The spirit of cricket

 

            After five days it was a draw. The last England versus New Zealand test produced no winner. The series produced no winner. Yet the action of the last day was fantastic. Both sides and their fans can bask in acts of glory and heroism, resulting in an honourable draw under the rules.

          In the spirit of cricket the New Zealand team website salutes the amazing innings of  Matt Prior, 110 not out  from batting 269 minutes. His innings, along with Bell’s brilliant 352 minutes of resistance, and Stuart  Broad taking 137 minutes to score very few, allowed England to save the match. Meanwhile a part time bowler Williamson  took two wickets in the same over to give New Zealand a chance of victory and ended with astonishing figures of 4-44. Their seamers strode in energetically and purposefully for the whole day, always leaving their fans with the belief that they were going to win. When Boult had the ball in his hand England hearts wobbled.

             It was great box office. It broke all the rules of other games – it took too long, it had no result, one of the teams simply had to spend time and absorb pressure. It made brilliant drama. The fact that both teams can praise the other after such a forceful encounter  is the true spirit of cricket.

 

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19 Comments

  1. Horatio McSherry
    Posted March 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    That, John, is why we love test cricket, isn’t it? Without the days of build-up you couldn’t have such a tense and thrilling ending like that (just like the great Edgebaston test of 2005). As ‘is Royal ‘ighness, Geoffrey Boycott so eloquently puts it:

    “You can’t tell me that Twenty20 cricket is better than that!”

    Indeed, Geoffrey. Indeed.

    • StevenL
      Posted March 26, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      I was at day 4 of Edgebaston 2005. The on site bookies were offering 25/1 on Brett Lee to be top Aussie batsman. I looked in the window and mooted taking it, but my mate hurried us to our seat. Only we found someone had nicked them and we got better ones, right behind the bowler’s arm at the City End. It was a good hour or so of cricket, but, on the downside, that series sent the ‘face value’ price of a ticket rocketing to 75 quid. A year or two later we went to see the Pakistan test and the ground was empty.

      Why don’t they just auction tickets and let the market decide the price

      • Horatio McSherry
        Posted March 28, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Maybe because they need something to subsidise the sub-standard Twenty20 lights and fireworks. If the ticket prices weren’t so low for the Twenty20 razzmatazz the stands would be – for totally different reasons – as empty as the Test Match stands abroad (I think, hopefully, as a nation we see through all that and still love the tests). It’s sacrificing the heart of the game for numerous short-term cash bonanzas, and, the powers that be can say they’re expanding the game, knowing that it’s on a totally false foundation. (See also Rugby League). As we saw with the 2005 series, if the tickets prices are right you have people queuing from 5am and into the centre of London to get in to see a day of Test cricket.

        reply Live and let live. I love Test cricket, but also like 20/20. It’s a different game. 20/20 is probably the most action packed and eventful team game in the world. Test cricket is a battle of minds and mental and physical stamina that lasts longer than other games. Both are special. Go to the one you like.

  2. Bill
    Posted March 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Keep up your own defensive play against the EU bowling attack and the spin of the media.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted March 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    How on earth do you find time to watch Cricket as well?

    • zorro
      Posted March 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      John is probably cutting out on time wasting sleep, and watching the cricket instead!… :-)

      zorro

    • Jon
      Posted March 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      I always wondered why the MPs in the chamber lean back and look up to the ceiling, there must be sky sports playing.

      Reply because there are loud speakers in the seat backs to aid hearing when the Chamber is noisy

  4. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted March 26, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I wrote a poor set of poems on the “spirit” of many things using tea-drinking as a vehicle to carry this essential forward. What you write about on the field is essential Britishness, although it is true that it takes two, the other being New Zealand.
    Cricket is a man thing even though there are many female supporters and a few unheard of female cricket teams. Mum enjoyed sitting for hours watching test match cricket, but I personally found it boring. I found it so boring as a child,that after being positioned in the slips at school I must have day dreamed and was traumatically brought out of my altered state of consciousness by a corker on my cheekbone. a trip to the school clinic and that black sticky ointment which we had on everything which hurt in those days.
    I do like the sound of cricket in the background though .It summons up many other childhood associations.

    • P O Pensioner
      Posted March 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      In my younger days I occasionally “bowled a maiden over” behind the cricket pavilion.

  5. Peter Stroud
    Posted March 26, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Try explaining to an American the significance of this wonderful draw.

  6. Jon
    Posted March 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Yes thou Formula 1 on the other hand did have a result and a winner, a moot point that one.

  7. Monty
    Posted March 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to post off topic, but David Milliband is resigning his seat in South Shields. By-Election is expected in May.

    • Dan
      Posted March 27, 2013 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      No Balls would be better

  8. Gary
    Posted March 26, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Test cricket, the noble game.

  9. Robert Taggart
    Posted March 27, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Has the paint dried yet ?!

  10. alan jutson
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Interesting indeed.

    They won the toss and had plan A to which end they applied.

    Plan A failed after halfway through the term.

    Thus the captain resorted to plan B.

    It was hard work, required determination, dedication and application, everyone was in it together for the team, and they eventually got the best result they could in the circumstances.

    A message here. ?

    Grit, determination, application, dedication to keep costs under control.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted March 30, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      The message (a score draw) would appear to be perpetual coalition – YIKES !

      • alan jutson
        Posted April 1, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        Robert

        …”..Perpetual Coalition….!

        Good god I hope not !

        No just read the last line again.

        Grit, Dedication, Application, Determination to “Keep spending under control”.

  11. Posted April 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    This is great! Here is all about the spirits of cricket. Thanks a lot

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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