March 12, 2007 2:33 AM   Subscribe

well lets hope India does better than it did in that miserable match in Centurion, South Africa
posted by infini at 2:38 AM on March 12, 2007

Looking forward to this muchly, despite being English.
As it's in the Windies, a bit of CLR James might not be amiss either.
posted by Abiezer at 3:01 AM on March 12, 2007

Or go to Sportsfilter and play the fantasy game there.

Up the Irish! Your team sucks etc.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 3:03 AM on March 12, 2007

Looks much more open than it did a couple of months ago, when an Aussie procession looked on the cards. Personally, I fancy Sri Lanka; they've got the batting and Murali could be devastating on some of those slow turners.

I reckon the most likely upset will come from Bangladesh who beat New Zealand in a warm up match.

And finally; come on Scotland, the Aussies are there for the taking.
posted by johnny novak at 3:09 AM on March 12, 2007

and as Bangladesh are in the same group as Sri Lanka, then at least one of my tips may well be wrong.
posted by johnny novak at 3:23 AM on March 12, 2007

Windies always means scandals - aah Vivian!
posted by infini at 3:24 AM on March 12, 2007

Let the motherfuckin' game roll on!
posted by Wolof at 4:53 AM on March 12, 2007

I believe Britt's in Minneapolis plays the Cricket World Series, and I believe I will swing by for a few pints of Old Speckled Hen while I watch.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:22 AM on March 12, 2007

I don't know how much coverage the BBC will be streaming, but a handy tip for anyone not based in the UK who may be labouring under the illusion that they can't watch it (the Beeb put up a disclaimer saying their footage is only availale to people in the UK): while I was travelling with work recently, I found myself in Singapore the night (day) of the Ireland vs France rugby match. I tried to watch the live feed, but it wouldn't work because I wasn't in the UK. In hope rather than expectation, I changed the option on the BBC home page from "International Version" to "UK Version" and tried again. As an Irishman, I was bitterly disappointed in the end that it worked and I got to watch the game.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 5:37 AM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

I know nothing about cricket, but mmmmm, Old Speckled Hen is good stuff. My SO is coincidentally at St. Kitts and Nevis right now with her family, where Australia vs. Scotland is playing the first match.
posted by Mach5 at 5:39 AM on March 12, 2007

Thanks for the rules link.
When I was a ween, I'd look at the rules in the encyclopædia, and have absolutely no idea how the game was played.
I still don't, because I have to work today, but I got a much better idea in just a glance. Some day when I have a couple hours I'll read it all.

Any sport with a Drinks Interval sounds like fun.
posted by MtDewd at 5:44 AM on March 12, 2007

Is Cricket actually a good game, once you bother figuring it all out?
posted by smackfu at 6:17 AM on March 12, 2007

Is Cricket actually a good game, once you bother figuring it all out?

Not so much a game, as a distraction. Something to have a picnic by. Something to mow the lawn to. It serves these purposes admirally.

It's also a great geek sport; like baseball, the statistics you can generate from it are endless.

Like any sport, though, you have to know what you're watching for. People complain about soccer because they only score one goal a game; such people don't realize you're watching for the action in the mid-field, you're watching for the missed chances, the stray hole in the defense. I didn't understand american football for a long time - it just looked like a lot of guys in helmets bumping into each other - until I realized it had to be seen as a series of set plays, with step-by-step strategy playing a much greater role than the other football codes. Once you understand the statistics of cricket, the choices batsmen and bowlers have, the trade-offs, it becomes great. It's very much a "chase" - team 1 sets a target, team 2 tries to beat it - and that generates excitement. Excitement that can be spread out over five days, but still...
posted by Jimbob at 6:29 AM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Cricket is exceptional.

Cricket is baseball played for five days straight.

The rules of Cricket make as much sense as the rules of an eight year old's improvized we've got a hockey stick, three baseball gloves, a basket-ball and three hours before dinner time games.

With all deference to my beloved wife - cricket seems to make no sense to women.

In The Lady Vanishes (Hitchcock, 1938) there are these two guys trying to get from Whereeversylvania to England to catch a test match. They alone, Cricket batchelors, are a fine example of the appeal of the sport.
Or maybe not.

