The other week I had a suggestion on Twitter to follow the Cricket Wold Cup (forgot to take a screenshot). Made me laugh because they couldn’t have picked a worse sport for me. But there are many who enjoy watching and playing this sport.
One of them, for example, was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was not only famous for being an excellent and successful writer but also for his love of cricket. He was a keen although never famous cricketer and playing member of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Based at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, it is one of the world’s most famous cricket clubs and, believe it or not, currently has a waiting list of about twenty-seven years for ordinary members. In 1900, on one of his occasional appearances for the MCC, Doyle’s cricket career took on a different turn. A ball from one of the country’s quickest bowlers hit him on his thigh. Rubbing didn’t seem to relieve the sharp pain this caused. Then nearby players saw how Doyle’s flannels burst into flames. The ball had struck a tin of matches in his pocket. Luckily the fire was quickly extinguished.
That’s probably as exciting as cricket ever gets for me. I don’t want to knock a sport that is loved by millions, but to me it is and always will be a world of its own I don’t mind not being a part of. It must be the only sport I know where they still play “test matches”. A match can go on for days without having a winner at the end and the results are longer than the lottery draw and less rewarding. As far as I know, it’s the only sport that incorporates lunch and tea breaks and the players look slightly as if they’ve got mattresses strapped to their legs. When it comes to Test Cricket they are more diligent about wearing white clothes than they are at Wimbledon (sometimes I wish I knew what they use to get the grass stains out of their flannels). Unfortunately it can also be a dangerous sport as we were reminded last year. I am sure the players are highly skilled, especially the bowler and batsman, but forgive me if I won’t bat an eye.
Which brings me to another sport, a ball and a pocket. Last year during the PGA TOUR in Atlanta, golfer Rory McIlroy hit an “aggressive shot” sending the ball traveling through the air, before hitting some trees and landing in a spectator’s pocket. I wish I had seen that but that’s the thing, I’m not too keen on golf either and there’s only one way of ‘watching’ it on TV for me. Here’s what you do. Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Hear the spectators clapping? It sounds like rain or a waterfall. Very soothing and it helps if you can’t fall asleep at night.