The 628 - Too much cricket
09 Nov 2009 - 14:49:25
An undeniable fact? Accepted by all. Denied only by rapacious administrators determined on squeezing every dollar possible by staging meaningless matches remembered by no one; leaving behind broken, burnt out players and bored audiences.
You'd have to be wrong and misguided to disagree. Michael Vaughan couldn't be wrong could he? Concerned by the 16 four-day games currently played in the county championship he wrote that "counties have to accept less is more".
Likewise, Adam Gilchrist, taken aback at the lack of rest for Australian players between Champions trophy, Champions league and seven one-day internationals against India added: "Too much of cricket is being played and it needs to be monitored". Everyone's saying it. "Too much, too much...."
628 suspected conformist rot was being parroted and unscientifically tried to find out what too much cricket actually meant. 628 called on lies, damned lies and statistics for help.
We very, very, briefly looked at stats for 2009 and case studied Marcus Trescothick. He played a lot; 48 games in all, including all 16 LV Division One matches , all nine Friends Provident , all eight Natwest Pro 40s, 12 T20s , wto Champion League appearances and one pre-season friendly. He travelled far and wide; cold Edinburgh in May and humid, hazy Bangalore in October. From April 3rd to October 12, he played 93 days out of 193.
How many of these days were rained off? Finished ahead of time? How many hours were spent in the field and at the crease? No idea and wouldn't care to work it out either. He scored a lot of runs so he spent a lot of time in the middle batting. Tresco didn't have his feet up when he wasn't fielding then. But cricket is still a game that affords you long periods of rest during the game.
It isn't that simple though is it? Imagine in these dark economic times you saw this job advert:
Very talented, hand eye coordinated ball throwers, hitters, fielders, sought. Career span of 15-20 years for the best. Outdoor work in summer. Never work in rain. Travel extensive over six months. Two meals a day free for longer engagements. Applicants must be prepared to stay in middle grade hotels, room with colleague, spend time away from family.
Rewards increase with performance. High achievers will ultimately work internationally and required to travel to destinations like South Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, West Indies.
Dreaming 'where do I sign?', or are you acutely aware of the precarious, agonising experiences that accompany the job? Are the long spells away from your wife, children and home too much to bear? Would you rather work 250-odd days and more after weekends and holidays like the many, many?
A tour of duty in Afghanistan suddenly appears less gruelling than the life of a professional cricketer. Believe the endless inside baseball myopia you hear about cricket being relentless, that cricketers are exhausted and fans are wearied and you'd think there was some sort of war being fought; some great suffering being born.
We've all got to get use to the fact that more and not less international cricket will be played and that international cricketers will play more international games. Their domestic counterparts will also do as broadcasters demand. Airtime in the summer has to be filled.
Sermon over. But 628 thinks it knows the real reason why players bolt at the idea of playing 66 one day internationals - as India did last year- becoming the norm. It was the sight of goddess like Emily Prior at the Marriot before England departed to South Africa that did it. Bangladesh or at home with your own Elinor Glyn on a tiger skin. No contest.
By the way is it me or are this current crop of England players' wives and girlfriends the most beautiful ever?
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