I know the 7 billion readers of this blog have a burning question: who am I rooting for in the Cricket World Cup now taking place in Australia and New Zealand? From my brief bio and my food posts you know I grew up in Jamaica. But you also probably guessed I’m Indian heritage. So who is it: the West Indies or India?
First you need to understand that there are actually two different Cricket World Cups for the two most popular forms of cricket. In Twenty20 cricket, each team bowls 20 overs. An over consists of 6 balls bowled–or pitches thrown to use a baseball analogy. The games take 2.5 to 3 hours to complete. One-Day International (ODI) cricket consists of 50 overs for each team–or 300 balls each. These games run for a full day. Right now we’re in the midst of the ODI World Cup. This is the much more established form of cricket–T20 has been around only since 2007 or so.
So now I’m ready to tell you who I want to win. But first another digression on my decision-making process. I use a complex algorithm that requires a PhD in physics to truly understand. Unfortunately for me I have a Phd in applied physics. As everyone knows the applied physicists are just a tad bit less smart than the (real?) physicists. And so I don’t quite understand my own algorithm. I think it works something like this: for each type of World Cup, I alternate rooting for the West Indies and India. To be more clear, I consider the T20 and ODI world cups separately. Within T20, I will root for India one year and W.I. the next. Ditto for the ODI world cup. But I also add in a hand-wavy fudge factor that somehow accounts for recent success. Again, I don’t quite understand it myself.
In 2011–the last ODI world cup–I was going hard for India. That alone suggests I should be for W.I. now. However, if W.I. had won both the last T20 and ODI world cup, I would perhaps root for India. But India are actually defending ODI world cup champions. That plus the fact that the W.I. is in my cheering rotation means it’s West Indies all the way. I’m really lucky India won the last time because I don’t think I’d know how to apply my own fudge factor.
In the off chance you’re still reading, you might be interested to know that I also have soft spots for South Africa and England. South Africa because my wife and I went there on our honeymoon and we fell in love with the country. So India’s thrashing of SA last night was bittersweet for me.
As for England…I’m not sure why I root for them. I suspect it’s somehow related to the Stockholm Syndrome. Those bastards have oppressed every country I am associated with, and yet I still cheer them on. Why oh why do I do this? Why do I suddenly feel compelled to scream: please God, do save the Queen!
Two final comments. In the spirit of disclosure, I should say I’m not a true cricket fan. I only follow the world cups. But since there are so many world cups, I find myself following cricket pretty often. And second, there is a third type of cricket that takes several days to complete. You don’t need to worry about it. Really you don’t.