Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hitler played cricket but was stumped

Hitler, it seems clear, was simply unable to comprehend a game as subtle and nuanced as cricket. He wanted speed and violence. Not for him the gentle thwack of leather on willow, but rather the crunch of a harder, larger ball against unprotected shins. His rewritten rules for the game attempt to blend cricket and blitzkrieg: blitzkricket.

If cricket has a motto, it is probably "Play up! Play up! And play the game", from Henry Newbolt's poem Vitai Lampada, which also extols cricketing manliness, but of a very different sort to that lauded by Hitler: "And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat, Or the selfish hope of a season's fame..."

Cricket, of course, is the ultimate sporting fusion of mind and body: an intricate set of rules and tactics, involving minute gradations of physics, climate and psychology, requiring the broadest range of athletic ability and good manners. In its classic form, it takes five days, with set intervals for tea, and often produces no result. Try to imagine Hitler enjoying a truly thrilling draw, a totalitarian wrestling with the subtle uncertainties of the lbw law. The word "googly" has no translation.

Full article here

One can only imagine what he would have made of the doosra!

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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