Switzerland

Today I was doing some extra-curricular writing and started thinking about my status as an entirely neutral cricket fan.

I have no dog, in any hunt, the world over. No County Cricket team, no IPL squad, no Test nation. No tournament, no tour, no trophy.

I also don’t gamble, so the outcome is always fine with me, no matter what it is (for the most part, of course).

There are two sides to this coin: not having a team to support leaves me feeling a little shallow in my cricket fandom at times, like I am missing out on complete immersion into the sport. I also feel like I am missing out on the best the sport has to offer.

Moments like this:

But at the same time, I am lucky enough to miss out on moments like this:

Today, for instance, even though it is not available to watch here in the States, I cannot wait for day five of the deciding Test between New Zealand and England to start. Can New Zealand beat England in a Test series for the first time since 1999? Or can Bell and Prior and company dig in and bat all day long and save the match and the series and England’s blushes? I honestly don’t care which happens, because I am a neutral. No matter what the outcome, it is going to be thrilling to watch and simply great for the Test format.

I get to be both this:

And this:

As a neutral supporter, I only want brilliant bowling, thrilling batting, great catches, five day battle royales, and last ball finishes. No matter who wins, loses, or draws, I am quite happy, as long as the cricket is fashionable and fun. And while yes I might miss out on the sheer monumental joy of supporting a cricket squad with my blood, sweat, and tears, I make up for that part of my sporting life with the Arsenal:

And so in that spirit: God Defend New Zealand, and God Save the Queen.

Should be a great day down in Auckland.

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