Recent Comments

July 2009
« Jun   Aug »

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 Responses to “An American girl at the cricket”

  1.   Sriram Dayanand says:


    Good on you for making the choices that matter to you.

    Hope your new found love of Test cricket continures to be a rewarding experience to you as it is to true lovers of the sport.

  2.   Essays on cricket - Good Cricket Wicket says:

    [...] second is from a more unusual source - The Wisden Cricketer has an article called “An American girl at the cricket” which is also well worth reading.  For all those worried about the future of Test cricket, [...]

  3.   Allison says:

    I’m an American girl falling in love with test cricket in the same way. I love the traditions, the stuffiness of the MCC, all of the tales of the old players. There’s no other sport quite like it. And while I have the most love for the longest form of the game, I don’t mind ODIs either, it’s just that T20 sits wrongly with me, especially the idea of trying to bring it to the American market. Americans have a form of T20 - it’s called baseball, they don’t need another one essentially just with different kit. What makes cricket great is simply how distinctive it is, as well as all of the little things - the vocabulary, the breaks for meals, the test whites. T20 pales in comparison to test cricket.

  4.   NDR says:

    Good stuff. Marry me.

  5.   DeeAnne says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments! I very much appreciate the warm welcome into the cricket fan community.

  6.   Gerhard van Tonder says:

    This is an awesome article and DeeAnne you just became my favourite American!!

  7.   Rasheed Hooda says:

    Truly a delightful post. I grew up playing cricket as a child and a teenager. Then I came to the States in the 70’s to find that the international sport was unheard of in the USA.

    I was delighted a couple of months ago, when I found a group of fifth graders playing cricket in a school playground. It turns out, they had a teacher who was from England and she decided to introduce them to a “real” sport, in her words.

    Thanks for a delightful read.


  8.   curly says:


    I had the very great pleasure of sitting next to DeeAnne at Lords today. I can tell you all that she is as nice as her writing makes her sound and she talks with the same “Arlottesque” enthusiasm that we all wish we could emulate. I hope we meet again.

  9.   Melbourne fan says:

    DeeAnn - what an engaging and uplifting love letter to cricket! Made me smile just reading it. Make time to follow Day 5 of the 2nd Ashes Test - as the last day dawns the possibilities are many, whatever the probability. And as you now understand, that’s part of its magic.

  10.   DeeAnne says:

    I’m very honoured by the compliments, and delighted it struck a chord.

    Many thanks to Curly for tolerating this novice fan, and MAGIC is the perfect word Melbourne fan! I am glued to Sky Sports, as we speak.

  11.   curly says:


    You are now officially Englands lucky mascot after this Lords win. We have waited 75 years for one and you pop up and get one at the first attempt. Therefore you must now attend all test matches, home and away, so that once again we will be top of the rankings. We would even settle for getting there slowly!!!!

  12.   DeeAnne says:

    LOL I’d love to take any credit at all, but I’m going to have to say Flintoff in the lead of a very determined team gets the glory.

  13.   Alan McBride says:

    Great article DeeAnne. Lucky you are also able to watch in British pubs; they make any sport more interesting too;-)

    Keep up the good work.

  14. » Blog Archive » DeeAnne White: Why America Needs Cricket says:

    [...] you may already know, I adore cricket. As a new fan, I am continually amazed by this strikingly beautiful game and it’s parallels to [...]

  15.   The Joy of Travelling to Follow Sport — Live The Charmed Life says:

    [...] Square Garden. My sport of choice though is cricket. I’ve written about my passion for cricket, and the joys of seeing other countries through its citizens eyes while watching this gorgeous game [...]

  16.   JSonCricket says:

    Loved the piece! Looking forward to read more of such creativity!

  17.   Cricket in America - Page 7 - PlanetCricket Forums says:

    [...] Blog Archive An American girl at the cricket i found this while searching stuff on NZ v SL tour of Miami. ████! [...]

Leave a Reply

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