5 Lessons Learned

Whilst it rains cats, dogs, hamsters and gerbils over in Sri Lanka, let’s increase our brain capacity by learning some cricket lessons from the past week. Just because cricket administrators couldn’t organise a summer picnic, doesn’t mean you get away high and dry. Oh no, delve into the well of knowledge and prepare to get soaked class. Macintosh’s on? Here are some suitably stylish lessons.

1) The Occult

Thank goodness we aren’t faith based; otherwise I’d have my Holy Communion revoked. For once in a lifetime, an ancient beast rears its head from beneath the veil. Normally kept subdued by accurate stakes driven through the heart, the fiery devil made the transition from beyond the occult this week. Its eyes danced with the flames of a thousand bowlers. Nostrils flared with anger. Ruby scales glinted in the night sky. The jagged tail flicked with impatient venom. Teeth, sharpened from hours in the nets, dripped with blood. Muscles bulged, claws scratched and a foul breath emitted.

6,6,6,6,6,6.

The number of the Beast.

The devil returned as an Afghan batsman. For in a T20 between Kabul Zwanan and Balkh Legends, 36 runs were struck in one over. Possessed by our fiery fiend, Hazratullah Zazai was the devil at the end of Abdullah Mazari’s run up. In an even darker twist, this is the sixth time 36 runs have come from a single over. Fifty years ago, Garfield Sobers was the first to be infected by the demon. Current India coach Ravi Shastri, was fuelled by the horned creatures rage in a test match, whilst South African Herschelle Gibbs succumbed to its charm. The seductive tongue has even whispered in T20’s prior to this week. Stuart Broad’s career was nigh on ruined by Yuvraj and in an English domestic fixture Ross Whiteley pummelled them high.

Striking without warning, the Beast rips bowlers’ confidence to shreds. In their dreams it’s always there. The evil face that twists the mind and brings you to despair.

6,6,6,6,6,6 the number of the Beast. Hell and fire was spawned to be released.

2) Sex Education

From the devil, to sex. Yes, those horns and red scales got me… well horny. Just as well you lot are over age. You are right? If not, then as every internet site demands, ‘do not enter unless above the age of 16.’ Naturally we all ignore the warning and delve straight in.

Making love. Two words which send a tingle of naughtiness down the spine. You see class, that act rather differs from the one you might have witnessed on those internet sites. They deal with ‘having sex.’ F**king if you want to be crass about it. A quickie down the park, bending over in the janitor’s cupboard or taking a ‘spin’ in your Ford Fiesta. Sexy yes but over far too rapidly. Say within three days.

Making love? Five passionate days; slow, deep, meaningful. A battle betwixt two lovers, clinging together like limpets on a rock. Nobody wants to let go and drown in the sea of loneliness. You’ve got to treat your partner, make them feel every ounce of your sweaty, shaking body. Climaxing in a heavenly groan, which could rip the earth asunder. The perfect metaphor for five day tests.

Unlike India versus the West Indies, which was a quick shag on the bench. With Umesh Yadav shattering the Windies stumps, Jason Holder’s men were annihilated. Umesh finished with ten wickets; condoms strewn across the outfield. Only Royston Chase stood up, reaching a century. However in being bowled out in the second for 127, Shaw and Rahul had zero trouble chasing 72.

India f**ked the West Indies over, winning the series 2-0. Nothing like the patient, understanding, erotic lovemaking test cricket is known for. Shame on them.

And now if you’d like to hold your bananas class, I’ll show you how to rubber up…

3) Tourism & Leisure

England are having a jolly old time over in Sri Lanka. Going on safari, performing concerts and conducting FIFA tournaments. Anything it seems, except playing cricket. For as we sit here in England, gazing out at cloudy skies, eager to play at lunch, it is raining cats and dogs in Sri Lanka. We learnt in last weeks cricket lessons about the irony of this situation. Rain where cricket must be played, yet dry over here! Frustrating doesn’t even cover it for Eoin Morgan’s men. Especially as they’ve had to listen to Rooty’s rendition of ‘Wonderwall’ thirty times in a row. Or at least that’s what we imagine he plays. After all if I see a guitar at a party, that’s exactly what I’ll belt out. Yep, I am ‘that guy.’ A legend in the eyes of one.

