17th February 2011

Dust has yet to settle on yesterday’s narrow win over Canada, but a distinct atmosphere of ‘did I really make a drunken pass at my girlfriend’s sister last night’ regret hung over breakfast, with the usual quiet concentration needed for our morning Pilates session sporadically interrupted by expletives as players wandered over to the team laptop, looked up the career stats of Rizwan Cheema, then shuffled off, too embarrassed to catch the eye of those equally culpable.

At least this evening we had the Word Cup opening ceremony to brighten spirits. I’m not sure the speeches by assembled dignitaries were all that entertaining but the sight of some poor Bangladeshi guy straining to pull Graeme Smith round in a rickshaw is one of the most powerful analogies I’ve ever seen of the West’s exploitation of the Third World. Having him break down and then be passed by an ever accelerating India was a nice touch too. All we needed was for the Irish captain to be car-jacked by a group dressed as bankers whilst a Chinese delegation awarded themselves the Word Cup trophy for building all the stadia and the tableau would have been complete.

Speaking of the captains being carried round in rickshaws, I missed an opportunity there. Adil’s been asking me if there was ‘owt I could do to help him get back into the England squad and I recon bribing the guy hauling around Cap’n Ring-on-a-string to head off into Bangladeshi interior might have been Adil’s best shot. Although to be fair, if management had known details of the opening ceremony in advance you can be sure they’d have had Rash out here pulling away for all he was worth.

Well, it’d make a change from having him carrying round drinks…