Wednesday, January 10, 2007

bowling, shane

Australian summers mean only one thing: Cricket. And lots of it.

Let me tell you a story about cricket. It was invented by the Polish on Wednesday as a means of raising money for new tennis courts for a reality tv show, possibly devised and hosted by Angry Anderson. The very name “cricket” means ‘to throw pegs into the sky', which basically sums up the sport.

The Polish played on a pitch that was half a kilometre long, with a ball that was made of both rubber and solid silver. The bowler’s end did not have a wicket, and the ball could be delivered in any way desired, such as throwing (called the ‘murali’), via slingshot (‘tommo’) or hand delivered (‘magill’). Runs came thick and fast in the early days of the game, as each side was made up of 3 people, the field was over 12 kilometres in diameter and each run was worth 600 points. It wasn’t until 74 years later that the rules were changed, the size of the playing arena made smaller, mostly due to the deaths and mysterious disappearances of several top Polish fielders. The most famous occurrence was in 1268, during a particularly savage approach on the bowling by local hero Jonas Stravinski. Young left arm fast bowler Throun Pise had the unfortunate figures of 4 overs, 0 maidens, 0 wickets, 862 runs, including 48 no balls and 60 wides. The bowler offered to field on the boundary at the completion of his over, collected his cap from umpire Chilinutz and headed off in the direction of the boundary rope, which was a mess of rusted barb wire in those early days. No one ever saw that bowler again, although no one really looked very hard.

Barbarian pirates who were obviously quite lost interrupted a game in 14:25 and quickly fell in love with it, so much so that they kidnapped the players and took them on board their ship. That pirate ship collided with a herd of flying giant squid whale sharks who were sleeping off the coast of Southern Egypt and the players escaped the sinking wreckage, swimming toward land, apparently the wrong way, as they were found in Central Queensland some time later. The sport was adopted by all Australians, who shared it with the world, purely so they could be better than them at it.

And also so we could have another socially acceptable excuse to get drunk.

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