Wednesday, November 15, 2006

bringing running to a standstill

As much as I love cricket, I think it's lame that it allows you to have "runners" and "subs" in the way that it does. If you get tired of batting, you can call someone to come and run for you; and if you get tired of standing in the field you can go inside and chill while some random dude fields in your place.

I have fervently castigated other sports, like American football and baseball, for breeding "specialist" athletes - e.g. a quarterback's entire role is to throw the ball when he is told, and a pitcher in the American league will never bat. I now realize that cricket is not dissimilar, because runners and subs rules allow a player to narrow his task down to swinging his bat or bowling his over without worrying about other aspects of the game.

If you get cramps from smacking a ball around all day, then maybe you need to toughen up and build your stamina. You are, after all, an athlete playing at the highest level of your game, so it's not too much to ask. If you can't perform ALL the tasks of batting or bowling (including running and fielding) then you shouldn't be allowed to bat or bowl. If you do call in a substitute, he should have to play for the rest of the match.

It's time cricketers got up off their asses and increased the level of athleticism in the game. This will make for more interesting viewing. Maybe then the rest of the world will actually start respecting the sport.

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