Wednesday, 9 January 2013

It’s cricket Jim, but not as we know it…

I love cricket, I have done for a long time.  I remember long lazy summers playing cricket at school and for my local club.  The advantage of age is that memory gets hazy, from here I can remember me as a junior Bradman, not the player I truly was.
I remember my Dad and brother heading to the Oval to watch England play in a test match each summer and waiting to be old enough to go.  Eventually that time came.  It was great, a sunny day, a packed lunch from Mum and a whole day watching the aeroplanes flying overhead on approach to London Heathrow (apparently there was something going on on the pitch but who really cared about that).
Ever since then my older brother, dad and me have tried each summer to get to the cricket, whether it be a test match or a one day game.  Over the years this has become harder and harder.  Last night we managed to honour this tradition with a trip to the MCG in Melbourne for the domestic T20 clash between the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder. 
I will put it on the record now, this is not true cricket.  It is not cricket in its purist form.  There is no battle between batsman and bowler.  No admiration for the perfect shot.  It is a neatly packaged, made for TV, younger generation friendly form of the game.  Only twenty overs each, time limits, cheerleaders, kiss cams and fireworks.  It is not cricket………yet it is strangely alluring. 
The knowledge that the batsman will have to go for the big shots, that there will be mistakes. We love run outs and the humiliation of dropped/missed catches.  You know that there will, or at least should be action a plenty.  On this occasion there was.  It is a great way to get the younger generation through the gate, and judging by the age of the crowd it was works. 
We may have stepped away from tradition and become even more slave to the now generation, but to keep the game relevant it certainly crosses the boundary well from competition to entertainment.

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