When Usain Bolt isn't in Kingston it's a pleasure to meet Sadiki Bolt. Oh, and Johan Blake was in Bombay.
With deepest apologies to Walt Whitman, who wrote O Captain my Captain I begin this story of a friendship that has spanned two decades.
When he first called me, Murali Kartik referred to me as sir, likely from having been in Delhi as long as he had, and I was working for the Cricinfo website. I had written a very complimentary piece on this left-arm spinner and yet he called with a complaint.
Apparently, in the statistics I had quoted I had missed a wicket he had taken. I double checked with Mohandas Menon, the pre-eminent statistician in India cricket at the time and he confirmed that I was not wrong. Politely but firmly I told Kartik it was best he concentrated on taking wickets and left the counting of the same to the rest of us.
7.30pm: All over. Pakistan returned to the crease after a rain break needing a further 136 runs from five overs, an overall target of 302 from 40 overs. Naturally they did not even get close. India sealed the deal by 89 runs (Duckworth/Lewis Method) to make it seven wins from as many games against Pakistan in World Cups. The win also ensured their unbeaten streak at the 2019 World Cup stayed intact.
It can be confirmed that rumours of the 2019 Cricket World Cup having begun on May 30 are, in fact, true. But for cricket fans from the most populous participating nation, the tournament begins today, when India play their first match.
Considering that India seem to have been in England for an eternity — they’ve had enough time to go paint balling in the woods and take selfies with Harry Kane — but have not yet been called up to play a match. As has been widely reported, this was to allow the team a sufficient gap, and rest, after the completion of the IPL, but it also gives them a significant advantage.
Bangladesh fired an early warning to all the teams in the Asia Cup in the opening match of the tournament, recovering from the loss of two early wickets and a key player retiring hurt to post a highly competitive score against Sri Lanka and then defend it with panache. The man who made it possible? Mushfiqur Rahim, the pocket rocket. From 2 for 3, Mushfiqur consolidated with Mohammad Mithun (63), pushing the score on to 134 for 3, before shepherding the lower order.
The most dramatic moment in the game came when Tamim Iqbal returned to the crease, bottom hand in a cast, to resume his innings. Holding the bat one handed, injured hand tucked behind his back, Tamim fended off a Suranga Lakmal delivery. From there on, Mushfiqur ensured that Tamim would not be put in harm’s way.