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Do you go to a 20/20 cricket final?!

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During an e-normous weekend which again included 0.00 seconds taking in any sport action, I bumped into a great mate at a friend’s birthday. Somehow, or, predictably, the talk soon moved to reminiscing about the cricket team we used to play in together for a few years.

The talk turned to a lost cricket semi-final about a decade ago and even now, we were discussing potential strategic changes we could have made and dropped catches that could have, and should have, turned the game. Although to be fair to Matty Marsh, for it to be classified as a ‘dropped catch’, you actually need to be within 3 metres of the skied ball that has been hanging in the air for 12 seconds before it hits the turf. Not bitter. Not at all.

He then informed me that the club now had a mid-week 20/20 team. My ears pricked up, as the team contains some players for whom 20/20 is tailor made. Powerful batsmen, great technique, sensational to watch in full flight. Not only that, but they’d made the Grand Final, which is this week. ‘You should come along,’ he suggested.

‘You should come along.’

And so the to-ing and fro-ing begins again.

‘It’s sport,’ so that’s the end of the story, right?

‘This is about community,’ comes the immediate retort.

‘Where’s the integrity if your year without sport contains going to sporting events?’

Did I mention this is all in my head?!

Not the first time

If I do bite the bullet and head to the game, chat and catch up with a number of people at the club who I haven’t seen for some time, sit down and support my mates who will be swinging for the fences – Dave Anderson and Matt Cutler – I’m talking directly to you – it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been to a sporting event in this ‘year without’.

The slog - what cricket should all be about!

For those new to this blog, in August last year, I went to a close friend’s last ever game of footy. It was never in doubt that I was going to attend and I didn’t regret it nor have I regretted it for one second that I was there that day. It was a special game for a great mate and I felt privileged to be a part of it. It also led to one of my top 5 favourite blog pieces in the whole 9 months so far.

But does this, a 20/20 Grand Final in which defeat or victory may not necessarily mean great euphoria or despair, compare to a close friend’s last hurrah…??

Probably not.

A different slant

However, the game contains everything that this journey was supposed to be about, well, except for the game of cricket happening in the middle of the oval! It also represents so much of what is unifying about the world of sport. How else are you going to get 30-40 blokes together that you know for a few hours, unless you count a Buck’s Day, beer and strippers? … Which I don’t.

It will be a great opportunity to catch up on how people are doing, as well as bringing along my neighbour – a great friend who doesn’t know most of these guys yet.

For the prosecution…

The flipside says that if these people are so important, to find other ways to engage with these guys. There are, however, only so many dinners you can host. Maybe I need a bigger and better BBQ, I’m not sure…

Again, there’s also the obvious fact that this is a sporting event! I can lament all I like about it being community building and lost chances for different sets of friends to get to know each other, but it’s just too bad. This is one of those events where I’d much prefer to be there – like at my mate’s for the Super Bowl – but at the end of the day, it’s a year without sport.

Not the end of the world if I miss this game!

One for the team

It looks like this is just a hit that I’ll have to take. Not the end of the world, but a sharp little reminder that this journey doesn’t come without consequences. Which is ok – if it didn’t sting every now and again, the sacrifice isn’t sufficient.

On the lighter side, this is going to make coaching my soccer side at school pretty hard – ‘Guys, I have no idea how you’re playing out there and the referee (me) looks like he’s not even watching, but we’re down on the scoreboard, so you need to do … everything better!’

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About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

9 responses »

  1. If the boys weren’t playing you wouldn’t even consider going. Its less about sport than it is about mates, much less.

    Reply
  2. If it’s not going to appear in the sports pages of the paper or be attended by thousands of people, then it’s not the type of sport you’re avoiding.

    If you don’t go, I will expect people to punch you. And if you claim those punches remind you of bopxing and therefore they aren’t allowed to, I’ll expect the same people to simply run you over with their car.

    Reply
    • Haha! The threat of physical violence. Love it! I didn’t go by the way, as we had ended up having a pre-existing dinner guest, which was actually awesome. So, set the type of match you want, Craig O. I’m sure they’ll make a slot at Wrestle Mania for it, even though I can’t watch the damn event, because it’s sport!

      Reply
  3. And if you claim being run over by a car reminds you of a previous WrestleMania then I expect them to reverse back over you.

    Reply
  4. I do like the suggestion that I’m entitled to give punches for your lack of attendance, and will take on that suggestion. Will also explore plastic chair, reversing cars and other potential means of clobbering you.

    Was actually looking over my shoulder to see if you appeared tonight E … but when we feel 10 runs short, was checking to make sure you hadnt popped in to see the end.

    Was flattered to see the feature on the blog E, and had a good chuckle about Matty Marsh – did I mention that he was a boring and uninspiring cricket captain?

    Personal opinion – not watching sport to create space and see what emerges is awesome and have been highly challenged by it. But going to watch a special match for someone I reckon is in another category – as you suggest its a community building, friend supporting gesture. Just my two sense. I mean, you still talk about sport – its not like sport isnt in your life at all. Your year, to me, seems like an attempt to cut your attachment to sport, to see what emerges when you do, create better balance, choose sport rather than default into it … and I think you’d still achieve that if you went along to other peoples sport if the intention was support, encouragement, participation in their lives etc.

    Maybe, E the mission is to up the sport … so that it becomes sUPport.

    You can have that one Pete … no really, it’s ok. You can have it.

    Keep blogging up a storm E

    Reply
    • Ahhh Cutler! (C!!) I was borderline, to be honest, but as I said earlier, we ended up having a friend coming over for dinner anyway, and had a really top night. Sorry to hear you fell 10 runs short. How’d you and Doggy bat?? Love your comment and reflections, except for the ‘sUPport’ comment .. what are you, a D grade preacher!? You surmised things pretty well, my man – still seeking better balance and yep, the goal is to choose sport rather than it be The default when May 24 comes around, and um, yeah, after the baby is fed! E

      Reply
  5. Hmm, a WM match as punishment for not going to a T20 game! Ah, I’ve got it. A 20-20 Hardcore trash can match. Each combatant comes to the ring with a trash can filled with 20 items. Then it’s on. Make it an I Quit match too with the loser having to watch sport that weekend. That’ll test your resolve you dinner eating, cricket avoiding Jabroni! Note to self…really must improve sledging.

    Reply
    • Rock – Foley is still the greatest ‘I Quit’ match ever, when Rock went ballistic and delivered triple the chair shots he was supposed to… Agreed?

      Reply

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