2012 Diary

A Ramble on Women's Cricket
 - with diversions -

This diary will be updated erratically throughout the year.

Once again there's been a long break since I last typed in this particular slot. There have been a number of reasons for this, not the least of which is the gathering and introduction of slide shows on the site. It has taken no little effort to process the shots, sort and label them and learn the software involved, which I have to say is not particularly difficult once you've done it once or twice. You'll note the URL of the company supplying the software on the corner of the pictures. I hope you find it an interesting feature which enables me to introduce slightly better resolution pictures.
During the winter I have also introduced new hardware at the picture taking stage. With a manual for the kit running to well over 100 pages and with many acronyms, some of which I was not familiar with, this has also been a shallow learning curve. (Those of you with business experience will know that the 'steep' variety has come into common parlance meaning exactly the opposite of it original meaning).
So what has spurred me back into adding to this ramble? Well, it is a few quotes I have noted down while I have been 'off-air'. Let's start with the more apposite quote for the women's sport which came from the Australian Ellyse Perry...

"Test cricket is something we really cherish.
To play a Test match is a pinnacle, I dare say, for all of us.
I have only played 12 days of Test cricket in my life but I could recount every day.
They certainly mean a lot."

[Ellyse Perry  Don Miles]

The rare sight of Ellyse Perry in 'whites' during the Ashes Test 2009
I wonder how many other internationals feel the same. With Tests nowadays in the hen's teeth category I suspect quite a few, especially from those countries who appear to have abandoned them altogether.
And then I found this...
"If tribal affiliation becomes something more than the seasoning that makes the dish worthwhile, if it becomes our only cause of interest, then we miss out on the true meaning of sport."
I came across this in an article entitled 'Fair Weather Fans' by Nadir Hassan on Pakistan's 'Express Tribune' web site. He writes that he could not become a fan of women's cricket just because Pakistan had won an Asia Cup gold medal. He suspected many of his countrymen had just a fleeting acquaintance with the sport and that their enthusiasm would fade as quickly as it had begun. But it occurred to me that there was another layer of interpretation one could place on the quote, namely that a sport is worth watching whether or not 'your' team is playing, or even that there would be times when 'your' team may have lost but you were forced to admire the skill and courage of their opponents. Or at least a true fan of any sport would find that in themselves. A win by 'their' side would not be the only criterion on which they would base their enjoyment of a sporting occasion. Indeed it might not even be the primary one.
And the men play cricket too...
I have mentioned previously in this diatribe my admiration for the Sri Lankan's current men's skipper, Mahela Jayawardene. In respect of Nadir's remark, my visit to Bristol was an occasion when the England men were soundly beaten but I was treated to a match in the style mentioned. True the England women won the earlier game that day, but the men's match alone would have been a fine day out - apart of course from the fact the weather was very far from fine! Jayawardene's innings was a joy to watch and an exhibition of a master comfortable with his work. I never thought I'd be saying this but it's a T20 innings I'll never forget, which leads me to other quotes noted down during the last few days watching the IPL and the earlier series when England visited Sri Lanka.

[Mahela Jayawardene  Don Miles]

Photo Gallery/Slide Show from this match

"When you watch Mahela play you feel that's how batting is supposed to be" - Mike Atherton
"A batsman who does everything beautifully" - Simon Hughes
"A privilege to watch" - Mark Butcher
"A special player and a special person" - Robin Jackman
"There are surgeons and there are butchers" - Ian Botham - leaving you in no doubt about which camp he felt the Sri Lankan belonged to.
Superlatives like this are dropped around all the time it's true, but I can't recall hearing quite so many, from such eminent mouths, in such a short space of time before. I don't always agree with the experts but on this, they'll have no argument from me!
And while I'm quoting - how's this for a neat piece of headline writing from an Indian newspaper on the recall of Mithali Raj to the captain's spot. (sadly this link appears to be dead - it read "Return of the Raj".)

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