It feels in some ways like the entire sport of cricket has left me behind. I still follow, of course, but mostly via cursory platforms like Instagram, where I just see images and results of the bigger matches, or pictures of Virat Kohli with his girlfriend.. But I don’t take the deep dives like I used to. Life has gotten in the way a bit, I guess. More on that a little later. But taking these little breaks from the game just goes to show how quickly the game evolves. It doesn’t feel that way when you’re reading anything and everything on Cricinfo seven days a week, but it does when you do take a little break, you notice how much the game changes in such a short period of time. Even things like the lexicon used to describe the game change rapidly. When I stepped away last fall no one was using the terms “red ball cricket” and “white ball cricket” to describe the game’s various formats. They were using “one day cricket” and “first class cricket” and the like. But all of a sudden it’s a white ball this and red ball that.
And that’s just one small example. I mean. What’s this 10 ball over nonsense? The “hundred”? What is happening? Where did cricket go? Is this even the same game?
But then I spend two and a half days watching and listening and following the England v India Test match and I am comforted. It is the same game. The same glorious game I love. Kohli’s master class, Cook’s capitulation, a packed Edgebaston on an English summer’s day, fight backs and plot twists, heroes and goats, and a 20 year old kid from Northampton named Sam Curran playing in only his second test who took 4 for 74 in India’s first innings and 63 off of 65 in England’s second to pull the home side out of the fire and give them at least a fighting chance against a spirited and ruthless Indian side.
Test cricket, am I right?
The last time I logged on here, I was writing about my sister’s battle with colon cancer. And I am happy to report that she is fine. Better than fine. She is great. Cancer free and living life like it never happened. It warms my heart every time I think about it. What strength she had over the last year, though. She might be the strongest person I know. Just relentless fight. Sorry, Virat, but she puts your century to shame.
During those dark days when we didn’t know how it would all turn out, I would picture her empty chair at the dinner table during future holiday meals and it would break my heart into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the wind. But now we know she will be in that chair come Thanksgiving, come Christmas, but there will still be an empty chair, the room will still be quieter, less full of joy and smiles and laughter and love.
Everything is raw right now. And I don’t want to write about it too publicly. But life is a bit of a struggle these days, and so I came back here, like I do when the road gets potholed and dark. Back here to this game I love, to this site where I feel safe, where I can write about Sam Curran and red ball cricket and the insane 2019 World Cup group stage.
More to come.