Australia wins world cup and nobody cares

After such an insipid and tragic tournament, there is some appropriateness that the tournament ended in farce.

Australia were so far in front of the field this time around it wasn’t funny; despite not having arguably their best one-day paceman in the team, they utterly crushed every team they faced, including Sri Lanka, clearly the second-best team in the competition. There were very few close matches throughout, even in matches not involving Australia. The cricket was formulaic.

There have been a number of suggestions about problems with the number of teams playing, not to mention the drawn-out format. But are there deeper problems with the one-day game itself?

Russell Degnan argues that part of the problem is what he sees is the overly restrictive rules of the current one-day format; particularly, the requirement to bowl five bowlers, forcing fielding captains to go on the defensive for those ten overs while some part-timer trundles in.

Any other suggestions as to what could be done to rescue one-day cricket from itself?

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Posted in Sport
47 comments on “Australia wins world cup and nobody cares
  1. David Rubie says:

    Less cricket over all. They seem to play all year, and it takes the anticipation right out of the tournaments. Cricket used to be something to look forward to, now it’s something that always on the TV – miss one match and who cares, there’ll be another one along soon enough.

    I’m not sure relaxing the rules would help – one day cricket needs to be fast paced, and letting the batsman have a red-hot go is a real crowd pleaser on the right day. Test cricket (and less of that, too) is where the real strategy should be allowed to stay.

  2. Alex says:

    I’ve become really disillusioned with the pyjama game over the last few years. Nothing approaches test cricket in my opinion.

  3. Tony T. says:

    I care. The tournament was a shambles; it needs fixing and Fifty/50 isn’t as good as Tests. But I still care.

  4. Fiasco da Gama says:

    OK, bear with me: multi-ball!
    If we’re going to keep super-plays or whatever they’re called in ODI, there shouldn’t be any more restrictions on insane made-up rule to increase watchability. I say for one over in every innings, at the discretion of the umpires, there should be two bowlers delivering simultaneously, one at each end, with six balls on the pitch. Wickets won’t stop the play, and replacement batsmen will have to come running out from the stands to get to the crease before the next ball.
    Tackles on batsmen below the neck and above the knees will be allowed, to encourage run-outs, while batsmen will be allowed to defend themseves with their bat between creases.
    Also: more beer.

  5. glen says:

    Less cricket over all. They seem to play all year, and it takes the anticipation right out of the tournaments. Cricket used to be something to look forward to, now it’s something that always on the TV – miss one match and who cares, there’ll be another one along soon enough.

    totally agree. lets move away from thinking that it is some essence of ‘cricket’ that is problematic and look at what ‘cricket’ does. two points:

    1) don’t forget the origins of one day cricket was an attempt to produce a more efficient machine for tapping into the enthusiasm of cricketing fans (ie ‘anticipation’). through saturation such enthusiasm has become blunted. lets celebrate part of the machinery of the spectacle breaking! hooray!

    2) cricket, like any other spectator sport, is essentially a homosocial institution. It allows men to relate to each other through the mediation of the contingent events of sport. If the game becomes boring because it loses all contingency (over-saturation, domination of one team, boring strategy) then the conjunctural events that allow homosocial mediation (in pubs, loungerooms, sporting fields) will lose their efficacy.

    what is really being asked is not how to save cricket, but how does one save the enthusiasm associated with a particular spectacular cultural apparatus, and secondly how does one save a ritualised and institutionalised form of homosocial relations.

  6. Paul Norton says:

    1. What David said. This would also mean that teams are more likely to be at full strength for the less frequent tournaments.

    2. Australia’s long-standing dominance is a problem in terms of maintaining interest in the game, but I think the solution to this problem lies in other cricketing countries improving their own organisation to make more effective use of the resources they are endowed with (such as larger populations, larger economies, more money in their cricket economy, etc.). I’m not sure what the ICC could do to help here.

    3. I’m not sure that the requirement to have five bowlers is such a big deal. It can be got around passably by having a decent all-rounder in the team. Would we be debating this issue if we were in the 1980s and Imran Khan, Ian Botham, Kapil Dev and Richard Hadlee were all playing?

  7. Glen: I would take issue with your description of sport as exclusively a “homosocial” institution. While they are without doubt in a minority, I have a number of female friends who accompany me to the cricket, and these days I play hockey in a mixed social team.

    Furthermore, though your analysis seems accurate if rather wordy, can you explain to me how can assist in analysing the problem at hand. What does it tell you about how best to “save the enthusiasm associated with a particular spectacular cultural apparatus”?

  8. Barney Maroon says:

    Offer more scholarships for OS criketeers to spend time at the AIS, and with Australia’s specialist coaches. If Australia was not so dominant, the games woould be more interesting.

    How about giving each serious nation a shiny new Australian cricketer.

    Of adding a cerebral challenge to the game, where, say, advanced literacy and numeracy were tested publically at the beginning of each game. Each players score out of 10 would be added to the total. Good example for the kiddies as well. You could have intelligence specialists on the team. Batsman, bowler and polymath! Might take some of the ugly thuggery out of the team.

    On 20-20, I am a barbarian, to skew the games in favour of the bowlers they should make the stumps larger. I’m serious. I also reckon the soccer goal posts are to small: The chance of “statistical error” in an outcome is so much greater if the scores are extremely low. How off topic was that?

  9. Keep your suggestions coming, folks, and also link to relevant pieces on your own blogs. As I did with Anzac Day, I’d like to organise a Missing Link edition around the World Cup fiasco.


  10. FDB says:

    Let’s face it – World Cups in any sport are supposed to be elite events. As it stands, almost anyone with the gall to call themselves a cricket team is in.

    I say make international 1-day cricket entirely a 4-year world cup. Every match (or nearly) counts for or against qualification, and when it comes around to the finals you’d have just 8 or 12 teams in it. You could even have *some* affirmative action in there (like, say if South Africa lose to Australia by 20 runs no points, but if Eritrea do they are rewarded somehow).

    Having roughies in the comp *might* spur development of the sport in countries who need it, but I dunno – seeing your country roundly thrashed isn’t terribly inspiring.

    There’s not much that can be done about Oz dominance. It has to end sooner or later, but for now we’re stuck with it and yes, it’s getting boring. Cricket is unfortunately not a sport (eg soccer) where an upset can come from one brilliant play. You need to win a 6-hour game across the board.

  11. Androsocial, surely (but ignoring Robert Merkel’s 11.38 comment)

  12. There’s not much that can be done about Oz dominance. It has to end sooner or later, but for now we’re stuck with it and yes, it’s getting boring.

    In the long term, one fears what’s going to happen to international cricket in 20-30 years time when India has an entrenched middle class of 300 million people.

  13. In terms of minnows v giants, you’d need to have a long-term plan of bringing up-and-coming players from the minnow countries to play first-class (or even high-level grade) cricket in the good countries.

    Alternatively, turn one-day cricket into a provincial club-based comp, like the Super 14 in rugby union, so that players can be bought and sold and more players get to play with good players.

    Good on Ireland for their two big upsets, but in themselves, they won’t change the structure of cricket in Ireland or internationally. In 4 years time, Ireland will still be a minnow. The argument that letting minnow teams into the World Cup helps them develop is just rubbish – it’s a substitute for a real international development plan.

  14. wilful says:

    FDB, I don’t mind your idea (that kinda how the soccer WC works, AFAIK), but you’d need some opportunity for the second tier to participate. Australia would never schedule a game against Ireland or the Netherlands. Perhaps they could have a pre-Cup Tournament and allow one or two of them to contest for a final spot (against bangladesh or zimbabwe?)

  15. glen says:

    to begin with, this is outside of my actual research area, although closely related. but anyway some rough thoughts

    I was not referring to ‘sport’ in general. ‘sport’ is not necessarily homosocial, but organised mass-spectator sport is. girls are expected to ‘bloke’ it up at games when supporting their team, etc. or sometimes girls come along for purely anthropological reasons to witness such homosocial events. (or if you are like me you go along to witness the spectacle in action!) eventually, hopefully, this will change, but the dominant mode of fandom is masculine, and the dominant mode of social relations are homosocial. of course this is merely a circumstantial observation of attending such games and not based on any research, etc.

    basically, from the point of view of the institutions of mass-spectator sports, firstly, they need to make sure games are about contingency and nothing else. I would not want to save the enthusiasm per se, in its current form, but redirect it to more noble forms of the sport that have not been corrupted by the exploitation of enthusiasm. why is this a problem?

    this is the second point. the ICC and media (and betting) companies may not realise this but the enthusiasm of fans needs to be cared for and cultivated like a delicate plant. it is not some ore resource that can be strip mined. The worst example are the bullshit ‘memorialised’ commodities that ch 9 tries to flog off all the time.

    Enthusiasm is a version of what Foucault called biopower, it is the true resource that drives these massive trans-national spectator sport competitions and correlative cultural apparatuses. The annealment of passion (extinguishing of biopower) is something that the cultural industries have not come to terms with (except through stupid calls for more ‘innovation’ to enable further exploitation). General problem: Can ‘enthusiasm’ be sustainable in cultural economies?

    So two general points so far: Resurrect the nobility of sport and care for the enthusiasm of fans.

    To extend the initial point about how this is not about ‘cricket’ per se, but ‘cricket’ as a cultural apparatus. How can the cultural apparatus be changed?

    In part, this can happen by getting rid of all cultural manifestations of a neoliberal instrumentality. for example, a game should be defined by the contingencies and excitement that such contingencies can generate, not a one sided ‘performance’ of ‘skill’. paradoxically it has been a focus on the quantity of skill rather than the quality of games (ie contingencies) that seems to have been the downfall of one day cricket. think about the horrific transformation of someone like shane warne over the years. actually Australia’s pre-World Cup trip to NZ could be cynically read as an attempt to re-introduce contingency into the game by making it appear as if Australia was not dominant.

    Another part of this is born of the nature of commentary which multiples the problematic non-contingent dimension of spectator sports. For example, through the effect of commentary a batter ceases to play a game and interact with contingencies, but becomes a sole figure trying to live up to the image of their expected batting figures. I would be interested to know how commentary has changed over the years with the fetishisation of statistics enabled by computer systems etc. Statistical knowledge was once valorised because it demonstrated one’s committment to the sport not how well you could sift through a database.

  16. FDB says:


    Perhaps they could have a pre-Cup Tournament and allow one or two of them to contest for a final spot (against bangladesh or zimbabwe?)

    Akin to the unseeded players in a tennis tourney playing off for the qualifying spots…

    Good idea. So let’s say the 10 top-ranked teams get in, then another 8 or so play off for the final 2 spots. Nobody much would watch the early rounds, but the countries involved would actually be playing for something achievable (the right to compete with the best) rather than just being let in to get flogged.

  17. You mean like India and Pakistan flogged the minnows in their groups? Would you then have promotion / demotion from the nations of the top 8? Once a top 8 team became worse than (say) Bangladesh how would you tell them that they have dropped to the second division?

  18. FDB says:

    Andrew –

    Would you then have promotion / demotion from the nations of the top 8?

    Of course. Performance in the previous world cup would be combined with results over the years between cups to determine entry to the next one. For a high-ranked team to lose to a minnow would be both deleterious to the whale and beneficial to the minnow.

    how would you tell them that they have dropped to the second division?

    To whom it may concern,

    Due to your shitful performances of late (of which I’m sure you are aware) you will have to play off against Minnowstan et al to gain entry to the World Cup finals this time around. We think this is only fair, and wish you all the best.

    Yours in Cricket,

    The ICC.

  19. joe2 says:

    The melodrama of this world cup has been unprecedented.
    Snake venom ruled out.,20867,21641663-2703,00.html
    Flying Tigers strike.

    Just hope everyone managed to back this off-field double.

  20. Gorgeous G says:

    David Jackmanson said:

    The argument that letting minnow teams into the World Cup helps them develop is just rubbish – it’s a substitute for a real international development plan.

    What, just like letting Sri Lanka play in all those world cups prior to 1996 when they won the bloody thing? Also, how much has bangladesh improved over the years?

  21. Gorgeous G says:

    I think what needs to happen in one-day cricket is a side should be allowed to declare, or the game should be played over four innings of 25 overs each. Sides would have to shift thier strategies. Teams could regroup if they were getting flogged. If Australia had to stop after say 19 overs in the final, then Sri Lanka may have been able to post a score to push Aust. in their second innings.

  22. Russ says:

    Paul, going back to the bowling issue. It is not just a part-time versus proper bowler issue. It is also an artificial restriction on the amount of bowling you can get from the front-line bowlers.

    And, just as an example, even in what was generally regarded as the best oneday game ever – Australia vs South Africa in ’99. The game went from being exceptionally interesting when Warne was running through the top order, into a lull when he was taken off, and South Africa regrouped.

    Who can honestly say they want to see that? It serves no purpose that I can see.

    It is also an inequality issue. Five bowlers rewards strength in depth. New Zealand has Bond and the rest. Pakistan, Mohammed Asif, Sri Lanka, Murali and Malinga. Most other teams would be more competitive with Australia if their best bowlers were bowling 15 overs each game instead of 10.

    Rob, I doubt India’s supersized middle class will make a massive difference. The 1000th best player in India will be better than the 1000th best player in Australia. But the top 11? India already has a problem with too many players of first class standard, and no obvious cream at the top. Their failures are at the team and administrative level, not player talent. As the Dutch and Czech football teams show. Once you reach a critical mass (maybe 10-20 million people?) you end up with more talent than you can play.

  23. What, just like letting Sri Lanka play in all those world cups prior to 1996 when they won the bloody thing? Also, how much has bangladesh improved over the years?

    Which has little to do with a 4-yearly tournament, and a lot to do with the level of international cricket that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka played apart from the World Cup.

  24. As far as the minnows go, the problem is that there’s three groups: Scotland, Ireland and Wales (where any player with real ambitions and talent will end up in the England side), Canada and the Netherlands (destined to always be weak and filled with expats), and the third-world countries where cricket is a major sport – Sri Lanka back in the 1980s, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

    The only group who gets any benefit out of going to the world cup is the third group.

  25. Russ says:

    David, interesting point on Ireland. They will probably still be a minnow in four years time, but they will also be more competitive than now. Their football team has competed succssfully at several world cups without anything approaching a decent local structure. Like their football team, Irish cricketers will (and are) making their living in England.

    But, they also entered this world cup with their best batsman opening for England, and his brother declared unavailable – the Netherlands face a similar problem with Ryan ten Doeschate, much as Zimbabwe lost Graeme Hick in the late 1980s. Every player wants to play international cricket, and until there is a system in place for teams to progress to test cricket in a reasonable timeframe (4-8 years) players will continue to jump ship and leave the minnows as minnows.

    Personally, I favour a Davis Cup style world group, second tier, etc. with maybe 6 teams in each. It already exists to an extent – see the ICC Trophy – but there is no automatic relegation or promotion for teams doing well or badly.

  26. Mick Strummer says:

    And the Australians each received $300 grand for their participation in this meaningless farce. Must be the easiest money they’ve ever made. The worst thing about this tournament is that I still ain’t really sure that the worthiest team won. OK, I am a New Zealander, but my suggestion is for the sixteen teams to play off in two groups, take the top 10 out ofor less effort in those 16, and split them into in two pools. This way, instead of each playing seven matches in that interminable Super 8 round, the teams in each pool could play the other four in that group. Thus each team would be playing four games in the middle section of the comp. Then take the top 4 and get them to each play each other and the best two go through to a winner take all final. There should also be a play off for third and fourth – before the final. Why should the football World Cup be the only international tournament with a meaningless final?

  27. Brian says:

    However you cut it, you have to have a format where major cricketing nations don’t disappear too early. Building on Robert’s comment, how about a 12-team comp with all test playing nations included? Then have a preliminary comp to find the 3 best of the rest.

    The 12 teams are then split into 2 lots of 6 using the rankings. Where you go from there I’m not sure, but you’d have to accept that not all of the 12 get to play each other. Then with the finals system you’d design it so that any 2 could meet in the final.

    Bearing in mind that the whole thing needs to be shorter than 7 weeks, or whatever it was.

    One of the biggest stuff-ups was the ticket pricing and the lack of crowd atmosphere.

    On bowlers, I like the five by 10 overs each because you do need more than one or two good ones.

    One of the most significant things Degnan said was that now you have to bowl teams out. So you need at least 4 that threaten the batmen and one good blocker who can also take wickets, at least, plus others who can supplement according to the conditions. Australia found that by playing Hogg as a threatener, which he did, using Watson as the fifth with help from Symonds and Clark.

    And became impregnable because McGrath bowled himself into form, which he didn’t have in the Australian summer. And because Hayden found form. Otherwise we were quite vulnerable to 3 or 4 of the other teams depending on their form on the day.

  28. FDB says:


    how about a 12-team comp with all test playing nations included?

    Entrenched heirarchy anyone? One of the purposes of one-day cricket is to get interest globally for the game, without the necessity of building a test squad and teaching the punters the joys of the 5 day game – let’s face it, an acquired taste.

    So no way on that score – if a team plays badly, they’re out. See me above and wilful’s refinement.

    On bowlers, I like the five by 10 overs each because you do need more than one or two good ones.

    Can’t say I’m with you there either. We should let a superstar bowler from a mediocre country really shine to inspire fans and give them a fighting chance. The tradeoff is they’d be bowling shorter-tailed outfits (as everyone cuts down to 3 specialised bowlers) but still, I reckon it’s pie-chuckers that really destroy a lower-ranked team.

  29. FDB says:

    Oops, comment in moderation due to use of email address that Akismet hates.

  30. Craig Mc says:

    Well done Australia. The team copped a lot of crap after fumbling the two summer series earlier this year, but the showed – once again – that they know what they’re doing. Further, that they are the greatest one-day cricket team ever. So long Glenn, and thanks for all the wickets.

    1. ICC funds facilities with lights and ideally, roofs for holding WC finals.
    2. or ICC has power over broadcasters to reschedule games shortened by rain.
    3. Play-offs for world cup places.
    4. Have umpires and officials on the same page in not-so-exceptional circumstances.
    5. Expendable robots as Pakistani coaches.

  31. Brian says:

    Fdb, I did read your comments and wilful’s and in an ideal world that’s fine.

    In the real world, where the money that world cricket operates on comes from India and the sub-continent, I’m saying that they’ll devise a system that keeps the Indians and Pakis in. So I was recognising this reality and trying to go from there.

  32. Russ says:

    Brian, I think you’d find that would be 10 test teams 2. Except both Kenya and Ireland have ODI status now, and therefore should be included as well. If we want to get top teams playing minnows without clogging up the world cup then we should force everyone to qualify (the chances of India or Pakistan completely stuffing up a qualification group are pretty low).

    Qualification: 8 groups of 4, playing 6 games each in the seeded team’s home country. Top team qualifies, second teams play off against each other over 3 games. Sure, it’s inconvenient for the test teams, and there would be a number of thrashings, but it gets a lot of teams playing a high level cricket, and should fund itself.

    World Cup: 2 groups of 6. either top 2 teams qualify for a group of 4, top 2 teams play the final. Or as in 1996, top 4 teams qualify for quarter finals. The former may be better. In ’96 the group stage was a tedious exercise where Aus and WI could afford to forfeit in Sri Lanka because they knew they’d qualify for the quarters. That would be less of a problem now – the minnows are better – but the easier it is to move forward, the less interesting it is. (and speaking personally, I couldn’t have been happier to see India and Pakistan lose) Either way, 37 games in total. A much shorter cup.

  33. Bernice says:

    A coach is murdered, strangled in his hotel bathroom & the game merrily rolled…if you’re wondering what’s wrong with The Game, I suspect that just about sums it up.

  34. anthony says:


    (and help! I’ve been bitten by a rare pufferfish that only allows me to comment via 1970s British TV)

  35. Rolleregg!

    What? In all the rice paddies?

  36. Bernice, did you see the previous discussion?

    I think it’s terrible that Bob Woolmer was murdered. I’d sure like to know why, both so that his murderers can be severely punished, and because of the risk that the game is further corrupted. But I still haven’t heard a compelling reason why the tournament should have been stopped.

  37. pablo says:

    One way to overcome the problem of boring matches could be to allow team captains to overcome batting setbacks by declaring an innings and asking their opponents to bat. Each side would still have a total of 50 overs to make a cumulative score, but they could take equal advantage of any pitch conditions and essentially lessen the dominance of winning the toss.
    I guess you could alternatively formally divide games into four innings each of 25 overs.
    I would also be in favour of rules that said a batter should be trying to hit the ball for runs with every ball and that the umpires would be compelled to penalise batters who don’t and bowlers who ‘bounce’ or otherwise make it difficult for batters to score. This essentially occurs now with bowlers.
    Defensive, non scoring strokes would incur a ‘deficit’ run.
    I would also like to see the batting line up fiddled with, such that say you would have your bowlers opening the batting. Perhaps this could be done with the initial toss. Lose the toss and your batting line-up is reversed for example.
    My son thinks I’m mad. He may be right.

  38. Alastair says:

    Abolish the ICC. That organisation is full of dead-beats who don’t care about the players or the spectators – only money. I could rant and rave about the rubbish that has gone on in that organisation over the last 10 years but it’ll take a long time.

    I’ll just mention this: If Australia doesn’t tour Zimbabwe in a few months time they will be fined a few million dollars, unless security is a problem. This is outrageous. Zimbabwe is an international disgrace with its human rights abuse, rampant racism and abuse of democracy. This country shouldn’t be allowed to participate in cricket whilst all that rubbish is occuring. They are also now, of course, pretty hopeless at cricket, as all their best players have quit, not wanting any part of the corruption, discrimination, and poor treatment that is clearly present in Zimbabwe cricket.

    The ICC has been doing a terrible job of running cricket in the last ten years. I say get rid of them and each country can organise their own tours (like they used to do) and play who they want, when they want, where they want.

  39. Nababov says:

    Well lookie here, the ICC is as incompentent as but perhaps slightly less corrupt than the IOC.

    Yet Aus still keeps winning. Don\’t explain or complain. Just glort. Or gloat.

    Easy for me to say. I\’m well in the bag thanks to Glenmorangie 18 and some great Jeff Beck Group outtakes involving Nicky Hopkins but not Rod Stewart.

    \”I love ya, love ya like sugar cane
    I, I love ya like sugar cane
    Strip it down, sure is sweet
    You keep on chewin till your dead on your feet
    I get high on your sugar cane
    Its the only thing baby that keeps me sane
    Its so nice to have you near
    Someone so close and so dear
    I, I love ya like sugar cane
    Strip it down, sure is sweet
    You keep on chewin till your dead on your feet
    Hey baby don\’t go away
    Its the only thing I really, I really want to hear ya say
    If you leave I could not stand the pain
    Give me more of that sweet sweet sugar cane
    I, I, I, I love ya like sugar cane
    I, I get high on your sugar cane
    Its the only thing baby that keeps me sane
    Its so nice to have you near
    Someone so close and so dear
    Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby
    Sweet, sweet
    I get high, get high, get high, get high
    Sweet, sweet
    On your sweet, on your sweet, on your sweet sweet sugar cane
    Sweet, sweet \”

    Did I mention Nicky Hopkins on piano?

