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Time and Cricket

A complex relationship

Anna Monks

Old Father Time - photograph courtesy of M.C.Dre Old Father Time - photograph courtesy of M.C.Drew

The first time I went to Lords I wondered why the weather vane was forged as Old Father Time. The grim reaper did not seem an obvious motif for a sporting venue. Now I know better: for cricket’s complex relationship with Time makes it the great game that it is.

Many sports are played to a time limit and some have a set number of goes: cricket magnificently uses both methods to produce its array of marvellous contests.

If you are following a test match click the image below to find the current time at the ground.

The Cricket Time Equation:
5(Days of Drama) = 1( Great Test Match)

We who love Test Match Cricket experience the full drama of an unfolding day when we watch or hear a game.

The drama starts early with optimistic speculation as the dew dries off the ground. The mid-morning sees batsmen and bowlers asserting their rights at the crease while our stomachs dream of lunch.
The sluggish afternoon plays out for the winning side with hopes of reviving tea.

But the waft of the early evening breeze across the ground awakens us to fresh dramas as the spinners and seamers find their magic or refreshed big hitters send the weary fielders lolloping to the boundary.

Five days sounds such a long time for a game, but the most memorable matches finish with a run chase against the clock on the fifth day or a war of attrition to make it a draw. The Test becomes a mirror for human endeavour as the long awaited deadline produces heroic surges of determination.

The old clock above the pavilion steps is the bowler’s friend and the batsman’s enemy or is it the other way round? My friends, it depends on the match!

External links

For International Fixtures see cricinfo


Photo of cricket scoreboard The saddest time of the year:
the scoreboard after the last innings of the season.

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