Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The English Story In A Nutshell

At least, it was the “English Story” in the sixties. It may have changed.

Cricket is a game I only partially understand. But when I lived in London, I’d watch cricket matches on television. I’ll pretty much watch anything on television. Though, growing up in Canada, I drew the line at French Canadian bowling.

This is a cricket story. I’ll try and keep it simple. It won’t be easy.

Playing some other country, the English team was way behind, with the match rapidly nearing its end. It would take a monumental last-minute rally for the English squad to prevail

Now here’s the thing.

The traditional way of scoring runs in cricket is through safely played increments of one or two runs at a time. You could go for the “home run”, which, depending on where the ball was hit, could itself count for four or six runs. But, by hitting the ball in the air – home runs being uncatchable fly balls – you ran a greater risk of making an “out.”

Well, as I mentioned, England was seriously behind. An English batter comes up, and, instead of “dinking” the ball for a “one” or a “two”, the batter starts lofting these prodigious fly balls. The guy’s knockin’ ‘em out of the park, home run after home run – or at least the cricket equivalent of a home run – his “fours” and “sixes” cutting deeply into the other country’s lead.

England is catching up.

Before you know it, they’re ahead.

And in the end, they win!

The next day, the batter who’d spearheaded the miraculous English comeback is unceremoniously dropped from the team.

Why?

Because, the way he’d played the game…

It wasn’t “cricket.”

1 comment:

impworks said...

These days he'd be given an MBE get massive press coverage as the new hope for English cricket and then get a long term niggling injury so he'd never quite perform to the same level again. Its still a game played by two sides both of which wear white though. At least a lot of it is.