Australian cricket fans will be hoping to avenge the drubbing we were dealt by the Poms during the northern summer – we may be a long shot to regain the Ashes down under, but while there’s good weather and a fair pitch, there’s always hope.
Cricket is one of the great British inventions, but the game put down deep roots here in Australia. It became part of our national discourse, our Australian identity. It’s a game in which humanity is the key attraction, where skill, character, strengths and flaws contend, where fortune and fate lurk like close-in fieldsman, where greatness or doom are always just a heart beat away.
Americans shake their heads in puzzlement at a game that lasts five days and may not produce a result, a game sometimes so slow it’s possible to read a good book while watching the play and not miss a thing. These are very much part of its charm.
There’s literature and poetry about cricket – John Arlott and Neville Cardus spring to mind. And cricket has inspired many a good song – a theme explored this week on Tony Hillier’s World of Music.
Jiggery Pokery from the The Duckworth-Lewis Method self-titled 2009 album.
Bradman from the Paul Kelly 1987 album Under The Sun
Cricket from The Kinks 1973 album Preservation Act:1