I’ve determined to embrace my household’s traditions and go to a cricket match


I’ve a posh relationship with cricket. For years I related it with tortuous summers by which male family commandeered the entrance room for days on finish so they might watch, what, precisely? Eight hours of aggressive ready round?

I’d discover myself within the backyard because the shouts of “Howzat!” erupted. They got here from the lounge however maybe, I imagined, the universe itself – a way to gauge my declining will to reside. “How’s that?” requested the cosmos. “Garbage!” I’d assume.

Once I was rising up, all of the Asian youngsters in my neighbourhood had cricket of their lives. It was a part of the furnishings. However as I acquired older, I realized extra in regards to the sport’s historical past, its colonial hyperlinks, Norman Tebbit’s cricket take a look at – and cricket began to really feel altogether hostile.

However this yr, England is internet hosting the Cricket World Cup on my doorstep. I purchased a ticket, hoping to embrace my household’s traditions. I can solely describe the entire thing as a really English expertise. It chucked it down within the morning, suspending play. Attendees had been instructed a shorter match may happen if the climate cleared up, and so started the wait. Ultimately the solar appeared: umbrellas got here down, followers banged drums and danced tipsily, umpires stuffed the sector as gamers milled round. Lastly the announcement came visiting the PA: “This match has been deserted.” 5 hours of speaking in regards to the climate, after which all of us went dwelling.

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Nonetheless, watching an empty piece of grass for a number of hours offers you time to assume. And I felt that I lastly understood the attraction. It’s the pleasure of slowness, of sitting nonetheless and having fun with one factor at a time – the warmth of the solar, the sound of leather-based on willow, the enjoyment of a guide when play is paused; and the absurd bemusement at how the English invented a sport you continue to can’t play within the rain.


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