Cherwell

Side Lines – Cricket

Cricket is often derided as a boring sport – Cherwell
thinks that those who think so simply don’t get it, but will
lay off antagonising readers for the moment and elucidate (for
those in the know) why there’s never been a better time to
be watching our summer sport. Rarely do two geniuses come along together; in fact often one
replaces another as Maradona did Pele, Hendry did Davis and
Sampras did McEnroe. There are a number of bona fide geniuses
entertaining us on cricket fields at this very moment, men who
would grace any ‘all-time eleven’ – Lara, Hayden,
Warne and Muralitharan. Cricket is great at the moment simply
because we’re graced by an abundance of great players. That these great players are plying their trades together has
led to a number of intriguing battles developing. A while ago two
of the only three men to have taken 500 wickets (Warne and
Muralitharan) were battling each other on the pitch. Both look
certain to break Courtney Walsh’s record; the only question
is by how much. The batsmen are laying on records and personal
battles too: Hayden scores 380, Lara scores 400. Add to that the
charge towards a oneday international double ton and viewing
figures, and interest, must surely soar. But team games are not the sole province of talented
individuals. Cricket’s great to watch at the moment because
the battle between the teams is so fascinating: an Australian
side – who two years ago might have laid claim to being the
greatest ever team– feeling the pressure, India pushing them
hard, a South African side that can never be written off against
anyone and sub-continent sides who seem impossible to beat at
home. One side was notably left out there. The main reason it’s
great to be watching cricket at the moment is that England, after
years languishing in the doldrums look good again. This hope has
dawned before only to be dashed, but this time it all seems so
real – and that’s the other reason to watch cricket; in
sunshine everything’s good.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004