Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's just not cricket


I think in India, they have more TV channels that show cricket than we have in the whole of Malaysia, as far as terrestrial TV is concerned. I thought I should enjoy my 3 day stay then, but I guess too busy and too tired to enjoy it at the end of the day.

I guess I am out of touched already too.

Posted March 10, 2007

So the World Cup is here again. No, not football-lah brother; that was last year in Germany. Takkan every year world cup kut? This year is cricket’s turn. This is one game that took me 2 years to like it (the other game - golf – until today I have no interest in it! I still don’t understand why anyone would be bothered with golf. Pukul, then jalan, pukul, jalan, no fun lah golf! Baik pegi jogging, ada jugak faedahnya untuk jantung. Hahaha, jangan marah golfers. Nanti BP naik.) But once I like it, there is no stopping back.

I think I am hooked for life when I started playing the game at the field in front of my house in Clayton North. So it was not love at first sight; it is the sort of girl who grows on you. They said that this kind of love would normally last a lifetime – unlike love at first sight. Hahaha, what a weird analogy! I am making this up, for fun ok. Hantam sajalah labu.

Dulu-dulu zaman batu, Dad used to show the location where he used to play cricket in Kuala Kangsar. Of course, he was talking about the colonial era and the Cliffords (Clifford School KK) were good cricketers, just as us Edwardians were so good in rugby! Hehehe, angkat bakul lagi. At that point, I dismissed it, simply because I could not stand (and understand) the game. Perhaps I was too embarrassed to not know it then and I can’t afford for Dad to know that after 2 years in Australia, his son has not been initiated into this fine gentlemen’s game. Mesti dier dok wonder; betul ke anak aku dok kat Australia ni or ke dok dalam gua somewhere kat Gombak. Unlike my fellow housemates (Aruah Din Besar, Parid, Rosli etc) of course who would spend days in front of the that little idiot box from 11 am to about 6 pm watching the game that lasted 5 straight days. “Don’t you guys have anything else better to do?” I would always tell them. Like study! I thought they were crazy to be spending so much time in front of the telly. Well, they were. Cuba imagine, each game main untuk 5 hari, and 1 day main around 5-6 hour. Giler, I told them. Dah ler tu, lepas 5 hari, boleh draw lagi. No conclusion after 5 days, tak ker giler. Macam duel for 5 days and five nights, in the end tak da sapa kalah tak da sapa menang.

Cricket fans don’t get upset easily; after all cricket is a gentlemen’s game. Or at least that’s what the English would like us to believe. Don’t believe the hype as you will find out later.

Aiyah, ni posing for the camera je, brother, buat2 je practicing my batting skills at the crease. My house was the one next to the white house on the right in the background (I think). I once broke a finger catching a ball during one indoor game (ni caught and bowl punya penangan la. I was the bowler, after bowling, the ball was hit straight back at me, while I was still moving towards the direction of the batsman, so I didnt have much time to react, hence it was an awkward catch.) Fortunately we have medical students in our midst then - Rainey (now Dr, Kelana Jaya Medical Centre, ex MRSM Kuantan) and Raymond (now Prof Dr, HUKM, ex MRSM Seremban; husband kak Fauziah (Kassim), ex MRSMKB, now Dr), both actual brothers, at that game, so I am only left with a crooked finger! Boy it was painful. What I will go through for cricket!

But once I swung the bat at the crease of the field at Hilltop Avenue I was hooked for life. Petang-petang Sabtu lepas usrah, we would hit the field. Tulah our entertainment masa tu. Well, until one day a bunch of Oz girls wanted to join us for the game. Aiyah, those Australian aweks tak tau ke we all ni member Monash Uni Islamic Society (quite an influential body within the Australian Federation of Muslim Students’ Associations), mana lah main cricket with budak2 pompuan or for that matter any other game. Nyaris the sisters tak tau, hahaha. Kalau they all tahu may be they all keluar en block from MUIS. Then again we thought, gasak lah, the girls can’t beat us men pun, right? Hahaha…padan muka, try as we did, we were thrashed that day. Kalah brother, no fight in fact. Those Aussie gals mak oii, their bowling laju giler. In fact terbalik, kiterorang punya bowling yang mcm pompuan. Bukan, macam pondan! (hehe, kutuk diri sendiri!)Uh oh, that was painful, to our pride lah. That was the last time we allowed then to join our game! Or may be we changed our playing schedule to avoid them!

