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.