Sunday, March 05, 2006

LBW: Lump Before Wicket …

On his recent sub-continental trip, World President George ‘Dubya’ recently paid a visit to Pakistan. Needless to say, he had time to brush up on his geography onboard Air Force One, and once there, didn’t drink water from any taps and didn’t try the local delicacies (stomach cramps and incessant diarrhoea being the favoured for most foreign visitors).

Just before George rejoined Air Force One and it's air conditioning and uncontaminated sterlie surroundings, he had time for a quick game of cricket.

Yes, George played cricket.

For normal educated Americans, cricket is confusing enough but they can’t get their heads around the fact that at International level, one game lasts five days.

The game is, in itself, pretty easy to understand:

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

That was basically what Dubya was told …

Pakistan’s National Team, who are a pretty savvy bunch of players, took George into the nets and bowled him a few numbers with a tennis ball - a real cricket ball was deemed to be a tad too dangerous for El Presidente. I ought to point out that the whole affair took place heavily-guarded US embassy. At one point George, an avid Baseball fan, was hit by a ball on the shoulder.

When asked if he had enjoyed his first brush with the game, George replied "I don't quite have the skills yet."

President Bush met Pakistani cricket captain Inzaman-ul-Haq and opening batsman Salman Butt amid tight security at the US embassy in Islamabad.

Watched by a crowd of schoolchildren, he was shown the correct way of holding a cricket bat before being led to the crease to face some bowling.

A few minutes later (and after being hit by this wicked tennis ball) George then tried his hand at bowling. The resulting photograph says it all. Early release George, the ball’s going to go straight up …

Mr Bush told a dinner party on Saturday that he had been bowled over by a "googly" - a type of ball where the bowler seeks to surprise the batsman. Much the same when he tried to bowl Saddam a "googly" resulting in the second Gulf War. No weapons of mass destruction at this particular crease George …

Hat’s off to you GW, you gave it a go … but, like the Presidency, it doesn't quite suit you.



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