When I first went to first class cricket matches, which at a guess would be towards the end of the 1960’s, the only action that took place outside of the cricket field tended to be the polite applause of the crowd from time to time, combined with the tea and sandwiches at the tea break. Getting the signature of a player was akin to mission impossible, as seemingly they all seemed to think they were above the need to sign books for young cricket fans. Didnt stop us trying, mind. It also was the case that one of those early games was the first time I was seen on TV, as my mother told me she had seen me running across the field after the game, presumably in search of said elusive autograph.
Nowadays, especially in India, the game has changed beyond belief. Apart from the craziness of the fans over there, we even have cheerleaders, and live music happening during the games, between overs at least. Yes, I know, it would be great fun to be a cheerleader like that, but I’m far too old, far too fragile now, and far too intersex (lol) to ever do a thing like that.
The strange thing about baseball is that it seems to be the one big sport that lacks cheerleaders. Maybe because there really isnt a suitable moment for them to do there thing, who knows?
In truth, the cricket season here in England has been ticking over for a while now, relatively quietly. But yes, the reason I’m doing this, tomorrow, just outside Dublin (Malahide, to be exact), there will be a 1 day international between Ireland, and England. By fate, and tradition, this game seems to end up being affected by, or even abandoned by rain, but lets hope its fairer conditions tomorrow. No, I wouldnt have been there, even if my health hadnt gone AWOL, and of course the irony is, weather permitting, I will now get to see it on TV, as opposed to being at work while it was going on. I had considered going to some games later this month, in Belfast, but clearly that wont be happening now.
But the real cricket event of the summer, involving the same 2 countries, the first ever test match, being played at the home of cricket, Lords. I hadnt considered attending previously, but clearly wont be doing so now. To think, the first time I visited Lords, which would be around 1977, ladies werent allowed in the hallowed pavilion then! That was for a county game, as one of my bosses at the time was a member of Middlesex, and I thought I was male, so… I wonder if that makes me the first woman ever to watch a game in the pavilion at Lords, lol? I doubt it, but?
I have no idea if there will be cheerleaders at Malahide tomorrow, there certainly wont be for the test at Lords, for sure. But yes, I still, despite everything have that ambition to dress like a chorus line dancer, or cheerleader. Yes, Clara Johnson, you havent quite stopped me yet, though I suspect dancing is now beyond me.
The video? Well, strictly yesterday would have been more apt, but it fits in for today, so we will have to live with it. To say this video is a bit crazy, is putting it mildly. This is the 12″ version of the song, but in honesty, I’m not sure its better than the original. But you can easily find that, so…
I’ve had some fun today, given there’s been little of interest on TV in other matters for me today, I’ve been watching some cricket. Yes, I know, I like cricket, but the Indian Premier League (IPL) just tends to leave me cold for some reason. In truth, I blame the commentators for that, mainly because they tend to fawn over the Indian cricketers as if they were gods, and well, when Danny Morrison starts commentating, lets just say it starts to grind on me. So lets leave the actual cricket there, OK? Tonight, given that ESPN are giving baseball a pass on the early games tonight, I’ll have the Masters on until bedtime, much more sedate. And beyond the fact of commenting that I’ve just seen Tiger Woods knock in a long eagle putt, and do nothing more than acknowledge the crowds (no fist pump, as it used to be with him), I’m beginning to hope he wins again sometime soon, and if you’d told me a few years ago that I’d be saying that, I’d be laughing at you!
But going back to the IPL, and that ‘other universe’ life I might have had. Yes, I was watching the cheerleaders doing their routines, and wondering what that sort of life might be like? Well, without the bit of checking their smart phones while not dancing, but hey, if I was young now, like that, maybe I would do that sort of thing? In truth, I have no idea how well paid they are, or anything? I assumed all these Pro Sport cheerleaders were well paid, well pampered, and everything else, and then I read an article about how badly some NFL teams treat their cheerleaders, and it shocked me. Basically their attitude seems to be that of supply and demand, but I wonder how much demand there will be in future when they find out how badly the women are treated, but anyway…?
Alright, I suspect Clara, and all those other chorus line dancers were on pretty strict diets during their working years, to keep them slim, all the same. Probably why most only did a few years, before getting married, and retiring, I guess, as they could then eat more normal amounts?
But fine, if I had the youth, the looks, and the dancing skills, that sort of life might just be fun? I know, I’ll never know, I guess, unless Clara gives her full life story if I ever get regressed again! Either that, or a wonderful lady I know online, who worked in Vegas tells me. Not that either give me that personal experience, but short of a rejuvenation chamber, or something, not going to happen to me!
Fine, video time. I apologize for the less than regular quality tonight, but this is from Top Of The Pops in 1974, basically a lost episode, but someone found this bit at least. The actual song, and routine is fine (very vintage, apt for the song), but a couple of, err, interesting interludes. No, I know nothing of the artist, beyond this song!
Somehow I doubt I have any Indian followers here, and if I do, and they are cricket fans, maybe they should leave now!
