The Reality Of Cricket

Wed, May 30, '18

by LAURIE FOSTER

Commentary

Foster's Fairplay has removed its blinkers which for all these years have obscured the reality of cricket. A lesson was learnt after watching the final of the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL).

It arrived on the heels of a breathtaking performance by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), bettering 178 for six by the Sunrisers Hyderabad, posting 181 for two. Virtually batting on one leg, hobbled by a hamstring restriction, it was a Man of the Match offering by Australian Shane Watson of 117 unbeaten that steered the CSK ship into safe harbour. This shortened version has taken the game by storm, and it seems that there is no stopping its advance to top the world in excitement and entertainment.

Former West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman Jeffrey Dujon made a statement a week ago. It spoke to "the rich history of Test cricket that will keep it alive." Having been a part of this version of the game, albeit limited to being an avid fan, there was a struggle. That conflict has been blown away after the IPL final, now cast in concrete. But what was it that was delaying the conclusion that has now been reached?

The experience of listening to the West Indies 3-1 triumph in England in 1950 reigns supreme. Even at the tender age of eight, there was a clear realisation that the three Ws batting machine - Weekes, Worrell and Walcott - was cut from fine cloth. Without the speed demons who were to follow, it was the spin of Ramadhin and Valentine that mesmerised the English batsmen into a leaden-footed and highly ineffective response.

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