I heard a lot about a game called ashes lately which has made me confused and angry because I hate sport so much. The best way to deal with that would be to get to “know” ashes and so I thought I should learn all about ashes and then maybe I won’t feel confused and it will have some sort of shape that I can be angry at. At the moment it is just a malevolent black sludge with a wooden bat stuck in it.
Apparently ashes is based on cricket, which would explain why I am so angry about it. Cricket is also a sport. Cricket is like the rusty bucket that ashes is oozing out of.
Cricket is a bat and ball sports game like tiptap, five-man bingleball or clonkers but with a ball that is a red ball and a bat that is longish and widish. The red ball is unnecessarily hard. Children are encouraged to get to “know” cricket through a gateway game called kwikricket that is made from plastic and is better. There is also a circular type of cricket called rounders but nobody likes that because it is for girls. All cricket players have to dress-up to play. The costume is rubbish.
What to do?
When the cricketeers are dressed up they run out onto the playing field. Two batters run to the rectangle with a bowler and a person who catches and they hold hands in a circle until everyone is ready. The other people who catch (fielders) go and stand around and kick at the ground with their shoes. Sometimes one will squat down and pull some grass out with their hand and then they’ll hold the grass above their head and drop it. If they get very bored they will try to whisper shout at each other but they are too far away to hear.
The bowler chucks the ball at a batter who might hit it and if he does he then goes “out running” for points with the other batter. The batters get a point every time they change direction. The fielders try to catch the ball whilst trying not to look scared of the ball but they will chicken out because it is too hard so they have to go running after it and scrabble around for it. The fielders then have to throw the ball at the catcher at the rectangle.
If the batter misses the ball then the ball might hit some sticks and then that batter is dead and goes away and pushes twigs into the ground near a tree. A new batter jumps up and does a fist pump and runs to the rectangle.
If the catcher who is at the rectangle gets the ball whilst the batters are still “out running” then he can hit the sticks too and then the batter is also dead. There are two batters because that means there are two people from each team at the rectangle and then everybody has a friend. Being at the rectangle can be scary.
Bowlers have to change after six bowls which is called an over. The time between when a batter starts batting to when they are dead is called an innings. When every batter is dead the other team get a go at batting. The team who gets the most points wins. The bigger players are allowed to make up ad-hoc rules to ensure that their team wins, although there is a judge somewhere who jogs around and shouts. The length of a game varies from twenty overs per side to ashes.
Cricket operates via a strict framework as follows:
The Hours of Cricket
9 – 9:30 warm up and calling the register
9:30 – 11 cricket
11 – 11:15 orange squash break w/ rich tea biscuit
11:15 – 12:30 cricket
12:30 – 13:30 lunch break at the canteen (or beneath the big tree on fridays)
13:30 – 15:00 cricket
15:00 – 15:15 tea break w/ emergency sandwiches
15:15 – 16:30 cricket
16:30 home time
The Days of Cricket
Monday – hat swap day
Tuesday – triple points day
Wednesday – pets day
Thursday – fancy dress day
Friday – canteen closed (packed lunch)
Saturday – closed
Sunday – car boot sale
The Menu of Cricket
Monday – baked potato / jelly
Tuesday – toad in the hole / banana and custard
Wednesday – mac ‘n’ cheese / vienetta
Thursday – fish fingers and beans / chocolate or strawberry mousse
Friday – canteen closed (packed lunch)
Ashes is a game of “test” cricket, so called because of how incredibly testing it is on the patience. It is not called “trying” cricket because that is how rugby matches are described.
Test cricket was invented by England and Australia because they are the most tedious nations of the ones that play cricket. Testing games are when twenty two people get four goes at batting each. Ashes is five testing games, which means that Ashes is twenty games of cricket pretending to be one game of cricket. It is played constantly and forever. The prize is burnt wood in a pot.
In 1882 Australia played some testing cricket with England and England thought they were going to win because they were playing in England but then they didn’t win and they felt silly when everyone made fun of them. So they immediately went to Australia to beat them at cricket.
Some Australian women gave England a burnt stick in a pot to say well done. The Australian team wanted a pot and stick but they didn’t want their own, they wanted the one that England had so they played cricket with England for the pot. Forever.
Sometimes England have it, unless Australia have it.
That is literally everything there is to say.