Please note that productivity out of my office (OK, OK...the room I share with Kim) may be slower than usual from July 7 - 11 due to the First Test being played at Cardiff. You may hear the dulcet tones of the BBC's cricket commentators coming from said office as they exhort their wonder at the boys from Down Under.
This is serious. This is the Ashes. Unlike the local "World Series" played here by your sometime drug - assisted Rounders League, this actually involves teams from two entirely different countries playing for pride (and a few bucks) powered by tea and cucumber sandwiches. (I am amazed drugs haven't hit Cricket - not sure why. There's a lot less money involved so maybe that's why)
It involves a series of five games played every two years between Australia and England dating back to 1882.
The greatest batsmen of all time - Don Bradman (pictured above) - an Australian who was a stock broker by trade averaged 99.94. That is the number of runs he scored on average in an innings over his 20 year career. Only three other payers in history have averages over 60. The man was a freak. And every cricket fan father hopes his son emerges as the next Bradman. His trick was to practice hitting a golf ball with a cricket stump (like the thin end of a baseball bat) against a currugated water tank (so a curved surface). Try it sometime.
So fair warning has been given. I might be out of it over the next week...!
This is an absolute tragedy. To my American cousins, cricket is more than just a sport for the countries who play it. It really is like a religion. Both Zimbabwe and Pakistan are now effectively sidelined from the Gentlemen's game.
Front page of today's NY Times features a story on cricket - yay. OK, so it's about the Bernie Madoff of Antigua who invested much of his ill gotten gains into West Indian cricket but still, a small if not confused victory for the Gentlemen's game...