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Old August 26th 05, 11:27 AM
 
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Default We aren't the only ones

I have included what are only a few paragraphs from a very interesting
article showing how another "arcane" activity is modifying itself to a
"new" world.

My perhaps anachronistic views are well-known, so others may find what
is in the article very positive. It is available at the CSM website.


Cricket makes a comeback in Britain

Forget five-day matches and tea breaks. Today's cricket is short and
saucy, delighting a new set of fans.

By Mark Rice-Oxley | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

LONDON - It was typical for the first weekend of the soccer season. A
packed stadium. A captivated crowd. And a match so engrossing that 13
percent of the country watched it on TV, while vacationers around the
world clutched their cellphones for text updates.

Cricket, it would appear, is back. But it has come a long way from the
pastoral idyll of men in white, village greens, polite applause, and
lots of tea. Suddenly this is a game with US-style swagger and pizazz,
with athletic stars sporting colored clothing, dyed hair, and diamond
stud earrings.

But the revival must also credit the startling modernization of what
always used to be an arcane, protracted, and impenetrable art form. If,
to paraphrase Mark Twain, golf is a good walk spoiled, then cricket
could be seen as a perfect way to spoil a picnic. Detractors complain
that it goes on too long (a game can last five days), is unfathomable,
and even ridiculous, with its strict rules for who can stand where and
at what time tea may be taken.

Not any more. Alert to the gentle decline of the game in an accelerated
world of shortened attention spans, authorities have innovated with a
new, ultra-short format of the game complete with colored clothing,
rock anthems to announce new batters, and a beer-and-hot-dog feel that
is akin to baseball.

Games last three hours and start in the early evening to pull the
after-work crowds. Grounds have been packed.

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