Monday, February 13, 2006

Something terrible happened to me this summer...

All these years, living in Australia, I scoffed at the game of cricket. Games that take whole days, and sometimes a week, to get a result? And then what do all those numbers mean when they give the score? What about strange terms such as ducks, silly legs, yorkers and the like?

Well, the terrible thing is that I have been hooked, and by none other than my son (the techie one), who likes to watch the cricket on television. This summer I started looking at a few minutes of a game, and asking dumb questions which were more or less patiently answered. But I was learning. Those few minutes gradually grew to quarter hours, half hours, and then before I knew it, I wanted to watch almost the whole game (for you from non-cricketing countries, watching a whole game is a serious time commitment - they go for 8 hours or so and even take breaks for tea and dinner, and that's just for one-day cricket!). I can now look at a screen of statistics and know what most of them mean.

I am really impressed with the ball handling skills, especially catches taken at close range and high speed. And as the balls usually bounce before the batter can hit it, unlike in baseball, the unpredictability of where the ball is going to go is increased enormously. So this is the sport I can watch when the Australian footy season is not on.

One thing though: I've been told I'm NOT to "barrack", or groan at missed catches or shout at close calls during a possible run out. I guess that's still too much like being a footy fan for my son's tastes (Val checks banner at top of screen to see how long it is until footy season starts)


Alice said...

So now you and your son have a date for next summer - go and see a live game, preferably at the MCG. Admittedly, it's nearly 40 years since I last saw a game there but the atmosphere is so much better than just watching on TV. Congratulations, Val.

Actually, you don't need to just go to the big matches for atmosphere and excitement. Many club matches can provide just as many thrills. I remember a Primary School Grand Final that my son played in. The opposition had to get 10 runs from the last over to win, or we had to get one wicket. The other team won by one run on the last ball of the match. I was scoring for the match and my heart was beating so fast that I was almost falling off the chair.

Garden Obsession said...

We were in AU for one of the weeks when AU was playing... uh... who? England? I'm not sure but it was a Very Big Deal and people were up all hours of the night watching this match. So, we ended up watching a good bit of it, but could have used your son's expertise to explain the nuances to us. Still, it's sort of mesmerizing to watch even if you don't know what's going on.

But honestly, we were mostly there for the footy. In fact, my husband supports Carlton. But our friends in Melbourne are St. Kilda fans, so we got to share in their excitement in the finals.

*sigh* I still miss Australia! And I'm pretty sure it's not just my Cherry Ripe addiction talking.

Tanya said...

Welcome to the cricket-viewing club. There is a lot of us out there. One of the great things to do on a scorching summer afternoon is to come inside, sit under a fan with an icy cold drink and decide to "watch just two overs" or "watch until (insert batter's name here) reaches 50 runs". And before you know it, at least six overs have gone by and the drink is finished, but you've been sucked in.

Val said...

"techie son" says it's better watching it on TV!?! I might be able to change his mind.

Garden Obsession,
thanks for stopping by and I'll be visiting your blog soon. Tell hubby that some Carlton related posts are bound to appear.

yes, I especially love the ice cold drink bit, techie son and I are both like our beer. Makes a good case for watching on TV as the price of beer at the MCG is exorbitant!

Kerri said...

I just can't imagine watching a cricket match for 8 hours. Whew!
I was always scared of that hard little ball when I was a kid. It HURTS when you get hit! Interesting game though.

Val said...

8 hours does seem like a long time to be at a game. And I do admire the courage of those guys batting and fielding: batting because the ball is so unpredictable after it bounces, and fielding because they catch it without gloves (ouch!).