The Kenyan lion roared.
Internationalists and sports fans among our readers will know that this week sees the beginning of the two-month marathon that is the World Cup cricket
championships. The major cricketing nations (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, England, and New Zealand) have been joined by six other teams that have, rather unfortunately, been called "the minnows." These are Bangladesh, Scotland, Ireland, Kenya, Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, and Canada. Cricket has always been seen as a rather insular sport, founded on the impact of the British Empire and immune to the winds of modernity. These "minnows" show that cricket is broadening its appeal.
Furthermore, cricket is becoming one of the best sports for international and interracial cooperation. Consider the team Canada fielded yesterday against a strong Kenyan side: Of the eleven players, two were actually born in Canada (Ian Billcliff and John Davison of British Columbia). Geoff Barnett was born in New Zealand, Abdool Samad and Sunil Dhaniram in Guyana, and Anderson Cummins in Barbados. Ashish Bagai was born in Delhi and Qaiser Ali hails from Rawalpindi in the Punjab. Ashif Mulla entered the world in Gujarat province, and Umar Bhatti in Lahore. Last but not least, the fast bowler Henry Osinde began life in Uganda twenty-eight years ago before joining his teammates in 2006.
Canada, therefore, may have issues over its national identity, and may one day split between its Francophone and Anglophone provinces, but its national team is a shining example of the possibilities of integration and cooperation. Unfortunately, its team lost by seven wickets.