Wednesday, August 7, 2013
As a very small boy, I always wondered when the England cricket team would play a real match, not just a trial one! Soon I learned that Test Matches were very serious affairs, akin to a Superbowl in mesmerizing most of the male population--and many females. also. I played some cricket at Port Regis, my prep school (British-style, aged 8 to 13). I wasn't very skilful, just a dogged low-scoring batsman and indifferent fielder. When I entered the Royal Naval College in 1940, I was delighted to learn that I had the option to skip cricket and go sailing or rowing instead. I even made my House crew in sailing Gig races my first (and subsequent) summer at Dartmouth. In later years, my attitude to cricket mellowed, and I would follow the fate of Surrey, my county team and that of the England side. Fifty years ago, I witnessed the occasional cricket game, largely played by expatriates, in a local park. In 2004, when I was in South Africa, I enjoyed the international 1-day matches shown on television. I must have clicked on a cricket item on Google News one day, because that shamelessly spying system now knows of my renewed interest in cricket. This summer, the Australian team has been in England, playing county sides and five Test Matches for the mythical "Ashes" (More about that name, perhaps, another day.) England won the first by a squeaker, the second easily, and was behind in the third until "rain stopped play"on the fourth and fifth days, forcing the match to be called a "draw". The best the Ozzie team can do is tie the series with two wins, so England will retain the "Ashes". More about cricket in a future blog.