Cricket made my name easier to the Aussies’ ears. I normally introduced myself as “Abdul”. This guy then asked back, “As in Abdul Qadir?” Mender lah mamat ni, sapalah pulak si Qadir ni. Ni Rahman la. Then mamat tu jawab, Abdul Qadir; Pakistani spinner! Of course, I should have known better. “Yes, as in Abdul Qadir,” noting that I shared the same name as a famous cricketer. Thanks to Abdul Qadir, my name was more familiar to my colleagues at that chlorine packaging warehouse that I worked at in south east Melbourne during the summer of '85.

My years in Australia were unfortunately marred by the non-existence of the Australian cricket team. I mean they were really bad then. Macam Malaysian football team during the last two decades. Ni mesti dok partying too much at Bondi Beach! Tapi syok jugak tengok David Boon batting the opener. That guy has a peculiar moustache – very thick one ooo. But he’s one of the good guys amongst a bunch of losers then (except Allan Border of course). Tapi yang paling best is that game in 1981 in Perth, Javed Miandad could have crushed Dennis Lillee’s skull with his bat! I think Lillee probably deserved it, but I guess that was not my sentiment when I was in Australia. Mesti lah sokong Australia, dah jadi Aussie celup masa tu. Tak main lah sokong Pakistan.

David Boon on the left and on the right, another 180 degree swing, the bat would have crushed either Dennis Lillee’s head or the umpire’s. This is an image I can’t forget from 1981 eventhough at that time I was not into cricket. Ha, ni gentlemen game sangat lah ni. Tapi no fight pun tak best what…

Tapi let me tell you this one fact that all Malaysians should remember whenever the subject of cricket comes up. May be we should be telling John Howard about this – sure depa buat2 lupa. In 1932 or yang sewaktu dengannya, team Malaya beat the Oz team! Dah lupa mana dapat fact ni dulu, but I think it was in 1932. Ni macam Malaysia beat Brazil lah in football. I always told them this fact whenever I was in conversation with my Oz mates, although really the team that beat Australia was full of Englishmen. Who cares? Bila lagi nak get one over them, right? If this game were in 2007, forget it lah, team budak sekolah Australia pun boleh bantai a Malaysian cricket team, if we have one lah!

So the ICC Cricket World Cup is just around the corner – this time in West Indies. Ni laggi best than Test cricket as this is played within half day of limited overs. They would have to score as many runs as possible, even taking chances with the most devastating delivery. Ni smash and run game. Very exciting.

However, I am told that one need to pay RM499 to watch it on Astro. La, apa ni Astro? It is just not cricket la macam ni. Tak cukup untung lagi ke? Japaq, you have anything to do with this? Kat member tak leh kasik discount ke? Hahaha..Kan hari tu you all tukar satellite pun subscribers kena bayar. I can’t even afford RM85 for my monthly Astro subscription, so I may have to forego it this year. Cricket is not a game for the elite, unlike golf and it should not be expensive to watch it - just imagine, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will be filled to the brim with over 100,000 fans at every game. Mind you this was at a state (Victoria) with only about 3 million population, may be. But what do you expect when you have monopoly. Baca dalam internet je lah, mesti ada ball-by-ball descriptions of the game punya. Hahaha, Astro, eat your heart out. You are not getting a single cent of my hard-earned money. Oh, oh, lupa pulak, I am semi-retired – mana ada hard-earned money lagi. Alaaaaamak…..

Eh, on second thought, nowadays semua easy earned monies! Hahaha, just kidding ok...

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