Acklam is back with another installment of Why *INSERT CHOSEN SPORT* is Pointless. And this week it's Cricket's turn to be discussed. Read below to see his thoughts on the sport...
One of my two long-standing memories of cricket is something my father said to me. It was the day before he was going to go to watch a cricket match, it might have been an Ashes game or something like that, but the fact that I don’t know should encapsulate my indifference for the sport quite clearly. My brother and I were asking him why he would want to spend the entire day watching cricket, to which he proceeded to describe the picnic he and his friend had prepared for the day. The main enjoyment of cricket for him as somebody who cares enough to go and watch a full day of it, was not the cricket or any of the players or something even remotely related to the sport, but something completely external to the sport itself. Cricket is not a form of entertainment, to play or to watch, and with that being the case, what is the point of it?
Something that should have become clear if you have been keeping up with all three current instalments of this series, is that I don’t like things being repetitive. With Formula One, I spoke of the repetition of results and rugby was lambasted for being repetitive in patterns of play. In this department, cricket smokes the two of them. Cricket is several days or hours, depending on the form you are watching, of a ball being thrown and then hit before a quick scramble, then rinse and repeat. As much as the number of points being scored each time varies, very little else does. Very little that occurs is fun or interesting enough to justify the vastly inflated run time of sport’s second most posh sport, behind only polo. I cannot for the life of me work out why anyone would want to spend days of their life waiting, just for Australia to win anyway.
Another way in which cricket has rugby beat for things I criticised rugby for is the lack of a worldwide appeal. Cricket genuinely is only played properly by former British colonies, and I think America did well to get out ahead of having to play it too. The nerve of cricket to have a ‘world cup’ rather than just making it a part of the Commonwealth Games is an interesting decision, it would certainly have no impact upon the outcome of the event. The fact that very few nations have actually taken it up, should be clue enough that the sport is not actually that good.
In case you were on tenterhooks for the second of my aforementioned cricket-based memories was from playing at school. A friend and I had become so bored of being fielders that we had decided to just sit on the pitch and have a chat, to which the teacher gave us the ultimatum of actually playing or running around the field and then being allowed to sit, no sooner had he finished asking, we were on our way around the school playing fields and were sat down once more before long. The point of this anecdote is to illustrate that cricket is not only painfully boring to watch, but also to play. Were you not one of the batsmen (one of which is also not doing something half of the time) or the bowler, then you were pretty much standing around for a few hours, with only a few fleeting moments of intrigue. Being a fielder is one of the most boring positions in sport, it is the equivalent of playing in goal for PSG in a league game but without being able to watch football at the same time. I would almost rather be playing as a forward in rugby, at least in that case you actually get to do something, but that has its own issue which you are likely very aware of.
Cricket does not occupy the special place in my brain of true hatred that rugby does, probably due to the fact that cricket took place in the summer term and rugby the autumn, so the squelching mud and freezing cold dampened my mood whilst playing it. I don’t think cricket deserves to be there either, rugby crushed my soul and body, cricket merely sent me to sleep with its mind numbing boring ways.