Cricket is alive and well in South Africa. The opening day of the IPL tournament has just ended in sepctacular fashion, South Africa and Australia have just finsihed a long 4 months of playing each other with South Africa heading the ODI rankings, and Australia leading in the Tests, and last week, the inaugural day of special GeekCricket took place. There was, of course, a good finish in the local SuperSport and MTN series’ and The Cobra’s winning the Pro20 to go into the champions league tournament that will contain the best teams from around the world. It’s about time cricket sides got to play each other at a club level around the world.
The IPL is said to be bringing R1 Billion into South Africa, in one way or another. Two games were completed on the opening day here in Cape Town. I honestly didn’t think it would go ahead with the rain that greeted us on Saturday morning, but they gave it time and bowled the first ball on time.
Lalith Modi said in his opening ceremony speech that this was an incredible task to get this up and running in less than four weeks, but if you saw the opening ceremony, you can understand it, with the amount of money they threw into it. Snow Patrol were in town after Coke Zero Fest, and so they were undoubtadly paid a crap load of money to stay a little longer to play two (yes, only two songs). Tough life for them. I particularly liked Helen Zilla being at the ground pre-election time. Every time anyone mentioned her name, the crowd went ballistic. Awesome. And, just to put this out there, Motlanthe was pretty useless.
The games proved good entertainment, and perhaps giving the first upset with the Royals, (last years champs), being thumped by the Chargers – Captained by Chopface Pieterson. There should be some really good cricket to watch with all the best players in the country at the same time. I’ve luckily got some tickets for next Saturday’s fixture, so hopefully I’ll get to catch a couple of high flyers.
South Africa and Australia have finally finished the head-to-head that took a third of a year to complete. It was a long, hard tour which must have left the players so sick of each other. We comprehensively beat them in the ODIs to claim the top spot in the rankings (7-3). We shared the spoils in the Test matches, ironically each side beating the other in the oppositions backyard. The T20 matches, which I personally feel is not real cricket, was also shared equally home and away (2-2). After all this time, the players really must be feeling that the intensity of playing the other best side in the world is gone. It surely must get boring? Well, the tour organisers have changed things a little and made it so that each year, we will play each other in alternative countries, with alternative formats. ie, Next year we will play Aus in Aus in ODIs only. The following year with be in SA for Tests, and so on. Or at least it’ll be something like that.
I have left the best, and most important for last: Geek Cricket. This was Organised by Rob Stokes, and I hope this little get together happens more than once a year. Despite about 8 members of the list pulling out, some as early as the night before, we managed to get two teams of 8 each.
We started out with a mild net session for whoever was keen to show off that 10 years of self-induced isolation has not caused too much damage. A few handshakes and introductions were made, with a few people knowing one another. Eventually, we were all huddled in a cirlce around manager Rob and 2 captains, of which experience was based, were selected. “Luckily”, I was one of them. We then each selected our teams from the groups of bowlers, batters and all-rounders. Or something like that. Off we went for the toss. I won and decided to field. It was based on skill and years experience. Balls – There was no reason. It was more like superior instict for the kill, really.
Off we went to our respective teams. The batting side were chistend The Kaapse Klopse, and we, with our very inmportant and money intense sponsors, were named the Chevrolet Nashua Mercedes Supersport Nike Chargers. Or, I suppose, the CNMSNC for short. After an intense opening spell by our quicks, the Klopse were moving along slowly, but without losing any sticks. Along with the change on bowling, and medium pasers, came the runs. Thick and fast too. Boundaries were hit all over the park. But then the breakthrough came eventually when they pushed their luck one too many times. The Kaapse Klopse eventually amassed a good total of 144 all out in their 35 overs, (only facing 30 overs, mind you).
The CNMSNC also started off well and were moving along quite quickly. Balls were flying everywhere, and one person nearly hit a passing police car. But, as always with the big hitting, came the wickets. Eventually we were 5/6 down and still needing 50 odd to win. Step up to the plate, yours truely, Captain Fantastic/Awesome/TheSpecailOne, what ever you would like to call me, BMT is my middle name. 2 sixes, and 3 fours later, the game was over and the Kaapse Klopse were left licking their wounds after only 20 overs.
Much fun was had, and because we had finished early, we decided to have another match. All the guys with WAGs were dragged away, and it left 13 of us for a 10 over 6-a-side game. Stokes took over the captaincy and helped gain a bit of respect for the Kaapse Klopse as hit side narrowly winning in what can only be described as “play cricket”, so it doesn’t really count. But we gave it to them to let them feel better about ehir ealier thrashing.
I will put my figures for the day down because there may be national GeekCricket selectors reading;
Bowling: 5 overs, 1 maiden, 21 runs, 3 wickets, 2 catches.
Batting: 30 NO 2×6, 3×4
Bowling: DNB, 1 catch, 1 stumping
Batting: 20 NO 1×6, 3×4
– I have considered myself awesome now.
So yes, cricket is going well in the country at the moment, topped by superb geeks playing amazing cricket. Not bad for the best sport in the world.
(Please note: Due to my lack on time, really, this is about 3 weeks old at time of going to press)