The discerning reader may have noticed that I'm not much for trumpeting about sport on this blog. Yes, every now and then, a post on my enduring love of test cricket will sneak through. Going-ons at Manchester United will rouse me into thrashing out an indignant paragraph. The retirement of sportsmen I thoroughly admire (and they are far & few) will elicit a nostalgic post doused in thanksgiving. But, I can never get myself to slip over the edge of fanaticism.
As this post is typing itself, Pakistan, after having wrestled Australia to the mat by the force of Darth Asif, promptly tripped over their own feet & now lie sprawled on the metaphorical pitch themselves. Mohd. Yousuf, their short-suffering captain (no one is captain long enough to be long-suffering in that country) may just decide to bat alone for the rest of the series, since the rest of that lot don't feel inclined to hang around. They probably think grafting is something to do with tree-cutting or making money on the sly. Speaking of sly money-making, match-fixing, anyone ?
The SA-England game in Durban is see-sawing in a way that no doubt sends the neutral viewer into raptures while leaving the not-so-neutral chappies wondering what in heaven's name is going on. I can sympathise with Onions though. The guy does his job, ends the SA innings and strolls off into the gazebo looking forward to a nice break & 20 minutes later, must seriously face the prospect of having to pad up. And he's the number 11, mind.
The Bangladesh innings looks like it'll get to 50 overs. Enough said.
To top it all off, Manchester United suffered their worst FA Cup upset in 26 years. Now, I'm a Man U fan i.e. loathe Liverpool & have no respect for Chelsea's 2 $ titles, but the funny thing is, I actually liked that they lost.
See, sport at it's finest allows the competitors an equal chance to win. Leaving aside the tomfoolery of umpires & referees, cheating, sledging (what's the difference eh ?) and the UDRS, it is as exciting a bloodless battle as you will ever see. Of course, if you have supported the eventual loser & suffer the keen sorrow of their defeat, I understand. But here's the thing; the phenomenon is in the end, after the reduction to it's bare necessities, a Game. And that means, on any given day, playing to the best of it's abilities, egged on by thunderous roaring, under sunshine or floodlight, a no-hoper may just defy the odds.
For a fraction of a moment, in your tryingly certain world, the Game proffers uncertainty. Tell me that's not valuable.
Song for the moment: Battle without honour or humanity - Tomayasu Hotei
P.S: I dare you to listen to this song & not associate it with your favourite moment of sporting carnage.
P.P.S: The love of the game is fine & all, but India must win / draw it's Test Matches. I'm only human.