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February 4, 2009, 07:24 PM
Philosophy of Cricket
Fragmented thoughts by Gopal Bhar

Macrocosm in Microcosm. Goethe's frozen architecture of statuesque poses. Blake's infinity in grain of sand. It teaches us many valuable lessons in life that can applied to our multi-faceted sectors.

One purified in ablution a whole team enters this House of God, the temple where shortly a symphony orchestrated by 11 men with their coach is about to begin. It's a chiarscuro of sonata where a mixture of dark and light-spell of half-spin is about to undertake a killing of one single victim who is sitting at the spotlight of the field. They are no different from highly orderly choreographed soldiers marshalling to take spoils.

It teaches time management to a corporate worker with paperworks who can sift them in order of 50 utilizing 6 seconds glancing at each before pegging them to Roman loci system.

It teaches formlessness that bruce lee emphasized. Class players like Jayasurirya, Sangakkaara, Tendulkar become superfluid plasma n so effortlessly hits the ball that they show us a complex mathematico-kinesthetic skill of poetry making it apparent that it's not about just Ggor bludgeoning a Tlig's rock with a cudgel.

It teaches that on/at the spotlight center of the field how can 1 still(w/still steele mind) control n manipulate 11 opponents when pressure is on him.

It teaches how as one person mentioned in this forum that there is no top ten and that all big n small works together like gears n cogwheel in a giant mechanism and that even doing fielding or wicketkeeping one can do the dirty job n make it like they pwn the field.

It's a game of ultimate coordination from Reality.

It's a game of supreme textual drama of a contortionist making various swift, quick, superfluid moves knitting to get one batsman out from the powerful display of fielding.

It's a game which invites mathematical giant like Ramanujan's mentor G.H.Hardy, theologians, sculptors, architects, technicians, plumbers, statisticians.... ...of all creed and walks of life can congregate to see the nature of reality according to their own perceptions.

It teaches theologian and physicists that 6 possible, basic outcomes exist before each ball is bowled corresponding the marks of a die which in turn dovetails to the quantum probabitlites n possibilities and random nature of play further interjecting Einstein's remark that "God doesn't play with dice" which leads to chaos theory and organized coherence of rhythm divine curtailing Pascale's Wager of Belief in the Absolute Truth.

It teaches the plumber that certain sleight-of-hands are like the ells of elbows making bimana complex choreographs.

It gives flashes of insight to sculptor who never dreamt of certain forms that miraculously gel at the crease.

A game of strategy it shows the palmistry reading to the army general the outcome of what follows when 11 are set to kill one who is holding a cutlass trying to defend and live against all prosibilties.

It teaches David overcoming Goliath n thus affirming the biblical parable.

It teaches how one enters the realm of superhuman from lightning fast, microsecond reflexs as a testament to how fast can brain process when it hits the zone during caught n bowled fielding.

It's a mathematicial tale of two cities with base 50 starting with the number of innings to batsman's reaching of 50 that shows an addiction to a bizzare, anthropological ritual which takes him to a primitive mode of nervousness or frustrations when dilly-dallying at 49.

It's Scheherezeda's woven fable which unfurls an excitement in even the most boring game of Test matches that carries on over the next night gripping us in a suspense.

However, most importantly it teaches us that after all cricket is a game n should be played for fun n its own sake rather for means to an end and the process shouldd be enjoyed. So for the close minded skeptics who think watching recreational sports like cricket is a big "waste of time".....yes it can and does teach a lot about life and if necessary can be applied to mastering any field.

"No experience is waste of time if used properly." -Rodin

February 4, 2009, 07:46 PM
Gopal, thou doth posseseth the purest, most potent stash of them all ...

February 4, 2009, 09:07 PM
Apnader doway. ^

One World
February 6, 2009, 03:13 AM
"<WBR>Merda taurorum animas conturbit"
Anything right opposite above will do.

February 6, 2009, 09:05 AM
hmmm... interesting read

April 26, 2011, 08:37 AM
If the French noblesse had been capable of playing cricket with their peasants, their chateaux would never have been burnt. - G. M. Trevelyan

A must read:


Beyond a Boundary (1963) is a memoir on cricket written by the Trinidadian Marxist intellectual C. L. R. James. It mixes social commentary, particularly on the place of cricket in the West Indies and England, with commentary on the game, arguing that what happened inside the "Boundary Line" in cricket affected life beyond it, as well as the converse. The book is in a sense a response to a Rudyard Kipling quote, "What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?"


