Isn’t it nice that there is a different form of cricket for different kinds of people?
There are those who take a strategic view of life. These folk have careers rather than jobs; they would far rather play bridge or chess than poker or snakes and ladders. For them test match cricket is the summer game of choice. Just as in real life, there is many a slip twixt wicket-keeper and gully. The entire fortune of the match could easily turn on a single decision – to declare or not to declare, to set an attacking field or to defend the boundaries, take the new ball or keep the spinners in the attack. They can watch every ball of a five day test match, all 2,700 of them, and not be bored for an instant. They appreciate the almost superhuman courage and stamina, both physical and mental, of the batsman (never batter, please, that’s what angry and cowardly men do to their wives, or the substance in which fish is coated preparatory to frying) who can withstand a barrage of fast, short-pitched bowling for six hours at a stretch, and come back the next day and do it all again.
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