Saturday, June 30, 2018

Ian Jack goes to a county game at Scarborough

Embed from Getty Images

Ian Jack (whom I have praised before as one of my favourite columnists) has been to a county game at Scarborough:
I’ve been to a few cricket matches, and yet I know very little about cricket. What strikes me is the skill that’s required of the people who watch it, who know the instant they have to stop talking to their neighbour and look across the field just in time to see the ball leave the bowler’s hand in the direction of the batsman, and then to stay focused on the result – hits, misses, runs, catches and so on – until this vital little sequence comes to an end and the conversation can be resumed. 
For instance: “You see, after his wife died, they were very helpful. They got him that house … [pause, click of bat on ball, unrewarded cry of “Catch it!”] … somewhere up Shipley way, and he’s been living there with the lady from Wetherspoon’s ever since.”
It's Alan Bennett meets Murray Bennett.

Reader's voice: Who is Murray Bennett?

Liberal England replies: An obscure Australian spinner Les Taylor caught and bowled in 1985 to regain the Ashes.

Persistent reader: Who is Les Taylor?

Liberal England replies tetchily: Really, if you are not prepared to do the reading there's no point in your coming to these seminars.

Anyway, this gives me another chance to recommend the cricket blogging of Backwatersman, who lives across the road from me.

And for a glimpse of outground cricket in the 1950s, watch the video in my post Frank Tyson in his pomp:
It provides a pleasing portrait of country cricket at an outground in that era. Marquees; adults on deckchairs, children sitting cross-legged on the grass.

No comments: