Originally Posted by Pedro Delgado
Brazil sadly is all about Nike these days, well has been since the '98 final really; the team I used to love is now a marketing machine.
More of a League man myself, don't think NZ have won a World Cup at Union so I'm not sure where you're going with that, I'm a romantic so can sort of see what you mean, supporting the men who ultimately have no balls etc but play attractively, they are the Croatia of rugby perhaps, such a little place.
As for West Indies, bollocks. I remember the days of the black washes, the Islands' juggernaut that had no sympathy for anyone; they can have another few years in the wilderness for me.
E2A: and really, a few wins in a warm up for the WC isn't really a "re-emergence of the Windies", they need to start winning Test series', plus they lost to us which is unforgivable in ODIs if you fancy yourself.
I think someone once said of Brazil that England may've invented football, but Brazil perfected it. That's pretty much what I mean with the ABs & the Windies. They might not have won Bill since 1987, but the All-Blacks play Rugby with an instinct & a verve that we can only aspire to. Where our backs see a wall of defenders, their best players see the space. When one sees the best Brazilians they look like they might have been designed with football in mind; with the profusion of Maori, Samoan & Tongan blood in NZ one can say the same of New Zealanders & Rugby.
I guess because they were so dominant in my formative years the idea of the Windies being the premier test nation has stuck with me. In the 80s the idea of us taking a test from them, much less a series, seemed insane. Their bowling may've lacked variety & even much subtlety, but one couldn't help but marvel at the athleticism of yer Marshalls, yer Bishops & yer Pattersons.
I agree with what you say about the Windies not sympathising with our plight over the nigh-on three decades they consistently rolled us over but much as you despair of Nike's involvement with Brazil, all the reports of the influence of (shudder) American sports in the Caribbean brings out my peculiarly English paternalistic concern for their future as a cricketing nation. I'll only be happy when they're dicking us 5-zip again.