Well, well, well. Who would have imagined this scenario going into the second weekend of the championship? The Dicks are out. The Blues are fading. And the Weapons have tried every Self Destruction method in their book – dropped catches, sprayed the ball around, made fools of themselves – and yet have all but found their way to the semis. Stranger things have happened in life, but this one sure takes me by surprise.
The Blues have lived a lifetime in the last 24 hours. Last night, after the match, they all seemed to be a bit too cocky, especially the batsmen. Even the younger guys were seemingly nonchalant, showing a false facade of bravado, giving excuses like, “nothing worked today”, “one of those days”, “off-day”, (and the one that I hate the most which is fast turning out to be the most abused term in cricket these days), “I played my natural game”. Dude, you got things a bit mixed up in your head. Your natural game should be ‘not getting out’, and not ‘getting out to stupid shots’. You have two choices. Either you learn this on your own or you can have this drilled into your head by the Blues supporters. I am sure they’ll oblige. Ask any Blues’ player who went to West Indies in 2007 for a first-hand experience. Anyway, despite the cocky exterior, they remained indoors last night, which was surprising given that this was Friday night in London with no game the following day.
What I hear is that they woke up Saturday morning wondering what really happened the previous night. Surprise, surprise. They showed up and they didn’t win. The news seems to be finally dawning on them that they need to do more than just show up. Throughout the tour, the team training sessions have been optional. 5 players had turned up for the session one day before the last match. Surprisingly, the training session today was scrapped. Fetching the ball from the boundary in the last match must have been extremely tiring, I presume.
Spent some time in the team hotel today evening. And reading between the lines, the body language and interpreting some non verbal cues, I get the feeling that these guys are a bit on the edge now. Reality seems to be finding its place in a little corner inside their heads. The turn of events has taken them by surprise and they seem nervous about the repercussions of another “off-day of playing their natural games”. The smiles on their faces are betraying more emotions than what’s obvious.
So from brash over confidence on friday night, to bemused amazement on saturday morning, to nervous anxiety on saturday evening, their lives seem to have turned half a circle.
The Weapons from Al Pakeezah, on the other hand, are Free Wheeling into the Free Willy world. Why not? They deserve to. Most of their guys were seen crossing the street opposite The Ritz in Piccadilly. They split into 2 groups after that. The bigger group made their way into Mahiki while a smaller group of 3-4 entered the Gentleman’s Club called Mayfair Club. I believe they are still there as I write this at 1.45 am London Time.