Sunday, 2 August 2009

My Education Continues...

I was given a little further instruction in the intricacies of cricket after Mass today. For the first time ever, I took a particular interest in Sky Sports in the Parish Club. I am intrigued by how the pace of the game actually allows in-depth discussion of tactics and explanations to blondes who are trying to get the general hang of things... and yet, it's compulsive viewing.

I am really getting the cricketing bug (should that be known as getting the grasshopper?) and spent lunch checking the score on my mobile phone; now I have Test Match Special playing on the computer while I blog. This is something I never thought possible...

Today I have been reflecting on how, on Thursday, England threw away a perfectly good advantage over Australia, because it was the gentlemanly thing to do... there are no substitutes in cricket (well, not for batting or bowling) and so England could have forced Australia to play with only ten men, meaning that they'd only need to take nine wickets to get them all out...

I also learned about commentator gamesmanship: especially the particularly ungentlemanly tactic of asking a direct question just after the person has taken a large mouthful of cake. Apparently, cake features quite a bit in cricket commentary.

I was momentarily quite pleased with myself when, looking at a player on the screen, I managed to identify the leg side... only to be informed that this was only correct if the player was right-handed. I learned about leg-byes, byes, extras and dollying up (I may have mis-heard, or mis-spelled, that last one: whacking the ball up in the air...) as well as preparing cricket pitches.

It also seems that the umpire's word is law: a player (or ball) is out if the umpire says he (or it) is out... and, while a day's play might be extended (subject to light and weather) in order to make up for time lost earlier in the match, the match will not extend beyond the five days. That seems a little unfair on all those spectators who bought tickets for Saturday's play, but perhaps they get refunds...

I doubt that my interest in cricket will ever extend to making tea and sandwiches in the pavillion, but I'm definitely hooked as a spectator. Ooh. Katich has just been caught out. Nine wickets to go... and now Ponting's just been bowled out by Swann... Eight and counting...

7 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

I'm a little surprised you are so late to the game, being English yourself. Didn't you play that in school a bit? I can see why you like it. Here baseball is also very much a "head game" for tactics.l

Mac McLernon said...

Only went to girls' schools... and in my day they didn't play cricket. Not having brothers, I had no exposure to the game... and I only found people willing to spend time and effort on explanations by accident, very recently!

Football is more popular in the UK - or, rather, it's hyped more - and had more TV coverage.

Oh, and I'm not English...

;-)

Ttony said...

Glad to see you getting to grips with sport. Well done!

Now, get the chaps in the pav - oops! the Parish Club - to take you through the state of the Roses match here and you will start to learn that at the home of cricket, even better things than Test matches happen ...

Fiorella said...

I have NEVER understood the rules of cricket, which I fear leaves me somewhat unworthy of my naturalisation certificate, rather like not taking milk in my tea and not having a clue how to cook a Shepherd's Pie (or having the slightest inclination to do so). I do know all the words to Land of Hope and Glory though...

gemoftheocean said...

Mac, where were you born?

Mac McLernon said...

London... but I once told my father that I was English on that account, and he nearly had apoplexy!

"Just because you're born in a pigsty doesn't make you a pig!" he exclaimed.

This upset me somewhat, as I pointed out (12 year-old innocent that I was) that I didn't know the French for "quarter German, quarter Prussian, half Scot" (I was just back from a school trip to France, which is how the conversation arose.)

Hestor said...

Get Andrew Bossi to teach you cricket. That's all you need.

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