Be That As It May - If you have a couple hours a day to kill fo a week or month or so, especially true if you're in the Windward Islands then Cricket is as good a pass time as anything, and better than most.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:36 AM on March 12, 2007

Ever sat through a 5 day test with the family? Oy vey as they say back in India.

Anyway, here's free internet TV with sports channels from around the world, someone's got to broadcasting this stuff.
posted by infini at 6:40 AM on March 12, 2007

Well said Jimbob. I do think it's an acquired taste and the gridiron analogy works much better than the usual/logical one in baseball. And there are 2 distinctly different games of cricket these days. 5-day Tests are generally (or at least, moreso) for the purists, but the shorter game, one-dayers, which make up the world cup, are much more accessible and understandable for a new observer or curious dabbler.
posted by peacay at 6:40 AM on March 12, 2007

as much as cricket ever interested me, I still always found it inaccessible. not the mechanics as such, or the spirit of the thing, but the scoring and the just plain cultural incomprehensibilities.

sort of like american football or baseball or basketball, you really can't understand it unless you actually play it. for many years. from childhood. and, indeed, playing the thing is so much more enjoyable than watching it.

anyway here are a couple things that have helped me, without playing, better understand the cricket:

bodyline (o good lord the scandal!)

lagaan (where did those darkies learn to play? from a white woman!? jesus!)
posted by dorian at 6:49 AM on March 12, 2007

The BBC are not showing any of the matches live. It's all on Sky Sports for £35 a month. There are 30 minutes highlights on the Beeb every night. But that'll probably be more like 20 once you cut out all the waffle.
posted by afx237vi at 7:03 AM on March 12, 2007

posted by chunking express at 7:34 AM on March 12, 2007

Based on market economics and audience sizes, I predict that India & West Indies will make it to the semis. For the other two slots, two from {Australia, South Africa and err.. New Zealand}.
posted by Gyan at 8:16 AM on March 12, 2007

Is Cricket actually a good game, once you bother figuring it all out?

Yes, if you like baseball. Not that Cricket is anything at all like baseball. Just that some of the strategy, "the game behind the game," appeals to me the same way baseball does when you really know the game and the players. What really sets it apart is the fact that things are happening constantly, runs are being scored, and it has that thing that baseball is desparately missing -- *action*.

I grew up a dumb fat American suburbanite who had no idea what cricket was until I happened to be in India four years ago when they went all the way to final. Imagine the Super Bowl, March Madness, and World Series combined. Then subtract the alcohol, the dumb jocks fighting, and the Ford Truck sponsorship. Then stretch it out over a month. You still have no idea.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:44 AM on March 12, 2007

Everything I know about cricket I learned from the Deceived by Flight episode of Inspector Morse.

Of course, mainly that taught me that all cricketeers are murdering thugs. But I always suspected as much. Still, it looks like an interesting game if you have a lot of time to kill as a member of the leisure class.
posted by Midnight Creeper at 1:21 PM on March 12, 2007

You still have no idea.

I can imagine that India during the WC was quite an introduction to the game. It's staggering how popular the game is there, and in Pakistan.
posted by vbfg at 1:41 PM on March 12, 2007

Is Cricket actually a good game, once you bother figuring it all out?

No. Unless you like that kind of thing. Which is roughly comparable to liking being smacked on the botty with a geography textbook by someone dressed as Matron.
posted by Sparx at 2:00 PM on March 12, 2007

I don't really like it, but as Slarty Bartfast points out, you cant live through a World cup or two in India without it seeping in through your pores. My first year in India after high school was 1983, I'd just arrived "home" after 14 years of living abroad and India won Lords. or something;p and Kapil Dev was the captain. The whole country went crazy in the middle of the night.

Then I had to work on a 31 foot cricket bat to "Wish India Luck" sponsored by Coca Cola that we sent around the country for 1996 Wills World Cup held in India, by the time that was built, I was doomed.
posted by infini at 4:33 PM on March 12, 2007

Cricket is the only sport I can watch. The best way to get into it and learn the rules is not to watch highlights, but to go to a Twenty20 game, in which each team only faces 20 overs (120 balls). This brings the duration down to an afternoon or evening and makes the match much more dramatic, as both teams can afford to take risks. There's not a lot of strategy in Twenty20, but that's what five-day Test matches are for.
posted by Hogshead at 4:25 PM on March 13, 2007

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