Every now and then a Cricket film comes around.


I watched this last week with my Dad. It was a very British thing to do before coming back to China until Christmas. It was truly bizarre to be sitting in a Soho cinema, mid Summer, mid afternoon, and overhearing conversations about the MCC from the seats infront. Britain truly is a very special place. We’d both heard about the film via trusty TMS, and so found some time to go.

It was good to see some Cricket Twitterati names in the credits. And why would there not be? The age of 20/20 is well and truly upon us, and the question on everybody’s lips is, “Can Test matches survive?” The filmmakers, one Brit, Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber, an Aussie, interviewed just about everyone surrounding the IPL and focused on how Indian Businessmen are ‘Doing-a-Packer’.

Does it matter? Things change right? The paying public decide, no? If players want to play IPL cricket, who are we to preach. Someone has to put food on the table surely? Before we get on our high horses, lets look at the options for Chris Gayle. I think if I had his talent, there is no place I’d rather be.

It is about mentalities and how they are changing. Even our own Geoffrey Boycott has been known to favour the idea of four day tests. It is difficult to appreciate just how empty test arenas can be during an Ashes summer, but cricketing teams need to be viable and accountable. Times have changed.

Having said all this, I do still firmly believe there is a place for Test match cricket. It is a testament to how wonderful the game is that there can be so many formats, all of which can interest. But essentially there are just two men in the heat of battle, with a fair few onlookers, ready to pile in at any moment. All formats can thrive and survive.

My last word goes to the Chinese. Currently there is pitiful little invested in the sport within the country. According to the film, $20-30,000 a year. Should the sport become an Olympic Sport, the Government would plough in $20-30 million a year. And there you have it. Thoughts on Cricket becoming an Olympic Sport – now that is another story altogether!

During the footage in the film, I just loved the Chinese Umpire extending his arm to give a player OUT. Just wonderful. I think he even ‘Atten-shunned’ his heels as he raised his arm.

See the film It is good. Whether you care to get involved with #changecricket is another matter. But, it was a four year labour of love, and is definitely worth a look.


Ashes Summer

Ashes summers are always special, particularly when we win. I returned to England for a Summer holiday with the English Cricket Team already in a commanding position against the old rivals. I barely got any information on the Cardiff test whilst exploring the Gorges of the mighty Yangtze. I had the occasional glance at Wimbledon, but it was more or less a surprise, and a pleasant one at that when I got back to London to find that we were set to win. A few hours later and we’d taken the first test. Bravo.

The Lords test beckoned. I like Lords. I like the spaciousness. One day, if I live to be a ripe old age I may even wear an egg and bacon tie, but for now, I can still wear shorts and be the South Londoner that I truly am. What a nightmare the test turned out to be. A good toss to win. We lost. When you only take one wicket in a whole day, you are going to do well to come back. We never even had a look in. I went on the Sunday with Dad. We saw our national team skittled for 103, and lose by a massive 405 runs. A sorry days cricket.

Disheartened. How on earth we managed to claw back with such drive still astounds me. Geoffrey Boycott is right, the Australians were pathetic, but credit where credit is due. Finn, Anderson, Stokes and Broad have all stood up when needed. There have been some overwhelming swing bowling performances. I am already looking forward to the box set.  We trounced the Aussies!

The only Australian batsman who really showed any fight was Warner, and look where he has been playing : the English County Circuit. It just shows, local knowledge pays. And so the Ashes were regained some 6 days after the shockingly huge defeat at Lords.