James recounts the role cricket played in his family's history, and his meetings with such early West Indian players as George John, Wilton St Hill, the great batsman George Headley and the all rounder Learie Constantine, but focuses on the importance of the game and its players to society, specifically to colonial era Trinidad. James argues for the importance of sport in history, and refers to its roots in the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece. He documents the primacy of W.G. Grace in the development of modern cricket, and the values embraced by cricket in the development of the cultures of the British Empire. He approaches cricket as an art form, as well as discussing its political impact - particularly the role of race and class in early West Indian cricket. "Cricket", he writes, "had plunged me into politics long before I was aware of it. When I did turn to politics, I did not have too much to learn." Cricket is approached as a method of examining the formation of national culture, society in the West Indies, the United Kingdom, and Trinidad. Education, family, national culture, class, race, colonialism, and the process of decolonisation are all examined through the prism of contemporary West Indian cricket, the history of cricket, and James life as a player of -- and commentator and writer upon -- the sport of cricket.

James was born and educated in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He recounts the importance of cricket to himself and his community, the role it played in his education, and the disapproval from his family of his attempt to follow a sporting life along with his academic career, whom he describes as "Puritan". This too, he relates to cricket. James returns to the values imbued with cricket, first into the 19th century English bourgeois culture of the British public school, and then out into the colonies. He contrasts this with American culture, his own growing radicalism, and the fact that the values of fair play and acceptance of arbitration without complaint rarely applies in the world beyond the cricket pitch.

After university, he played first-class cricket for a year in the Trinidad league. Having to choose from clubs divided by class, race and skin-tone, James writes of his recruitment as a dark skinned university educated player to Maple, a club of the light-skinned lower middle class. He writes, in a chapter entitled "The Light and the Dark", that "faced with the fundamental divisions in the island, I had gone to the right and, by cutting myself off from the popular side, delayed my political development for years."

In 1932, James and Learie Constantine (a much more successful cricketer, with whom he co-wrote Cricket and I [1933] and The Colour Bar [1954]) traveled to Britain, Constantine playing as a professional in the Lancashire League, James pursuing his education, and earning a living as cricket correspondent of the Manchester Guardian. James recounts the lessons he learned from cricket about race and class in Britain, and the perspective on society Cricket gave him on the independence struggle in Trinidad, and the short lived West Indies Federation, in which he witnessed after his return in 1958. An advocate of Pan-Africanism, James examines the relationships of the unified West Indies cricket team through independence, nationalism of particular islands, and in interaction with other colonial and post colonial national teams (such as West Indian tours of Australia and England).

WiKiLink (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyond_a_Boundary)

April 26, 2011, 06:41 PM
^Will definitely look forward to it. Either BC has made me refined or what I wrote in OP was just pulp fiction.

April 26, 2011, 07:33 PM
An Unintentionsal Hustle

I walk in my nearest local gas station to get my daily energy drink fix. In the shelf there lies a slender Rockstar (2x caffeine) energy drink can. However, this one is low-carb and sugar free and to satisfy my tastebuds I was craving for the one with the sugar. It's a slender container too but of different color. So I walk up to the cashier and ask for the one with the sugar. The cashier was new so he walks up to a small refrigerator and looks for the demanded can. Not finding the target can he comes back I tell him that I can do with the sugar free one. But the product do not scan. So he goes to the main refrigerator where I picked up the can and brings a different one all the while still trying to fulfill my request of looking for the can with more sugar. Then he comes back with a different product but this one doesn't scan too. At this time, he took about 6 minutes to process what would have been a mere thirty second transaction. Since the product doesn't scan he guesstimates the price to be $1.63 but I knew that the price would have been more than $2.50 but I walk away paying a reduced price.

To wind down a long story what exactly caused the cashier to dispense the container for a low price? Pressure! Consider the following points:

cashier was new
it was taking too long to process the transaction
it wasn't simply his day as none of the containers scanned
So instead of calling his manager for help he succumbed to pressure! Now while it was certainly not my mission to hustle him, an astute conned man could have easily tricked the unsuspecting cashier by forcing the new man to experience increased pressure by giving way too much instructions to fulfill.

Wickets fall in clusters

Upon extrapolation of this story, there have been two notable instances where the Tigers have manifested this pressure. Three if we count the Zimbabwe ODI in Chittagong where they were all out for 40 odd runs but that was more of a doing of a pitch inhabited by gremlins.

First one is the all too famous 6 for 5 incident. But let us discuss the second one. In the NZ series, at one point when NZ was down 5 for 80 in 20 overs (link (http://www.espncricinfo.com/bangladesh-v-new-zealand-2010/engine/current/match/476599.html)), the commentator cried out that 5 down but people in the stadium was 'asking for more blood'.

