Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Retirement is . . .

. . . being able to watch most of a five day cricket test match. Especially when the time difference is advantageous as it is when the match is in the West Indies. They're just off in the final day's play in Trinidad with the match finely balanced.

I see a cricket test match as the epic of the sporting world, the Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained in one go, the Divine Comedy as against the lyrics of football matches or athletic events.

The strange thing is that while we see cricket as the typically English game, other countries have taken to it so well, West Indies, India, Pakistan, countries whose stereotypes would be opposed the the English stereotype. All national stereotypes are to be resisted of course. There is also some doubt as to the national origin of cricket, see today's Irish Times and this article.

I had expected some more cricket poetry to be available but it seems scarce. Some here and here.

Here is a verse from "Close of Play" by Georgian poet Thomas Moult (1893-1974)

For the last time a batsman is out,
The day like the drained glass and
The dear sundown field is empty;
What instead of Summer's play
Can occupy these darkling months
Ere spring hails willows once again
The crowned king?
How shall we live so life may not be chilled?

Picture is of the great Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies, an antidote to the loud, flashy cricket type he is slow, careful, steady, methodical.

1 comment:

catherine hastings said...

Think of what the Australians might do to the game of cricket if it was left to them to re-write the rules?
New uses for bats?
Removal of leg protectors?
Shorts and vest tops?
C. Hastings