A Rebuttal to my Cricket Commentary
By a guest blogger
On May 28th last, I posted a blog about cricket in which I said cricket was a boring game both to play and to watch and, at times, exceedingly dangerous. I expected a rebuttal and sure enough it came in the form of a long e-mail from a cricket enthusiast in Australia, a country known for its love of the game. The author wishes to remain anonymous but has given me permission to post his comments as a guest blogger. He uses a lot of Australian slang and it might help if you open a couple of reference websites before you dive into his rebuttal. I found the Koalanet and Goingrank sites useful. Here is his e-mail, unaltered.
G’day mate and greetings from Down Under. I took a gander at your Cricket Commentary blog on your website and, strewth, you’ve got it all wrong. Cricket ain’t boring; it’s a fair dinkum game that teaches you how to be a good team player, be patient, and how to strategise based on the strengths and weaknesses of the players: who bowls, who bats, who fields, where they field, etc. The game’s also very exciting but before I get into that let me first point out one big error in your blog: nobody but nobody bowls a cricket ball at 93 mph (except maybe the Rawalpindi Express, Shoaib Akhtar) and even if they did by the time the ball reaches the batsman its speed is seriously reduced by air resistance and by the bounce on the pitch. Prior to the bounce, air resistance slows the ball by around 12% and depending on the impact angle and a whole bunch of other factors such as pitch condition and ball spin, the contact with the pitch further reduces the speed by anything up to 40%. So, a ball that starts at, say, 62 mph could be down to 33 mph by the time it reaches the batter.
Back to the game however. I started playing cricket at my school in Brissy and went on to play several times for Brisbane Heat down the Gabba. I was an ace batsman but bowling was not my bowl of rice if you get my drift. I was as useless as an ashtray on a motorbike. I couldn’t get into the curves, swerves and spins of bowlers like Shane Warne, Saeed Ajmal or even your Graeme Swann or in the old days, “Deadly Derek” (Underwood). But, I could bat like a good ‘un. The bowlers couldn’t pin a dingo’s donger on me! I was up there with Bradman, Sobers, Tendulkar and Richards. I knew where the sweet spot was, how to angle the bat, how to time the stroke, and I knocked that ball all over the place.
I’m getting’ on a bit now, mate, so I’m more a spectator – down the Gabba or I just veg out in front of the box. You’ve obviously not heard of the one day Twenty20 matches (20 overs per side) or the One-Day Internationals (50 overs per side). Crikey, there’s excitement hard to beat at some of these matches. Go to YouTube and look for the 2007 India v. Pakistan T-20. The Bluees won by just 5 runs. Or the 2011 West Indies v. Bangladesh T-20. The Tigers needed 4 runs to win with just 2 balls left and batsman Rahim Mushfiqur facing the bowler. He smashed a massive 6 to bag the game. That was a beaut, a real corker of a shot!
Check out also the 2006 Australia v. South Africa ODI. The Baggy Greens scored a stupendous 434 runs for 4 wickets in 50 overs but still the Proteas beat us. What a match.
You mentioned the boredom of the 5-day Test matches. Too right! I tend to agree but if the sun’s out and you’re watching the game from a good pozzy, with an amber fluid longneck coldie in a stubby holder, cut lunch and a slab in your esky, sunnies well hoisted and your cook or your mates by your side, what’s there to complain about? And what about the 2005 Ashes? You bastards won but look at the suspense of the second match when you won by just 2 runs, and the fourth by just 3 wickets. The final result wasn’t known until the last hour of the last day of the last match. Michael Vaughan was grinning like a shot fox.
As we Aussies say, it’s just not cricket to complain about cricket. I mean to say; you Pommies invented the game.
One last thing. You mentioned looking at pretty girls as an alternative to playing cricket. If you ever make it Down Under, go to Brissy’s Streets Beach at South Bank and have good perve at the sheila’s. You might spot a white pointer!
Yours affectionately, …
Well, I guess my man from Oz has a few points, and choice terms, and I don’t mind publishing the alternative viewpoint. He’s right in that I didn’t know about the T-20s and the ODIs and they do seem to be far more interesting than the 5-day Test matches. Maybe I’ll give it a shot.
Bails pocketed, stumps drawn and game over.
Who is this Aussie guy? I like his style, I like his sentiment – I actually like cricket – it’s “fair dinkum”! Mozz
Mark Bennetts said:
So I assume the Aussie is called Ben Bennetts???
Ben Bennetts said:
Right on cobber, right on! You would never expect a real Aussie to write like that, would you? Or would you?
I’m not a cricket fan but I also liked this comment from the Aussie guy especially ‘if the sun’s out and you’re watching the game from a good pozzy, with an amber fluid longneck coldie in a stubby holder, cut lunch and a slab in your esky, sunnies well hoisted and your cook or your mates by your side, what’s there to complain about?’.
Now that I’m in my dotage I think I could even join in and pretend to watch a game and enjoy the socialisation of it all and hopefully not get hit on the head by a ball in excess of 33 mph.
Maybe the next cousins reunion!
Just love the reply from Mr. Aussie as did Rog – puts a whole new light on cricket for you – I agree it is a sociable and very civilized event but I must say a test match is not my favourite until it gets a tad exciting!!
Come and watch Hungerford play one day when you’re down this way!
As a cricketing ‘Pom’ it grieves me to compliment an Aussie regarding cricket but this guy knows his stuff! He has obviously played cricket to a high level and I hate to add that, in the history of cricket, two of the fastest bowlers ever are Brett Lee and Jeff Thompson – both Aussies – dammit!
Who is this guy? I’d like to meet him over a couple of ‘amber fluids’ for a discussion on the finer points of cricket.
Ben Bennetts said:
Thanks John. I copied your comments to my man in Australia. Here is his reply:
Bloody hell, you’ve a good memory mate! Brett has only recently retired but he was a very fast pace bowler. I think he stonked up a 99.9 mph against the Black Caps in 2005. As for Thommo, yeah he might have had a few roos loose in the top paddock but he certainly took your boys out back in the seventies. We should raise a Four X tinny to both of them.
We should indeed – do they sell it at Suan Thai???
Ben Bennetts said:
Oops, I’ve been rumbled. I doubt if the Suan Thai sells XXXX but they sell Singha and Chang, either of which is okay by me. We’ll have to talk Strine all evening!
I thought this might have been you but decided to play along anyway. You confirmed it to me when you said you had ‘copied your comments to my man in Australia’. Why? He could/would have read the blog. Oh and I did like some of your comments as I said previously.
Totally rumbled Ben! Good research though. Suggest you have a crack at watching the England vs. New Zealand ODI on Friday and submit a brief (if possible) summary!
See you for some Strine with a stubby next week!!