Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
- Up close with the Masters of Time and landing a big Hennessy scoop - December 5, 2023
- Spell it backwards or forwards, wow is wow - December 2, 2023
- Typecast at Hong Kong Airport with a beautiful reminder from Hermès - November 21, 2023
I must be working too hard. For having pulled out my laptop in preparation for catching up on work during the three-hour flight from Hong Kong to Busan, South Korea, I promptly fell asleep long before take-off and only woke to see the vast expanse of the Republic’s second city stretching out below.
In the intervening hours I had a dream. Actually a nightmare. It went something like this…
It’s the semi-final of the Cricket World Cup, my country New Zealand are playing the hosts and hot favourites India at a packed-out Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
In a shock move, recently retired English rugby referee Wayne Barnes has been appointed umpire of this knockout contest. Yes, the same Mr Barnes who refereed the Rugby World Cup final between South Africa (12) and the All Blacks (11) just a couple of weeks ago and sent off New Zealand captain Sam Cane. The poor man copped so much online abuse after that game and earlier Ireland v All Blacks quarter final that he promptly went into retirement.
Back to my dream. India are going along nicely at 90-1 in the 12th over. New Zealand fast bowling ace Trent Boult is returning for his second spell. Facing him is India captain and global superstar Virat Kohli, already looking ominous on 42 not out.
Boult bowls. It’s a peach of a ball, full, swinging late just outside the off stump. Kohi reaches for it. Nicks it! And it’s through to keeper Tom Latham who takes the catch!
Barnes’ finger goes up. Out! Kohli tucks his bat under his arm and trudges dejectedly towards the pavilion while the Kiwis celebrate.
Suddenly Barnes starts to look concerned as a message comes through his earphone. He nods, then nods again. To the astonishment of the crowd and the Kiwis, he makes the sign to overrule his decision. Kohli is not out!
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson runs over to protest.
“Sir, what’s happening? It was a clean catch from a legitimate ball!”
“Sorry skipper, TMO has overruled it. Trent bowled a no-ball five overs ago. I didn’t spot it, sorry. Wicket overruled.”
“TMO? What TMO? You can’t do that,” Williamson retorts, gesturing angrily, now almost nose to nose with Barnes. “You cannot possibly overrule a legitimate wicket because of something that happened five overs earlier.”
The usually unflappable Kiwi captain is apoplectic, howling in protest. Then the unbelievable happens. Barnes reaches into his pocket and pulls out a red card, which he flashes in front of Williamson.
“You led that protest with your head. No attempt to lower your shoulders or your voice. There’s a high degree of danger and there’s no mitigation. Off you go Sam!”
“I’m not Sam, I’m Kane? This is outrageous?”
“Kane or Cane. Makes no difference. You’re Kane and I’m able, alright? Off you go son!!”
“You’ve got the wrong Kane…” But Williamson’s protests are drowned in the tumultuous roar of the Indian crowd, delighted their hero is still in and his opposite skipper well and truly out.
Kohi goes on to score a brilliant 134 not out, leading his team to a daunting 353 for 7. New Zealand, minus their red-carded skipper, fight tenaciously but fall agonisingly one run short. The Cricket World Cup is India’s and Kane joins Cane in Kiwi sporting ignominy.
Like all bad dreams there was one good aspect. It ended. Not, I am happy to say, with the cabin crew holding me down as I screamed out loud, “You’ve got the wrong Kane…”
So let’s focus on the real match instead. Courtesy of this Blog’s great sponsor, House of Sōmrus, and its travel retail agent Duty Free Global, I’m offering a trio (or in cricket parlance a hat trick) of the outstanding Sōmrus Chai, Coffee and Mango cream liqueurs to a lucky reader who wins our Cricket World Cup competition below.
Mind you, I reckon US-based, India-born House of Sōmrus Founder Pankaj K (PK) Garg is as confident of his team’s prospects as he is of having created one of the world’s great drinks success stories of the past decade.
You can read my fascinating interview with him here, in which he describes how he and his wife Swati came up with the Sōmrus recipe in their home kitchen as they strove to create the world’s first Indian cream liqueur.
India play New Zealand (the Black Caps) on 15 November. The reader who most accurately answers the following questions will win our prize*.
- Who will win the semi-final, India or New Zealand?
- Who will be man of the match?
- Who will top score for India?
- Who will top score for New Zealand?
- How many runs will the winning team make?
Send your entries to me headed ‘India v New Zealand cricket’ at Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com