsense: Indian swimwear model Poonam Pandey offers to bare all to the team if they win the World Cup final.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:02 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Consider this: only 4000 of the total 31000 seats available for Saturday's final

Given the context of that game, the 4000 number may be disproportionately low.

expand international cricket to more destinations

That would require T20s to replace ODIs.

get cricketers to participate in 'regular' tournaments like Moin-ud-Dowla

When? The cricketing and endorsement schedule must be reasonably full. The IPL will start in a few weeks because that's only the gap in the calender.
posted by Gyan at 3:06 AM on March 31, 2011


Even if he retires from ODIs after Saturday without having scored a century, he is still going to be playing Tests. It shouldn't be too difficult for him to get a hundred there.

Ah, I assumed he was retiring completely soon (he must, surely?). My logic comes from a romanticism of heroic "failure" (scare quotes in this case because 99 is hardly a failure, but you know what I mean). No doubt explained by being a New Zealand supporter.

Either way, surely no-one will ever get close to his achievement? He got to 99 by being one of the all-time masters, AND playing at that level for over two decades. Can't see anyone else doing that.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:36 AM on March 31, 2011


Yeah, 99's almost as good as 99.94.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:43 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


>> Consider this: only 4000 of the total 31000 seats available for Saturday's final
> Given the context of that game, the 4000 number may be disproportionately low.


A fair point to make, and frankly, it was a match I chose as an illustration because the figures were readily available. But the general point is still valid; I don't have citations on me for this, but I remember reading somewhere that the Delhi Cricket Association regularly sells only 30-40% of the seats at Firozeshah Kotla. The rest go to this bottomless pit that I was describing.

>> expand international cricket to more destinations
> That would require T20s to replace ODIs.


So the point was about the World Cup itself; (limiting myself to India alone) they're hosting 29 matches in exactly eight venues this time around, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, New Delhi, Nagpur, Bangalore, Mohali and Mumbai.

In 1996, 17 matches were hosted in 17 venues: Kolkata, Mohali, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Cuttack, Gwalior, Vishakapatnam, Patna, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara , Jaipur, Nagpur, Delhi, Kanpur. (both sets taken from the respective Wikipedia pages)

So my point is that the more matches you schedule in a single venue, the less likely that the non-local games would play to full capacity. This happened in Pakistan in World Cup '96, it has happened in India in 2011. The schedule simply should have been spread much further, if avoiding empty seats was a concern.

>> get cricketers to participate in 'regular' tournaments like Moin-ud-Dowla
> When? The cricketing and endorsement schedule must be reasonably full. The IPL will start in a few weeks because that's only the gap in the calender.


Again, a fair point. Now, it doesn't have to be a Moin-ud-Dowla; I'm open to the idea that first-class/ Test cricket need not necessarily be that bridge, IPL could very well be that (indeed, was marketed as such).

Except that: it hasn't happened in the last two seasons. I don't know where most IPL teams regularly practise, but at least in my hometown Hyderabad, the local IPL team simply hasn't visited the frigging town since the first season. Lot of reasons for that, most of which are political, but the fact remains that you don't have this sort of community-participation not because the cricketers can't, but because BCCI doesn't want to. That is Indian cricket's tragedy, that the players are being set in a bubble of their own, not that India (or Indians) is (are) losing its (their) innocence.
posted by the cydonian at 4:19 AM on March 31, 2011


Brothers don't chant against each other. The real team to beat (again)....England.

Yeah, this just shows an ignorance of relative cricket rivalries, I'm afraid.

Also, this whole American "I just can't understand the rules of cricket no matter how often they're explained" shtick is lame. Stop it. The basics of cricket are not hard to understand at all. You sound like Brits who insist they can't understand baseball because it isn't exactly the same as rounders and the scoreboard looks funny.
posted by Decani at 5:46 AM on March 31, 2011


FFS its a article on the ESPN US website - ESPN just bought the rights to cricket in the US and need a hook. The baseball angle works. And really Americans are totally ignorant about cricket - especially thing like test vs one day vs 20/20 and jargon like an "over"

I personally enjoyed the article - I sort of know the big stars names and might get dragged out to watch saturday by a sri lankan - american buddy. I especially loved his comparison to turning the bat over and someone just always trying to pull the ball

I eagarly await the day I get to see in an English newspaper "Lacrosse: Its soccer with butterfly nets!!!"
posted by JPD at 5:53 AM on March 31, 2011


JPD - if you like sports at all, then I'd really recommend that you go watch the game with your Americo-Lankan friend, especially if he or she has a bunch of others in tow. It'll be a fun day, for sure.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:12 AM on March 31, 2011


I went last time - with a pack of Sri Lankans to the only place we could find with decent beer & food and a guarantee of having the game....an australian bar.

