If you read my blog a lot, you may have picked up on the fact that I’m not exactly what you would call interested in sports.
Mr D, however, is very interested in sports. Two sports in particular in fact: cricket, and rugby league (though he will also watch rugby union, football (the kind where the foot actually hits the ball a lot, not the kind where they throw a ball around and call it football anyway), basketball, hockey (the field kind, not the ice kind) and even netball if there is nothing else that involves ovoids or spheres flying through the air on TV).
So, there is a lot of sports on in my house, and, despite my best efforts not to, I’ve acquired a rather impressive amount of sports knowledge by sheer osmosis.
And when I say a lot of sports, I mostly mean cricket, because cricket comes in a variety of forms of a lot: too much (20/20 – basically a whole afternoon); even more (1 day matches); ummm…this is getting ridiculous (3 day matches); and holy crap, it goes for FIVE days!?! (test matches).
And this is the root of the problem with cricket.
See, cricket is long, and for most of the long, cricket is boring.
Cricket is so boring that for whole hour long stretches in a match of cricket the entire crowd (and these are people who have not only voluntarily agreed to watch this, but actually paid money to do so) will chant “Booooring.” Over, and over. And over.
Cricket is so boring they have to hire a DJ to play songs to try to get the crowd to sing along to keep them from chanting “Booooring.”
Cricket is so boring that the players on the field chat to the fans and sign autographs for little kids, while the game is going on.
Cricket is so boring that during the match the two announcers (there are always two, like airline pilots, to keep each other from falling asleep) will discuss the colours of the players socks, and how they compare to yesterday’s sock colours, and what that means about the players mindset. Or the different genera of seagulls that can be seen flying around the stadium. Or the flowers that are about to bloom on the trees around the stadium, and how they will check back each day of the 5 day match so you can watch the buds open. (I am not making these up or exaggerating in the slightest by the way).
That’s right. Cricket is so boring that watching flowers open is more exciting.
I would not be remotely surprised if there has been a cricket match where the cameras have swung over to watch the progress on a house next to the stadium that is being painted, because watching paint dry is more exciting than cricket.
Cricket is so boring that its only exciting if a batsman accidentally manages to hit a seagull (of any genus).
And the seagull comes back to life instead of just dying.
Not only is cricket deadly boring for the spectators, the announcers, and some of the fielders, but at any given time all but the two batsmen from one team are stuck sitting on a bench, knowing they might sit there for hours and hours without a chance to do anything else. So those guys are tense and bored too.
And, to top off all this bored-ness, half the time a cricket match ends with no result. That’s right. Five days, and there isn’t even a winner!
But, ladies and gentlemen, I’m not just here to tell you how boring cricket is. I’m here because I’ve figured out how to FIX it. I’ve figured out a way to keep cricket interesting for the cricket fans, make cricket interesting for me, and give the announcers and everyone else something to look at and talk about and keep interested in during the boring bits. And, as a bonus, it would also mean that there would be a winner at every match.
The solution revolves around those players on the batting team sitting on the bench, waiting for their turn to bat (which may never come, because theoretically an entire game could end with only the first two batsmen getting a chance to bat).
Instead of just sitting there on the bench, the yet-to-go or already-gone-and-got-out batsmen should do handwork.
You know, knitting, crochet, embroidery, tatting, lacemaking, macrame…
They would have something to do and whenever the announcers had nothing cricket-y to talk about a camera could just swing over and check out what the not-batsmen were working on, and the announcers could tell us “Oh, look’s like Warner’s finished up the daisy stitch and has started on the French knots. Look at that nice tight knotwork” and “Oh my, Guptill’s doing Tunisian crocket. We don’t see much of that at all, very unusual skill” or “Kholi started that cardigan during the South African tour. He’s made great progress – only needs the final ribbing.”
Plus, there could be a display at all the cricket matches with the finished work, so while Mr D was watching the game I could be drooling over the tape lace and developing a crush on Vettori’s beautiful whitework skills.
Also looking at the pieces, of course, would be the judges, and at the end of the match they would declare a winning team based on points, so that even if there wasn’t a cricket result, there would be a handwork result.
But wait, there’s more!
The finished pieces could be sold off for charity! Imagine owning a piece made by your cricket hero! Or one that was completed during your favourite cricket moment! How amazing would that be?
You have to admit. It’s brilliant. It totally works.
Get to it ICC!
*In the interests of fairness/preserving my marriage I should mention that the Cricket World Cup is currently taking place in Australia and New Zealand, and New Zealand will be facing South Africa in the semifinals later this week, and New Zealand just beat the West Indies in the quarterfinals in Wellington and apparently it was a very exciting match (all 7 hours of it) and world records were broken (but no, Mr D, I’m still not sorry that I declined the offers to go).