Time was—say, fifteen or twenty years ago—that you had to wait until Summer to watch a game of cricket. Sure, you might be able to listen on the radio to a crackling broadcast of a game on the other side of the world, but these often took place in the middle of the night. Well, these games still take place in the middle of the night, but there are now so many more of them, and (because of the Internet) so many ways to watch them, that you can basically catch a game of cricket at any time of day or night.
A case in point is today. If you live on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, as your faithful correspondents at Right Off the Bat do, from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. you can enjoy live coverage of South Africa taking on Pakistan in a one-day international in South Africa. Immediately following that you can then thrill to the excitement of England playing New Zealand on the third day of the Second Test match in New Zealand—a feast that ends at around 11 p.m. At which point you can then settle in for the night to relish Australia’s struggles against India in India, or (alternatively) Sri Lanka battling it out with Bangladesh in Sri Lanka, both of which matches will take you to dawn. By my reckoning, that gives you twenty-two hours of continuous cricket, spanning the world. Yesterday, before the Zimbabweans were soundly thrashed by the West Indies, those of us on the East Coast of the U.S. would have been able to see a game in our own timezone!
Of course, those of us hoping to have more than “He Watched Cricket” etched on our tombstones look at these developments with something less than unalloyed joy. The days when we could do other things with our life because cricket was either not being played or simply wasn’t easily accessible may have been less pleasurable by not being filled with the noble game, but they were certainly more productive. But I (Martin) should bring this post to a close: New Zealand versus England begins in 35 minutes, and the South Africa/Pakistan game is heading to a thrilling finish!