Sunday, April 27, 2008

Running Home

The last post was a personal indulgence. But on the same subject, time for a practical suggestion.

I spent a while living in America, but although I think I understand the game, their version of football never interested me. But for some reason baseball instantly appealed. I went to see both the Yankees and the Mets during my time there, and more than that, I loved the fact that there always seemed to be a first class game on TV, even though a hundred other channels were spewing rubbish.

Why do I like baseball? Despite what you may think, it's not about the stats. It may be the pace of the game. About 120 pitches per side spread over about 3 hours ... sorry, that's 20:20 cricket again.

But what I don't particularly like, funnily enough, are home runs. To me they spoil the flow of the game. Batting bowling and fielding should all be part of it. What I like are the balls smacked to far left field, the cheeky singles, the fly balls parried and caught. It's about "runs batted in", not "runs walked in".

Which brings me to my suggestion for cricket. The general lament from the traditionalists is that the new game favours the batsman. It's not easy to legislate on batting technology or to control the pitch. But at the very least keep the ground as big as possible, stop bringing the boundaries in.

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