Well, it’s been 10 days of World Cup cricket and while there’s been some good games, it’s also been sad and may most likely be remembered as scary. No, not because India are virtually out after the first round. Not because of India’s shock defeat to Bangladesh. Not because of Pakistan’s shock loss to Ireland and being kicked out of the World Cup. World Cup 2007 will be remembered for one thing — Bob Woolmer’s death. While the WC has the makings of a Hollywood movie, Bob Woolmer won’t be there to see the final cut. Also, if this were a Hollywood movie, the murderers would be caught on the final day of the cricket. If this were a movie, Pakistan would have gone on to win the Cup and dedicated their win to him. But it’s not. It doesn’t even feel like a game of cricket — where winning or losing is NOT a matter of death.
In a spooky sort of way, when it was first announced on the news that Bob Woolmer was dead after being found unconscious in his room, I immediately suspected foul play. I even told a friend of mine that I would bet anything that he had been murdered. I was also convinced that it would have had to do with match fixing what with Pakistan being one of the countries apart from India where match-fixing was huge. Moreover, Woolmer was South Africa’s coach when the match-fixing scandal first erupted — when Cronje accepted the money. Maybe Woolmer knew more than he let on. Maybe Cronje knew more than he let on. The truth — we shall never know since neither of them is here to tell us. I have never been convinced about Cronje’s death being an accident either. Call me paranoid or a lover of thrillers or blame me for reading too many detective novels — I believe there’s a connection between the two deaths. I don’t think Woolmer was killed because Pak didn’t qualify for the next round. There’s reports that he was planning to write a book after the WC. Did this scare his killers? Did they think he was going to reveal it all? What did he know? What is it that he has taken with him to the grave?
And yet, amidst all this, all that concerns the nation of India is that their beloved team is not qualifying to the next round. I wouldn’t be surprised though that some team pulls out and Ind get through or by some weird rule they do — because as a website aptly put it…India are the commercial favourites!!! In other words, that’s where the money is baby! I wouldn’t even be surprised if Bangladesh are offered money to blow their match against Bermuda on Sunday letting India get through on net run rate. If that happens, Cricket is nothing but a farce. If that happens, other nations should refuse to play against India either home or away.
On a brighter note for me, Australia are through to the next round undefeated (Can’t believe anyone doubted that?!!) I’ve had some aquaintances from back home who were bagging me out when Australia lost 5 games prior to the WC — guess what though? Australia have qualified for the Super 8s unlike India!!! For the uninitiated, I’ve always supported the Aussies ever since I was 13 years old…so it’s not just because I’m in Aus!
In the end though, I think what people need to remember is that cricket is a game. That’s it. So back home, India losing isn’t the end of the world (even though it is the end of the world cup for them…ok…lame joke…sorry!!). You would think though by now Indian supporters would be used to seeing their team let them down. Anyway, I’m digressing…cricket is just a game! Enjoy it for what it is. I’ve learnt that now and don’t mope around when Aus lose. But I love it when they win!!!
Anyway, here’s to a World Cup without any more controversies hopefully (read: India going thru to the next round).
And here’s to an awesome performance by the Aussies!
Till next time,