Cricket for Americans: 30 Jan. 2019: Canberra

Here’s one reason why I will be watching the 2nd Test between England and the West Indies that starts tomorrow:



That’s just one reason, of course, because it will be quite the intriguing match on the pitch, as the West Indies look to pummel their former colonizers once again, but there’s just something to be said to tuning into a sporting event taking place in the sun and heat from the dark and cold and horrible north.

One of my favorite cricketing traditions is the Boxing Day Test match in Australia. In the US, the match starts in the evening on Christmas Day. And I love to tune in and watch the other side of the world bake as outside my window there’s snow and ice and cold, fresh off a nice holiday, and staring down a few well earned days off.

It’s funny how that works out, how seeing people in shirt sleeves on green grass under blue skies is enough to warm you up just a bit, to cozy your up your space a little, despite the howling winds outside. Earth is a big old place, and seeing cricket on the other side of it is just one reminder of that, and it’s just one more reason to watch.

Other matches of note: South Africa look as though they are going to chase down Pakistan’s 240 to take the 5th and deciding ODI, a hard fought series win that will give them confidence leading into the World Cup ramp up. There’s also the 4th ODI between India and New Zealand that will see the former rest players and the latter looking to salvage something from the series. I have always been a great fan of New Zealand, and I hope they can pull out off what appears to be a rather serious tail spin. Yeah, India are a very, very good cricket team — and have to be everyone’s favorite to win the World Cup now — but New Zealand barely showed even a hint of fight against them. Worrisome for the Kiwis.

And there’s Test cricket happening in Canberra, as Australia and Sri Lanka have their second Test starting tomorrow at 5:30 in the evening, US Time.

Note: Canberra is home to the Manuka Oval, a ground I was not familiar with until just now.  It’s been around for a while, but mostly has hosted domestic cricket with the occasional international limited overs match, and this is its first ever time hosting a Test match, that alone makes it worth tuning in for, I think. Also of note, and this is a little embarrassing, but just now is the first time I had ever heard of the Australian city of Canberra. And it turns out it is the country’s capital city! I had no idea. I just always assumed it was Melbourne or Sydney, but apparently it’s been Canberra since 1908 when a compromise was reached between those two cities.

I often talk about how cricket makes one a better global citizen, but that’s only true when cricket is happening. Canberra hasn’t hosted any Tests, so therefore it’s firmly in my blindspot. Still: it’s a little embarrassing that I didn’t know what the capital of Australia was. But, hey, I know now, and I guess that’s all that matters? Always be learning, in other words.

Canberra, who knew?

Until tomorrow.

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