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658012 Posts in 9261 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 53 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: The Cricket, and maybe some other sports as well  (Read 13259 times)
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Good Intentions
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« on: May 06, 2010, 08:16:08 PM »

South Africa start winning at just the right time, as they blow New Zealand out of the T20 Cricket World Cup in the first knockout round. They lost quite convincingly to India in their first match, but SA have a bad record of bottling it in the semi-finals of these tournaments after racing invincibly through the opening rounds. If they start with a loss and end up winning their first worldwide cricket tournament, not many of my countryment will be complaining.
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Johnp
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 03:12:04 AM »

My interest in the current T20 was washed away with the rain as we had England on the ropes. (Plus I don't have cable sports.)

The Irish cricket team barely merits a mention in sports bulletins and when they do it's with 'and finally'-joviality.
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Nos vertus ne sont, le plus souvent, que des vices déguisés.
Ignatius
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 03:34:07 AM »

The only thing I know about Irish sport is that my dad's girlfriend is exceedingly proud of the Ballinagh Gaelic football club. Oh and that time the national (regular) football team beat Italy in 1994. And the time they beat Czech in a friendly or something in February or March of 2000. And that recent France thing. But that's the sum total right there.

Edit: How could I forget Owen Nolan! That guy had problems!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 03:35:39 AM by Ignatius » Logged
clare
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010, 07:42:39 AM »

There is an Irish cricket team? Well, bugger me... it's too cold for cricket though (and my feelings on 20/20 have been heard before)...grumble...
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010, 07:46:37 AM »

Ireland are one of the up-and-coming teams. There's been serious talk of them applying for test status. The thing is, Afghanistan has been stealing their thunder lately, what with them building a very respectable cricket team out of refugee camp inhabitants.
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clare
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010, 07:48:08 AM »

You'll have to imagine me giving you a look...
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2010, 07:56:22 AM »

It's the honest truth! Two years ago Afghanistan were playing against such heavyweights as Denmark and Jersey, and now they're at the World Cup and have been far from an embarrassment. The only step left for them to climb is up to test nation status, and while that's not going to happen soon, it shows how far they've progressed in such a short time.

Ireland have long produced world-class players -- Eoin Morgan, who's a star hard-hitting batsman for England in the shorter forms, is Irish, for instance -- and they've got a decent first-class league going (unlike, say, Bangladesh). They have a decent infrastructure as well, and the main thing holding them back is the relative lack of professional infrastructure (to be able to support enough professionals to maintain a competative side at the highest level) and lack of contact wth the best teams. Cricket, as you know, suffers a bit in that the gulf in class between the top four or five teams to the rest is huge, even amongst the test playing nations.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 08:10:40 AM by Good Intentions » Logged
clare
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2010, 08:00:42 AM »

OK, I'll buy it, and thank you when they beat Aus in 5 years time :-)
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You must have a very long, thin, tapered penis.
davy
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 09:07:51 AM »

Not Cricket-related, but holy shit, LT. My guess is we've seen the last of him on SportsCenter.
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The drummer IS the foundation, p3wn.
coldforge
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2010, 10:05:27 AM »

WI is up against Sri Lanka today. Can't say I have very high hopes considering how that's turned out in the past.
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è l'era del terzo mondo.
Good Intentions
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2010, 11:48:05 AM »

India is about to be dumped out of the tournament by Australia. It seems that the Aussies have finally condescended to take T20 somewhat seriously, and that the IPL continues to have deeply dubious value as a way to improve anything about Indian cricket except the balance sheets of those involved.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2010, 11:49:36 AM »

Also, you yanks might want to take a look at this:
Quote
Exciting news for cricket fans in the USA - the first ever internationals on American soil will take place in Florida on May 20, 22 and 23rd when Sri Lanka will play New Zealand in three Twenty20 matches. For full details and ticketing information, click here.
Except you'd have to be in Florida, which somewhat spoils it.
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Johnp
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2010, 01:06:15 PM »

Ireland also beat Pakistan in the '07 ODI World Cup, knocking them out, understandably overshadowed by the death of Bob Woolmer hours later.

Re: ignatius - the only other things you need to know about Irish sport involve sliotars, Katie Taylor or Duxie Walsh.
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Nos vertus ne sont, le plus souvent, que des vices déguisés.
Captain
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Posts: 507


« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2010, 05:54:18 PM »

Watching these Orlando Magic shooters... getting flashbacks of last year's Eastern Finals.  They are just so good from beyond the arc, it's frightening.  And this is with Dwight on the bench!  Atlanta just doesn't stand a chance here.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2010, 05:42:29 PM »

Good win for the West Indies against India. The less we say about South Africa's performance, though, the better.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2010, 08:51:12 PM »

Have any of you cats read Joseph O'Neill's Netherland? I just started it this evening, and there's some really beautiful meditations on cricket in there, NYC cricket especially.
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think 'on the road.'
coldforge
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2010, 08:56:20 PM »

I meant to when it came out. I got a couple separate recommendations on it. I will redouble my efforts now.

