2011 CRICKET WORLD CUP
How Lanka beat India
Explaining the importance of school
cricket in Sri Lanka, the critically
acclaimed author of the eminently readable
Chinaman, Shehan Karunatilaka, said, "Up
till quite recently, school cricket was our
only island-wide competition. The club
scene that fed the national team revolved
mostly around Colombo. School rivalries go
back to the 19th century and the big matches still draw stadiums of support. Maybe it's
because there wasn't much money in
domestic cricket until the ’90s. So, school
cricket was the most professional expression of the game for most of our history."
PHOTOGRAPS: ANDREW BIRAJ/REUTERS
South Africa's J P Duminy reacts after being bowled by New Zealand's Nathan McCullum as wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum, left, and captain Daniel Vettori
celebrate during the World Cup quarter-final match in Dhaka, March 25. South Africa lived up to their chokers' tag yet again, losing unexpectedly to New
West Indies Captain Darren Sammy walks off the field as Pakistan's players celebrate during the World Cup quarter-final in Dhaka, March 23. The Pakistanis
annihilated the Windies to set up a semifinal clash with India
If there is one team that is more entertaining than the Pakistan cricket team, it is
the Pakistan press corps. As coach Waqar
Younis came to field questions from the
press instead of the skipper after the win
against Australia, there was more than a
whisper that Shahid Afridi was avoiding
the press following his rash dismissal
(While on that, isn't it time to honor the
mercurial Pathan by naming a mode of dismissal in his honour? For example, ‘Did
you see how Kieron Pollard Afridied himself in Chennai?’)
The latter half of a Pakistani journalist's
two-part question was: "Is the captain
afraid to come here because of his bad
The question was perfectly audible and
Waqar lucidly answered the first part. Then
he feigned selective deafness as he looked
away, seemingly for the next question.
If he was looking for respite, there was
none coming. Because the next question
was a reverse swinging yorker homing in on
its very inventor.
"I am a bowler myself," thundered a
young Pakistani scribe, "and you are the
best reverse swing exponent ever. Did you
notice how Lee was getting it to reverse so
much in his second spell? Did you find anything fishy the way he was getting the ball
to bend? I think there is some foul play. Do
As a gaping Waqar looked on, speechless,
it was left to the otherwise genial ICC manager Sami ul-Hassan to intervene. "You
don't need to answer that," he said animatedly.
The press was having none of it. The final
question was: "Did the president call to
congratulate the team?"
But the gem, though, had to be this question after Kamran 'Teflon' Akmal dropped
Ross Taylor on 0, 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56,
and 64 on his way to a blazing century.
"Coach, what is the difference between
Kamran Akmal and Michael Jackson
because both wear gloves for no reason?"
As the ICC media manager again dove in
to save Waqar, the coach put on a brave face
and said, "No, no. I will answer that. The
difference is one is dead."