Meanwhile, cricket goes on in Sri Lanka

Despite the massive shortages of most essential items and the political unrest that have resulted in the overthrow of the current political leadership and the president and prime minister driven from office and in hiding, Sri Lanka continues to have cricket matches, with the current tour of the country by the visiting Australian team continuing before large and enthusiastic crowds.

After the Australians won the 20-over series 2-1, Sri Lanka won the 50-over series 3-2. They then played two five-day Test matches, the oldest and most prestigious form of the game. In the first one Australia beat Sri Lanka by an innings while in the second that ended yesterday, the tables were turned and Sri Lanka beat the Australians by an innings. So the two teams ended the tour even, which is good for Sri Lanka since Australia is always a tough team to beat.

For those who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of cricket (that I have heard described as ‘like Calvinball but with more rules’), find it unfathomable, and have no desire to learn more, all you have to know is that when a team wins a five-day Test match ‘by an innings’, it means that it well and truly trounced its opponents. For those more curious about the game, I provided a basic tutorial some years ago.

The people in the subcontinent of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are particularly cricket mad and as evidence one needs to look no further than how the current tour by Australia went off smoothly as if nothing was going on in the country.


  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    Meanwhile, cricket goes on in India as well.
    Fake IPL, Harsha Bhogle mimic, and live coverage: How Gujarat villagers duped Russian betters with a sham cricket tournament

    The boldness of the charade could be determined by the fact that the tournament started three weeks after the original IPL concluded. A team of 21 farm labourers and unemployed youth of the village took turns wearing jerseys of Gujarat Titans, Chennai Super Kings, and Mumbai Indians to give an impression that the original IPL was underway.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    Gujarat villagers duped Russian betters

    I had to read that two or three times before I understood it. My first thought was “who on earth thought that the Russians were better than the villlagers???”.

  3. fentex says

    To explain Cricket to those who don’t know it, perhaps U.S citizens presumably familiar with Baseball, explain how they evolved from the same origin and where they have diverged.

  4. John Morales says

    An indication of the resilience of the population that, even under the current stress, they appreciated (and presumably facilitated) the cricket.

    So the two teams ended the tour even, which is good for Sri Lanka since Australia is always a tough team to beat.


    Hard to say whether the social stress affected the Sri Lankan players negatively, but I imagine the sense of national pride inspired them to play their best.

    I’ve long left it behind, but I remember in my youth feeling that vicarious sense of pride.

    More seriously, this is perhaps a once in a generation opportunity for real political reform. Obviously, the existing system was not fit for purpose.

  5. Bill Malcolm says

    Learning how to play cricket is a cakewalk. It’s only Americans who throw up their hands in utter confusion. Before my family emigrated from England to Canada way back when, I was in my school’s second team at the age of eleven. Sort of like JV, I guess. Even the dimwits from the bottom of my class had zero problem with learning any of the rules. They’re simple.

    Fast forward slightly over a decade, and I was back in Blighty in London doing an MSc. There were all sorts of US students doing MAs, MScs, PhDs at the London School of Economics, who were boarding at London House residence (google it) who despite having great brains, somehow couldn’t grasp the rudiments of cricket. It was pathetic to see when we took a bunch to a cricket match on a village green 25 miles north of London, and they just seemed incapable of grasping anything they were told. Thick as two planks, as the Brits would say. Always comparing it to baseball, (I guess to try and establish a base of cognition, but cricket is an entirely different game so why bother comparing) which is no more than rounders, the game English girls used to play with an identical diamond but only a single-handed heavy bat like a big solid pingpong racket. Was played by the Jane Eyre types two hundred years ago and adapted for colonial use, one presumes.

    It all seemed pretty much like the overall disinterest Americans took in learning anything about England, or in my later backpacking days, anything about the European country they were in. It was a constant case of: “Back in the USA, we do it this way and it’s better.” Constant comparisons of nothing that mattered a damn except apparently, to Americans. No interest in a different approach to things. No, it was always better in the USA and these people here should learn to live that way instead of being yokels was the attitude. Navel-gazers supreme with no real interest in anywhere else except on some inward-looking arcane competitive level as to whether that somewhere else was actually superior in any way to the grand and glorious US of A.

    So cricket has been decided to be essentially indecipherable by America, and thus of zero importance whatsoever. Played by foreigners and who cares about them, anyway — that’s a broad generalization, but valid, I think. I’d wager there are more people who play cricket in the Indian subcontinent region than all Americans participating in sport put together. And lovin’ it! As Sri Lanka proves even as the country dissolves into utter ruination.

    Americans are the greatest of all time stick-in-the-muds.

  6. Mano Singham says

    Bill @#5,

    I have watched some cricket with my two sons-in-law, both born in America and grew up with baseball, who seem to like the game. They appreciate the fact that there is a lot of subtlety to it in terms of technique and strategy.

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