But, of course, the result doesn’t matter.

At least not to the amateurs who hold the game in such esteem. In The Vincibles: A Suburban Cricket Odyssey, Gideon Haigh barely gets to talk about the on-field action, what with all the off-field organisation and procrastination that goes on. In a chapter dedicated to a recently deceased friend, Haigh remembers their differing tastes of reading material while waiting their turn to bat. I’m paraphrasing Haigh’s idea now, but he is right: at the amateur level, whether you’re a player or a would-be commentator, or psychoanalyst, cricket takes all types. I don’t know if reading Bertrand Russell is going to help when the burly opposition fast bowler hits the popping crease red-faced, a fag hanging out the side of his mouth, and digs one in short aiming for your head… but it will certainly give you something to think about in the interim.

Advertisements