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Old October 25, 2012, 01:22 AM
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Default Gideon Haigh's Bradman Oration

Gideon Haigh shares some wonderful anecdotes and speaks about the enduring charm of club cricket.

Quote:
I'm a cricketer. The game is the longest continuous extrafamilial thread in my life, and I'm attached to it as tightly as ever. I started pre-season training in April. I own a cat called Trumper. And while it's hardly uncommon to have a cricket bat in the house, not everyone can claim to have one in the kitchen, one in the living room, one in the bedroom and one in the outside dunny.

I represented my first club, the St James Presbyterian under-12Bs in Geelong, when I was 9; I played my first game at the mighty Yarras in 1993, and I'll play my next one this weekend. The rest of my life has been contoured accordingly. I married my wife during a Christmas break; we became parents during the next Christmas break; on neither occasion did I miss a training [session], let alone a game. We delayed our honeymoon until it was a bit more convenient. Until an Ashes series in England, anyway. I certainly thought it was convenient.

They do say that the first step to dealing with addiction is admitting you have a problem. Okay, here's my problem. I'm no bloody good. Oh, I'm not terrible. But, I mean, you can be terrible in a hilarious and companionable kind of way. Me, I'm just mediocre in a hanging-on-for-dear-life-oh-God-let-it-end-soon kind of way, one of those park cricketers who answers to the designation 'allrounder' because I basically do nothing very well, everything equally badly.
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I particularly liked this sentiment:

Quote:
"There's an interesting contrast, I fancy, between those groups we form ourselves, for our own enjoyment and beneficiation, and those formed for us, for maximum economic efficiency. The modern corporate world has developed to a fine art the act of building empires of strangers. For our own parts, we seem to prefer environments where it remains possible to know everyone's name, where we're connected by the intangibles of friendship and mutual reciprocity rather than by the formality of titles, ranks, reporting lines and organisational matrices."
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