Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Run 'em All

The England is playing the India at cricket. Because I’m not a subscriber to Rupe's BSky Monopovision I have been unable to watch anything but the tiny news highlights. I’ve also missed the wireless transmissions because I have largely still been in bed and India appears to have jumped several time zones towards Western Australia meaning stumps have more or less been drawn before I’m out of the bath. They do seem to be starting awful early. This is very unkind.

Were I not an atheist, I would certainly adhere to the notion that cricket was a gift to mankind from on high; a reward from the creator for good behaviour. As it stands, it serves only as confirmation that if it were indeed a reward to mankind in general then the almighty has a perverse notion of what it means to be a benefactor or indeed, what constitutes being good. (That the United of States has to keep girly rounders sadly supports the cricket=forces for good line. I shall seek a meeting with my nearest theologian to work this one out when time allows).

The England has made a sound start to the series despite suffering its traditional early tour loss of captain and/or vice captain and best bowler. I don’t believe I’m alone in thinking our sportsman are now way too fit for any kind of strenuous activity and that macrobiotic diets, intravenous pilates and being put away in an oxygen tank between tests is not the way forward. When I was playing in the top flight (The Kentish Express Ashford and District Sunday League Division 2), the true measure of your manliness, and therefore competitive prowess, was the number of overs you survived before having to be excused for a few minutes courtesy of the thrashing you’d given yourself the night before, not the size of your Chelsea Tractor. Nowadays, the Mound Stand at Lords echoes not to the sound of leather upon willow as Compton and Edrich caress four after four toward the boundary but the “ping” of snapping tendons every time a team takes the field.

We need a real-life Alf Tupper, the “Tough of the Track”. He would sleep next to his welding bench all week, dine exclusively on fish and chips and go out and break the world mile and/or 1500m record every Saturday. And that after remembering on the start line he’d left his plimsolls at home and had to run in his steel toe caps. Yet despite being a cartoon character, he was credited with almost single-handedly making athletics attractive to the boys of post-war Britain, spawning a legion of Bannisters, Chathaways, Ovetts, Coes and Crams into the bargain. Alf last raced in 1992, you only have to look at the state of British middle distance running since to see the undoubted influence he had. The future Lord Flintoff of Preston should be encouraged further in the correct direction following his laudable No 10 Ashes reception display in September. The boy has promise.

And don’t even start me on helmets. Against spin?

6 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Anne Johnson said...

The only kind of cricket I see in 'Merica is the one that lives in my basement. He can whup any spider alive, so I guess that makes crickets tough.

11:28 pm  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

I did worry that this would sail way over the heads of my U of S friends but I will not be sorry. Jed will be hot linking to Wikipedia as we speak and that is a good thing. He has a thirst for knowledge and self improvement that shames many.

11:41 pm  
Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

Had you ever seen a Tom Graveney cover drive, you would be convinced of the existence of a benevolent deity.

7:02 am  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

I have only seen them on the BBC. I suspect I am of a slightly too recent vintage to have seen them in the flesh. I feel lucky to have been hypnotised by Mr Gower's liquid grace, Sir Vivian's ruthless disdain of anything pitched on the wicket and also the sadly shamed Asif Iqbal's magnificent hooking. However, the best cricket match I ever saw was this one:

In which Mr Derek Underwood took on and beat Geoffrey Boycott at his most annoyingly stubborn.

10:30 am  
Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

Yes, definitely a kindred spirit.
I will be arriving to discuss these important issues, and will arrive this weekend. Don't worry, I won't stay for more than a month.
And I am very easy to please. Simply organic vegetarian food and an environment free of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and pets.
Get you Wisdens out, and we can select our all time world XI to start off with.

12:15 pm  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

Bugger, I'd better shovel Pete Doherty off the sofa and get the vacuum cleaner out.

1:53 pm  

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