Cricket – War and Understanding

I am often a little bewildered by people who have no time for cricket. By cricket I mean Test Cricket. The Americans have World Series football and basketball and for all I know World series horse shoe tossing. But only Americans play. Of course there are the Olympic games but they don’t count like the super bowl counts. Then there is Soccer. And so it goes. But why is Test Cricket out on its own as the very one and only.

I remember sitting up and watching the American invasion of Baghdad. It was a spectacular fireworks display. It was war. And so began years of turmoil and despair and death and destruction and an almighty war on terror so intricate and all pervading that there are no innocents, no guilty, but much “Co-lateral Damage”.

I want you to picture this. Take a huge country under the sway of an imposing colonial power. In this country there, for the sake of simplicity, are two major religions. These religions are very very different. One is monotheistic and the other has a plethora of deities. Next we will divide the country into two. One will be for one of the major religions and the other part is for the other major religion. In the process of dividing the country neither of the two groups, nor the relinquishing colonial power are without guilt. There is much for all to feel guilty. Finally place a beautiful section of the country between the two and let it become a cause for continuing dispute. Is this not a recipe for disaster?

Furthermore give to each of these two, what are now countries, nuclear capability.

But, apart from what can only be described as minor skirmishes, even minor wars if you will, these two countries have never been to war. Not fully declared total war. Why not. Because how can you declare war when you have to play a Test Match next year.

Cricket is war. It is war between one country and another. It is war where the civilians do not get hurt. It is not a game of baseball where everything is over and decided in a few hours. Nor is it international Basketball where things are decided in less time than that.

Cricket – Test Cricket is war – decided over five days where the ebbs and flows are often incomprehensible. And if one nation loses, so be it. We will try again in four years. And all our national pride will hang on the balance. India will defeat Pakistan and then Pakistan will defeat India. And both India and Pakistan will keep their atomic bombs unused. And South Africa will give up apartheid because we won’t let you play cricket if you don’t.

Cricket is war. We should all fight our wars this way.. If you don’t understand, don’t worry. It is a matter of no concern if you don’t have the understanding. And don’t issue a fatwa against me or even a small derisive laugh. Just ‘no-ball’ me and I’ll bowl a fresh one.

What I want to say is this;

With the exception of Canada, all the major countries of the old Commonwealth play Test cricket.  Now I know Canada is cool.And many, many countries now play cricket. In fact more than 100 countries play a form of cricket but only those ten play test cricket.

What is really important is that Test Cricket is the worlds only really important game. It might be boring. It might be difficult to understand. Even the Americans, who are relatively intelligent, find it difficult to comprehend. Even, God forbid, some died in the wool Australians are more interested in Basketball than in Test Cricket.

The world needs Test Cricket. I only wish the world knew it. And the worst thing is that the ICC and the major countries have been hi-jacked by the money of the pay TV Channels. And that I believe is one of the saddest things to happen tp international goodwill and understanding.

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21 thoughts on “Cricket – War and Understanding

  1. I can remember going to sleep during a test match and when I woke a few hours later the situation had not changed, then again I did see one where Garfield Sobers scored over 160 in a few hours,but you must admit those days are gone; it’s all about money these days, Remember Harvey? That great Australian batsman? Had to borrow somebody else’s bat when he got to England, coudn’t afford his own! Those were what were known as the good ol’ days.
    Perhaps if they cut the pay and moved the running of the game back to the MCC it might regain it’s “charm” but until then it’s all about money!
    I’m a great fan of Baseball myself,just love the game!

  2. I have no time for cricket, but I totally get your point, John.

    “Make sport, not war” should be the new bumper sticker on cars (just like “make love, not war” was in the 1960s).

    My 88 yr old Mother was a cricket addict right up until her death at 88. Nobody was allowed to interrupt her or talk when the cricket was on the tv in our house. For many years, she’d get up in the middle of the night to watch it (back in the day when it was aired at that time).

    • Well, your Mother must have been quite a woman. Unfortunately the holy dollar is having a detrimental affect on the international game.

  3. Can I admit I’m lost here. 😣
    The only sport I like is hockey. I’m guessing nothing like cricket.

  4. Currently working on similar concept- using beets as weaponry, and all current guns and bombs altered to till them. Lawn bowling could be used here in summer, or test curling…

  5. I was introduced to cricket when I moved to Australia in 1982. I was a bit ho-hum about it UNTIL the last day of the Test Match of Australia vs England in 1983. Thompson and Border were batting, slowly. The commentators had time to explain strategy, history and so much more. I’ve been hooked ever since.

  6. You won’t hear me arguing! Years ago, I would watch every ball of a Test match. Back in the days of Ted Dexter and Colin Cowdrey. England were so bad that I used to think 200 all out was a good score.

  7. “It is not true that the English invented cricket as a way of making all other human endeavors look interesting and lively; that was merely an unintended side effect. …It is the only sport that incorporates meal breaks. It is the only sport that shares its name with an insect. It is the only sport in which spectators burn as many calories as the players-more if they are moderately restless.” – Bill Bryson

  8. John, you are so right. Test Cricket is the finest sporting event ever invented, ever played, ever analysed and ever discussed. Five days of ebb and flow, no other sport can provide such drama and excitement. I remember as a boy watching the test matches on BBC and keeping a hand written scorecard for my dad when he returned home from work. No more test cricket on the BBC of course.
    Here is my post about cricket – https://aipetcher.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/scrap-book-project-the-office-cricket-team-2/

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