Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The gentlemen's game

Win-win situation, originally uploaded by halwis.

Life is pretty good at Mid-Wicket… it’s not as boring as long-off, more respectable than third-man, not as depressing as gully (deep gully is usually worse) and a lot more comfortable than the square leg region. Some people assume that fine-leg must be a pretty sexy place to be, but batsmen tend to glance down fine leg quite often and it gets extremely wired down there. Mid-on and mid-off don’t offer a grand wide view of the whole pitch as midwicket does, and life in the cover region is just too tiring. Hard work put in by the sweeper cover and wicket keeper goes ignored and thankless on the best of days. How about the bowlers you ask? Well the bowlers get banged out of the park – and that’s not nearly as fun as it sounds. Forward short-leg gets bullied a lot and nothing really lasts at the slips.
Cricket terminology can be very subtle and therefore pretty difficult to catch, but the pressure usually never goes away because no one likes to be given out caught. The worst dismissal by far however, has to be getting out trapped with your “leg before the wicket”. So all else being equal, Midwicket is a nice place to be, even though it hardly offers too many chances to change the course of the game because only idiots get out caught at midwicket and every self-respecting batsman knows that a jab towards mid-wicket never really offers the chance to steal a quick one!
So when “the captain’s hand on your shoulder smote", you are left with little choice but to “play up, play up and play the game” or take up water polo… a game far less susceptible to seditious metaphors and euphemisms.

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