Tuesday, 12 June 2012

3rd test & stuff


Saturday
We should be at the end of the fourth day of the third test match but due to the shite weather we’ve only had two days play.  God we were lucky at Trent Bridge last week!   England won the toss and put the Windies in to bat, Jimmy & Broad both being rested with Onions and Finn taking their places.  For WI Shiv (best batsman) and Roach (best bowler) are injured and there are many changes.  It’s a competitive day but it ends with WI 280-8, honours just about even?

Sunday should have been all England and when inn removed Rampaul with the third ball of the day that was the way it looked.  Enter Tino best for his first test in about three years and mayhem.  Ramdin inched his way from an overnight 60 odd to his second test hundred but best stole the show with a world record 95, the best ever score by a test no.11.  All crash bang wallop it was too, a great, fighting knock from a great entertainer.
England batted and managed to get in a bit of a mess at 49-3 but KP & Bell both scored fluent half centuries to leave England at 221-4 at the close.  Then there was no play on the final day, no result in this match but after two full days cricket, WI were ahead on points but neither side ever looked likely to win. 
My pre series predictions have been pretty accurate all round, he says smugly.  West Indies performed better than I expected but England were under par.  They will have to improve if they want to beat South Africa later this summer.

As mentioned elsewhere, I’ve just returned from a week on the continent and once again I’ve found myself embarrassed by the behaviour of my fellow Brits abroad.  The kids missed a couple of days school so for the first few days of our week there were very few English families around.  However the Brits arrived at the weekend when the schools closed for a week and the noise level ramped up immediately.  The jubilee weekend giving the exiles the excuse to stay up late drinking heavily and singing badly.

A good example of the mentality I‘m talking about reared itself one morning.  I overheard a skinny, shaven headed little man tell his children, “they’re not as good as us, they’re foreign…”.  I held his gaze, him not knowing if I was Dutch, English, German or whatever, he looked away.  I didn’t say anything but was thinking “Not as good as you?  Must be a fucking cockroach…”

 By now it will come as no surprise to find that I rarely feel the urge to befriend my fellow Brits when I go away.  Yes I’m an anti-social git but many of the people I meet are an embarrassment.  Shaven head, tattoos beer gut with a football shirt stretched over it, worn as a challenge.  Tribalised by the media representation of bloody football.  The Brits think that Britannia still rules the waves, we own the world and have no need to bestow our manners on the stupid foreigners.  Yes it’s a cliché but yes its bloody true!!  The blokes aren’t much better either.  This is no snap judgement, it’s something I’ve observed in the last decade or so, probably since I became a parent.

I haven’t always had this attitude, there was a time when I travelled the world as a proud Brit and probably acted just like the people I’m slagging.  In fact a Scottish friend, Lyall (where the fuck are you now dude?), once described me as “the most English, Englishman he’d ever met”.  Although I knew even then he wasn’t being entirely complementary I was far from offended.
 
But what really have we got to be proud of?  I certainly have pride in the bravery of my grandparent’s and great grandparent’s generations but don’t use it as a reason or excuse to hate Germans.  A football win nearly 50 years ago is irrelevant now but a couple of heroic failures made me proud.  Cricket, now that’s a slightly different matter!

As ever I’ve got loads of books on the go.  Recently I finished “Mad, bad & dangerous to know” the autobiography of the explorer Sir Ranulph Fienes.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but thoroughly enjoyed it.  Sir Ran’s descriptions of the extreme expeditions he’s attempted are vividly written and easily took me away to the coldest and highest places on earth.  He paints the pictures far better than very many authors who write for a living.  Liked it a lot and the title sums the man up nicely!

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