I love writing about some random things and this one isn’t about jiminy cricket (although I did mention him in a new year’s post I believe) but rather about cricket. The game. Well. I think it’s a game. So why write about it?

This headline sucked me in:

Why do I like Tim Bresnan so much?

The all-rounder evokes memories of a time when England’s cricketers were sulky and double-chinned.

I have no clue what an “all rounder” is (although Charles Barkley used to be the ‘round mound of rebound’) but claiming fond memories of sulky double chinned players got me hooked.

Of course the headline was followed by:

This week, as England devoured Bangladesh with the casual intensity of a cartoon dog nonchalantly marmalising a foot-long sandwich, I found myself growing restless, peering through the crowd of stern-faced Englishmen ticking off their landmarks and milestones for a glimpse of my new favourite cricketer. Who is, it turns out, Tim Bresnan, a player I was confidently expecting to feel disappointed by, before moving on to championing his immediate replacement in the England team by some hair-gelled academy dreamboat.

CMON!. Who writes this stuff? Do people really talk this way? Awesome. I wanna meet some of these people.

cricket Tim-Bresnan-007So. Who is Tim Bresnan:

It’s not so much that Bresnan is a thrilling cricketer, although it is absorbing watching him gallop in to bowl, squinting, muttering, burping, and looking like a man in furious pursuit of the last night bus home through a semi-pedestrianised provincial town centre. You expect to look down and notice he’s holding a pasty. He is simply a familiar and likably boisterous presence, someone you feel sure you might have once been mildly terrorised by on a stag do in a European capital via the use of inappropriately violent practical jokes that involve doing something horrible to someone’s shoes.

Ok. I may cheer for this guy if I can figure out what he actually does. This is awesome. And this guy plays cricket (an international sport which pays some players millions and has some world cup like tournament).

Ok. here is a quick overview of cricket:

–          Today, the game’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), has 104 member countries. With its greatest popularity in the Test playing countries (Test cricket is a cricket competition being played by teams representing their country in international level from around the cricketing world) cricket is the world’s second most popular sport after Association football.Cricket_fielding_positions1

The rules of the game are known as the Laws of Cricket (not to be confused with Murphy’s Law). These are maintained by the ICC and the Marylebone Cricket Club (note: I did not make that up but I wish I had) which holds the copyright. A cricket match is played on a cricket field at the centre of which is a pitch. The match is contested between two teams of eleven players each. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible without being dismissed (“out”) while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the other team’s batsmen and limit the runs being scored. When the batting team has used all its available overs or has no remaining batsmen, the roles become reversed and it is now the fielding team’s turn to bat and try to outscore the opposition.

Odd game. But SECOND MOST POPULAR IN WORLD after soccer (football). Yikes. Go figure. We Americans are behind the curve on this one.

So. In the end? If I ever see a cricket match on ESPN 7 at 3 in the morning I will root for the Timiny Cricket guy if only because he is described this way:

In Bresnan we have a happy hybrid, Fat Lad 2.0: a confident and efficient and entirely new-era cross-format crick-machine. But one who also wouldn’t look out of place eating a cheese and onion roll in a Harvester in 1986.

We may not need cricket in the United States but we certainly need some athlete we could describe this way. He would be our next hero.

cricketPlease pause for the sound of crickets.

Written by Bruce