You either love cricket or you don't have a clue about the game. There isn't anything in between. The lovers of cricket are found in the Commonwealth. Everybody else can't figure head or tail of this funny game. This is a "Light Reading" post, not linked to business ; after some real business stuff, I thought I would just slip in something different. So whether you are a fan of cricket or not, read on ....
These days I am wallowing in nostalgia as you might have gleaned from recent posts. This is shamelessly dripping with the yearning of the past.
Cricket was the quintessential gentleman's game. In fact in England there used to be a match of the Gentlemen against the Players - the Players being professional cricketers couldn't qualify to be gentlemen !
Picture this scene in a lovely English village, maybe in Lancashire.
Men dressed in immaculate white. The village green with the church spire in the background. One of the rare summer days when the sun is shining. The pavilion dates back to 70 years ago. There is a roll of honour of the captains of the yester years. The captains go up to toss, dressed in blazers. Its 1 O'clock. The game starts. The fielders wish the openers good luck. Batsmen say well bowled to bowlers. Fielders applaud a good shot. The few spectators lounging on the green just beyond the boundary clap for that exquisite cover drive and tut tut when the batsman slogs ungainly. Nobody appeals unless the batsman is clearly out. The batsman walks before the umpire raises his finger.
Church bells toll. Tea at 4.00. Cheese and cucumber sandwiches brought in by the ladies. A hot cuppa. Back to the field. A tight finish in the gathering gloom as the shadows lengthen. Handshakes all around. Three cheers are raised. A hot shower to sooth aching muscles.
Everybody retires to the village pub. Beer is starting to flow. Every ball and shot of the day is dissected minutely. The fielder who dropped a dolly is ragged mercilessly. The guy who scored a 50 is buying a round for all. Lots of backslapping. The youngsters are trying to chat up the barmaid. All too soon, its time for the final orders.
Doesn't this sound idyllic compared to today's cricket which more resembles a war. I suggest, same is the case with corporate life.
Mary Hopkins' wonderful song all those years ago comes to mind.
Those were the days my friend,
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
You can listen to the song on YouTube here.