by Anura Guruge
As far as I can remember, all my life, I have been cricket MAD. It is still the abiding passion of my life, a just very few things getting precedence over my addiction to cricket. As a boy growing up in Ceylon I played some form of cricket everyday; if it was raining making do in our garage. My desire to study and analyze subjects in depth, to be a ‘guru’ on a subject, started with cricket. I would study the science of cricket for hours on end. I was good at reading games. Yes, I played, never that well BUT always memorably to all concerned. Yes, people would come to watch me, at all levels, just for the sheer entertainment value I would provide. Nobody, especially me, would be sure what I would do, but invariably there would be a flash of genius followed by long periods of ignominy. But, those flashes, though always fleeting, amused people. I played with gusto. All heart. No discipline. Non-stop action. I watched a LOT of cricket too. I was a member of ‘Hampshire Cricket Club’ and ‘Middlesex Cricket Club’ and was a regular fixture in the Grandstands at most home games.
I saw, in person, all of the GREAT players on the 1970s and 1980s; Barry Richards, Imran Kahn, Mike Proctor, Richard Hadlee, Andy Roberts, Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge and all the British players. I ‘knew’ many of them from all the times we would be at the same place at the same time. I was there in Southampton the day a 19 year old Malcolm Marshall made his debut on a cold, April day. He bowled terribly and dropped a catch. Me, from my customary perch in the Stands, shouted out: ‘give him a bucket’. I cried when he died.
My son’s middle name is ‘Gordon’, after Gordon Greenidge. I was blessed to see a LOT of Gordon, both for Hampshire and the West Indies. Given that Gordon, Andy and Malcolm, all played for Hampshire (to which I belonged) and Viv played for Somerset (which was my 2nd home in those days), I was a HUGE West Indies fan.
Yes, I was there in 1979 when they won the World Cup.
That very, very briefly was a BIT about me and cricket before I moved to the States in 1985. During the first 10 years I still followed cricket quite a bit. I used to have the London ‘Sunday Times’ air mailed to me. I used to also get both cricket magazines from the U.K. delivered. Plus, I used to go back. During my first two years I used to fly back for weekends — and get a day of watching cricket in, at Lord’s, on Saturday! Fly out Friday night, fly back Sunday afternoon. back at work Monday morning.
Two years ago, I ditched Metrocast and got DISH. DISH offered 3-channels of 24×7 cricket for $20/month. Since this is my only indulgence is life, I rationalized that I can afford it. So, I have the DISH cricket package.
When I first subscribed, DISH did not bother to maintain the Program Guide for those 3 networks; i.e., you had no idea what was going to be shown. All that the ONLINE program guide would say was: cricket, cricket, cricket …
Took me 3 months to get that FIXED. They just could not understand. I had to keep on explaining that it would be like subscribing to HBO and having the guide just say: movie, movie, movie …
I did chronicle my woes … here. Check it out.
So we now come to the ICC World Twenty20 2012 T20 world cup that was held in Sri Lanka (the country of my birth) from September 18 to October 7, 2012.
Willow, Ten Cricket nor NEO Cricket had coverage of it.
The bloody ICC had sold the U.S. and Caribbean rights to SBOs at ESPN. What the heck do the clowns at ESPN no about cricket. Cricket is way, way too subtle and cerebral for those that can only appreciate crash-AD-bang-AD-wallop-AD sports.
I can’t find any bloody TV coverage of the T20 World Cup by ESPN. I don’t want to watch it on my PC. Yes, I have a 27″ HD screen, and yes it looks good, BUT I have a 47″ HD screen and that is where I want to watch the cricket — FULL SCREEN.