This is what pressure does- especially when new men walk in the crease. Say two wickets are down for 13 and a new man walks into the crease. At that instant he is experiencing quite a bit of pressure. Consider the points:

Runs are low on the board.
2 wickets are already down
New man is yet to score
Yet most often than not the Tigers don't exploit this to hasten a coup de grace with foible. The new man has not scored a single run yet to concede that coveted run is giving up the so called winning run or a the landmark run. Shakib, however, brilliant his captaincy may have been have been guilty of being on the backfoot by not applying slips or bringing in the men closer for aggressive fielding. Fielders saunter; while batsmen easily canters for a single. Yet this moment the very crux of the game! At this pivotal instance, fielders should prevent any single from scoring as if their life depended on it metamorphising into Jontys and Collingwoods! It's a simple point alright but it is worth highlighting.

What happened at the aforementioned cases of falling of quick succession of cricket is sort of a unsuspecting recursive feature of Nature. Wicket falls - new man comes in crease- succumbs to pressure - wicket falls - new man in crease - repeat.

Think about it. Bangladesh is no mighty powerhouse yet they produced a genouflection of a revered team either by a conscious or an oblvious application of using whatever resource or cards they were dealt with. And nevermind the fact that Tamim didn't participate in any of the whitewashes.

And ultimately the answer to the grand riddle of cricket defeats? Focus on what you have, and not what you don't have; a fact which Siddons has neglected all too often using the lack of Jayasurias, Tendulkar and Afridis in the team as excuses. Although Bangladesh team creaolized as a cohesive unit and overthrew the New Zealand hosts, they were -as irony would have it- on the receiving end of the psychological pressure which produced their 58. And this brings me to the corollary converse point.

Don't delay that single run

At the risk of hashing out a 'duh' point, the players should also worry about the converse of the problem ie when chips are down and new men in the crease, they need to take that single run asap and reach to a modest double digit score of 10 or 12 runs before they waltz on incremently. It doesn't matter how the runs come but the fact that they come quickly is of concern. Roqibul Hassan has been guilty of this feature many times. And if the man gloats or even has a hint of boast that lower SR makes him a more level headed player then he is living in Dark Age, if the fact of his dwindling career is not a testimony itself. Players are wont to score in wanton manner from flashy agricultural slashes. Dark Age indeed. But the secret lies in no esoteric technique in a technocratic journal that it is about settling in and settling in quickly. In these post-IPL T20 days, SR plays a huge role. The importance of taking that single run and reaching the double digit figures quickly cannot be overemphasized because these labors of brick-by-brick construction of an innings of the likes of Gambhir, Amla and Yusuf is what distinguishes between the geegaw, bric-a-brac ones of our knights in gantiers who are reluctant to get their hands dirty.

Karmic equilibrium

Since we started off with a story it's apt to conclude with what I deem to be Nature's sly and subtle humor. Having already hustled about a dollar worth of money in the morning, as I walk in a Chinese wok restaurant for lunch, I notice that you can save money on Lunch combo if you order before 4:00pm. The time was about 3:55pm, so I order my combo. But as I would discover in - horror- to put it mildly- the cashier charged me the full price instead of giving me a lunch deal. It turns out I got jipped about a dollar at the end of the day.

Now to extrapolate it in the cricketing terms...I kid!

July 20, 2011, 04:44 AM
The Philosophy of Cricket surround a series of cerebration upon the nature of cricket, its forms of practice, its history and its influence in shaping the human form physically, emotionally and morally.

July 28, 2011, 04:27 PM
@ZeeshanM: To be honest the OP could have been written a bit better. At the moment it reads like scattered (but interesting) musings on how cricket can be perceived without a coherent narrative or structure. Admittedly that is very difficult and some of your lines were great, for instance: "It's Scheherezeda's woven fable which unfurls an excitement in even the most boring game of Test matches that carries on over the next night gripping us in a suspense. " In a similar vein to what you have written (interestingly but with mixed success) is Sharda Ugra's article on Test Cricket and Time: http://www.espncricinfo.com/thebig_2000_test/content/story/524524.html

I too would highly recommend CLR James' "Beyond a Boundary" as well as the 'Empire of Cricket' documentary series that is available on YouTube.

July 28, 2011, 04:47 PM
^Lol read the date....

July 29, 2011, 05:31 PM
So would you say the way you view cricket (and write about cricket) has changed considerably since February 5, 2009? In any case, I didn't know about BC back in 2009 so I didn't have the opportunity to read the post till now.

July 29, 2011, 08:07 PM
So would you say the way you view cricket (and write about cricket) has changed considerably since February 5, 2009?