When talking cricket, one has to be careful because there are now so many forms of the game (and new mutations are a daily affair) that, in this regard, the game could be easily compared to COVID and the cure thereof.
The biggest supporters of the game come from the “Empire” states which, in the not too distant part, were ruled by Britain. The game’s biggest opponent is the players of big boys “rounders” – The USA. Their antipathy appears to arise from a combination of limited short term concentration ability and a complete misunderstanding of the purpose and processes which apply in cricket.
The purpose of the game is to wreak havoc on your opponents in the most polite manner possible. This is achieved by outsmarting, out-planning, out-thinking and out-playing your opponents by guile, intimidation (both physical and, particularly if you are Australian, verbal) and misrepresentation. This is achieved by one, or more, or the following actions by the “Fielding” side:
- Bowling the ball at the head or body of the person batting, hoping that you cause them injury or induce such fear that they forget to defend their wicket;
- Bowling the ball at the legs of the Batter, in the hope that they are standing in line with the wicket, which then places them “leg before Wicket”, a dismissable offence;
- Intimidating the batsmen by surrounding him so closely with as many fielders as possible. These persons then cast unpopular aspersions on the batsmen, his fellow players, their antecedents and progeny and, eventually, their lack of ability or endurance; and
- Confusing the batsmen by bowling a ball which should spin one way but then spins another.
These attacks are rebuffed by representatives from the “Batting” side acting as follows:
- Frustrating the fielding side by preventing the ball hitting the wickets with their bat;
- Hitting the ball with the bat with such force that it breaks the hand of anybody who tries to stop it reaching the boundary;
- In certain circumstances, which mainly defy reason, protecting their wicket with their padded legs; and
- Hitting the ball along the ground wherever possible or, over the boundary through the air; and
- Ignoring the pain inflicted by the ball colliding with various parts of their anatomy and the choice conversation aimed at them by the fielding side.
Cricket is a violent game by its very nature and the methods used to remove batsmen from their position or by intimidating fielders not too approach to close to the batsmen for fear of being in the way of the ball leaving the bat.
The American response lies in the game of golf – also a British inspired game (whoever wishes to think otherwise is wrong!!!!). The difference lies in two simple facts:
- In cricket the aim is to hit a moving ball, and the opponent is the other side, while
- In Golf the aim is to hit a stationery ball and the opponent is either one’s self or the course on which the game is played.
Personally, I prefer Golf but will admit that there is strong competition between the disciplines as to which is the most boring to spectators other than fans!
Will this start conversation? I hope so!!