OK American sports fans—mark your calendars for next week. The mighty Americans take on New Zealand on the first day Friday the 10th) of an international cricket competition. Now you might be forgiven if you think that this is some minor tournament where the Kiwis will show up with their ‘B’ or ‘C’ side, thrash the US and go home; but it is in fact the second most important international cricket tournament (after the cricket world cup) and all of the big boys will show up with their best players. So the US amateurs will be facing a professional team (currently ranked third in the world)—and our guys are not nearly the caliber of even the better, non-international teams of the major cricket playing countries. It will be more or less like a reasonably good NCAA division II team playing a playoff caliber NFL team. But more fun awaits on Monday, when the Americans take on the Aussies. The current Australian one-day team is ranked number one in the world and is also the reining world cup champions. They have won (I think) 12 straight one-day tournaments and are generally considered one of the best one-day teams to have ever played the game (though perhaps a bit in decline). So this will be like a good recreational league champion playing the ’27 Yankees. The team with the best record (single round robin) from each 3-team pool advances to the semi-finals. I would not expect to find any odds on the US chances. Why do we do this?