Friday 23 March 2007

Cricket World Cup 2007 - lbw - Ligature Butchers Woolmer

Making up the numbers

It is an open secret that cricket hardly has the demographic following to truly be a world sport. Beyond the seemingly shared colonial heritage shared with England, we have India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and West Indies - political interference in Zimbabwe cricket left it on the verge of dropping out of the elite - six minnow teams are needed to create a world event.

What is even interesting is that once cannot get a worthy representation from Scotland, Wales or Ireland, I take that back, Ireland has caused ructions in the current World Cup event taking place in the geographical expanse of hop-scotch islands that make up the West Indies.

The Netherlands prepared for the World Cup in the cold winter of the Northern Hemisphere made up of amateurs who probably just like English tea and have graduated to having cucumber sandwiches as a sign of anglophilia demonstrated by swinging a bat must have envied the elite teams that crowded down to the Southern Hemisphere for summer tans and practice where England dumped the ashes back in Australia with a whitewash.

Obfuscating cricket

For many, the rules of cricket are as inscrutable as the rules of American football which rarely sees the foot near the ball; and really, when the scores are toted up, who is Extras and when did he bat and I did not see him run?

However, the danger of the Cricket World Cup 2007 tournament coming and going as a non-event has passed with the death of the English Pakistani coach who was found unconscious on the floor of his hotel room in Jamaica after Pakistan was dumped out of the World Cup by Ireland the previous day.

The passion for cricket in the sub-continent cannot be overstated as effigies of the players were burnt by fans back home, disappointed by the performance of their team, but the death of Bob Woolmer has overshadowed the whole episode.

An English Murder Mystery

Now, the World Cup might just be remembered for being the one in which the coach of a team was asphyxiated by strangulation, though no other person implicated or ligature has yet been found - we have a murder mystery, one that would be a difficult one to solve.

All we now need to complete the Englishness of a game that probably can only be understood in English language is a Miss Marple or the nuisance of an Hetty Wainthropp, whilst a budding novelist might just be penning the first lines of a life as the new Agatha Christie with the Hercule Poirot of 2007 putting clues together for Sherlock Holmes and Dr John H. Watson to unravel.

Who cares about wickets, bowling, googlies, creases, fours, sixes or boundaries when the plot thickens to solve a Murder, most horrid?

Seriously, there is a serious crime to be solved about a nice man who has been tragically murdered for reasons we might yet never know, leaving a family behind in South Africa and a game that would miss a much loved man.

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