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Fit in my 40s: learning the cricket basics is full of surprises | Zoe Williams

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Expect a fair amount of sitting around getting hay fever, bending your mind to the fact that this is a noble and complex pursuit

Cricket, like all team sports, has suffered an epic hiatus over the past 18 months. It was for this reason, and not because I was shy, that I opted for a one-on-one coaching primer in the cricket nets in my local park, rather than joining the beginners’ team at the nearest club. They’re all extremely welcoming (they say, on their websites), but the raw fact is that “beginner” in local teams just means “less good than the main team”. It almost never means “complete novice”, as I’ve learned from bitter experience of ruining other people’s korfball and netball evenings.

It was actually two-to-one: a groundsman-cum-gentleman-amateur and a sportsman-of-all-trades who once taught me tennis. There is a vast array of starter exercises in cricket, which aren’t really about your technique; they’re there because of the huge number of laws in the game, which ultimately have to reside not just in your brain but in your eyes and your muscles. For every one thing you could guess you’d have to learn (how to bowl, how to bat, how to catch), there are two others you couldn’t. How do you run with a bat? Well, don’t start from the starting line: what are you, an idiot? You can start in front of it, so long as your bat is still touching the ground behind it. How many metres of distance should you keep from other players? What is all the mad stuff about the wicket? If you’re having to think about all this during a match, you’ve already lost.

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from The Guardian https://ift.tt/3dEu68Q
via Google News

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