I’m old enough to remember that back in the dim, distant past, on a Saturday afternoon, on ITV, they would show wrestling, long before WWE and the like were ever dreamt about. Lets just leave it by saying that it was entertainment, not sport, I suspect even the commentator had a script to work to, in all honesty. But no one actually said there was a script, but…Yes, thats right, I mentioned it, WWE. Modern day wrestling, this time from the US, but at least to give them their due, they admit its scripted, and it can be treated by its fans as entertainment, not a sport.
Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying that supposedly clean sports arent fixed, only to a lesser degree, in different ways. Look at all the horse racing coups over the years, for starters. Fine, not every runner in those races was running according to a script, but the planning was there, and someone was picking up money ‘dishonestly’.
And its an issue that despite claims by the various boards that are getting worse, not better. Back when I first started in the betting industry, over 30 years ago, you couldnt do a single on a football match. Maybe, the cup final, and internationals, but otherwise the minimum was trebles, sometimes fivefolds for home teams, and betting on games outside the UK (apart from international matches), no chance.
Then in the early 90’s, rules were relaxed (so people could do singles on the live Sky matches, I suspect), but pretty much it was still win/draw/win, and that was it. Then we get to internet betting, and you get more markets on a match, and matches from further afield, pretty much anywhere in the world now, to be honest.
Thing is, certain folk in Eastern Europe and the like, might like to bet on football, but they dont like losing. So strange betting patterns start to creep in. And as for lower league football, last week of the season, most noticeably Italy, anything goes. I remember a game in that country where the draw price ended up at 4/11 (suited both sides), and unsurprisingly it was. Of course, some had got on at much bigger odds, but anyway.
No, this isnt just an attack on football, btw. Snooker’s record in betting fixes often makes football look innocent! Several players have had lengthy, or life bans, due to ‘interesting’ results.
Oh fine, the thing that got my ire today, cricket! Yes, in India. As several have proved over the years, match fixing is possible, but spot fixing on 1 over markets is just crazy, as a few Pakistani cricketers proved a few years back. 20 over cricket, with its wild price fluctuations simply opens itself up to opportunities like this, and the original Indian Cricket League was so in tow with the local bookmakers, you wouldnt believe. The funny thing is, the Indian Premier League (the official, and now only Indian version) took the high road about this, but…its as fixed as the ICL ever was.
Today, there was a game between Rajasthan, and Mumbai, for the final qualifying place in the semi finals. Not straight winner takes all, Mumbai actually had to win within 14.3 overs to qualify. Important factor here, there is a supposed cricketing god in India, called Sachin Tendulkar, and he played for, and now seemingly runs the Mumbai team. The other team, no cricketer worshipped in India.
So anyway, Rajasthan bat first, scoring what looked a very good score in the process, 189 in their 20 overs. So Mumbai have to score at over 13 runs an over to qualify. So Rajasthan bowl the biggest load of soft deliveries, and Mumbai are about to get there, and qualify. 2 needed to win off the last delivery that sees Mumbai through, a mix up, and a player gets run out. Then, its pointed out to everyone that if Mumbai score a boundary off the next ball, they still qualify. So the bowler bowls an inviting full toss down the leg side, the batsman hits it for 6, and Mumbai qualify. Fine, it might have been skill, but for the fact that not one Rajasthan player was showing disappointment in losing!
So, the next time anyone tells you the IPL is a genuine cricket competition, just laugh. Whether its more rigged than WWE, I dont know, that would be pretty hard. But a genuine contest, no chance, its controlled by the BCCI, and Indian bookmakers. And serious bookmakers take large bets on this, ah well…
Meaning there are too many chiefs involved, which leads me to this video, from my distant past.
Alright, I probably needed a good laugh today, as its back to work tomorrow, and the sports news tonight provided it. Yes, cricket related, as a warning to James at least lol, though the sentiment of this isnt entirely cricket related.
Shock horror, 5 players have been suspended from the IPL (Indian Premier League) for possible match fixing. No, I’ve never heard of any of them in all honesty, I’m sure you can find the names in a news article if you want to. To be honest, the word that amuses me the most, is the word, possible. Oh, come on, surely they havent got the nerve to suggest it isnt fixed…oh, they are lol!
Equally, its hard to believe that they seriously think that 5 players (1 of whom hasnt even played this year) who would play a very minor part at best are fixing the games? Get real, its the names who can affect a game that are doing it, lets face it. To be honest, I dont go out of my way to watch the IPL, unless I want a good laugh. If I want to see easy catches dropped, deliberate bad bowling, or egos being blown out of all proportion, then yes, I’ll watch it. But otherwise…
The thing that really scares me though, given how generally this is known, is how many people actually bet on this. Well, unless they are in on the fix of course, which I wouldnt know. But seriously, even if I bet nowadays, I wouldnt touch this with a bargepole. Of course, as its India’s own cricket board that will be investigating this, I dont expect any serious results, and I certainly dont expect the real culprits to be shown up, thats for sure. Lets just say that the contrived results to get Mumbai (Tendulkar) and Chennai into the playoffs have been entertaining to say the least.
I cant say I’m a fan of India, but I dont think thats influenced this post. The difference between the exceedingly wealthy owners and players, and the impoverished folk of India is just too much for my taste. And of course, there is no corruption anywhere in Indian authority lol…
The video, well, I’m not renowned for making it difficult to work out. Yes, its Abba, and yes, its