16th February 2011

Does anything say Cricket World Cup louder and prouder than a Sri Lankan born insurance clerk from Winnipeg bowling at English batsmen with South African accents in a near empty Bangladeshi stadium? It’s hard to think of ‘owt. But that’s the magic of this tournament. The cricketing world coming together with one unified thought – how the hell does Luke Wright keep getting picked for England? Almost makes those centuries of colonial oppression seem worthwhile, doesn’t it?

Strange old warm-up game this. On the one hand it’s a rare opportunity for us to experience winning a one-day match. On the other, being bowled out by a team that refer to the ball as a ‘puck’ suggests we might not be at the peak of our form.

Canada didn’t start out too well with the bat themselves though, and when AJ and Cover Girl had them at 28/5 it made yesterday’s attempts by management to draft in Chris Tremlett look a tad cautious. But then I suppose it’s that caution that’s got England to where they are today – at the World Cup whilst our best batsman is 6,000 miles away with a rapidly improving finger injury and an appointment next Monday week to have an artificial hand fitted.

Talking of the walking wounded, it was good to see Ajmal get a few overs under his belt and without the need of the mobility scooter I mentioned yesterday. Instead, it turns out a strategically positioned tuk-tuk just over the boundary edge was able to ferry him from one deep fielding position to another without entering the field of play, thereby leaving the laws of the game unviolated.

I’m just glad we can’t use them to aid injured fielders closer in. Who can honestly say Jonty Rhodes’ diving run out of Inzy back in the ’92 World Cup would have happened if he’d had to leap out of the passenger seat of an automated rickshaw? Come on, you know what taxi drivers are like. Tell ‘em to head for the stumps and they’ll take you via long leg first.

Even Inzy could make a quick single then…