Sunday, 16 January 2005

Go the tonk

I’d hardly consider myself a cricket purist - in fact I’d be lucky to refer to myself as a cricket fan even though I watch a few of the games and know what’s going on. I’ve always preferred One Day games over the tedious four or five days of directing traffic that is the test match but I will not, NOT be sucked in by this 20/20 craze that’s going around.

The beauty of the 50 over game is that batsmen will occasionally go mad and start smashing balls into the crowd like there was no tomorrow. It’s a novelty, and that’s why everyone goes off for it. But now they’re busting out a code of the game where you’re socially ostracised if you don’t smash a fifty off 20 balls. And it’ll be huge. Personally I think it’d be tedious to go along expecting to see 6’s and 4’s delivered off every ball. The only person this is good for is Brett Lee - finally a version of the game where he can be tonked all over the park and come out with his credability intact.

It’s precisely the same reason that millions of people are ten-pin bowling around the country as we speak but the sport can’t even get on television during the cricket ad-breaks anymore. When you bowling and get a strike it’s a novelty, you jump around like a tosser and bust out some sort of spontaneous celebration. Well I do anyway. I once got 5 strikes in a row on the way to a lifetime high of 210 - then in going for the 6th one I totally choked and got one pin. So what happens when you watch bowling on television? Strikes, strikes and more strikes. If they only get 9 it’s a national tragedy. And it’s deadly boring. Same thing every time - person lobs ball, it slides to the left a bit and some pins fall down. This form of cricket will be - bowler lobs ball, batsman smacks it, some runs are scored.

No, you can keep your 20/20. I’ll be going to the Melbourne FC vs Collingwood FC charity match just to see Colin Sylvia going the tonk but this is the only time that it should be used - for charity matches. Clearly it’s all a big cynical scam to try and get the Americans to start watching the sport. Good luck with that - you’ll need it.

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