July 2009
« Jun   Aug »

Alan Tyers: Poetry corner with Michael Hussey

July 16th, 2009 by Alan Tyers in Alan Tyers, Test cricket, The Ashes


Right then you blokes. Seeing as the poem I wrote and performed before the Cardiff Test went down so well, Ricky has asked me to once again lead the group in our pre-match ‘Aw Look, What Does The Baggy Green Mean To You, Mate?’ discussion. I’ve done another poetry that I’d like to share with you and it’s about the magnificent bird of my home state.

No, Sidds, I’m not talking about that Melissa George bird that was on Home And Away. I’m talking about The Black Swan, the emblem of Western Australia.

Katich, the house lights. if you please.

Look. Look. A magnificent black swan, floating magnificently.

But underneath the water

They do not see

The incredible commitment and awesome

Will to win

For years, an ugly duckling it was thought to be

But then the whole country could see

Once it was allowed to spread its wings

That it was massively focused and had

An enormous appetite

And the world did cower before it

So mighty that they dared not speak

Its true name

And instead knew it only

As Mr Cygnet

But then the dark forces

Of constant migration, injury and sheer bad luck

Lead to some pretty ordinary paddling for a bit

And the other birds began to question

The Black Swan’s right to occupy the middle of the river

But the Swan flapped its magnificent wings again

And I have heard it said

That they can break your arm

With one flap

And also that the Queen can eat them if she wants

But the swan would not be distracted

By the colonial masters of old

It vowed not to be eaten by Her Majesty The Queen

And flew into the sunset

Green and gold

And so then the swan soared above us

Uttering its magnificent swan-ish cries

The other birds knew what they meant

That form is temporary

But class is permanent

by Alan Tyers

Posted in Alan Tyers, Test cricket, The Ashes | 3 Comments »

An American girl at the cricket

July 16th, 2009 by TWC in Miscellaneous, Test cricket


I’m a new fan of cricket. I’m a new, American fan of cricket. I’m a new, American, female fan of cricket, and I adore Test matches.

I realise that might be confusing, so let’s start from the beginning. I discovered cricket in January 2008, in South Africa, during their series against West Indies. My fall was swift and complete. I have long been an avid follower of American sport, but in cricket I found the love of my life. I was in awe of its tradition, its complexity, the sheer beauty of the pitch. I was struck by the athleticism, grace and toughness in the players, neatly wrapped in stylish whites. The way in which the umpires fold and hold the bowler’s sweater, and the breaks taken for lunch and tea. When I learned I could buy splits of champagne at concession, I began to see stars.

Test cricket was another beautiful part of this perfect game. Last week’s Ashes drama at Cardiff epitomised why it captured my imagination. The twists, the turns – you can have such high tension over several days, and yet play to a well-mannered (most of the time!) draw. It is easy to understand why Test cricket is so loved, yet that love, for this very uneducated fan, is as much about what it represents as it is about the actual event. For what I appreciate about the Test match is the way it slows time until it is almost still amid a world intent on hurtling forward at increasing speed.

I know I’m not the only one that feels this way either – there’s now an entire movement dedicated to slowing the world down. The slow movement, and the book In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore, are in stark contrast to the last few decades of people encouraging me to be a better manager of my time. I’ve been goaded to wake early, work out often, press on, and schedule every minute of every day for higher productivity. Worst of all, many of our children now have the social calendars of a young CEO.

The information available to us now doubles at the fastest rate in history. Technology has made it possible to all but dispense with actual human contact. The science is also becoming increasingly clear – the stresses of our fast-paced lives can cause a multitude of health issues, multitasking may be a cause of adult ADHD, and many relationships suffer from the effects of not spending enough time together. Suddenly daydreaming, and down-time, are now being applauded by doctors and scientists for their value. Perhaps we’ve reached the point where moving forward actually means taking a step backwards, but is it possible? How can we unlearn our habits of efficiently scheduling every moment, and stop feeling guilty for not being busy?

It all became clear to me last week, as I sat in a Cornwall pub watching the first day at Cardiff.  Since becoming a fan I’ve enjoyed live Tests at Lord’s, at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, as well as those I’ve seen on television. There is one constant. In Cornwall this week the first group to appear was a band of young surfers, then three generations of men from one family, next a group of husbands and wives, a father and son, a pair of long time best friends, and on and on. They made themselves comfortable, ordered coolers of beer, and began talking about this series, and all the Ashes that had come before.

For me, this was the kind of interaction that was usually reserved for holidays. Now I had friends that had been planning to attend this Test since the schedule had been announced, while everywhere I went I overheard people talking about their plans to watch from beginning to end. It seemed something of a luxury these days, and I was enraptured. Having grown up in a culture, and been employed in an industry, of faster, faster, faster and more, more, more; I had never seen anything like it. How lovely to take a deep breath, and say “enough”, for a few days, to be able to forget the time, and what one should be doing. As an outsider, I began to realise that I could sit down, and simply savour the moment. Perhaps that’s the art I’d forgotten. The art of savouring; the day, the experience, my friends, my sport, and my life.

I am a new, American, female fan of cricket, and I know I still have a great deal to learn about my favourite sport. I will be continuing my studies at Lord’s and Edgbaston, and have plans to travel back to South Africa this winter, but I believe cricket has already taught me the most important lesson of all. In my harried world, the best things in life can’t be rushed, and they can’t be made better by more speed, more excitement or more runs. The best things in life, like Test cricket, deserve the time they need to unfold on their own terms.

DeeAnne White is the American girl at the cricket

Posted in Miscellaneous, Test cricket | 17 Comments »

Site by Anson Robson Marketing © 2010 The Wisden Cricketer All Rights Reserved