Watching your friend get heckled by slurring aussie fashion chicks is quite amusing.
posted by JPD at 6:16 AM on March 31, 2011


*cringes*
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:24 AM on March 31, 2011


Also, this whole American "I just can't understand the rules of cricket no matter how often they're explained" shtick is lame.

But the thing is, I'm a North American and I don't even understand the rules of American football! And as a kid I played neighborhood football and played at school too (I was the only girl!) and also watched with my dad. I don't watch anymore but it is all around me in the culture and I still don't really get it. So yeah, I honestly have no fucking idea what the hell cricket is about. And I have dutifully read several explanations.

I think without regularly watching or playing a sport, it's pretty hard to understand the rules. Analogies to something familiar are actually a helpful way to introduce people to new topics!
posted by serazin at 3:13 PM on March 31, 2011


(Played informally at recess in elementary school that is.)
posted by serazin at 3:13 PM on March 31, 2011


So how did you understand physics or cloud formation or opera or cake baking? Was it all totally incomprehensible without some condescending git dumbing it all down and serving it on a warm platter of parochial familiarities? Really!? Doesn't that, you know, make you a little embarrassed? I've always presumed the traditional American stereotype of cloistered inward-focussed pride of ignorance attached itself to the less progressive areas of the country.

I mean, I get the difficulty with understanding the game to any great depth. It resides in its own universe and getting citizenship takes a long time. But still, it's just a game with a few sticks, a ball and some grass. A superficial comprehension of the rules ain't rocket science. Maybe there's this folkloric dimension in American media that insists - stupidly - that the game is just so unfathomable that the only way you can get even so much as the gist of it is to listen as some local sports broadcaster slowly talks down to you while you nestle in the safe embrace of the baseball diamond. It would be foolish to do otherwise and you certainly couldn't hope to get a handle on it by yourself.
posted by peacay at 3:38 PM on March 31, 2011


Well, I get that you hit a ball with a stick. Presumably the more you do so, the better you score? The obvious analogy my brain suggests is baseball (which I also don't totally get - at least not the way I get bread baking which I've done!) For the record I also don't get cloud formation or opera! Perhaps I'm just a hopeless case! In my defense, I can see that there's something beautiful about clouds and opera and cricket - even if I don't get any of them very well.

However, I am sympathetic to any anti-Americanism here or elsewhere as I do agree we take a perverse pride in ignorance around these parts, and sadly, that is not limited to more conservative circles.

Hmm, you've given me some food for thought. I'll try to watch a little cricket on youtube and see if I can grock the basics without being put off by the jargon.
posted by serazin at 3:45 PM on March 31, 2011


Peacay - I assure you how other cultures attempt to explain American sports is equally pedantic.

Really the problem with all sports to outsiders isn't the game, its the jargon. Cricket is a dead easy sport to understand once you get past the jargon. Just like every sport.

Actually as an american his point about turning the bat over as being comparable to someone constantly trying to pull the ball transmits all sort of nuance that would take a much longer discussion to get across.
posted by JPD at 3:51 PM on March 31, 2011


I mean watching UK free to air TV cover the NFL was so amazing. "This is a football"
posted by JPD at 3:52 PM on March 31, 2011


Sorry serazin, I didn't mean to attack you personally, if that's the way I came across. I was more trying to cut down this notion that a game can only be understood if it is sketched out in reference to a local sport. I learned baseball without having it explained to me in cricket terms.
posted by peacay at 3:53 PM on March 31, 2011


"Baseball is just like softball, only the ball is smaller and you don't pitch it underarm"
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:06 PM on March 31, 2011


Lazy sportswriters are lazy. Being American has nothing to do with it.
posted by JPD at 4:09 PM on March 31, 2011


Hey is there any handwringing in the cricket world about Sri Lanka? WRT to the Tamil issue.
posted by JPD at 4:13 PM on March 31, 2011


Not that I know of. South Africa were exiled for years because of apartheid, and currently Zimbabwe is under some kind of semi-boycott, but I've never heard of any kind of sporting sanctions against Sri Lanka. I guess a guerrilla civil war is a different matter to institutionalised racist policies.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:23 PM on March 31, 2011


Oh no! Didn't feel like a personal attack at all! It's an interesting conversation - that's all.
posted by serazin at 5:05 PM on March 31, 2011


Interesting...he was dropped four times and only saved from being given out LBW by the review system. Could have been very different - could have been a rapid 30 and then out.

He was watching the India vs England game not the Semi-Final. Which kind of tickled me, the first proper match the poor man watches is one of the most exciting games ever seen, in India.

It's all down hill from here mate.
posted by fullerine at 5:13 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey is there any handwringing in the cricket world about Sri Lanka? WRT to the Tamil issue.

I guess a guerrilla civil war is a different matter to institutionalised racist policies.


