In the background is the radio commentary of today’s quarter final match India v Bangladesh at the MCG. There are some interesting emotions going through my mind at this rather impressive display by the Indian team in this World Cup tournament. Keeping in mind that I’m not as fanatical a fan that I used to be – I’m all too aware of the slow weaning away from this old obsession. From the innocent delirium of those heady days, to the hours of sheer displacement activity it used to provide (to avoid revising for endless exams, obviously) and then later on moving away from India, a perfect antidote to homesickness, and as close to a chest-beating jingoism that I’ve come to.
Then came the revelations of match-fixing and then the awful advent of IPL in the heat of May in India – cricket of my past became unrecognisable. Detachment set in slowly but surely – but when there’s a spurt of super action by an Indian team (including in the previous World Cup – incredible as that seems) that looks as if it knows all the secrets of the holy grail of one day cricket – efficient, determined and always playing with flair – it is so easy for all the old feelings to return despite the fact that half the team are strangers to me.
And as a true blue fan – what gives me gleeful satisfaction is seeing the humiliation of an English team. If this comes to Lord Tebbitt’s notice, he’d be hopping in the House of Lords in an apoplectic fit for being proved right again. But who cannot appreciate this list that was sent to me earlier this week?
Q. What would Glenn McGrath be if he was English?
A. An all-rounder.
Q. What’s the English version of a hat-trick?
A. Three runs in three balls.
Q. What advantage do Eoin Morgan and Jonathan Trott have over the rest of their teammates?
A. At least they can say they’re not really English.
Q. Why don’t English fielders need pre-tour travel injections?
A. Because they never catch anything.
Q. What do you call a Englishman with 100 runs against his name?
A. A bowler.
Q. What do Matt Prior and Michael Jackson have in common?
A. They both wear gloves for no apparent reason.
Q. What is the most proficient form of footwork displayed by English batsmen?
A. The walk back to the pavilion.
Q. What is the definition of optimism?
A. An England batsman putting on sunscreen before going out to bat.
Q. What is the difference between an England batsman and a Formula 1 car?
A. Nothing! If you blink you’ll miss both.