Right Field

Money Is Destroying . . .

Cricket? The Telegraph reports:

Cricket is being destroyed by this indecent obsession with money

By neglecting the Test match, greedy officials are undermining the essence of the game

Rather more than 2,000 Test matches have been played since Australia defeated a touring England XI by the handsome margin of 45 runs at Melbourne in March 1877. After this first contest, Test cricket very quickly developed into a major art form, in part because the game included so many disparate and sometimes contradictory elements.

On the one hand, there is the raw, elemental and often heroic struggle between the outstanding cricketers of rival nations. But each of these sportsmen is playing not just for his team but for himself – one of the deep fascinations of Test cricket is the tension between the selfish desire to put in a strong personal performance, and the duty to serve the team.

A batsman may, for example, be required to risk throwing away his wicket in order to chase quick runs or, in harsher circumstances, to restrain his natural attacking game in order to save his side from defeat.

In the best Test matches, the initiative changes hands many times before the result is decided. By the end of such games, the crowd feels exhausted, a feeling comparable to the state of catharsis – the purging of pity and fear – which, says Aristotle, is the outcome of great drama.

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