I think it is very important to understand your partner’s interests. It helps you to bond and it’s nice to be able to have a conversation about hobbies and likes. Understanding their interests can help you learn more your loved one, find out what they value and what makes them tick. Learning about their interests can also introduce you to new things that you too might come to love.
Unless that interest is cricket.
Cricket is the girlfriend’s unwanted summer companion. It’s a presence in your life you didn’t see coming. It sneaks into lounge rooms, on to smart phones, social media and into my calendar. Just as the months warm up, holidays arrive and the potential to finally be outside arises does this unwanted acquaintance rear its ugly head. This lures our otherwise sun loving partner back indoors, onto the couch and into a world that many girlfriends find about as exciting as a tax return or rolling superfunds all together. And at least those activities have potential financial benefit.
There a lot of things I don’t understand about cricket. I don’t know why so many people like a game where there is quite frequently isn’t a winner. I can’t understand the attraction of watching it for hours when so little happens so slowly, surely it can’t be for the commentary? I marvel at the ability for men world over to be prepared to sit around for long stretches of time and absorbed by so little.
Recently it has come to my attention that it is apparently quite difficult for players to both bat and bowl. Apparently they can only do one or the other but both is just that little be too hard. Ah…why? Surely out of the 5 million-odd Australian males of cricket playing age at least 20 or so of them could be handy with both pieces of cricket equipment? I understand there is training associated with skills but come on, there are super athletes who compete in multiple events. There are female sports people who play both soccer and cricket at a professional level ; surely our men could give the “all-rounder” tag a bit more of a go? (and they do so without the funding the men receive…for more on that see our friend Katherine Klaus’s detailed discussion on this topic.)
Not only is cricket seemingly on all the time but now there is a new series. This series, I’m told, is a commercial bastardisation of a traditional gentlemen’s game. Traditionalists are appalled at the emergence of this competition. And I think I might know why. Twenty20 cricket goes against everything cricket stands for. The Big Bash is vaguely….interesting. Things actually happen. There is generally an actual result – as oppose to regular “test match” cricket where after 5 days of so-called “competition” there is no actual benefit to either side, where victory has eluded all involved, including sportsmen, officials and supporters alike*. In Twenty20 the players wear colours, there are fireworks when someone hits a six or gets a wicket, and there are cheerleaders and music.
Even better, there is a time limit; the whole thing is over in three hours. As a long-time girlfriend of a cricket loving man the timing of cricket most frustrates me. At least in Twenty20 I know when I can resume my normal life and make plans around this type of competition. Regular cricket has no fixed end time; I could be waiting for hours for it to end, waiting for hours for the celebrations to end or, more recently, waiting for hours for the haze of grumpiness and disappointment to lift because the country’s best player is more obsessed with botox, diuretic tablets and a certain British movie star.
Basically…cricket = waiting around. So as my heart goes out to all those unfortunate enough to be dating a cricketer, I feel I should share some things I’ve learnt about cricket:
- Never ask who is winning. No one is ever winning…apparently.
- The following terms might come up in conversation: bite, cherry, crumble, jaffa, peach…none of these have anything to do with food, getting food, or taking a break from cricket to eat food.
- If you somehow do manage to extract your partner from his ass-imprinted sofa seat and draw him away from the TV, it will undoubtedly be the only 30 second period where anything vaguely interesting happened in 5 days. This is an unforgivable act and makes further deviations from the couch exceedingly unlikely. In a nutshell, choose your timing wisely.
On a positive note, there is one solitary benefit that has come from cricket. You see, because cricket was a summer sport the players had nothing to do in the winter…so they invented AFL. And I love AFL.
So thanks, cricket.
This is the opinion of the writer only. I do acknowledge that there are some women out there who actually enjoy cricket. Those women should know: you are part of my ongoing problem, not the solution.
*I know I raised this earlier but I feel the point needed to be stressed.