I woke with a start yesterday morning. I think I had been dreaming that after a spate of injuries it had been necessary to draft in Bryan Waddle to the Black Caps, and he was commentating from second slip. I don't often dream about Wadds I'll have you know.
Anyway I got up, checked the clock (2.25am) and bleary eyed staggered to the TV to check the score. After watching two maidens and un-Flem like hoick for six I went back to bed. I did get up early enough to watch the mad-cap sprint to the 20 over mark including an excruciating eight ball over from Dan Vettori as the rain pelted down.
But it got me thinking that timing means a lot to how we treat our cricketers. Obviously when they are in your own time zone it is an easy ride. The whole country got in behind in 1992. The Young Guns theme actually worked. I was in my third year at varsity in the 1992 World Cup. Rupert Murdoch was yet to control access to international sport, and Martin Crowe was playing, not screaming into a microphone. In my flat we got roaringly drunk during the first game against Australia and constructed something called the 'sound bazooka', a large cylindrical cardboard object which we used to celebrate dismissals. Our upstairs flatmates were thrilled. Somehow I was in Christchurch staying with a friend for the ill-fated semi. A flat full of people sat in mournful silence at the end of the game.
In 1999 I found myself in New York. The time difference meant major clashes with work and accessing the games was tough. The sole internet capable computer at work had all the speed of Dwayne Leverock on a Sunday stroll. The latter stages of the tournament were available on pay-per-view to service the large population of Indian and Pakistani workers in the Big Apple, but it was an expensive undertaking. My brother in Illinois could go to an Indian restaurant and for the price of dhall and roti watch the games. Its hard to make roti last all day, mind.
The timing of this World Cup is about as bad as it can get. Sadly, getting up to watch cricket in middle of night not in the national psyche like rugby. One packet of Alison Holst sausage rolls will get you through a rugby game. You need a full buffet to make it through the cricket. But if we keep winning, my bet is there will be lights twinkling, and ovens baking all over NZ in the wee hours.
Speaking of winning it was efficiency plus again against Kenya, and it appears the draw might just work in our favour. Mason, the Central workhorse looked like he might put Tuffey on permanent drinks duties, and Macca looked ominious. You know what, I might just take the sausage rolls out of the freezer for tonight's game. Call it getting some "match fitness" for the nights to come.