There is joyful distraction and relief at the returning of sports in our lives. The world hungered for this moment, now more and more come, and here in Guyana many long for anything, any sport that could turn our eyes and minds away from the ugliness and barbarities that have taken up uninterrupted 24-hour residence in the form of elections.
From the British Isles, the English Premier league sprung into long awaited action a few matches ago. Already there have been some scintillating performances and goals in both the top tier and the FA Cup now at the semi-final stage. There is a lot of pent-up energy, and mostly stay-at-home viewers limited to television and cyberspace. It will have to do, and is better than nothing. The world needs the thrill and momentary immersion offered by sports, if only to anesthetize from pandemic pains and losses.
The Italian, German, and Spanish football leagues already took to the fields throughout Europe. Messi and Ronaldo reminding us Guyanese how backward and wayward we are, and the heavy prices we pay for our electoral farces and the failures that come from them. Guyanese need sports-truth be told, anything-to refocus them on the real world and away from this dark and nasty one that is ours in this ruptured state, to drag us away from shrewd and scandalous political leaders, and back to living again. Daily we die with our eyes blank and on our knees.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is about ready to go, with other big time sports weighing and readying carefully. Time to get down to business, to get it on. Let the games begin.
Still, empty stadiums have to be an eerie experience, whether in close audience, or more distant television viewing. That excited surge of volumes at high decibel and ringing cheers are not there, but it is the best that is permissible at the moment. Starving sports fans will take whatever comes their way, while they long for more, quick return to goal line and boundary line and the line drawn at not deigning to dabble with wrestling. The bottom line is that, like other closed sectors, sport is hurting. Association football, American Football, basketball, and the like across almost all sports are bleeding financially. Once prosperous sports businesses are under siege and are under pressure to do some serious reengineering.
On the cricket front, the covers are being gently removed from grounds that have been fallow. The thwack of bat and ball bounced, the roar of the crowd, the heat of battles fought in the fiercest of fires. English Count cricket, a much followed, much watched mainstay of the sport is scheduled for a start on August 1. Keen spectators will have to be content with more watching from a greater distance than was the norm. There is no old norm anymore; for the time being, this is the new norm. It is time for the men and women of the game to suit up and slash and slog away at whatever is hurled their way or spins away from them. No matter how far away, it is a sight for sore eyes, a thrill to just read in the dailies and on the internet. Bring it on. And this is just what the West Indies test team is in England to do: bring their A game.
The West Indies tour of England is underway and involves a three match test series; and players had their first intra-squad knock-up at Old Trafford recently. It will have to do, as we gear up for the real thing soon. We will know soon if they are ready and can compete with the bigger dogs at higher levels. Additionally, the virus-decimated Pakistani test team readies for its own introduction and baptism in August. The team needs this, hundreds of millions in this psychologically drained and spirit starved world could use any respite that they get. Bring it on down.
There has been enough of the nostalgic material from the archives and memory lanes of past glory. All the outlets from ESPN to some local media entities have presented flashbacks of what was. It is time for the real thing.
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