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The Voyage of Spectacle Cricket World Cup

The Voyage

Spectacles

Andy and Melissa are sailing around the world on their 48-foot sailboat, Spectacle.

The Position

Bali, Indonesia

The Pictures

The Voyage of Spectacle

Archive for the ‘Cricket World Cup’ Category

The Cricket World Cup

Posted by: andy

The Cricket World Cup began today, as hosts West Indies convincingly blasted a pretty-darn-good Pakistan team 242-187 (I realize that may seem sort of close, but much like college basketball, cricket matches tend to be really close or not close at all – this game was among the latter).

Of the 16 teams in the tournament, there are only eight that have any chance at all of winning.   Pakistan is pretty clearly the 8th-best team in the tournament, but they are much closer to #1 than to #9.  They are 14-1 odds to win the tournament.  The #9 team (Bangladesh) is 300-1.  Accordingly, this was actually a very nice win for the “Windies.”

Much like Olympic basketball is the United States vs. Everyone Else (Everyone Else having done pretty well lately), the Cricket World Cup is Australia vs. Everyone Else.  After going nearly five years without losing a single game, the Australians have played terribly lately (getting beaten three games in a row by a New Zealand team that no one thought was any good, which, confirming those suspicions, subsequently lost to Bangla-frickin-desh).  As a result, Australia has gone from less than even-money to 9-4 as the favorites of the tournament.  Everyone knows their quality and expects them to sort things out in the tournament.  If I were a betting man, I’d take Australia at 9-4.  I’m heavily rooting against them (as I do in every sport in which Australia is involved), but they are clearly the most talented team.

Since I brought it up, here are the current approximate betting odds (all rounded off “to 1”):

(1) Australia – 2.25-1

(2) South Africa – 4.5-1

(t3) India – 7-1

(t3) Sri Lanka – 7-1

(t3) West Indies – 7-1

(t6) New Zealand – 9-1

(t6) England – 9-1

(8) Pakistan – 14-1

We’re thrilled to be in the right part of the world at the right time with a chance to see at least two games (and with good tickets to four) of the tournament.  Am I a big cricket fan?  No, but I almost completely understand and greatly appreciate the game, and I’ll be thrilled to be there in person to see it played at such a high level. 

This is one-day cricket, also known as pajama cricket (for the colorful uniforms), as opposed to test cricket (with white uniforms), which would be near-impossible to contest in a World Cup format despite it being “proper cricket.”  There will be Yorkers, doosras and googlies aplenty (but probably very few Chinamen) as we watch England play New Zealand on Friday, March 16 and then head to Trinidad for Sri Lanka vs. India on March 23.

Where do our loyalties lie?  We are rooting hard for Sri Lanka.  Not only are they a loveable team, but we have very close friends that are Sri Lankan, and we hope to be adopted Sri Lankans for the tournament and beyond.

Part of what makes the Sri Lankan team so likeable is the presence of two of the world’s best players, Muttiah Muralitharan and Sanath Jayasuriya.

It is easy to make baseball comparisons regarding Muralitharan (“Murali”) – he is the Greg Maddux of Cricket — simply the greatest off-speed bowler of all time.  Under the rules of one-day cricket, he will be limited to 60 balls (20%) of the pitches thrown by Sri Lanka each game, but he remains Sri Lanka’s big advantage – he is the odds-on favorite to win “Best Bowler” honors for the tournament (this is largely because Australia’s Shane Warne – for whom I’ve been mistaken more than once – retired before the tournament).

Jayasuriya was the MVP of the 1996 Cricket World Cup, won under controversial circumstances by Sri Lanka.  Now 37, he is the elder statesman of a team that is full of young players.  If he and Murali play well, Sri Lanka can beat anyone.

Greetings From St. Lucia

Posted by: andy

Today, we high-tailed it out of Martinique and made the four-hour trip down to St. Lucia.  We can’t even call it a “sail,” because we didn’t even bother to put the sails up.

As we were pulling into Rodney Bay Marina, we called them on the radio and asked to which side we’d be tying up the boat.

“That’s a starboard-side tie-up, captain,” they replied.

“Roger that,” I said.

Melissa sprang into action, setting up all the fenders and docklines on the starboard side.

As we coasted down toward the slip it began pouring rain – really, really hard rain.  We reached the slip – and it was, naturally, a port side tie-up.

Melissa scrambled to switch everything over and the rain kept pounding away.  It made for a very high-stress landing, but, in the end, it was no big deal.

In the few hours we’ve been here, St. Lucia has certainly been a major improvement over Martinique.  I can’t say it’s love at first sight, but it looks promising.  We’re attending the England/New Zealand match tomorrow and then are off to Trinidad next weekend for more Cricket World Cup craziness, watching our beloved Sri Lanka take on India.  We promise much more about St. Lucia when we return.

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — The 5 Part Series

Posted by: melissa

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — Part I

When it comes to money being lost by legitimate “stakeholders” (i.e. not including betting) based upon a game’s outcome, this likely made this particular preliminary-round cricket match The Most Expensive Sporting Event In The History Of The World.  As we headed off to the airport, we were quite happy to know that the stakes had been ramped up from merely big to Incredibly Massive.  We were expecting a good match and a good time.  Little did we know just how fantastic it would be.

As many of you might know, we are big fans of the Sri Lanka team playing in the Cricket World Cup this year in the West Indies.  This series, called “The Most Expensive Game Ever Played,” chronicles our journey to Trinidad to see history-making match between India and Sri Lanka.  I hope you enjoy the Background story of Part I.

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — Part II

The big game in Trinidad was India v. Sri Lanka.  Not only is this a huge game and historic rivalry, but India’s cultural influence in Trinidad is apparent in every part of life.  We briefly read about this alleged East Indian influence and thought:  Huh?  What?  How prevalent could it actually be?  Maybe some Tandoori chicken here and there?

Trinidad is a unique and culturally diverse place with a great vibe … and as it turns out, it is also the perfect place to watch India v. Sri Lanka play World Cup Cricket.  The second installment of The Most Expensive Game Ever Played is Melissa’s take on Trinidad.

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — Part III

“You have to understand that it’s an island mentality.  These Indian guys are all very hard-working, pious, anal-retentive, high-strung guys.  Not us.  We’re islanders, man.  Give a Sri Lankan five dollars and you’ve fed him for a day, but he’d probably rather spend it on beer.”

Part III of The Most Expensive Game Ever Played describes the pre-game antics and excitement.

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — Part IV

I stood up and started trying to lead the crowd in chants of “Vaas is boss.”  This proved fruitless, as 90% of the fans in our section were supporting India.  Shortly thereafter, the Indian team got to Vaas, hitting consecutive fours over the boundary.  “Vaas is fired!” came back the cheer.  This time, people joined in.

Click here for Part IV of The Most Expensive Game Ever Played called “The Match.”

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — Part V

“The scene with you guys dancing around by the side of the road was spectacular,” said Moody.  “You should have seen the guys on the bus – they were going crazy – I’ve never seen them that pumped up.  Thank you for that.  Seriously … thank you.”

The final episode of The Most Expensive Game Ever Played describes the post-game euphoria.


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