The first thing I did this week, as I celebrated my birthday, was watch cricket at 3:30 in the morning.
Shortly after I had cut my birthday cake and blown the candles, my elder son said he was going to stay up all night to watch the first day of the ICC World Cup Cricket tournament.
This tournament, which is a highly anticipated event for all cricket lovers, comes once every four years. Similar to the Olympics, the tournament is probably one of the biggest money spinners of all time – especially for South Asians – and betting in the world cup runs into millions of dollars worldwide.
For South Asians around the world, including Canada, this is their Super Bowl and I know that my son is just one of the millions of South Asians who have to sit up the night to see it play out in the Asian subcontinent where it, of course, is sunny mid morning.
Played by 13 cricket-loving countries around the world, including Canada, the ICC World Cup runs from Feb. 19 to April 2 in various cities in Asia including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
And so, as I sat in my living room wondering how long I had to stay awake past midnight my son whispered that it would be only another two hours before the game began. He then suggested that in the meantime we could sit and download songs from his laptop onto my new iPod that he had given me as a gift for my birthday.
Not wanting to displease my son, I relented and surprisingly had super fun doing so. At almost 3 a.m., I watched the first match between India and Bangladesh begin. Of course after 20 minutes, I couldn’t keep my eyes open and retired to bed. My son watched the game until he finally fell asleep on the couch at 5 a.m. India outdid Bangladesh winning over 360 runs.
In comparison, the Canadian team was outwitted badly by Sri Lanka by over 232 runs in the opening match on Feb. 20.
And even as the Delhi-born captain of the Canadian team, Ashish Bagai, tried to defend Canada’s dismal performance, (talking about the hot weather and its effect on his teammates), it is almost clear that Canada as a cricket team has to really struggle to even qualify in the main matches, that are soon to follow later in the month. Canada has about six players from the Indian sub-continent on their team.
However, they have to get a big dose of funding from sponsors, here and abroad, who are ready to pump those extra dollars to make sure the team can win on the international stage. Canada’s next game is being played on Feb. 28 against Zimbabwe in Nagpur, India.