Bang! Crash! Wallop! Throbbing music and flashing lights. People stomping, clapping and shouting.
That was me last Friday night.
I wasn’t at the movies. Not at a concert. No, not even a nightclub.
I was at the cricket. The T20 womens’ cricket game between Australia and England. To decide the Ashes! Which we won.
Heat, light and smoke! And the cricket! Balls hit at speed. Stumps scattered. Wickets falling. Fours and sixes! Catches held and spilled.
For me, everything was happening too quickly. I was losing sight of the real game being played.
As marketed and frequently played, cricket, especially in the shorter formats appears to be a game of total firepower.
Bang! Crash! Wallop!
Any finesse and timing is rarely shown. Such attributes surely belong to a more sedate sport. Perhaps Olympic Curling.
Or the Australia versus England Women’s Test the previous weekend.
The wicket was a friendly featherbed. No bounce, swing or turn on show here. As a result the cricket displayed was defensive. As was the result itself. After four days play, a draw.
Bang! Fizzle?! Kapow! Pfft?!
Despite the non-spectacle, I counted myself perfectly fortunate. For I was witness to another game being played.
Yes there was physical strength and skill shown, Amanda Jade Wellington spinning the ball like a washing machine for one. Brilliant athletic fielding. Even some big hitting.
Finesse and timing too. Actually seeing real late cuts elegantly played.
The other game, one where Ellyse Perry scored 213 and never ever looked like getting out. Or the two English batters who didn’t even reach Australia’s score until late in the day.
For me that’s where the real game of cricket showed up. Bang! Crash! Wallop! Nope. No heat, light and smoke.
For this other game is the one played above the neck. The real game of cricket where resilience, determination and persistence prevail.