Monday, December 21, 2009

Days of the living dead

In the past twelve months England have been involved in seven tests that you could reasonably describe as memorable.

v India - the fact this test took place at all is worthy of note. That it went five days with 'any of four results possible up to the middle of the last day is icing on the cake.

v West Indies (1) Memorable for 'root canal work' reasons, but I doubt whether many will forget it.

v West Indies (2) Again, the backstory - this time of official incompetence and arrogance, is what initially makes this memorable but another five day game that went down to the final ball amid unbearable tension.

v West Indies (3) A delayed declaration that had Sreean climbing the walls, and another last over finish after five days fun and games.

Then, in the summer just gone there were three more -

Cardiff - Down to the last ball again.

Lords - 75 years of hurt ended and another fifth day finish.

The Oval - Champagne time at The Oval - though only four days long this time.

Add in the game just finished down in Durban (another five day, last over finish) and that's seven test matches played by England out of a possbile thirteen that won't be forgotten for a long time.

Now - how many England ODIs over the past twelve months can you put in the same category? I'll even make it easier and let you choose from any ODI played anywhere in the world over the same period. Some fun and games at the T20 World Cup (though the fact that there's another T20 World Cup due next year surely cheapens any memories there) and India nearly chasing down 400 plus come to mind, but I can't go much beyond that without checking back through the archives.

Ok, I'll accept that One Day International pay the bills, and that you only ever see decent sized test crowds anymore in England, and wherever England are playing - but reports of the demise of test cricket, whether by accident or design, are surely misguided.

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