Cricket: The voice of the cup - an Oz in India

World Cup Diary

SINCE TEST Match Special was a bright and articulate youngster, and long before it grew into a strapping but self-satisfied adult, it has been the fashion to listen to its commentaries while watching the game on television. This probably still holds good in many households, but a new way of watching has now emerged.

This is to watch the television while following the written description of play being delivered on the internet, particularly on the CricInfo web site. During this World Cup, a chap called Travis Basevi is probably on the verge of achieving cult status.

Travis's love for the game is in no doubt. He follows it with a youthful passion and his declarations on the state of play are vigorous and immediate. Travis is to cricket commentary what, say, Bill and Ted were to Incredible Journeys: well-meaning but a touch off the wall.

He is a 24-year-old Australian who appears to be delivering commentary on most, though certainly not all, World Cup games and is doing so from India. This is partly because access to live games can be difficult, partly because not every ball of every game is being shown on television when the coverage is with the BBC ,which makes CricInfo ball-by-ball critique diifficult and partly because the web site's biggest office and following is in the sub-continent.

The site has been more ardently followed than a soap opera since the tournament began. And if it caters for every need of the anorak then it does not forget the polo shirt either. Travis has been exemplary, quick to describe, rapid to opine. "Six, big, big shot, he slides down the pitch and dispatches it into the river for a chilly English summer dip," he said when the Indians were belting the Sri Lankans into the Tone, and he had occasion to say it more than once.

"They're going to have to change the laws if this keeps going," he offered at more than one point. This is something of a catchphrase and an indication that Travis might be a bowler.

On the partnership between Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly he pronounced: "A divine partnership blessed by the deity surely - and I don't mean SRT." SRT being Sachin Tendulkar.

He is hard on some players, like the New Zealand dibbly-dobbly supremo: "One day [Gavin] Larsen will get blasted for 70 or 80 in a one-day international. I want to be there." He is hard on certain matches, like England v Zimbabwe: "Six scoring shots in the last six overs. What diabolical crap...the torture is over." Young Travis may be the first star of a new method of sporting coverage.

SPONSORS ARE being forced to protect what belongs to them - on the reasonable grounds that they have paid for it - in this tournament. There are four global partners, those who were prepared to cough up the biggest share of the loot: Vodafone, Pepsi, NatWest and Emirates Airlines.

Between them they have carved up certain name-check areas. Thus, NatWest and Emirates may be wanting a touch more rain because they are emblazoned on the covers (the Diary will be examining the topic of rain next week); Pepsi are all over the dinky little drinks carts; and Vodafone have the problem.

The mobile phone company has the rights to the fours and sixes posters now raised at grounds (fitting that because they can be as irritating as a ringing mobile) but are finding themselves cut off, so to speak, at the pass.

Interlopers are meeting fans at stations and handing out their own four and six placards. It is heartening that the carnival is provoking industrial espionage.

IT MAY not have occurred to the authorities but running on to the pitch - not a new phenomenon whatever Steve Waugh, an acknowledged cricket historian, may presume - is less to do with touching your idols or cuffing the opposition's, than gaining a memento. All the fans want, it looks from the Shrove Tuesday mass football game type scrum at both ends of the pitch, is what the players also traditionally make a dash for, a souvenir stump. The players could easily nip this in the bud. Surely only Inzamam, the great batsman and run-out specialist, should have trouble beating a fan to a stump.

WHEN WEST INDIES beat Scotland on Thursday they did so in the shortest match in World Cup history. Scotland batted, if, bless them, that is not to overestimate their skills, for 31.3 overs, West Indies knocked off the 69 required in 10.1 overs, a total of 41.4 overs.

In the second World Cup in 1979, England dismissed Canada for 45 and on a sporting pitch lost two wickets in securing victory. One-day cricket was different then, however. Canada held out for 40.3 overs (against the likes of Bob Willis, Mike Hendrick, Chris Old and Ian Botham - oh for that quartet now), England required 13.5 overs to win.

CARNIVAL CAPERS

SO far, there is no award - some oversight obviously - for public address announcer of the tournament. Pity Les Hart. Les could hardly put down the mike on Friday at Derby. "This is a very serious warning," he intoned when warning against going on to the playing area. "There will be no second chance." And when they invaded towards the end, Les was apoplectic: "Keep off the square, please. Oh, what's the use, you fools, you've ruined the whole day of good behaviour."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor