In a, well, fitting end to Australia’s Champions Trophy, they lost to England in an abandoned match via the D/L method in soggy Birmingham. And so all three of their matches in the tournament were abandoned and in only one of those were enough overs played to have a winner. A real shame for the reigning world champions, but not a real shame for the tournament. I don’t mean to slog on Australia here, but I am sick of them winning everything all the time, and I am happy to see that some new blood (Bangladesh) will be playing for the chance at some silverware.
England’s win also means that the two teams that I predicted would go through from Group A (Australia and New Zealand) are packing their bags and taking Ubers to Heathrow.
And with Group B still up in the air, the same thing could happen there too. We shall see. My money is still on India and South Africa progressing, but this tournament has thrown up its share of surprises so far, and the matches are far from un-winnable for Pakistan and Sri Lanka (Edit: or not. I was pretty tired when I wrote this is my excuse.) … so it could be an interesting couple of days, and then a very interesting semi-final round.
In other cricket news, earlier today I was driving down to put air in my tires at the BP station across from a school about a mile from my house. In the school lot I often see people playing pick-up games of cricket. Mostly kids with only one set of stumps who look like they are just having fun. But today–this morning–it was a full blown match. Umpires, uniforms, cones to mark the end lines, two sets up stumps. I watched for a little bit but it’s Saturday and I had errands to run so I moved on. It looked like a lot of fun. Though I felt bad for the fielders: it’s hot–damn hot–today and windy too. And there were standing square under the sun in dark uniforms. They must have been scorching. But I smiled because they still clapped their hands and cheered on their bowlers after every delivery. The spirt of cricket is alive and well in Roseville, Minn.
I have, in the last couple of years, given up on the idea of the sport taking hold here. But here what looked to be a thriving little youth league–players were kids, but a little older than what I usually see, maybe between 12 and 15 years old–was happening on a Saturday morning, on a baseball field, in middle America USA. Maybe, just maybe, I was wrong, and the sport has a future here.