Wednesday, August 31

off-field

Some not so on-the-field-thoughts I liked reading.
The Spin (who had messed up his subscription list for a while, or did not like my email id too much) rethinks the possibility that cricket is the new football.

You know that cricket is finally making a mark on the nation's consciousness
when England players are the subjects of red-top kiss-and-tells. It is a fine
moment for our game.
Elsewhere, this trend of thought is called twaddle, and I can’t help but agree. But the point he makes is about cricket becoming popular amongst women, like so:

My own theory is that women are finding in cricket an antidote to just about all
the things that most of them detest about football: not merely the inescapable
ubiquity of the Premiership, both on television and in the conversation of their
male partners and friends, but its total lack of class.

Then Sue mott, who’s writing tone I liked when I first read this in july (seems so long ago), is grateful cricket is not football, nor will be.


Cricket will never be football, to its eternal relief. It will enjoy itself
during this lavish spell of fortune and capitalise on the benefits at grassroots
level that this wonderful Ashes series must produce. But Freddie Flintoff will
never be David Beckham, which is entirely good for Freddie Flintoff, and Kevin
Pietersen will only be Sir Elton John in the experimental hair-do
department.

But her process of recovery from Trentbridge makes even nicer reading with gems like this:
A perfectly sensible primary school teacher in her forties telephoned at this
point to report that if England lost she was going to hang herself from her
apple tree. And put the phone down. One might have alerted the Samaritans in
such circumstances but that would have meant missing the next ball. She'd have
to take her chances.
And this
Cricketers may have played finer innings, bowlers may have bowled better balls,
batsmen may have conjured truer shots but for sheer, knife-in-the-gut spectacle,
we have never seen anything like it.
Mark Nicholas, too, talks about the ability of this series to draw out the most unlikely of fans and followers- like his godson’s sisters.
...never, in the 16, 11 and eight years they have been on the planet - has any one
of them struck up a conversation about cricket. Were I to do so do, they would
probably go and play with the traffic.
Gideon Haigh (does he write everywhere?), besides his excellent tour diary on cricinfo, contemplates the chance that winning is wearisome for this Aussie side.
Ricky Ponting's Australians, by contrast, have sometimes looked very sated
indeed, like those handsome lions in wildlife documentaries apparently always
snoozing on the savannah after gorging on zebra. "Hunt?" they seem to say. "For
another camera crew? Forget it. I only work for Attenborough."
I don’t know. Its hardly thinkable that an Aussie is bored of 8 ashes wins. That's Ashes wins, mind you. Make no mistake, these lions are going to fight back. The only thing is, will they wait till they are down in this test as well, before getting fired up? This time, that could be too late- they have to hit the ground running at The Oval, at the risk of chipping their claws. Better a proud manicure later on than an embarassed licking what could be your own (very deep) wounds.

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