Luke Brown – “Yea, it’s alright … for cricket.”
Before the Cricket World Cup started, I used to cry myself to sleep whilst Roulette Nation flickered pointlessly on the television set up in my bedroom, deluding me into thinking that I wasn’t alone. But that’s all changed since I discovered the World Cup, a rambunctious cricketing orgy of big hitting and fast bowling.
Do I understand what’s going on? No. Do I really care if Afghanistan beat Scotland in a game about as utterly irrelevant as my opinions on the Afghanistan v Scotland game? No. Do I enjoy seeing balls being thwacked over the boundary rope before they touch the turf or not? No, not exactly. To be honest I couldn’t give a shiny silver-plated shit.
But something about the willowy, leisurely pace entices you in. Forget your favourite pair of socks, it’s like keeping your favourite pair of underwear on for an entire month (come on we’ve all done it, amiright?!): a synthetic sporting second skin forever keeping you warm, no matter what else is going on in your life.
Perhaps because England have been so crap, too, the tournament just seems like a super-slick sports day. Every ball seems indistinguishable from the last, a ceaseless paean to long-form sports encounters in out hyper-ready society: an arresting anomaly.
Basically, it’s athletic Valium and it doesn’t care if you know what’s going on or not.
Shingi Mararike – “It’s a terrible thing and I hate it.”
I’ve always wanted to be a cool kid with swanky clothes and a swagger that’s “on point”, so to speak. So why on earth would I feel the need to watch a sport as tedious, as mind-numbingly dull and as uncool as cricket? Telling me the Cricket World Cup is on is about as pointless as informing Robert Mugabe a general election is underway.
I don’t care. As a formerly open-minded aspiring sports journalist I tried to sit down and watch cricket many years ago. Painful, regrettable memories.
I sat out on the lawn on a Sunday afternoon, sprawled out on a deckchair in my oversized Zimbabwe kit. This would be the glorious day I was introduced to the game of my forefathers.
Then it began. Ball after ball, over after over, wicket after wicket – it was absolute torture. From that day onwards I vowed I would never watch cricket again. Test, ODI, 20/20 – they’re nothing more than brands of sporting punishment sent by the gods to beat us into boredom-induced submission.
There is no fun in watching men garbed in pads and helmets run around some grass smacking a red ball around. It’s a far cry from watching gloved brutes smash each other in a ring or over-paid primadonnas diving into their own spit on a football pitch.
With all due respect to cricket legends Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar, their sport is the least entertaining way to pass your time whilst languishing on the sofa. The Ashes aside, Cricket lacks the passion and spark we see in other mainstream sports.
Wickets? Forget about them.