However on Saturday a miracle occurred. England managed to play a game of cricket. Okay it may have been affected by DLS, but at least a result occurred. England triumphed by 31 runs. Batting first the tourists managed 278, through skipper Morgan’s 92 and Gallagher Joe’s 74. Considering they were the only batsmen to pass 30, Morgan and Root were impressive. Especially as Lasith Malinga was back to his old tricks, yorking 5-44.

Eager to get some wickets under their belt before the rains arrived, Woakes and Stone unfurled the pace parasol. Picking up three of the wickets, Woakes soon had Sri Lanka 31-4. Whilst Stone’s initial four overs went for just four runs. Once the screw was tightened, the visitors never let go. Thisara Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva railed, yet it was all in vain as a storm brought play to a premature halt.

As today proves though, Sri Lanka’s tourist information office has never been busier.

4) Orienteering

Losing their sense of direction this week has been Australia; isolated by an energetic Pakistan side. It was down to skipper Paine and Wales explorer Khawaja to find the right path last week; ensuring a nail biting draw. Currently though the compasses have been smashed to pieces, for in the second test Pakistan lead by over 250 runs, with 8 second innings wickets still in hand.

Nathan Lyon may have spun them into contention with his 4 wickets for 0 runs, yet Fakhar Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed swung the Pakistan needle back towards north. A partnership of nearly 200 lifted the hosts up to 282. A visible day soon became shrouded in mist, as Mohammad Abbas wreaked havoc. Here is a bowler who proves that accuracy is the lynchpin to international success. Since making his debut last year, Abbas has over 50 wickets, taking them at just 15 apiece. Not blessed with riveting pace, it is the outside off stump orienteering which is critical to his success. Bang on the money ball after sodding ball. 5-33 blew the prevailing wind across Australia. Who were swept away for just 145.

As Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail increase Pakistan’s lead, Australia will be rigorously tested in their chase. With three days left, they may fancy their chances of finding a target of around 350. Anything more and victory may be too far away for their clutches. Particularly when their batting line up is weaker than some of Kanye West’s lyrics. Oh, if only they had Marcus North! Although if the drama is anything like the first test, it puts EastEnders to shame.

Think I should spend some time in isolation after those horrific compass puns. Maybe visit the South Pole?

5) Law

We end these cricket lessons on a sombre note. Ex Sri Lanka captain and legendary opener, Sanath Jayasuriya has been charged with corruption. He is accused of failing to cooperate with an investigation and ‘concealing, tampering with or destroying evidence.’ Naturally the 49-year-old claims he acted with integrity in not handing over his mobile phone ‘for personal reasons.’ Clearly didn’t want anyone to see his terrible score on Angry Birds!

Kids do still play that right? Rather worryingly this comes in the same moth that Alex Marshall, head of anti-corruption at the ICC announced there were serious allegations about corruption in Sri Lankan cricket. As chairman of selectors for the accused time, Jayasuriya comes under close scrutiny. With investigations underway don’t be surprised if corruption rears its ugly head. We all pray for a clean game, yet sometimes those prayers go unanswered. Just like that time I begged God to grant me a score of double figures in a school crunch match. To be fair to the guy upstairs, my one over went for 20 runs…

(Ed – Whitington’s top score in secondary school cricket was a grand total of 1* That ‘not out’… absolutely crucial – so much potential!)

There goes the bell and there goes my cricket lessons for this week. Homework is to learn Iron Maiden’s ‘Number Of The Beast’ on guitar, cause your partner to hit those high notes in bed and write a tourist guide to Sri Lanka in the rain. Now I’m off to buy some more bananas. Class dismissed!