  40. Brian says:

    I heard on the BBC last night thay the Indians may be bringing a vote of no confidence against Malcolm Speed.

  41. FDB says:

    some great Jeff Beck Group outtakes

    And the name of this album please?

  42. j_p_z says:

    Mmm, Nicky Hopkins. He’s always got such a great sound. How does he do it?

    To make cricket more interesting, maybe you could take a leaf from “Shaun of the Dead,” and introduce some zombies onto the playing field. It would certainly get me to watch.

    Cricket seems totally fascinating, but I think I’ve gotten too old and brain-rotten now to ever actually understand it. But I love hearing people talk about the rules and everything, it’s so unbelievably complex and arcane. And the words don’t sound like they belong in the genre of sports. It sounds more like hearing someone read from a Martian user’s-manual about how to operate an eight-dimensional laser cannon or something. Or maybe everybody is just stoned. Yeah, that’s it. Hey man. Head Bread.

    The humorist Al Jaffee (he of MAD “Fold-In” fame) once considered how to liven up baseball in a similar way, and he came up with a sport he called BaseBrawl. One of its innovations was that you kept your bat with you as you ran the bases, and used it to assault the opposing players as you encountered them. Maybe you could try that.

  43. j_p_z says:

    Or maybe we could all just surrender, and start playing Rollerball.

    You know you want to.

    Jon-a-than! Jon-a-than! Jon-a-than!

  44. David Rubie says:

    Pablo wrote:

    I would also be in favour of rules that said a batter should be trying to hit the ball for runs with every ball and that the umpires would be compelled to penalise batters who don’t

    I thought the beach cricket craptacular was supposed to be full of this stuff, but never managed to watch a game. In any event (and with tongue in cheek) the 20/20 cricket should be replaced with proper backyard cricket:

    1) Tippety run.
    2) Electric wickets.
    3) Over the fence is six and out.
    4) Into the back of the shed or the paling fence on the full is six. No fours.
    5) Into trees on the full is out.
    6) Use a metal garbage bin for the wickets.
    7) One batsman at a time.
    8) Tennis ball – must be chewed by a labrador and be missing all of the fuzz.
    9) Once bounce – single handed catches.
    10) The umpire must wear an apron and only be on the field sporadically.
    11) The ball chewing labrador is a legitimate fielder but does not bat. If he catches the ball, it’s time for cordial. First one to run back out into the backyard and grab the bat bats next.
    12) No teams – whoever turns up is playing.
    13) Whoever gets you out bats next.
    14) Girls can bowl underarm (sorry Trevor, not you).
    15) Any other rules decided by a shouting match. Umpire only to intervene when the shoving starts.
    16) Game is over when somebody gets in a huff and takes their bat home or is sent home by an irate umpire.
    17) Boring statistics to be replaced by idle boasts: “I made 134 against my mum last sunday” etc.

  45. David Rubie, re rule 6) you can also play with the batsman standing in front of a wall and have an ‘automatic wickie’ instead.

    That’s as opposed to an ‘automatic wiki’, which is a website that generates pointless arguments all by itself.

    Oh, and I remember ‘Basebrawl’, j_p_z. 70’s MAD Magazine – things just don’t get better than that.

  46. FDB says:

    One hand one bounce is a must.

    What about ball tampering a la electrical tape skewed off the seam just a bit for swing?

  47. j_p_z says:

    Or if you’re really bored with cricket, you could start to play “43-man Squamish.” Look up the rules on wikipedia, you’ll laff yerself silly. God bless George Woodbridge (and I think Tom Koch, IIRC)!

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