Well, I took a few days off, as you can see. Because, you know, writing a cricket blog for 20 minutes every morning is so bloody difficult that a hiatus is required at least every six weeks.
While I was away, 28,500 people saw England triumph over India at Lord’s, thanks in part to Jimmy Anderson’s 5-fer on the final Monday, which from what I have heard, seen, and read, was just a remarkable day for cricket in St. John’s Wood. People were queuing up as early as 2am to get a 20 pound fifth day ticket. The sun came out, Sachin batted, England won. What a day!
I feel so far removed from it, that it almost pains me. Last Thursday, when I woke up early to catch the first few balls of the test, it was the first time I had ever really felt a part of the sport. And even still, I feel separated from it, like I am unable to simply reach out and touch it, like I am with sport here in the states, and heck even like I am with Premiere League Football, as at least with the latter I am able to watch 90% of the matches. But watching it on a computer 5,000 miles away in a dark room in a small house in a quiet suburb, well….removed is the best word.
I think I feel a strong connection to Arsenal because I have been to Emirates for a match. I guess I simply need to get over and take in a world cricket match, at some point.
In the meantime, I am stuck with Willow-dot-tv. Which, unfortunately, is all of a sudden lacking. Their is a strange black bar on the bottom of the viewing box whenever the score bar is on (which is all the time, unless it is a replay or a wide shot), this shrinks the picture even more. And just looking through the FTP tells me I will not be able to watch the following series: Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, Sri Lanka v Australia, and India v England (in India), as the channel only has the rights to the HOME matches for South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and England.
A friend of mine likes to talk about the fact that Americans are in a true golden age of football/soccer viewing. Thousands of games a year from tournaments around the globe: all live, all in HD, all on easily accessible and inexpensive networks. This is a 100 times better than it was just 10 years ago, and is even better than people in England have it NOW. So, considering the rebirth of cricket (test match fever is real and happening right now), I am hoping a similar renaissance will happen with world cricket. At the very least, I would like to be able to watch live matches from India. In HD.
Anyway, lots to shake out of the first test before Trent Bridge starts on Friday. The quick turnaround, the white-washed DRS demanded by the BCCI, India’s injuries, and England’s brilliance. A proper preview tomorrow. No recap of the first test, as everything that can be said has been said already. But to sum up the general feeling: 2,000 more just like that one, boys.