You'd think that this child of India would be ecstatic about India winning the cricket World Cup. [The only other time they won it was the only time I didn't follow it, immersed as I was in theological study in Chicago - a long way from cricket and a long time before the internet...]
No - I can't say that I am ecstatic.
While I wouldn't begrudge the luminous Sachin a World Cup, I do begrudge the way Indian cricket controls world cricket and I fear that this will become worse now. The global game is desperate for an ICC with FIFA-like power in the face of the Indian BCCI. They seem to have a UN Security Council-like veto on all decisions - but they are the only country with that veto! It compromises the integrity of the game when India can rig the quarters and the semis to ensure they have home games. That is just a joke. And why is it that the ICC can't force the BCCI to align with everyone else and use the umpire review system? Maybe now that Sachin had nine lives in the semis, they may rethink their position ... and I am no fan of the IPL either. But don't get me started. It is chewing-gum cricket - tasty and vigorous for awhile, but you spit it before too long AND it is ruining the game in countries with limited cricket wealth. Oops - I just got started.
So I am a bit of a grumpy sod at the moment.
[I guess I could spend more time watching Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls to lift my sporting spirits...] But also things have brightened considerably as I have contemplated the make-up of the NZ team which will win the World Cup in 2015. It goes like this:
1. Martin Guptill
He will be entering his prime, only made riper with John Wright's guidance.
2. Brendon McCullum
While I thought about dropping him down the order, I am confident that Wright will get inside the head of someone who can hit a patient test double century in India AND hit a blistering Twenty20 century against Australia. It is the combo that we need.
3. Daniel Flynn
I am a big fan - and I reckon he has a second coming coming. And a leftie as well.
4. Ross Taylor
He could well be regarded as one of the top three ODI batsmen in the world by 2015.
5. Jesse Ryder
For all his personal problems, he has a stillness about his batting which will be ideal at #5.
6. Kane Williamson
Yep, in four years time he'll be the one able to adapt his game to anything from short singles to hitting over the top - and as a future captain he will demonstrate the mental toughness needed to bat at #6 in ODI cricket.
7. Nathan McCullum
He never lets NZ down and as the older brother he'll want to play for as long as possible and at 34 he'll be ready for a swan song in 2015.
8. Daniel Vettori
Yep - long before the media mentioned it today, I was thinking similar thoughts. I reckon he'll focus on Test cricket for 2-3 years (maybe intent on becoming the first person to take 500 wickets and score 5000 runs?) - but when 2015 rolls around he'll remember that he is a far better ODI bowler than he is a Test bowler and the lure of being on a World Cup winning side at home will be too much for him. He'll be back.
9. Tim Southee
I've always been a believer - and next time around he'll be that much better and two places higher in the batting order, contributing as a batsman as well.
10. Neil Wagner
A leftie - and he is quick, with South African DNA. That'll do me just fine.
11. Adam Milne
I hope he doesn't go the way of so many before him: young quickies bowling too much, too fast, too early and disappearing too quickly. But pushing 150kph at 18 years of age?! Here's hoping...
12. Doug Bracewell
If there is a Bracewell with skill hanging around, you gotta put him in - because you'll get plenty of attitude in the package.
nice chatting - oh, yes it was!