Friday, September 11, 2015

Cricket, or where you get to defeat the impossible

One hundred years of top-class records and unforgettable matches. Cricket has always been one of those sports that knew how to hit the headlines. Every single one of The Ashes episodes is responsible, in a way, to this sport’s tour de force. In the same time, various players made quite a name for themselves. All the more so to say that cricket is not just an ordinary sport on ESPN, Saturday night. It’s a living legend.

One hundred years and still counting.

I. Power is a quality. Mind power - a privilege.

Just before you jump to a conclusion, I must clarify something. All sorts of sports have the ability to generate adrenaline, to make teams unbreakable. They all know how to gather a group of thousands or, why not, millions of fans ready to support them, under the rainiest circumstances. But, in my opinion, cricket comprises a power that no other activity does. It engages your entire being.

A Test match cricket can be enjoyed over a 5-day period, in a short session perhaps, or in a rough encounter between a batsman and a bowler. It can go down in a couple of seconds too. Yes, in cricket you can invest it all in a second to none second.

The Nobel-prize winner, Harold Pinter, described cricket as being extremely dramatic. Batsmen view that ball as the biggest threat or the rarest joy in life. Players’ wits are squeezed to their last droplet in order to test their patience. Only chess and golf challenge your concentration as harder as cricket does.

II. Being taken by surprise is no surprise at all.

Players need to be athletic material. Reflexes ought to be polished regularly. Elegance is a prerequisite. Cricket is a game where the rational decisions are somehow fighting against the body’s willingness to rebel.

At this year’s Ashes tournament, England was the one that sang victory in a 5-match series where they won with 3-2. 169 runs during the First Test. Joe Root made that match worth it. But who knows what will happen in 2017? Rain poked its nose into the 2015 series, causing delays and postponing in playing, but for 2017 gambling guides such as Betoclock say that there are more chances for Australia to win, and less for England.

III. You set your own deadlines. And records.

Cricket is a sport made for the individual, not for the team. It highlights the persons’ smarts and talent, bringing it the forward, in the spotlight. And there is no end: individuals are allowed to keep the balls flying till they’re in their 40s or even 60s. For example, in the ICC World Cup 2015, there were exactly 17 players aged over 35, and three of them were above the age of 40. Age can be a blessing in this kind of world.

Now, if I couldn’t argue you into the values of cricket, then these batsmen will. Jacques Kallis, Sachin Tendulkar, Chris Gayle, Adam Gilchrist.

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