So far, my favorite part about having willow.tv is the archives, as I have yet to have a chance to watch a great deal of live cricket. So I have been instead watching chunks of the 2010 Ashes in Australia. It is brilliant just being able to watch and learn. I am getting to know the fielding positions, the strategies, the pace of the game. It is just wonderful, I love it so much. The game is more than I ever imagined.
Tomorrow morning, I hope to be able to watch the England v Sri Lanka t20 match, or at least a part of it.
Supposedly, I should be able to watch replays of certain County Cricket matches, but I have yet to find them on the site. That is the one complaint I have: the site is an unnavigable mess. It’s like it was designed in 1999 by eight year olds. However, the player they use is top notch (none of the Microsoft Silverlight crap), and the video, as mentioned previously, does not jump or skip.
In other news: The match in the title of this post is taking place at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, Pakistan (link goes to its wiki page, worth a perusal). Over the years, the lovely ground has hosted 25 international test matches, including this one from 2005 against England:
Pakistan, of course, is having a difficult time hosting international matches, due to security concerns after the attacks on the Sri Lankan team. They are a team without a home right now. The Israelites of cricket, if you will. (You won’t, and that’s cool). Which I find just a little sad, especially considering how beloved the sport is there. Hopefully the Sri Lankans will visit again, and we can all move on.
Also, it is a tad unfair, as Mumbai was allowed to host the world cup final, despite the recent terrorist attacks there. Yes, India is a tad more stable than the country that was hosting, you know, Osama bin Laden, but I still do not think that is proper cause for isolation and exile.
Or maybe it is.
And there was the whole match fixing scandal last summer in London…
What murky waters I have waded into here.
What else is happening? Well, cricket training is weird; I have a serious double man crush on Two Chucks and I totally want nothing more than to hang out and watch cricket with them; India beat the West Indies by 63 runs despite a strong fight from the Windies; and the ICC’s annual conference starts on 06/26, where they will talk World Cup Format and DRS (instant reply). Hopefully they will cover other topics, as well, such as the future prospects for what is obviously a very unhealthy sport. t20 is not the answer, it never will be. Neither are pink balls or flood lights. Do I know the answer? Nope. But I think that might be the ultimate goal of this blog.
I mean, I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. And up until 2007, I knew very, very, very little about cricket. The sport was a complete mystery to me, and it is still a mystery to 99% of American sports fans. Most will say: so what? Americans have their sport, leave ours alone. I say: the sport is lovely and infinitely interesting, and exposing Americans to at least the basics would be phenomenal for the sport. As would exposing it to Asia. Say what you will about FIFA, but their global brand strategy is working. You can’t swing a stick in any country on the planet without hitting a dude in a Man United kit.
The first step? Get the sport into the Olympics.
Anyway, lots of cricket to watch this weekend. Yep you read that right: WATCH. Including Stuart Broad’s first taste of the armband and a boatload of County Cricket. Until Monday.