Yes, and Sri Lanka's most celebrated cricket player (the Sachin Tendulkar of cricket bowling, I guess) just happens to be a Tamil dude.
posted by vidur at 7:18 PM on March 31, 2011


I remember reading somewhere that the Delhi Cricket Association regularly sells only 30-40% of the seats at Firozeshah Kotla

Delhi is the Indian capital - home to the political bigwigs i.e. the entitled elites; I'd think, along with Mumbai, it's exceptional. I don't expect Cuttack or Pune or Jaipur to reserve 50-60% seats, more like 15-20%.

But coming back to your broader point, about whether dismal attendance at non-India matches in India reflects apathy or elitist shut-out, consider this: in the Australia-India test seies held in India in 2008, I remember seeing empty stadiums almost throughout. IOW, in the test series between the World No. 1 test side and India in India, very few people showed up at the stadiums. That can't be put down to class, but plain disinterest. Compare English county cricket attendance with Indian Ranji trophy headcounts. Hockey used to be India's sport, but it's a joke now, given the, oh, last few decades. Simply put, status aspiration plays a huge part in cricket's popularity, rather than any pure love of sport (similarly with Indians' affinity for academics, but that's another thread).
posted by Gyan at 9:05 PM on March 31, 2011


He was watching the India vs England game not the Semi-Final.
*shamefaced* I only read the article after my last post. *shamefaced*

With regard to the baseball analogies, I don't think this article was too bad, he did a pretty good job of explaining things to a non-cricket audience. And he wasn't saying 'cricket is this weird form of baseball'; he was saying 'this is how baseball fans would understand this particular concept'. (I like especially that he picked up on the aesthetic reasons for disliking shots across the line).

[Where it gets egregious is articles like a US one that said 'most people think of rugby as a cross between [American] football and soccer', which is just ridiculous]
posted by Infinite Jest at 11:30 PM on March 31, 2011


Yes, and Sri Lanka's most celebrated cricket player (the Sachin Tendulkar of cricket bowling, I guess) just happens to be a Tamil dude.

It appears he's the only Tamil tho if Wiki is correct.
posted by JPD at 6:00 AM on April 1, 2011


If you find cricket perplexing, Nuggan help you when you try to grok Rugby Union...
posted by coriolisdave at 11:28 PM on April 1, 2011


Rugby Union is dead simple to understand: everybody piles on top of each other, then the referee awards a random penalty to either team.

If they are within range they kick a penalty goal. If not, they kick it over the side, then the ball gets thrown in, everybody piles on top of each other again, and the referee awards another random penalty.

The winner is the team that kicks the most penalty goals.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:34 AM on April 2, 2011


NOTE: if one of the two teams is wearing black, something strange will happen: either the referee will not award any penalties to them, or they will fail to kick any of these penalties. [THIS WILL ONLY HAPPEN ONCE EVERY FOUR YEARS].
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:05 AM on April 2, 2011


[ALSO KNOWN AS "ONCE IN LE BLEU MOON"]
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:11 AM on April 2, 2011


Most Tamil people I know in my dad's generation watch Cricket and cheer for Sri Lanka when they play, regardless of the situation on the island or their politics. Internationally the team get no real flack. Muralitharan is the only Tamil dude on the team, but he probably should count as a few players, he's awesome. Of course, he retires very soon. Some Tamil people didn't like that Arthur Mendis was playing for the team, since he's also in the army. (I think just to play cricket.) Still, that guy could get tons of wickets when he started.
posted by chunking express at 4:26 AM on April 2, 2011


Jeyawardena is a gangstar.
posted by chunking express at 6:02 AM on April 2, 2011


18 in the last over. That's how you do it.
posted by chunking express at 6:09 AM on April 2, 2011


Jeyawardena is a gangstar.

Question is, will Tendy be like a Don?
posted by Gyan at 6:20 AM on April 2, 2011


This webcric stream is kind of a suck. (Though I guess the fact it exists at all is pretty awesome. Conflicted.)
posted by chunking express at 6:39 AM on April 2, 2011


India's off to a pretty serious start.
posted by chunking express at 6:50 AM on April 2, 2011


Well except for that first over wicket. OH SNAP.
posted by chunking express at 6:57 AM on April 2, 2011


The Slinga!
posted by chunking express at 7:01 AM on April 2, 2011


So yeah, it looks like Tendy is not going to get a chance to play like pretty much anything.
posted by chunking express at 7:02 AM on April 2, 2011


Oh man this is close. What a solid game.
posted by chunking express at 9:54 AM on April 2, 2011


Son of a bitch. Dhoni ends the game with a 6 is pretty sweet, though.
posted by chunking express at 10:26 AM on April 2, 2011


Wow, you must've been the only one awake!
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:24 PM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nah, I was up all night too. What a game!
posted by vidur at 1:07 PM on April 3, 2011


Magnificent photos here (In Focus) and here (The Big Picture).
posted by vidur at 6:06 PM on April 4, 2011


Fantastic photographs - I can just imagine the atmosphere in India during the game. What happened after victory would be beyond human comprehension.

Also, this is now the best thing I have ever seen.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:58 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


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