Fez cap, the Welsh flag (as a cape) and Indian garb a group of 20 or so men arrived at the R Premadasa Stadium with bags of food and umbrellas.
What were they doing at the Sri Lanka-New Zealand game? They thought, five or six months ago, that this would be the India semifinal and booked tickets and hotels. After India tied with England and South Africa overachieved (!) in the first round, it was confirmed that India would finish second in the group, effectively taking their semifinal to Mohali.
“We knew it would be India-Pakistan here but now we have to see this game. It is still okay, Sri Lanka are a good team,” said one of them.
With so much madness for a ticket in Mohali for “that” game, one member of this Indo-Welsh contingent said he prefers to stay in a more enjoyable place. “I don't like all the war references.”
A DIFFERENT TIE EVERYDAY
During the Sri Lanka leg of the World Cup, Trevor Chesterfield's choice of tie has been a talking point in the press box.
The 85-year-old cricket writer is the most popular man with the journalists and it is with great curiosity that everyone waits for “Trevor” to wear a cricket tie. “My grandfather told me that you always have to wear a tie and a jacket. You may have to go to a wedding or a funeral so you will always have to be ready,” said the man with a 55-year career in cricket journalism, covering more than 200 Tests and 400 ODIs.
The first tie for the New Zealand-born Chesterfield was given by his elder brother, a World War II marine. “But my first cricket tie was an umpire's tie I received in New Zealand,” he informed.
On Tuesday, he chose to wear one with both the New Zealand and Sri Lanka logos in it, part of a collection that exceeds the 100-mark.
Three deliveries into Lasith Malinga's second spell (or second over), he nearly took off Martin Guptill's right foot. Luckily for Guptill, he could move it away at the last second but what resulted was even more breathtaking. Malinga's yorker, an almost routine event these days, took out Guptill for 39 in the 22nd over.
Nearly as fast as that yorker was the speed at which people around the world reacted to the delivery; tweeted Harsha Bhogle, the noted commentator: “What a yorker from Malinga? Is there a better bowler of that ball?”
The March 30 India-Pakistan semifinal and Muttiah Muralidaran's retirement are already trending on Twitter but Malinga, for 20 minutes or so, was on top of that list.
Tweets flew in from all directions, some saying how cute Malinga is while some were reminded of Waqar Younis. Commentator Tom Moody supplied a bit of background too into the making of these fast toe-crushers: Malinga practices yorkers by bowling at a pair of cricket boots placed in front of the stumps.