Lynn Dike

Sporting heaven

2007-09-19 09:15

Lynn Dike

As I write this I am filled with excitement, practically vibrating in my own skin. And what has got me into this state, you may ask?

Well, the current plethora of sporting events of course - the inaugural Twenty20 and the Rugby World Cup. It's like my birthday and Christmas, all rolled into one, and just the thought of all the games ahead are enough to make my cerebellum fuse.

The only downside to the Twenty20 spectacular is the fact that my office is directly across the road from the Wanderers Cricket Stadium. This means that to get to my desk every day I have to circumnavigate 30 000 spectators, a legion of officials, a couple of cricket teams, a gazillion metro police officers, a herd of police horses, a gaggle of dancing boys and girls, around 300 ice-cream sellers, an army of street vendors selling flags from every country known to man and a partridge in a pear tree thrown in for good measure.

The journey takes roughly two days, and that's if you take a few shortcuts through neighbourhood backyards. But there's something wonderfully magical about the start of a major international sporting event. Anything is possible and there is every chance that South Africa will win, at which stage I will swoon with delight.

It's like being a small child the night before Christmas. While you know that it's highly likely that there will be a tricycle waiting for you under the tree in the morning, on Christmas Eve there is still the possibility that it might be the monster quad bike that you really had your heart set on.

Cricket World Cup

Because I've forgotten all about the heartbreak of the Cricket World Cup in the West Indies earlier in the year and the three months of therapy it required to get over the emotional trauma. (Well probably less "forgotten" than "blocked out of my memory")

I'm one of those hopelessly optimistic people who get very excited at the prospect of winning, without worrying about the possible disappointment of losing.

I love cricket and rugby with fervour and passion and I think our cricket and rugby teams are marvellous. I wouldn't miss a game for anything, whether we're playing Australia, the Netherlands or the united nations of Jupiter.

I'm even one of Graeme Smith's greatest fans. Yip, it's his parents and me, the Smith Supporters Club. (All the rest of you who hate Graeme can now proceed directly to the comments section at the bottom of the page and give it your best shot; I am impervious to your anti-Smithie propaganda.) And when Polly is at his miserly best, AB is patrolling backward point and Albie Morkel has just hit the biggest six of the Twenty20 tournament so far, life is good.

I read this week that France has fallen in love with the Springboks. And who can blame them. Take Schalk Burger for example. With that thatch of white-blonde hair he looks like a giant six-year old, and while he may be prone to the odd act of mild thuggery, he is our thug and we wouldn't trade him for the world and can't wait until he is back in action.

Rugby's best

Our boys are playing some damn fine rugby and are starting to look like serious contenders for the crown of rugby's best. Fourie du Preez, arguably the best scrumhalf in the world; Bryan Habana, the master of the explosive interception try and Percy, with his impeccable place-kicking, you just have to love them.

And I want them to win, desperately. I'd give my right arm for both teams to win. Actually, maybe not my arm, but somebody else's arm I'm sure.

I'd make a terrible Miss World contestant, because when the archetypal beauty queen question arose and all the other girls said that they wanted world peace, I'd say I wanted South Africa to win every cricket and rugby world cup from now until eternity. And then Miss Australia would sledge me, Miss New Zealand would start to make aggressive dance moves and Miss England would try to get me to compete on her behalf, and it would be a disaster.

So right now, when both our rugby and cricket teams are unbeaten in their respective competitions and looking good, all is well in my world. And the idea that our winning ways may yet end in disaster is simply not an option to be considered.

If we should lose I will be in bed until Christmas, with the curtains drawn and the covers pulled over my head, making a high-pitched keening sound that is only audible to dogs. But until then, I'm just about the happiest person around, so excuse me if I rush off, I think there's a game about to start.

Send your comments to Lynn .

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