Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Cricket is one of those sports that I associate in my mind with colonialism, gin and tonics, and hot climates. I know very little about cricket, except that they play it in the former colonies and territories of the British Empire. Its rules escape me completely.

To me, cricket looks like some sort of school-related corporal punishment wherein people are paddled. I realize that smacking people on the bottom with the bats is NOT the purpose of the game, however I think that it might be a worthy addition to whatever rules already exist.

My boyfriend is a cricket fan. I think he actually understands what happens, because today he sent me this link, very excited about New Zealand winning something or another (he's from New Zealand - not some random New Zealandophile who also happens to be into cricket - that would just be odd). Now, I don't tend to get excited about things I don't understand, so I'm going to assume that he understands the game.

I have always abstractly understood that people get excited about cricket, but it seems very strange that real live people actually do. I guess people get excited about baseball as well, so I probably shouldn't make fun of sports involving people running around fields.

I decided to give the article a read, assuming it would be a fairly straightforward thing, written in clear, plain English. What I got was something quite different.

For example:
"Lara had made 30 when he was trapped plumb in front as he shuffled across to a ball that angled in to the stumps (105 for 4). And then Dwayne Bravo, whose unhappy sojourn in the middle had produced just 4 runs in 14 balls, flicked a delivery straight to Styris at midwicket."

Huh? What? Stumps? 105 for 4? 14 balls? Midwicket? There are a number of numbers that make it sound like my probability class in college - maybe cricket is really a statistical method of determining the odds of amputees getting drunk that night.

Another gem:

"New Zealand's innings had been built around a classy 67 from Stephen Fleming, and a first-wicket partnership of 120 with Nathan Astle (57). But they lost their way in the home stretch, losing their last seven wickets for just 49 runs. Sarwan was the unlikely bowling star, scalping 3 for 31 – including the wicket of Cairns – and Tino Best, who had taken fearful punishment in his opening spell, then came back to mop up the last vestiges of resistance."

So now this has turned into a bowling alley, where things are scalped (possibly the players?) and people are punished (presumably with the bats). But never fear - at least the 67 is classy (how numbers can be classy is beyond me). Since the innings were 'built' around this number, it seems like at least part of cricket operates like bingo where you start building from a starting number to form a row. There is also the wicket of Cairns, which sounds like a magical artifact that gives certain teams special powers ("With the wicket of Cairns in my possession - I now cast FIRE upon you!").

In short - cricket involves amputees, statistics, bowling, bingo, beatings, scalpings and possibly some magical artifacts. Hey - it doesn't sound half bad, now, does it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One is forced to point out that this is hardly “New Zealand winning something or another” but a one-day international series final played at Lord’s the home of the MCC and birthplace of the formal laws of cricket.

For a History of cricket go to:

btw HTML does not appear to be working in the comments section

3:23 PM  

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