My title is a little misleading, I am not a huge cricket fan, but I guess I’d say I’m quite interested. My dad played cricket – in the summer along with tennis, as opposed to the winter when he played rugby. He rowed pretty much the year round! Cricket when I was growing up was for boys – as was football and rugby. I think I would have been quite good at cricket, I wasn’t bad at throwing (not bowling – although I never tried) quite good at hitting a ball with a something, not bad at running over short distances. As it was girls at school could only play tennis and rounders in the summer, hockey and netball in the winter.
Back to cricket… Dad would listen to it on the radio, and would go and watch the occasional match at Fenners (home of the Cambridge University Cricket Club. He once took me to a match, but I was only interred in playing with some school friends whose dads had taken them. Later in life when I saw it on TV it just seemed the ultimate in boring, although I was intrigued by a story I once read about someone who followed the cricket on the radio and had a picture of a cricket field with all the positions noted, and would follow where the fielding team were, and where the batsmen sent their balls by combining the commentary and their picture… did it have miniature figures on it? I don’t know!
I married someone who was passionate about cricket, playing it and watching it… and it was just one of those things which couples have which the other is not the least bit interested. It was 1999 and he was watching the World Cup which at that time was broadcast on terrestrial TV. For some reason I became intrigued by the South African team – they seemed to have such amazing, gifted characters among their players, bowlers, fielders, batsmen, but it was their captain and how h organised their bowling and fielding which intrigued me, and I suddenly understood how cricket worked. The way he organised the fielders, the way he chose the bowlers, the way he read the game.. suddenly it all made sense. In fact he was a corrupt crook, a despicable, duplicitous man, but then in those matches, he was a fine captain (apart from trying to cheat, and get some of his young players to cheat)
This year once again it is the world cup, and once again it is held in Britain… but this time, for the first time ever England and Wales have won!! Congratulations!! And congratulations to their gallant opponents, New Zealand!! At least I now understand it!