It’s no secret. I don’t like cricket; I love it. But I do not love cricket analysis, commentary and writing. For a while I would read the M&G’s cricket writer (I think it was Tom Eaton) on a Friday, just to get a sense of what would definitely not happen on the weekend. He had the most uncanny ability to mis-predict by a few thousand kilometers. He was almost 100% wrong in everything he ever wrote.
I read gems about how the Proteas had a 97% probability of winning against India at Kingsmead because blah blah blah and India have never blah blah blah and and what’s more Jacques Kallis blah blah another double century blah blah blah. It made me nervous. Too much talking about how the Proteas were a shoe in. And they lost. Yep. They did.
But, in today’s Cape Times Zaahier Adams makes a three course meal and a christmas cracker of hilarious cricket writing. He writes, “Now, heading into the series decider at Newlands, which starts on Sunday, the Proteas are suddenly under pressure to maintain their proud record of not having lost (I kid you not) a post-isolation home Test series (here it comes) other than to Australia (four times) and England (once).” The italics in the above are my comments. So, Zaahier; I just want to get things absolutely straight. The Proteas have actually lost five post-isolation home Test series. And just to make sure we are talking the same language here; this is not a proud record of never having lost a post-isolation home Test series.
It’s not only the writer of the article who is talking kak. He quotes Proteas coach, Corrie van Zyl, as saying, “The Proteas pride themselves on their ability to bounce back, fight back when they are up against the wall.” Bounce back? Fight back? Up against the wall? In a series in which both teams have won one game? Come on! This is just nonsense; trite, non-speak.
And the caption under Graeme ‘Fingers’ Smith’s picture is exactly like the commentator’s curse. It reads “Graeme Smith can be expected to step up to the plate in the deciding Test against India.” Why? Why can we expect that? Hope, yes. Secretly pray, yes. Shout at the TV, umpires, beg that he can withstand a Sreesanth sledge, and hold your breath while he bats, but not expect. No.
I am not going to read anything cricket any more. It makes me gek. And I am delighted that I will be able to sit in the stands and not have to listen to the commentators get it so totally wrong either.