A Rainy Day For Cricket

A smattering of cricket fans occupied the bar stools at Churchills Saturday morning. Mostly Australians, with a few New Zealanders and Indians thrown in, they were there to watch the Cricket World Cup Final between Australia and Sri Lanka.

The game was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. The Australians had won the coin toss and had opted to bat first. Unfortunately, God had other plans. A tarp covered the cricket pitch at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, and all that could be beamed via satellite to millions of fans around the world were a few miserable Indian bowlers stretching their quads.

"Next update 12:30 p.m.," read a subtitle at the bottom of the stagnant screen. An Aussie nursing a beer shook his head. "This is a disaster," he lamented -- as if residing in the only former British colony with no interest in the sport weren't punishment enough. "We'll wait here until two to see what happens. If they postpone it we'll be back tomorrow morning."

Fortunately the game began shortly afterward, but the 47-game tournament, already marred by the murder of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, ended in a dispute over the rules, which apparently even the referees have trouble understanding. Australia was soon declared the winner. --Emily Witt

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