I do not have Sky Sports TV, because then all pretence of doing anything at all with my life would disintegrate. But I am a sports fan, and I am currently watching a game of cricket, on Ceefax.
You would be surprised how enjoyable this can be. Ceefax is especially good for following limited overs cricket, where each side only has a fixed number of balls to bat against, and where it’s all finished and done with in one day. These kinds of games can fluctuate wildly, and just watching the scorecard tick over can be very enjoyable, and fits in well with performing other tasks.
And there is no kind of cricket of which the above is more true than Twenty20 cricket, where each side has only twenty overs (equals 120 deliveries) to make its runs, and where the whole thing is over in one evening. And as if to emphasise the extreme extremity of this extreme form of cricket, the teams are not called boring old Yorkshire or dull Derbyshire. They are called things like the Yorkshire Hystericals and the Derbyshire Desperados.
These games fluctuate particularly wildly, and as if to make that point, one of the star batsmen of my team, the Surrey Psycho-Killers, just got out, for 32, against Kent Velociraptors. Another dismissal now, and Kent would definitely have the whip hand. More Surrey slogging and they should win. Okay, I would rather be there, especially since the Oval, where this game is being played, is only a walk away form my home. But Ceefax will do nicely, and this way I get to write this.
Last week, I swear I witnessed another game of Twenty20 cricket which was reduced, by our characteristically vile and windy weather last week, to each side only having five overs to bat each. Yes. They each had just thirty balls to score their runs. Northants Something Scary Beginning With Ns versus the Gloucester (inevitably) Gladiators, I think it was. Five5 cricket, you might say. But I can find no trace of this game on the internet. Did I dream the whole thing? No I did not. Here it is!
The point of all this is to emphasise how lively cricket seems to be in England just now, despite the fluctuating form of our national side, and in the world generally.
This guy is extremely down on these guys, just now. But however well or badly cricket’s mere administrators do, the underlying strength of the game is now a world sporting fact, if only because of the rise and rise of India, in the world generally, and as a great cricketing nation in particular.
David Carr will not he happy.