Steve Sachs Duke


Friday, June 27, 2003


Faster than a speeding cricket match. A friend alerts me to today's NYT article on speed cricket (motto: "Twice the action, half the time!").

For those not living in the former Empire, standard cricket is a game that could have only been spread through force of arms--a sort of mutant baseball played on a geologic timescale, complete with breaks for tea and cucumber sandwiches. It's not unusual for five-day international matches to end in a tie. This past year, the shortest county-level match played in England or Wales lasted 6 hours and 10 minutes. In the new version, however, games are limited to three hours, which has led to no small outcry:

"It's sad to contemplate what's happening," said David Frith, former editor of the Wisden Cricket Monthly. "Cricket is meant to attract people who are said to be dreamy and poetic, liking the subtleties and depth of the game, but this is attracting people on the fringe who want something else."

However, there were others who found the three-hour match downright fascinating, including cricket fan Karl Burgess:

"You have to talk in degrees of excitement," he said. "In cricket terms, this is exciting."

Now if the Brits can just figure out how to make cold and hot water come out of the same tap, I'll be happy.




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