Cricket is better…

In the autumn of the cricket season, with September approaching and the football pitch ominously bearing down on the carefully curated square, it’s the start of the reflection on the months passed in the quiet company of others.

Cricket is better in the sun.  We have been blessed with sun.  Almost too much sun.  But it is better than the cold and the rain.  Nothing disheartens more than a steady drizzle – the one that perpetuates cold but doesn’t allow everyone to troop off to the bar early and pretend to all those waiting at home that the game really did carry on.  True – some of the scenes of cricket this year look like the dustbowls of the sub-Sahara, but on the upside, a chance to test the cordial mixing abilities of opposition more frequently.

Cricket is better when played by the young.  Albie Bryant-Howe opened the batting for Suffolk U10s this month.  One likes to imagine his first scoring shot was the reverse paddle sweep.  His infectious passion for the game is matched only by young Henry Jackson.  They are inseparable.  Further proof that the cricket is better played by the young comes with the league topping performances of the U11s and U15s.  A team is forged by individuals supporting others – and these two groups embody that spirit.

Universally accepted, cricket is better when Nick Smith plays.  It is one of the unfathomable laws of nature.  Some say that is because everyone is not quite certain which bit of flesh Nick will field the ball with; or how long a single grip on his bat will last; or whether he will come on to bowl.  One day Thomas Cadge will return to play and things will be complete.

Cricket is, or rather was, better in the old days.  The modern troupes, the influencers, the trendsetters all have superfans.  Walsham cricket has the bench – a place where the greats go to reside and pass judgement on antics unfurled before them.  Arguable whether cricket was better in their playing days – no doubt it was different – but we revel in the stories.

And undoubtedly, cricket is better in the bar after the game.  Runs are flashier, catches more acrobatic, misses more disastrous – fuelling the next generation of bench occupiers.

September may bring league success for the Sunday XI. Wish them luck or come and join that bench on the 4th September.  Stay to hear the stories in the bar – they will amaze you.


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