My attitude on the cricketing scene is thus.
Australia: Absolutely adore their style and panache. Terrific fielding and bowling unit, and never to be taken lightly in any format. Also a huge fan of their massive stadia that make global grounds seem minuscule in comparison. Yeah, try thwacking a boundary at the ‘G or the Gabba. It ain’t easy. // Favourite Players: Ponting, Warne, McGrath.
Bangladesh: Don’t deserve to play the sport. 160 million people. One game. And they’re serial losers. They should just quit. (See New Zealand for a humiliating comparison) // Favourite Players: al-Hasan makes this list, all said and done.
England: Used to be likeable back in the day, but success has gotten into their heads. The world isn’t used to having a winning British team (have one look at their football, rugby, hockey sides), so it comes as no surprise therefore, that they keep themselves open to being referred to as a South African ‘A ‘side or simply, a Franchise XI. Headed by a Zimbot coach. Also give credence to Ashes performances over all else – something that saved Flintoff’s and Fletcher’s careers. But. As a plus, their crowds are a hospitable lot, and clap for everyone and everything. Even when Pakistan were smashing pointless boundaries in the spot-fixing test at Lord’s on Day 5. But their complete indifference to 50-over cricket is a turn-off. // Favourite Players: Strauss seems like a good bloke, though he’s a Saffer.
India: Decent batting unit, with terrible bowling and fielding standards. A very marketable team, who have done their bit for TV entertainment since the turn of the century. Used to be complete pushovers and match-fixers in the 90s, but Ganguly and John Wright took them to absurd heights in the mid-2000s. And now they’ve become utter rubbish once again. But in between whiles, they did achieve rare series wins/draws in Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and everyplace else. But. Can’t stand their jingoistic, one-eyed fans who couldn’t care less to applaud the opposition during or after a game, for instance. And of course their board, the BCCI, who do precious little for their fans or the world game in general. As a rule, grimy stadiums and lathi charges and the like are found here. TV broadcasts are rife with L/V/U-shaped ads bursting on the screen every few seconds. Cash from the sport goes to the underworld or something like that. Very few of the newer generation players tend to be likeable. // Favourite Players: Dravid, Kumble.
Ireland: Don’t really know too much about them, but want them to beat the odds and play test cricket by 2020. // Favourite Players: Morgan…..oh wait. England nicked him. Porterfield, then.
New Zealand: Possibly my favourite team. Tiny serene country, just the way I like it. 4.3 million people. With a primary sport of rugby. Yet they make the most of what they have and punch above their weight every single time. Been semi-finalists of the World Cup on six occasions. They love to beat Australia, though it hasn’t happened often over the years. // Favourite Players: Vettori, Taylor, Bond.
Pakistan: Entertainment personified. On the field. And off of it. There is always something going on with this team, and it makes for terrific viewing. They drop catches. They eat cricket balls. They chatter loudly. They fight with each other. Never write them off when there’s chaos all around, for that’s when they’ll play their hardest and come up trumps. Absolutely unexplainable and mercurial. // Favourite Players: Afridi is a reality show, I never want him to er….’retire’. And great respect for the unusually calm Misbah.
South Africa: Chokers. Don’t want them to stop doing it, for it’s hilarious as hell. Also funny that winning overseas is cakewalk but home series victories usually tend to be scrappier. Kallis is a gun. // Favourite Players: Kallis, Steyn, de Villiers.
Sri Lanka: Yawn, boring. Sangakkara and Jayawardane batting together at Galle in a test match? No thanks, mate. Clinical, yeah but the rest of us want to see some action. // Favourite Players: Samaraweera, Matthews, Sangakkara.
West Indies: Manage to avoid the boring category, albeit narrowly. Can’t quite figure out what the hell’s wrong with them, or how they ever were world beaters back in the stone ages. Just can’t imagine it. // Favourite Players: Sammy, Darren Bravo.
Zimbabwe: Leniency granted since they’re just coming off exile, but if they turn out to be a long-term Bangladesh, I ain’t going to be their fan, sorry. // Favourite Players: Taylor, Taibu
Test Cricket: Make sure to watch every game, every country. Not that there’re many – just ten of ’em. Contests have taken a general upswing in intensity since 2009 or so, and here’s one happy fan. Naysayers who predict its death can go LoL themselves.
ODI Cricket: Will I follow World Cups and Champions Trophies? Sure. 7 match bilateral series? Nope, sorry.
T20 Cricket: Don’t really care about this format, really. I’ll watch the World T20 that comes around every few years, but that’s about it. Not that it carries much prestige anyway, after all, it’s a format that favours luck more than skill. See, even the Poms won it.