Sunday, September 12, 2010

Leisurely cricket

While watching the Champions League T20 match yesterday, I took a break for about 10 minutes. When I came back I found that 2 wickets had fallen and 14 runs scored.

Far cry from the days of Neville Cardus who could get out of a match to get married without having to worry about missing too much of the action. Here is his report:

"There are many things about cricket, apart from the skill and the score. There is, first of all, the leisure to do something else. Cricket, like music, has its slow movements, especially when my native county of Lancashire is batting. I married the good companion who is my wife during a Lancashire innings. The event occurred in June, 1921; I went as usual to Old Trafford, stayed for a while and saw Hallows and Makepeace come forth to bat. As usual they opened with care. Then I had to leave, had to take a taxi to Manchester, there to be joined in wedlock at the registry office. Then I - that is, we - returned to Old Trafford. While I had been away from the match and committed the most responsible and irrevocable act in mortal man’s life, Lancashire had increased their total by exactly seventeen - Makepeace 5, Hallows 11, and one leg-bye

Update 13/09/10: Speaking of long or dull innings, here is a description of one played in 1931

Bruce Mitchell’s 58 for South Africa v Australia at the Gabba in 1931 was hardly an earth-shaking event. However, it may well hold two world records. Mitchell started on Saturday, 28th November 1931, and at stumps was 45 in 2.5 hours. Sunday was a rest day, and the next two days were washed out. On Wednesday, play did not start until 4:00 pm; Mitchell moved to 53 in the two hour session, failing to score for the first 90 minutes. On Thursday, he was out for 58 in 291 minutes.

The total elapsed time for the innings was about 4 days, 21 hours, which is the longest time, between first ball and last, ever played for any Test, and possibly first-class, innings.

Secondly, the 90 minute scoreless gap in his innings encompassed at least 35 overs. We don’t know how many balls Mitchell faced, but he almost certainly faced over 100, making it the longest scoreless gap known in any Test


Anu said...

Have you read Bill Bryson's take on test cricket in his book "Down Under"? It is hilarious. Let me know if you can't get your hands on it. I could scan the pages and post it here.

Raj said...

Anu, yes, I had posted an extract too.