Now, in the subcontinent countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and other cricket-loving nations like South Africa, Australia, NZ, West Indies and of course where cricket came from, England, the game of cricket is virtually a hallowed institution.
Former Australian PM John Howard is what would be called a cricket tragic, one whose love of cricket is unfortunately not matched by his playing ability, wakakaka.
To him, he preposterously though understandably named Donald Bradman, an Australian cricket player who passed away in 2001 at the age of 92, as the World's greatest sportsman ever.
I wonder whether John Howard has heard of sportsmen like Jesse Owen, Pele, Rudy Hartono, Carl Lewis, Zico, Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, Steve Redgrave, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretsky, Diego Maradona, Mark Spitz, or even cricket's Sachin Tendulkar, etc to even dare named Bradman as a far greater athlete than them?
|Pele in action
But we have to forgive Howard because besides being a cricket tragic he is also an Australian like Bradman and thus had been 'patriotic' in naming his countryman as the best of the bests.
Additionally, Howard is particularly known to be nostalgic about people and things of the 'golden age' of good old White Australia, an era before it was swamped by soccer-loving migrants from around the world like kaytee wakakaka. Donald Bradman was already a cricket icon in those 'wonderful' days of Howard's Australia, so he naturally would be the model icon for Howard.
In the English world, cricket was a game for the so-called 'better half' of society while soccer or football was for the peasants, wakakaka, though to be fair to Australia, which has a more egalitarian society than England, cricket was and still is enjoyed by all social classes.
In fact, in earlier England, fair play in cricket was so paramount and treasured that it gave us the English colloquialism of 'It's not cricket' to mean 'Having something that is unjust or just plain wrong done to someone or something'.
But today, ever since Murdoch initiated highly commercialized cricket games for his pay TV, with the players paid in the millions plus bonuses, the game of cricket is 'not cricket' anymore, where all sorts of unsavory stories about the game and some players have been heard.
Some players have got away or only suffered light taps on their wrists with allegations of cheating, match fixing or/and association with bookmakers - see here for two Australian cases where the two are considered by Australian cricket fans as virtually 'heroes'. But some like Ajay Sharma of India and the late Hansie Cronje, former South African cricket captain, were banned for life.
Apart from cases and allegations of corruption, the game with significant financial rewards waiting for the winners has gone so disgracefully dirty that even the nasty unsportsmanlike 'sledging' has been allowed.
Sledging in cricket is the practice of gaining an advantage over the opposition through insulting or verbally intimidating the players of the other team so as to unsettle them or make them lose their cool. The aim is to make them play in a less composed and thus less skillful form.
The professional cricket players will attempt to bullshit that sledging is humorous and an important part of cricket. but we note that no other professional game other than cricket allows sledging.
The ulterior objective is to win (the money prize plus the lucrative advertising contracts) by any means, including nasty psychological warfare of verbal abuses to make the opponent lose his temper and thus his ability to play in a composed, cool and collected manner.
Anyway, our subcontinent friends in Singapore had on Tuesday night watched a televised match between the West Indies and Bangladesh where the Windies (the name of the West Indies cricket team) won.
I'm not sure whether there was 'sledging' among the spectators, wakakaka, but a brawl broke out among the migrant worker spectators, and their usual antics, lighting a fire, became their signature tune again, wakakaka.
As to who was supporting which team, and what was the grievance leading to the brawl, no one has said a word on it, but I just wonder whether the happy brew was involved, again? Wakakaka.
Some people just can't change, wakakaka.