Nepali Times
Under My Hat
It’s not cricket


Asia is divided into two types of countries: those that play cricket and those that eat them. The Line of Control between these two eco-biological domains passes along 118 deg. East meridian in the vicinity of the Andaman Sea. There is also a third type of country in Asia, which is the one that likes to play with crickets by tying pieces of string on their hind legs, organising cricket races, and betting on them.

But in general, it would be safe to say that west of the Abdomen Sea, cricket is a sport, and to the east, it is a meal. Many people think cricket is the most boring sport on earth. They're wrong. It is the most boring sport in the known universe.

It takes time for a cricket match to really get going. Usually the warm-up period lasts several days while each side tries to size up the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy team. The live commentary during this phase of the game goes something like this (delivered in sonorous tones and at slo-mo pace):

"Welcome back, the tea break is over, and there is 15 minutes to go now for the snack break. Here comes Jayawardene walking slowly into the bowler's side of the wicket, hands his hat to the umpire, who takes it, and, wait a minute, Jayawardene has something in his hand. We don't know what it is, but it is just as I had suspected, yes, it is indeed a ball. Jayawardene has got a red ball in his hand, and from the look on his face, he means business. And what is he doing with it, now? Incredible, Jayawardene has taken the red ball, and is rubbing it vigorously in the front of his trousers. There he goes, ladies and gentlemen, what an incredibly smooth and confident movement the Sri Lankan captain is exhibiting during this Tri-nation One-day Series. He is indeed in fine form. Wha..? I don't believe this, did you see that? Jayawardene just cleared his throat and spat out a big glob of snot on the ball... he is now spreading the ointment evenly all over the ball so as to give the projectile a drag-free aerodynamic trajectory. It is obvious the Kiwis are getting nervous, and there is pin-drop silence all over the stadium as Jayawardene finishes his warm-up and gets ready to begin his 22nd over. The silence from the stands is deafening, and it looks like the 45,000 people gathered here today have all fallen asleep. Over to you, John. Wake up, John."

Scintillating stuff. Football fans don't really need a very high IQ, and soccer scores are fairly simple: Manchester United-Liverpool: 1-1. to read cricket scores on the other hand, you need to have a double-PhD in Medical Anthropology and Statistics. Here is one scoreboard:
Sinclair lbw Vyas..............................................1
Astle c Jayawardene b Gunawardene..........4
Fleming c&b Dharmasena.............................0
Jayawardene st Dighe b Badani.................34
Bookmaker MK Gupta...................$4,500,000
Extras: (lb-10,nb-5)
TOTAL (in 46.5 overs).................................183
Bowling: Vaas 7-1-20-3 (nb-1), Fernando
7-2-19-2 (w-9), Muralitharan 8-1-21-0, Perera 4-0-24-0 (w-4), Dharmasena 7-1-16-2.

Weather: Bright sunny spells with chances of a shower and persistent rain on the final day forcing the last game to abandoned as a draw. Which is just as well because without the rain the Kiwis would have lost.

We in Nepal have to thank our lucky stars our country was never colonised by leg spinners, and therefore did not inherit a sport with score-keeping like that. In fact it is matter of national pride that we do not play cricket, and we must doubly redouble our efforts to uphold this glorious tradition so that we can continue to claim that we were never under an
imperialist yoke.

From Nalapani to Kalapani, we will resist all attempts to catch us out in deep square leg with two wickets and nine balls to spare in the final round-robin match.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)