When YouTube first launched, before it was purchased by Google, it was not the cricket fans paradise that it is today. Good, quality cricket highlight videos were few and far between.
One of the first videos to receive traction was a recap of the famous “underarm incident” in the final of the 1981 World Series Cup between Australia and New Zealand.
When I discovered this video, I must have watched 25 times over a month-long period, mostly because it was one of the few quality videos at the time that showed actual in-match action, but also because it is a lovely time-capsule of early 80s cricket, and that’s why I continue to watch it at least every six weeks or so.
The open collared kits, the chest hair, the bacchanalian scenes in the crowd. It is a marvelous snippet of a cricketing time long since past, never to be seen again.
At the end of the video, the legendary cricket commentator, Richie Benaud, gives a scathing account of the incident, calling it the most disgraceful thing he had ever seen on a cricket ground – a profound statement from a man who has either played in or covered over 500 Test matches.
It’s a common sense and articulate and grounded review of what was a truly disgraceful moment for cricket.
Yesterday, over on Twitter, this happened:
Sometimes you read something and it is an honour to do so. This article is one of those times: limitedovers.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/my-…
— Richie Benaud (@RichieBenaud_) March 17, 2013
No, Mr. Benaud, the honor is all mine. Truly. Thank you for reading. I was both honored and humbled to learn that you had read my post, and enjoyed it enough to pass it on with such kind words.
**UPDATE** Someone on Twitter mentioned this might very well be a parody Richie Benaud account. And, I guess, it might be. The account has 23,000 followers, which is high for a parody account but low for a commentator/player with the stature of Mr. Benaud. If anyone has any information either way, that would be great.
I am a little embarrassed, and I wish I would have thought about the parody aspect before writing this post, but I just assumed with the number of followers, and with the traffic it drove to the post, that it was real. But when it comes to the Internet, you can never really be sure about anything.
And while I am still holding out hope that it is actually Richie Benaud’s account, at the end of the day, a person I don’t know read my work and passed it on, and that still makes me feel great, just as it does when anyone praises the work I do on this silly little blog. Whether you have a Test cap, work for Channel Nine, or whatever, does not matter to me. Whoever you are, whatever you do: thank you, thank you, thank you for reading.
With all honestly, this is exactly how I felt last Sunday night/Monday morning, long before the Tweet in question:
This update makes the last paragraph of this post obsolete, but I am going to leave it there anyway.
I think this just muddies the waters.
— Richie Benaud (@RichieBenaud_) March 18, 2013
It’s a parody. I will have my internet credentials on your desk by the end of the day.
And while I am it, thank you ALL for reading and commenting and retweeting and for your kind words. This has been an amazing, and cathartic, week.