Something From The Weekend: India does it without Sachin; Brown and Boyle square up; They don't care about us

The Good, The Bad and The Odd
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The Independent Online

The Good

India does it without Sachin

The only shame was that it could not be Tendulkar. For all the sins of Indian cricket, chiefly the infliction of another two-month revenue-monster starting this week, there is something stirring about a host nation winning a World Cup. The unity of team, audience and country in success is touching, even if the schmaltz of Invictus is not needed to remind us. If there was one thing that could have made it even more Hollywood, though, it would have been a Sachin Tendulkar ton. The icon of the game could only make 18 of India's 277 runs. A World Cup-winning century would have sounded a note as perfect as had Donald Bradman averaged 100. Like the Don, the Little Master is left with a beautiful imperfection.

The Bad

Brown and Boyle square up

Who says that hot heads cool with age? When Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist exchanged pleasantries after a recent Old Firm game it was explained away by some as an overhang of the dressing room mentality. Lennon only stopped playing in 2008, and can be forgiven for attempting to re-create the pitch battles from the technical area. This is less true, though, for Craig Brown. The 70-year-old Aberdeen manager had to be separated from Motherwell chairman John Boyle after Saturday's match, with ill-feeling between the pair lingering after Brown left Fir Park for Pittodrie in December. It is a sign of rude health that he can rouse himself for such squabbles, although, having last played in 1971, he cannot use the Lennon excuse.

The Odd

They don't care about us

"If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift, they can go to hell," said Mohamed al-Fayed after unveiling the bizarre new Michael Jackson statue outside Craven Cottage. "I don't want them to be fans," he continued. "If they don't believe in things I believe in they can go to Chelsea." Which shows the discordance between the values of the owner and the club. With a traditional ground set in a leafier corner of SW6, there are few places worse suited to an aggrandised tribute to the King of Pop. Fulham fans, bewildered at the imposition of such vulgarity, hearing that they should follow a team where such a gesture would be more plausible can be forgiven their incredulity.