The Weekend Sun editor Daniel Hutchinson has stumbled across the disturbing fact that many people don’t like cricket and, to them, the Cricket World Cup is a baffling event that looks a lot like watching grass grow.
But, it’s a bit like the Bible. Even if you don’t believe the underlying premise of the whole thing, there are lots of little tips in there for how to handle everyday life.
Having spent many hours contemplating the meaning of life in front of a TV full of tiny men in white suits, I feel obliged to share some of this knowledge with you.
Let’s call them The Parables of Cricket.
Cricket teaches us that if you wait long enough, eventually something will happen.
If you look deeply enough at just about anything, you will find merit in it.
You can be minding your own business, and doing a good job when suddenly, someone throws a hard object right at you.
This could be physical, like a stone from a logging truck, but often it is psychological, like a rude comment or a gesture from a passing hooligan.
If we were to seek out advice from the Book of Cricket it would be to duck, in the first instance. In the second example, you should hit right back at the offender with enough witty intelligence that it goes over their head and they are left looking confused and outraged.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could tickle them around the corner and hope they roll over the boundary.
This is actually a very accurate name for this fielding position because it is a really stupid place to be. Basically the fielder stands as close to the batter as they can and puts a helmet on. They are trying to intimidate the batter and force them to play a shot they later regret. If the batter hits the ball really hard in silly mid-off’s direction, the fielder’s only chance of avoiding serious injury is to curl up into a ball. The life lesson from this is not to hit the ball really hard all the time until the bully is forced to move away, covered in bruises. You should forgive them and just get on with living life your own way.
If the cricketing Gods are smiling, they will be badly injured.
This is when you are expecting something tricky to happen but it doesn’t and so you end up making a dork of yourself. Always be prepared for the unexpected simplicity of life – the opportunities - because life isn’t always out to get you all of the time.
Bowl a maiden over
This isn’t as bad as it sounds. Basically if the bowler bowls six balls (an over), without conceding any runs (that’s points for the absurdly cricket challenged), then this is a maiden. This is a good thing for the bowler but very frustrating for the batter. This happens a lot in life too.
We try our very best but don’t seem to make any progress. If this happens over and over again, you may need to take a risk. You might fail but, if you don’t, you will never get to where you want to be.
Don’t worry Aucklanders, this has got nothing to do with you. It is actually a term for a delivery that is completely unplayable. It’s the out-of-left-field thing, like when a wood pigeon flies into your face, sending the reading glasses tumbling into the flax bush. You are left completely bamboozled, in a sea of feathers, with a stunned kereru in your lap.
There is nothing you can do about it, other than shake yourself off. Maybe you need to extract the bird from your mid-region. If you are injured, take some time out, get some treatment. Have a glass of water, ignore the laughter around you and then just get on with life again.
The Ten Commandments
1. Thou shalt not sandpaper the ball.
2. Thou shalt not weep before the cricketing world when you are caught out ball tampering.
3. Thou shalt not bowl underarm.
4. Thou shalt not sledge.
5. Players shalt not enter into sin with a bookie.
6. Thou shalt not pray for rain lest the heavens open and there is no play today.
7. Thou shall not be an emotional and tearful like Kim Hughes after losing a test series.
8. Thou shalt not throw your wicket in a fit of petulance.
9. Thou shalt not walk until given out.
10. A drinks break is the eucharist – take wine and pray for victory.