Reliable Wonkie sporting news sources, based on the sub-continent, uncovered a cricket scandal of a Kevin O’Brien 6 magnitude. It is even larger than the recent match-fixing scandal resulting in 3 Pakistani cricketers – Salman Butt, Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif – getting banned from the sport by the ICC for a few years.
If you have ever wondered whether the so-called commentator’s curse is a myth. Wonkie assures you that it is not. In fact, the commentary box is the true heart of the battle that is simply enacted on the field – often just seconds after a comment is uttered.
If a commentator says a batsman is well-settled at the crease, then he’ll likely poke carelessly at the next ball and get an edge. Say a bowler has great consistency with line and length, and the spectators can be practically guaranteed an over of wides. Given that many of the cricket commentators seem to know exactly what the batsmen, bowlers, and fielders are thinking and feeling, before the fact, adds further weight to our conspiracy theory.
Further, the word on the street is that dodgy bookies have given up trying to bribe cricket players – they are instead targeting the commentators as it’s proving much more effective.
Wonkie believes that a number of senior commentators are currently under investigation by the ICC. The deviously knowledgeable and popular cursers Geoff Boycott, Bumble and Ian Bishop could not be reached for comment.
On a less serious note, this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup is proving to be one of the most open tournaments ever. In the Caribbean in 2007, many fans were disappointed with the speedy exit of the likes of India and Pakistan at the hands of cricketing minnows Bangladesh and Ireland. CWC 2011 is different.
There have certainly been upsets with England losing to both Ireland and Bangladesh in somewhat freakish games. Wonkie was tempted to hand over the South African chokers title to England after those matches, but the Brits have redeemed themselves by delivering when it counted against the cricketing heavyweights – a tie against India, and beating both South Africa and West Indies when the odds were against them.
Wonkie is not certain whether the Strauss and the English team have purchased shares in some heart failure medication or some fancy new nail-biting remedy. What is clear, is that they are determined to provide good value in terms of entertainment and stress, in every single match they play. Not one England match so far can be labelled boring or even just ‘ok’ – from eventful decision reviews, to final-over finales in some high scoring matches, they’ve been fun to watch.
The win over West Indies yesterday means that there is still a chance that entertaining England might make the quarter finals. In fact, as things stand none of the top cricket playing nations are out of the tournament and a lot will depend on their performance in the remaining few matches of this phase.
As always, Wonkie wishes the best of luck to the South African Proteas, who are already through to the Cricket World Cup quarter finals next week.
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