Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ruminations of a non cricketer

Cricket had its beginnings , sometime in the 16th century. It was then a game.

Two youths were fined for playing cricket  at Siddlesham, Sussex in 1611. The first match was played in the year 1700 at the Clapham Commons.The first six seamed ball was manufactured by the Dukes of Penshurst,Kent. 

Since then, the ball has come a long way. It has been beamed, bounced, tossed, and sometimes "thrown".  There are rules for how high you can bend/raise your arm while bowling, and there are ICC rules about how many bouncers can be bowled to a batsman in an over. These rules keep changing between 1 and 2. In 1991 , the rules allowed one bouncer per over per batsman. The players and umpires cribbed, and the number of bouncers was increased to 2. British umpire Dickie Bird said the judging of intimidatory bouncers  was to be left to umpires.

First Phil Hughes. Then, a day ago, an Israeli umpire died after being hit by a bouncer in a match where he was officiating.

It is a sign of the times today , that physical intimidation of the batsman needs to be resorted to, in lieu of  good intelligent bowling, and gundaism in the form of sledging is considered  a valid activity  by teams, for mentally troubling the batsman to disturb his concentration. .

Perhaps , what with the business and  betting, fixing and tampering,   it is no longer a game ?

Ask the ball and the bat.

It is not
a sporting fight
between the bat and the ball.

It is a war between
the bowler,
and the guy who bats.

And the red cherry
a veteran
of so many years,
a contemporary of the willow,
rues the
she has been flung
at people,
aimed at their heads,
between the eyes,
thumped on the chin,
and banged on their chests,
as the willow,
so talented at
sweeping, cutting, and lofting,
stands forlornly by,
sadly unable to connect
and defend.

She quietly rolls down
the 22 yards,
meets the solitary stump,
about the umpire
who got hit by someone like her
and died
in Israel,
and wonders,
sport will be played as a sport,
and not as a desperate war to be won
with battle plans,
and enemy sledging.

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