50 before I’m 50 – Watching a cricket match in a foreign country

I’ve been spending the last 2 weeks at the T20 Cricket World Cup.

I saw three matches in this year’s tournament – Namibia vs Oman in Barbados, USA vs Pakistan in Dallas, and South Africa vs Netherlands in New York.

Since getting really into cricket in my mid life crisis, I’d been wanting to watch a match in the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown. It looked good fun: drinking, pools by the ground, people eating mangos and fruit in the stands. Just a chilled vibe that I – a fat pasty white guy – wanted in.

Sure, the game I got in Bridgetown wasn’t the best on paper, but sure enough it was exciting, a couple of chances of a hat trick, and after a cracking final over which saw Oman bowl beautifully, the game went to a Super Over – think of it like a penalty shootout. Eventually Namibia – through David Wiese – got enough runs to win. Bucket list ticked. The game finished past midnight so towards the end I was flagging and ready to head back (not least because I was up at 8am to go for a tour of Barbados), but it was excellent.

Then came Dallas.

A few days later I was in the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium. It was hot. I never knew my knees could sweat. I must have drank about three litres of water and a couple of beers and went to the bathroom once. It was worth it mind, seeing one of the biggest upsets at the cricket World Cup history, as the USA beat Pakistan with another super over. A result, I’ll have you know, I called on the BBC Live Chat a few days before.

So if you’re keeping score, there have been 4 super overs in the Cricket World Cup history.

I’ve seen 2 of them.

The final game – South Africa vs Netherlands – was probably the weakest. Netherlands did okay, but South Africa was too strong. As you read it the Nassau Cricket Stadium is once again a parkland in Long Island. Nothing on New York itself which was a great host with travel and everything being so well organised, but I would have liked to have seen a legacy. Plus my goodness the outfield was slow.

I’m not sure what the legacy post T20 World Cup is for Cricket in the USA is. I feel it may have something there, but for me, I ticked off one item from my list of 50 before I’m 50, and had a cracking holiday. A genuine holiday of a lifetime.

49 to go!

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