Field Theory by Hadyn Green

22

Saturday at the Cricket

It definitely wasn't the company, the company was great. And it wasn't the crowd, they were generous and in high spirits. Not an arsehole to be seen (excepting the gentleman we know attends every match). The weather could've been a bit better, but there must've been a bit of sun because I ended up getting a little burnt.

So I can only assume that the cricket must've been awful.

New Zealand's first innings score is a clue to this. We barely scraped over the follow-on mark; though I felt almost as though we should've asked to follow-on anyway. Trailing Indian but roughly 200 runs it would've been nice to have our openers return to the pitch and belt a few.

As it was the crowd only became excited when Chris Martin hit a four and Ian O'Brien setting a personal best run total (19).

As I have noticed in the other matches I have attended, the Indian fans are great. This group of likely lads were circling the ground chanting, waving flags and beating drums. I recognised one of them as a guy I had spoken to at the 20/20 game: a local born and raised in Wellington who thought Brendon McCullum was the greatest batsman in cricket at the moment.

After I took the photo one of them put his arm around me and asked, "You got any 42 Below?" The specificity of product threw me as did the strong smell of alcohol on his breath. Naturally I had to answer negatively and send the chap on his way. They carried on past me like a group of very drunk Hare Krishnas (dancing, clapping, singing), as they did a drummer passed too close and I was whacked with a drumstick. Perhaps I should've brought them some flavoured vodka.

Robyn remarked that the feeling at the ground was like "going on a picnic with your mates, but with the option of being entertained by some fellows in white woollen vests running around in the distance". And that was quite true.

I also felt that it seemed like too many people for a test match. I always imagined cricket tests as an event you went to with a packed lunch and you watched the game with a transistor radio and the newspaper. A lazy day in the sun.

I didn't expect the Indian drummers. I didn't expect the groups of loud young men in cricket gear, I didn't expect the man dressed in a pink dress walking around with a couple of "laydeez" dressed rather inappropriately for the weather. In a way I think it spoiled it somehow. I mean it was certainly cheerful, but the enthusiasm didn't match the pace of the game.

Undoubtedly the best part of the match was the lunch break, and I say this with all respect to the New Zealand batting line up (although seriously Ryder? 3? WTF!?)

We stood to stretch our legs and had a conversation about popping down to see how well the pitch was wearing. I laughed because really, I thought, what the fuck would anyone know. And yet there they were, young and old (mainly old) standing at the edge of the pitch looking at he stretch of dirt like African tribesmen hunting Kudu, inspecting the track marks, suggesting to one another ideas on rollers and such.

While out on the boundary a dozen or so games of cricket were going on. Earlier we had bumped into Legbreak and his son; he disappointedly told us that the lunch break games were apparently prohibited. I'm glad there was a change of heart or miscommunication because that section made my day.

There were tennis balls flying everywhere and yet everyone was able to keep a track on there own one. From the kids who were swinging at everything to the adults playing like the selectors might be glancing out the window.

All in all a nice day out, shame about the cricket.

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Russell beat me to it, but I may as well mention it. Don't move the Warriors to Eden Park. It's a dumb move in general and, quite frankly, an announcement that they don't need to deal with at this point in the season.

It also puts me in the awkward position of having to agree with Chris Rattue, something I'd rather not do (by the way am I the only one who doesn't see what is "computer generated" in that image).

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Finally, the secret to catching a fly ball (in cricket or baseball): move.

As a fielder watches the ball rise, he moves either forward or backwards so that the ball moves at a constant speed through his field of vision. If he moves too far forward, the ball will rise faster and may eventually fly over his head. If he takes too many steps back, the ball will appear to rise slower and will drop in front of him.

By managing the ball's position with his movement, a fielder will end up at the right spot at the right time. This explains why the stationary fielders could not predict where the ball would land, as they did not have the benefit of [Optical Acceleration Cancellation]

So keep your eye on the ball but move around a bit too.

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