Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Things I Like ... Cricket

Sadly I've spent this afternoon at a funeral, mourning the loss of a dear friend, and father of one of my oldest and best friends. He wouldn't have been happy about the length of my hair at present or that I'm not in a safe and steady job, but I'm sure he'd be pleased that I polished my boots at least. And more than happy that, since I heard of his illness, I've had his old cricket mantra circling my brain - "Catches Wins Matches" ... he used to say it over and over when we were training as young lads, and one particular night at an end of season presentation ad infinitum. Top bloke, honest as they come and he taught me how to play "the greatest game ever invented". Goodnight squire !

And it is "the greatest game ever invented", just ask Stephen Fry ! Cricket has the most variables, yet a steadfast set of mathematical and logistical rules, it is glorious, and anyone can play, no matter what physique you might bestow. Runs, catches, maidens, wickets, overs, weather, silly mid-off, the Duckworth Lewis Method ... there's a whole 'nother beautiful language that goes along with the game and it's rules that once you give yourself over to it, you'll never forget it.

Now, I don't play all that often these days, and when I do it's usually just knocking around the nets or a quick sunny afternoon session when the numbers are up. But it's a splendid thing ... oh and did I mention Cricket Teas ... a beautiful idea !!

It might surprise some that I have more trophies as a kid for my cricketing, bit of a Phil Neville I was, I played for a club and school that were both champions of Derbyshire, and had varying levels of success in East Midlands and Midlands competitions, narrowly missing out of representing my school at Lords was a bit of a kick in the teeth, but you grow up and get over it. And I was asked to captain the local Borough of Erewash as a schoolboy after briefly captaining the school team whilst my mate Chris was busy playing for Derbyshire CCC.

And one of the things I always used to do, was attempt to build a scale model of Old Trafford Cricket Ground from my LEGO ... I've no idea why that particular ground, I've no connection with Lancashire or Manchester, and Trent Bridge is the nearest and nicest ground to where I grew up, who knows, eh? Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder.

To link all this in with a bit of music, and a crazy cricket term that I've already mentioned, The Duckworth Lewis Method is one of my favourite albums of all time !! Now, I won't try and explain what the Duckworth Lewis Method is regarding cricket, that might take a few blogs to the uninitiated, but it was and is a concept album based around this great game produced by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy and Thomas Walsh of Pugwash. An excellent listen if you're ever inclined or have the chance ... The Age of Revolution is one of my favourite songs of the last 20 years, and that's saying something. The tunes are solid, even if you don't get all the references ...

Anyways, thanks for the memories Pete, MHx

Some more Things I Like ...
Yorkshire Tea
Tippy The Cat
Khan Academy
Apple Cider Vinegar

I'm starting to think "my mate Chris" deserves his own blog feature ...

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