By Jo Ind on Feb 13, 09 02:32 PM in Lifestyle

I have a secret to share with you dear readers. Quietly and surreptitiously over the past few years I have been transformed from someone who could not understand why balls had been invented into an edge-of-my-seat, whooping and hollering cricket fan.

This is not something I talk about often as I suspect it is part of a midlife crisis, but I can not let as schools secretary Ed Balls tries to persuade us of the "health benefits" of the game (ugh!) without offering some passion on cricket's behalf...

1) I love Barbados
2) Monty Panesar
When he's about to bowl his face is a scrunched up in studious concentration. But when he bowls 'em out....
3) The restrained use of colour
White whites on a green pitch with a complimentary dash of red
4) The sound
I'm not talking about the pat of leather on willow followed by a gentle ripple of applause. I mean the Caribbean cacophony of soca and reggae competing against the clamour or horns, bugles and drums and grown men shouting.
5) The maths
If you're the kind of person that likes Sodoku puzzles you can entertain that sad part of your brain with sums involving the number of runs needed divided by the number of overs etc
6) The bodies
Unlike rugby players, cricketers' bodies tend to be tall and elegant.
7) My two-year-old loves it
"Mummy, I'm watching cricket," he says. I find this fascinating. What is he so enthralled by the sight of Jerome Taylor massacring the England batsmen when he could be watching Chuggington?
8) It can last five days
When you go to bed thinking about a match and it's still there when you wake up the next morning, it becomes part of your life in a way that something which is over and done with in 90 minutes does not.
9) The technicalities
It makes me sad when people are put off cricket because they don't understand the finer details. I don't know about donkey drop and fast leg theory either, but I'm glad there is a technical side to the game. It makes me feel it has depth, that there will always be more for me to learn.
10) Anything could happen
The game is teaching me to get out of the habit of thinking that I know how things are going to end. It constantly twists and turns and surprises. Cricket is a metaphor of life.

PS - Bye bye for now. I won't be blogging for another couple of weeks. Guess where I'm going?


Sid Langley said:

Jo, you have just confirmed my long-held belief in your abiding strangeness

Steve X said:

The way to man's heart Jo is through an appreciation of cricket.
So many women are into football these days, it's become a bit blase, so a new standard had to be set.

The Red Postman said:

Good on you, Jo! Should we have a summer this year, can I recommend a day spent watching a County Championship game at New Road,Worcester?
In the shadow of the Cathedral on a sunny day, there is no better sporting arena in the country. Unfortunately, New Road has spent most of the last two summers under water.

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