Wednesday, July 8, 2009

so much excitement over a little pot of burnt wood?

I am one of those rare commodities, obscure creations, exceptions to the rule, a GIRL, who likes CRICKET. Not to play, I don’t think I’ve ever held a cricket bat in my life, and feel sure that I would hold it the wrong way round anyway (at least I know there’s a wrong way round), not to mention probably getting knocked out by the first red leather ball that came my way, but to watch! And it’s not just the men in whites (or men out of whites).

I don’t even pretend to know that much about it, but I love the myriad of factors that contribute to winning or losing. I love the fact there’s always something else to think about, I love the strategy element of the game, I love the fact it takes five days and they break for tea and lunch. I love the relaxed and rambling commentary and I love the memories it evokes of long summers with dad gardening with the radio on, dropping everything and running inside when a wicket fell, to catch the replay on the TV.

Even in the UK I have very few people to share and feed my enthusiasm, most of my friends find it dull, boring, and complicated. Since I have been here I have tried to explain cricket to Ghanaians, Americans, French, Dutch… all of them end up looking more confused than when I started.

So here I am, on day 1 of the Ashes, that biggest of sporting rivalries, with the rain slating down from a grey sky, in an ex-British colony, frequently wondering why Ghana did not pick up cricket like India did, and wishing it had done. Even the Brits I work with do not seem overly bothered, and I think if I said the word ‘Ashes’ to a Ghanaian they’d think I was talking about bush fires. So I am sitting behind my computer, wishing I was in the sun at home, pretending to work, sneakily following Ben Dirs and his BBC text commentary, with butterflies in my belly… and hoping 21-1 already isn’t the start of something horrible...

1 comment:

Oceane said...

Ali : what you should have done was talked to a Canadian about cricket. You would have had an AMAZING response: passion, thrill, excitement, effervescence… The whole package. Why? Why would Canadians be more into this than Americans, Germans or Ghanaians you ask…? Very simple: if we can get excited about curling, we surely can get excited about any useless sport you throw our way…!!!
God help your little north American cousins!