You win, Universe.

As anyone who is acquainted with me or has read this blog knows, I am not a fan of T20s. (If you didn’t before, you do now.) I don’t hate them – I had contemplated buying this shirt, but eventually decided I didn’t want to walk around with any statement emblazoned across my chest that I didn’t fully support – but they just don’t do it for me. I hate the manufactured drama, I hate the damn cheerleaders, I hate the fact that it’s about cheap spectacle and devalues the game. Given how much I love the game (here’s a hint – A LOT) that last one is the most egregious sin of all.

So I don’t usually write about them.

But the universe has been sending me nudges that turned into prods that turned into giant neon signs reading ‘HEY DO WE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION YET’ and I have finally caved. This post will be entirely about T20s. And not just one, either.

First, I must address a small but devoted fanbase. In the last month or so, people have been led to Long (Way) Off by typing the following terms into search engines:

‘Tim Southee’ – Yes, I’ve mentioned him. I believe I called him adorable, which he can be if his hair isn’t being alarming. I have thought him an extremely promising bowler since watching his performance against England in ’08, but have not wanted to jinx him by being all ‘OMG here is the KIWIS new superstar !!!!11!!’

‘Tim Southee single?’ – I have no idea. If he is, probably not for long. And if you have to Google that, you probably don’t have much of a chance. (Sorry.)

‘I love you Tim Southee’ – Aw, that’s cute. But if I can offer some entirely well-meaning advice: he’s probably unreachable by this point. Go for the nice guy who opens the door for you at school or awkwardly compliments your perfume.

‘How old is Tim Southee’ – Dude. Do I look like your personal ReferenceBot? Also, if you’re trying to figure out if he’s legal, that is really, really creepy. (Run, Tim! Run!)

‘Tim Southee hot’ – Um. Wouldn’t go that far. Attractive boy, but he’s a kid still. Hotness might come later.

Ok, now that that’s dealt with, I can properly give plaudits to Tim for his performance yesterday. As I’ve said, he’s very young, and that was not a young man’s performance. He’s showed glimpses of that kind of nerve and maturity before, but the control he showed yesterday in the last part of the innings, and then in sealing that final over, was pretty extraordinary. Fortunately the batsmen – Brendon ‘You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry’ McCullum and my favourite imaginary superhero, Martin ‘Guppy Two-Toes’ Guptill didn’t let him down. Other people have described Baz’s unreal innings much better than I could, so I’m just going to record what flashed reflexively through my head when I saw it:

DAMN, boy.

I refuse to comment further on Shaun Tait than to say: that was super-classy of you, Shaun, and look how well it worked!

And then, just when we thought the day had been action-packed enough, there was the match that hardly anyone even knew about, let alone was planning to watch: West Indies v Zimbabwe.

I am a staunch Zimbabwe supporter – when Grant Flower announced his plans to return and be their new batting coach, I was overjoyed – so I was actually pretty keyed up for this. That lasted all of ten minutes into Zimbabwe’s innings, and by the time they’d crawled painfully from 0-3 (yes, you read that right. 3 wickets, ZERO RUNS) to 105 all out, it was extremely late and I figured that even for a cricket masochist of my calibre, battling exhaustion to watch them be further humiliated wasn’t going to be worth it. So I went to bed.

My reactions on waking up this morning:

On the one hand, YAY Zimbabwe! Bloody hell, that was a spectacular comeback! Grant Flower’s still got his work cut out for him, because damn if that wasn’t some pretty abjectly pathetic batting, but still!

On the other hand: Are you freaking kidding me?!

Good God, West Indies. I mean…I have no words. (Suleiman Benn, you are exempt from this, you did a great job. Congratulations. I’m sorry this is the team you’re saddled with.) I hope to God that Chris Gayle was sitting out for even a remotely legitimate reason, because I already think he’s a tiresome arrogant ass who thinks he’s far cooler than he actually is and would hate to have to expend the energy to dislike him even more.

Ottis, I like you. I do. I do believe you’re doing your best. But if Grant’s got a tough job ahead of him, yours seems positively Herculean. I’m not exactly likening the West Indies cricket team to the Augean stables, but at this point, they both do seem to be equally full of shit.

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  1. #1 by David Bird on 01/03/2010 - 5:41 pm

    As you are a Zimbabwe fan, I offer this link to my Zimbabwe victory poem … http://www.birdfolk.co.uk/bard.html?T244

  2. #2 by Rachel on 02/03/2010 - 2:52 am

    Hi Reina, love your blog! (And not just because you’re a Kiwis fan, although I love that too)

    Chris Gayle is the Kanye West of cricket. I can’t even separate the two in my head anymore.

  3. #3 by Rishabh on 02/03/2010 - 5:25 am

    Those Southee tags really lead to your blog? Maybe you should have a separate section for THOSE fans…

  4. #4 by reina on 02/03/2010 - 12:55 pm

    Rachel: Thanks! And word on Chris Gayle AND Kanye West. Can’t stand that attitude!

    Rishabh : Yeah, they do! And it’s not just a few searches either. I’d be happy to give the people what they want, but while Sonic Southee is a cutie and very talented, I’m not seeing the steamy hotness that these people apparently are.

  5. #5 by sixsixeight on 02/03/2010 - 8:06 pm

    I think the big O knows what he is up against. My worry is that he is far too relaxed and nice – Gayle needs a kick up the arse.

    I like the windies – they were on much better form here http://tinyurl.com/yjwavwx when the beat England and lots of people turned out to watch!

    On another note – where is your rss feed thing for this blog?

    • #6 by reina on 02/03/2010 - 9:08 pm

      I hope he does! I don’t want to see O-Gib fail.

      Isn’t the RSS feed thingy up at the top right of the homepage? Under ‘Follow Me’?

  6. #7 by Sesha on 19/11/2010 - 7:43 am

    Hey reina, what do u think of the Gayle force wind that struck the island lions in their den? wld like ur take on that. cheers!

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