Earlier today, I posted a visceral little rant against one Lalit K. Modi (you may have heard of him. Favours salmon sweaters, pomposity, T20s and cold hard cash?) – or, as I now affectionately refer to him, Lord Megabucks of Crass.
I have not changed my mind about anything I said about him in the slightest, before any of you get excited (you know who you are). I just wish to counterbalance the dark taint of having him on my blog with focusing on some people who are actually worth talking about and deserving of attention. Essentially, I wanted to devote some space and throw some love to the good guys.
Grant Flower is the first of these. Back in the day he and brother Andy made a thousand journalists happy with their headline-friendly last name and combined ability when they played for Zimbabwe together, but Zimbabwe being Zimbabwe, the halcyon days soon ended, and attention shifted largely (and not undeservedly) to Andy after his and Henry Olonga’s incredible, unimaginably courageous gesture at the 2003 World Cup. Grant has for the last little while been performing to his usual high standards as a Kolpak player for Essex – until a few days ago, when he made the announcement that he would be leaving…to return to Zimbabwe and start as their new batting coach.
For having done this, he at least equals his brother in the awesomeness stakes, and I fervently hope things go well for him and the team. They could use some sunshine on the horizon after the hell that they’ve been through.
Next up is Brett Lee, who announced his retirement from Tests today for exactly the reasons you might expect – the same ones that prompted his fellow Tasman megaquick Shane Bond to do so earlier this year – all that speed does a body no good in the long run, and his simply couldn’t take it any more. I have not always been a massive fan of Lee, but I felt a pang when I heard about this, because he has been indisputably one of the greats. He’s played hard and fair, with a largely positive attitude, and managed to make himself – an Australian! – popular in India, which ranks some way above ‘scaling Mount Everest with an angry Bengal tiger strapped to your back’ on the universal scale of Things That Are Hard To Do.
As with Grant Flower, I can genuinely wish him well, because I have masses of respect for the man. Thanks for the memories, Binga.
Sachin was pretty handy with the bat today. Broke another record, apparently. Maybe more than one? I tried to find out, but Cricinfo was down for a while today for some reason. Must be technical issues.
In all seriousness, though, I wish we as a nation were capable of saluting Sachin Tendulkar’s achievements with the same grace and dignity he demonstrates while accomplishing them. The man is a colossus among giants, and the fact that so much breathless adulation over the course of two decades has not made him completely and utterly insufferable speaks volumes about his character. All you can really do is salute him, and say a quiet thank you for another incredible innings that you got to watch – no, not watch, revel in. (And you can hope that asshats like the Shiv Sena and the aforementioned Lord Megabucks don’t try to co-opt his performance for their own ugly, small-minded ends, but that might just be too much to hope for, sadly.)
Finally, just so that this post doesn’t become too serious (I hear the mournful trumpets playing already); we switch from the sublime to the utterly ridiculous, with this little pearl from Shane Warne:
Getting up in the morning and putting on a pair of underpants is important for me. And I think a lot of people think like that.
Oh, Shane, I love when you give me little presents like this. Don’t ever change, ya hear?
Leaving aside the fact that we’ve just heard way more than we ever wanted to know about what Shane Warne wears to bed (really, I could have happily gone my entire life in ignorance of that piece of trivia, Shane) there’s this: it’s “important” to you? Really? How so? Or do we not want to know?
It reminds me irresistibly of those mini- “essays” we had to do in primary school: ‘What are your favourite colours?’ ‘What do you do on the weekends?’ ‘What are the important things in your life?’ Presumably little Shane’s essay read something like this…
Things That Are Important In My Life:
2. Mum and Dad
3. playing cricket
4. Pie Sausages
We can only imagine.