Smith starved of runs

WORLD CUP DIARY

ROBIN SMITH, who missed England's first game against New Zealand because of a groin injury, has some serious catching up to do if he is to have any chance of winning a wager he made with Gary Kirsten on England's recent tour to South Africa. Smith, always keen for that little extra to concentrate the mind, bet Kirsten a slap-up meal for whoever scored more World Cup runs.

Imagine the sinking feeling in Smith's already well-churned stomach when he waltzed into Karachi's swish airport to find that Kirsten had scored 188 against the UAE. His only comment after immediately declaring himself fit for today's match, also against the UAE - "Gutted!"

DIPLOMACY has not really been anyone's strong point in this tournament. Richie Richardson, the West Indies captain, is especially snappy, miffed perhaps that his team is not being taken seriously as a contender. "Who will win the World Cup?" he was asked. "Kenya," came the reply. "Who'll open the batting?" "Maybe Walsh or Ambrose."

THE authorities in Ahmedabad, where England played New Zealand last week, kept journalists out of certain practice sessions on the basis that they could be "likely assassins". Something that has probably crossed Ray Illingworth's mind too.

THOSE all-rounders such as Wasim Akram, Steve Waugh and Brian McMillan who might have thought that they could be the men of the tournament start at something of a disadvantage to Kenya's vice-captain, Asif Karim. Aside from representing his country at cricket since 1980, the versatile slow left-armer has also played Davis Cup tennis for Kenya. "My tennis international was against Egypt in 1988, but I only had 24 hours' notice because our No1, Paul Wekesa, was barred from playing," recalled the 32-year-old. "I lost both singles and the doubles."

Karim has also recently taken up golf. He managed a hole-in-one on his first outing.

RELIEF at last for all those starting to feel despondent about the alcohol- free path England appear to be treading in their group matches. First there was Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, the only dry state in India, and now Pakistan, which is notorious for its purge on tipplers.

Not so in Peshawar, where trading is a way of life and legality, moral or otherwise, is rarely grappled with. At the Pearl Continental hotel, where gentlemen are required to hand over their firearms at reception, Murree beer is available, providing one confesses to being an alcoholic and signs the appropriate document.

EARLIER this month, England's nominated umpire, David Shepherd, was on the field at Lord's modelling the new black coat and trousers that the officials are to wear during the tournament. Snow lay all around, and Shepherd was glad of what little protection the garb afforded. On Friday he was found in Cuttack, where the temperature was touching 30C, surveying the outfield and yearning for the reflective qualities of the traditional white. "I don't think we'll be wearing those coats much," the ample ump whispered through the perspiration.

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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

Recruitment Genius: Cleaner / Caretaker / Storeman

£15500 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has become available...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Sales - SaaS B2B

£60000 - £120000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This conference call startup i...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital and print design a...

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms