Hard to See

They are not feared as once they were,
Their names no longer known worldwide,
While those that were are held on high,
Regarded like another side.

A height to which they can’t aspire,
With franchise cricket now alive,
Devouring those who bowl some spin,
And swallowing each cover drive.

This benefits your Bangladesh,
Afghanistan and all the rest,
Whose feet on ladders step up rungs,
By beating Windies in a test.

Exerting control like once they did,
It’s fair to say that 508,
Would not sit well with any of
Those countless lightning greats.

Nor would those pitiful collapses
Under Clive Lloyd or Richards do,
We thought they’d always give us joy,
Forgive us, sirs, we never knew

How far West Indies cricket had
When left ignored the room to fall,
It’s hard to watch them scratch about,
When once they stood astride them all.

Posted in 2010s, 2018, Bangladesh, Cricket, Poetry, West Indies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Way They Played

Bit of a departure from ‘usual’ this time as I got struck by inspiration by a current test match, England’s win in Galle the other day.

“It was the way they played,” said Jonathan Agnew,
As if history rendered it thus,
As if wild swings and bad shots were simply there,
With the calmness of Foakes just a plus.

“It was the way they played,” without explanation,
Frantic, chaotic and wrong,
Losing clusters of idiot wickets,
Until somebody else comes along.

“It was the way they played,” during summer,
That saw India put to the sword,
Though that team collapsed like a house of cards,
However well England had scored.

“It was the way they played,” irresponsible fools,
Who dug in, when it mattered, and won,
It was thrilling, frustrating, with some parts sublime,
Above all, I suppose, it was fun.

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Crumble is what England did,
After starting with intent,
Against Australia’s quicks.

Crumble is what the Brisbane field did,
Meaning bowlers were caught out,
And no-balls abundant.

Crumble is what Kepler Wessels refused,
Standing firm when he had to,
And earning his runs.

Crumble is what of his shackles became,
After his debut hundred
Finally freed his arms.

Crumble is what Australia longed for,
When England batted again,
They were disappointed.

Crumble is what was needed in the end,
But Hughes and Hookes
Were in no such mood.

Posted in 1980s, 1982, Australia, Cricket, England, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Age Old Battle

I feel a lot of pressure about these poems when I’m coming up to an Ashes series, so that might explain the delay before this one. Hopefully not such a wait for the next

It was always the way, which was ever the best,
Aesthetics and beauty or stubborn success?
England had both, the free and repressed,
And both made their mark on the opening test.

Tavaré bats hours, plays for time and not runs,
While Gower still looks to be playing for fun,
And they each had their day in unseasonable sun,
But with all both of their genius, neither style won.

For English success met with Aussie resolve,
And the impetus ebbed as the test match evolved,
Which was no great surprise with Greg Chappell involved,
So it ended a draw, early hope all dissolved.

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You’ve Got To…

I’m not sure how well it works all the way through, but the plan was to put this to the rhythm of the verses of Hope by R.E.M.

You want to blame the players, but you have to blame the schedule,
Because they sent you off to Pakistan, to test your team’s credentials,
And they failed a third time in Lahore, because your batsmen can’t score runs,
And its fast becoming torturous instead of being fun.

You’ve got to take your medicine, because you won none of your matches,
And you’ve got to watch Miandad bat, because you can’t take catches,
You’ve got to bowl coherent spells instead of well in patches,
And you’ve got to hope that you bounce back, in the month before the Ashes

You’ve got to play much better to compete in Pakistan,
And you’ve got to find an answer to the threat of Imran Khan,
Cause he took another eight this game, and a quick fire thirty-nine,
The only thing that looked like beating Pakistan was time.

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Qadir and the Hero’s Turn

The very name ‘Faisalabad’ must be whispered in certain shores,
Lest hearing it brings memories back, of monstrous Pakistan scores,

Lest hearing it brings memories back and haunts poor Peter Sleep,
Who will count Zaheer Abbas runs, instead of counting sheep.

For Australia were pounded, fairly ground into the dust,
As the Pakistani’s kept their form, and the Aussies kept their rust.

Which meant that Abdul Qadir had the master of them all,
He may as well have bowled a wand and not a cricket ball.

Greg Ritchie earned some credit, with his second innings ton,
He didn’t lose his wicket, though the game’d already gone.

An innings and three runs, it was, the margin of the win,
Impossible to not conclude it came about through spin.

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Unlikely Twins?

Qadir and Imran, though not obvious twins,
Caused Australian’s bats to see stars,
As a test that begun with both teams looking strong,
Descended to something like farce.

Imran’s well established, his bowling top drawer,
While Qadir took his time to make hay,
After Pakistan had made a comfortable lead,
Then Australia lost the fourth day.

He spun the ball one way, the other the next,
None of Wood, Border, Hughes, had an answer,
A far cry from Pakistan’s tour to England,
When the home press decried him a chancer.

Qadir finished with five for, and Pakistan won,
Dominant from the first to the last,
And Australia crumbled to heavy defeat,
Which had not happened much in the past.

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