barry[email protected] is a blog that faciltates discussion about two predominant, important themes:
1. Thoughts and musings about the emerging Connection Economy
2. Rants about SA cricket. Ok, more specifically, Graeme’s rants about Jacques Kallis. And now mine, about Barry richards.
Amongst a vast array of sideline hobbies and activities that keep me busy, absolute obsessed cricket fanaticism takes precedence. Which is why you’ll understand that Sunday’s incredible, fantasy-like battle between our boys and the fine lads of Australia Fair had my synapses frayed.
Naturally, the media has been all over the story, dubbing it ‘the best game ever’ and, well, you’ve read the articles. I disagree, I think it was an unparalleled display of batting prowess and brilliance, but perhaps not the best display of cricket as a mash-up of all the disciplines of the great game; batting, bowling, fielding and of course, strategy. However, that’s open for discussion.
What isn’t open for discussion, and what really has my knickers in a knot, is the mindless blabbering of our very own big-haired, big-mouthed 19-voetsack’s batting hero, Barry Richards. Barry has never peaked Mike’s Official Credible Cricket Commentator ratings and really fell off the charts with his utterings during, and after the game on Sunday.
First up, Barry is quoted as saying during an innings-break function keynote that there was ‘no chance’ South Africa would ever chase down that total. Don’t get me wrong, I said the very same thing at the dinner break, my ever-patriotic heart shattered at reality of the Aussie onslaught. But one would expect Mr. Richards, with all his wisely years of experience to have been a little more conservative, especially considering he was saying it AT the game, TO the public, whereas my woes were expressed over my sixth Windhoek, huddled around the family braai. I guess it’s never over ‘til it’s over, and Barry should know that better than most. Better than me, at least.
For that, he’s forgiven. But then I read this morning that he had the following to say about the game on Sunday (from the Courier-Mail):
“There is such a propensity for hitting boundaries that bowlers have been taken out of game. It will only be six months and we’ll see 1000 runs scored in a one-day game. The skill has been taken out of cricket. As a cricket person, it is very boring because the bowlers have no chance. All the rule changes, the power plays and things, have just made things so much in favour of batsmen.â€? Wise words once again, Barry. ‘Boring’ describes Sunday’s clash perfectly.
But this just takes the cake: “Cricket is the only game that has been made smaller in the past 100 years. It’s all in the name of commercialism.â€?
First of all, Barry implies by the former statement that there was little to no skill involved in Ponting’s or Gibb’s batting innings. God forbid, Barry, that I trundle off to the Wanderers to watch Australia vs. SA and be treated to a flurry of exquisite boundaries. God forbid, Barry, that an entire country is united over one game of cricket because things are ‘so much in favour of batsmen’.
And OF COURSE cricket is about money. So are golf, tennis, rugby and football. Barry, as a purist, is concerned that we are LOSING skill from the game. Tell that to Andrew Hall after his catch at mid-on. Tell that to Makhaya Ntini after his 6-22 earlier in the series. Tell that to Brett Lee, who clearly has no stature as a bowler in world cricket, ‘all because of power plays’. Tell that to Mike Hussey, who is single-handedly redefining the art of middle-order batting.
Barry Richards is afraid that the growing popularity of a breed of cricket he is personally not comfortable with will overshadow his glory days. Barry, you were a great batsman in your day – my dad taught me to play just like you did, because he believed it was the only way to play the game. Have the humility and grace to give today’s stars a chance to shine without having to find justification for their performances. You need treatment for Has-Been Syndrome.
Ok I feel better now.

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