Monday, July 27, 2009

Postcard from the pitch

OK, so I'm not a huge cricket fan, and I'll admit to not following quite all of the rules (who can be bothered, this is a game that needs 3 umpires to make sure it's being played correctly); but even I know that an Ashes test match at Lords' is a big deal.

Lords' styles itself as 'The Home of Cricket', and the tube trains were full of just the type of man you'd expect to find making his way there: navy blazer, chambray shirt, beige trousers (sharply creased), the occasional flash of rhubarb and custard in an MCC tie and a tight grip on the essential blue holdall for one's sandwiches. Of course an Ashes match attracts a much wider audience as well, so I was lost amongst a regiment of the Barmy Army and Aussies a long way from home.

England couldn't have this relationship with any other country. No one else would take the 'love to hate you' banter and bat it straight back the way the Aussies do. And the mix of rigid tradition and picnicking informality makes for a great English day out.
The third test starts at Edgbaston this week. Good luck, England.


Lexi said...

Well, I thought you meant a book pitch...

postcardsfromk said...

Sorry, Lexi. I admit there has been a dearth of writing related posts here lately. Will see what I can do. This week I was just being topical.

Timberati said...

I knew what 'pitch' meant. 'Ashes' so much. I take it, it's some sort of big deal. Like the Super Bowl, perhaps? Hooplah, TV coverage, Ashes parties?

postcardsfromk said...

Hi Norm
Is the Ashes a big deal? Well, depends who you ask of course. For cricket fans in England and Australia then, yes, it's huge. I'm barely qualified to attempt to explain why to you. I would have to give you a flavour of the complexity of commonwealth relationships (if you thought the US/UK 'special relationship' was difficult to get a handle on, UK/Aus requires a whole other level of cultural understanding); I'd have to tell you that the trophy contested is a tiny urn filled with the remains of a stump the Aussies burnt when they beat us way back when and claimed they'd seen 'the death of English cricket' and explain that it's all about national pride, there'd maybe be a digression about the Welsh - because it's really England and Wales vs Australia (no prizes for guessing who the Scots would support through all this). And after all that, all the details which could take a lifetime to fully comprehend, then I'd have to tell you that the Edgbaston Test ended in a draw. 5 days they played for (plenty of interruptions for rain), and it all ends in a draw.

Is any of it worth it, I hear you ask.

Simple answer. No.
But when did that stop a sports fan? Two more Tests to go. England could yet triumph - the series stands at 1-0 to the home nation.

This is probably the end of sports coverage on the Postcards blog, we're at the end of my interest anyway!

Timberati said...

Confess now, no one really understands Cricket's rules, do they?