Alphen, the Netherlands. 23 August. Good news! Yesterday, at 1658 hours the England cricket team dismissed the last batsman of the Indian cricket team to replace India as the number one cricket team in the world at the very zenith of the world’s most played sport. The natural order of things has been restored. For the uninitiated amongst you – Americans - cricket is the world’s most noble and fascinating of sports. It requires far more guile than the glorified rounders that I used to play at school as a ten year old – baseball. And, lasting five days per match, cricket demands far more stamina than the armoured interruption to US television commercials that is American football. And by the way, a cricket ball is bloody hard – I can testify to that.
Perhaps England’s crushing 4-0 series victory is also a bit of a parable for power in the twenty-first century. The West routinely oscillates between exaggerating its power and a kind of collective power-depression. We in the West also routinely exaggerate the power of the new kids on the eastern block, so as to make our depression seem more comforting. Decline is inevitable we are told by the defeatist Establishment.
No it is not! The much-hyped Indian cricket team proved weak and irresolute, whilst the English team determined, ruthless and organised. Much has been exaggeratedly made of the Asian century. Sure Asia is emerging but as events in Libya over the past few days have demonstrated the old West can still pack a punch.
The best news of all? The hitherto rather smug and irritating Australians were also stuffed by England recently…and in Australia too. This is known down under as Pom Power!
What’s more their team is rubbish! They lost again yesterday – to Sri Lanka.
G’day to yer, mate!