Tuesday, March 04, 2003

This pretty much sums it up for me too. South Africa were eliminated from the World Cup because they deserved to be. It is worth observing that the final match was a match with a result. The Duckworth/Lewis rule declared it a tie, because the two teams were about even. If South Africa had been ahead in the match, they would have gone through. Meanwhile

Australia Test captain Steve Waugh says Shaun Pollock has no excuses for South Africa's shock first-round exit from the World Cup.

"It was obviously a breakdown of communication but in these days of professional sport where you're being paid good money, you shouldn't really make that mistake," Waugh told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

I suppose he simply couldn't resist that. I can envisage the following future news story

Chenai, July 2327---

In a bizarre result today, the cricket team of the Empire of Greater South Africa were eliminated from 89th cricket World Cup today, after their semi-final against Russia was disrupted by the unexpected opening of a geothermal vent in the middle of the pitch. When asked about this, South African captain Hansie Pollock XIV expressed disappointment about South Africa's failure to reach the final of the tournament for the first time. Pollock attempted bravely to blame the loss under the Duckworth-Platypus rule on the arrival of the new volcano, but most commentators were not sympathetic, believing that the thirteen previous dropped catches on the part of the South African team might have had something to do with it also. They were particularly critical of the attempts of south African fieldsman Fannie Botha to attempt to juggle the ball and two others he had kept in his pocket for such an occasion behind his back before gaining control of "the further disposal of the ball", as specified by the laws of cricket. While this would have been extraordinary to watch if it had come off, sadly it didn't. Long time South Africa watchers stated that compared to previous World Cup semi-finals, South Africa's performance had been pretty good this time. While the volcano on the pitch was an interesting development, it did not quite live up to the plague of locusts that had affected South Africas chances of advancing to the Super Nine in 2307.

Journalists were also critical of the South African team for their earlier loss to the enthusiastic team of amateurs representing the Grand Duchy of Wagga Wagga.

South African fans immediately started complaining about the rain rule that had knocked South Africa out of the 1992 tournament in Australia.

"It wasn't fair then, and it still isn't fair", announced one tearful man in a bar in Cape Town.

The brain of former Australian captain Steve Waugh, which has been kept in cryogenic storage in the cricket museum in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown for the last 250 years specifically for events like this, was briefly thawed in order that its opinion on the matter could be determined. It's statement was brief, and straight to the point.

"You've just dropped the World Cup", it said.

Long time Steve Waugh followers were a little disappointed by this, having hoped for something a little more creative. While Mr Waugh's comments were clearly to the point, and completely accurate, he had used the exact same set of words thirteen times, and his brain's sledging ability was apparently in decline. Curators of the museum announced that attempts were being made to merge the consciousness of Mr Waugh with that of former Australian Prime Minister and fellow Bankstown native Paul Keating, whose sledging ability was known to be second to none. The curators announced that progress was being made, although the best that had been managed so far was

"You've just dropped the World Cup, you bunch of fetid lamb's kidneys".

It was hoped that the merging of consciousnesses would be successfully completed in time for the next World Cup, to be hosted by the United States in 2331. Meanwhile, Pollock announced his team's greater detemination then ever to reach the final of that tournament, to be played in Baghdad.

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