Graham explains the Laws of Cricket
At the start of the cricket season, I thought it would be timely to try and explain the attraction of the game. I will do this shortly from a Michael Parkinson article that I have kept for 15 years.
Most people who cannot be bothered with this great game, are unable to understand its laws (not rules!). Some years ago, I spent a lovely afternoon at Lords accompanied by a couple of young honeymooning Americans. They were desperate to have the game explained to them which I attempted to do over a four hour period. I must admit that I found it quite a task as there are so many facets to cricket. However, they stuck with me and promised to follow the game once they returned to the States..
Below I provide the Parkinson prose and, in the next column, the well known humorous explanation of cricket.
The joy of cricket, and what sets it apart from other games, is that it is made for yarning and philosophising as well as watching and playing, which is why it is so rich in anecdote and literature and why it provides such a talented and seemingly unending stream of ex-players to help us understand and enjoy the most complex of games.
There's a humour to it, too, which is unique and sees us through the darkest days. It might be, for instance, that our cricket team is nearly as bad as our soccer team, that it needs to rethink fundamentals before it gets matters right.
Even if that be true, it won't drive many people to drink. The intoxication of cricket comes not from the bottle but from its soul.