I was doing some meditations on cricket this weekend actually and they basically boiled down to Cricket:Baseball::Go:Chess. What's interesting is I brought up (briefly) Cricket with one of the big burly firefighter dudes at the wedding and he actually mentioned Go as an analogous game, which I found delightulf (typo accidental but retained)
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è l'era del terzo mondo.
Good Intentions
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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2010, 06:47:26 AM »

I've though on that analogy a bit (as someone who has played a lot of chess and cricket, and no small amount of go) and I don't see how it's going to work. I can see how the analogy is supposed to go if you intend to highlight how cricket has a more deliberate and sophisticated strategic arc over the course of a game than baseball does (I don't know much a about baseball, so I can't comment there). But chess has such build-ups as well, and the way those build-ups work is much more the way it is in chess than it is in go.

Maybe it's because of my insistence that chess is no lesser game than go, just a very different game. Go is undoubtedly more strategically rich, and probably the most profoundly deep strategic practice humans have developed (I'm not exaggerating). But tactically it's really simple, at least compared to chess. Chess's great virtue is its mix of tactics and strategy. (Strategy: setting up the board in such a way that makes it easier for you to win. Tactics: moving stuff around so that you actually win in X amount of moves, making combinations, seeing X moves ahead, etc.). Chess is more tactically complex than go because it has a clear way for you to win the game, kind of like the buzzer you hit at the end of an obstacle course on one of those TV game shows. You win when you checkmate the opponent's king. The fact that you can't replace pieces when you lose them also means that there are smaller tactical battles to take this or that of your opponent's pieces off the board. This means that moves in chess have a goal and are directed in a way that go isn't. Go has has life-and-death situations, which is tactical, but distinctly one-dimensional compared to chess. Accordingly, you get tactical masters of the chess, and strategic masters, and they can compete against each other. There isn't really something like someone who wins go games based on tactical nous (I'm a bit nervous about making this claim -- I don't know that much about go. I know that there are many people who make their way through the go world with their skill at fighting, but to me go-fighting looks like strategic battles rather than tactical ones).

The pertinent thing here is that in chess you need to co-ordinate your various pieces, all of whom behave really differently and flourish in different situations ('flourish' is the right word: you nurture your bishops or your rooks through the course of a game, the same way you nurture a bed of roses in a garden). While go certainly has this aspect of nurturing your position on the board, and profoundly at that, the proper comparison to chess would be if chess consisted entirely of pawns. And that isn't chess at all.

Now, cricket is going to be more chess-like than go-like, because cricket is in a very deep way the nurturing and matching off of greatly-varying capacities. To me at least the wonder of cricket isn't just the contest of bat vs ball, but that the bowlers come in their different and wildly incompatible forms: spin-bowling works very differently from pace, a sheet-anchor batsman is nothing like a pinch-hitter. But you need to manage all of them, all at the same time, massaging the circumstances in such a way that your balance of forces comes out stronger than your opponents. And that is very much chess-like, rather than go-like.
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coldforge
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2010, 08:25:28 AM »

I'm rather tired and won't write something that long, but the implication was not that one is tactically richer than the other—but rather that cricket has, on a strategic level, issues of rhythm, momentum, pacing and texture that emerge because of its scale. When you are looking at hundreds of deliveries over the course of several days, no one play can achieve the sort of monumental import of a grand slam in basball. This is certainly true from a batting perspective; obviously not as obviously true in bowling, where there's a fixed and pretty small number of wickets to take. But even then I think my analogy bears dividends because the process by which a bowler gets a batsman out is usually accomplished over the course of many deliveries, either pulling them into a false rhythm and then confounding it, or prodding the batsman until he's no longer comfortable and falls off balance, either physically or psychologically. These are processes that are much more textural and, as you said, strategic, than the relatively very small number of individual confrontations in baseball. One hears about very few single spectacular deliveries.

In any case it would be foolish to say that cricket is wholly strategic and not tactical at all, because it's a sport and not a poetic exercise, and your points about, say, the very distinct differences between spin and pace, and the balancing of the two, stand. However even there I would compare them to the tactics of replacing pitchers in baseball, bringing in your closer, etc., and point out that still the former happens on a much greater scale than the latter.

But my overall point is not that cricket lacks a very prominent tactical aspect, but that—within the realms of both tactics AND strategy—the scale of cricket in terms of timeframe and in terms of number of deliveries (and very much in terms of the fact that an innings is only circumscribed by how well the batting team is managing to do) creates a style of play that relies on factors that deemphasize, to a much greater degree, any individual play, and rely on structures of multiples of balls, or multiples of overs, such that the picture of the play emerges as one that's much more textural, longer-scale, and fluid. All of which I find very much in the manner of Go.
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è l'era del terzo mondo.
Good Intentions
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2010, 09:58:33 AM »

I'm rather tired and won't write something that long, but the implication was not that one is tactically richer than the other—but rather that cricket has, on a strategic level, issues of rhythm, momentum, pacing and texture that emerge because of its scale [...] But even then I think my analogy bears dividends because the process by which a bowler gets a batsman out is usually accomplished over the course of many deliveries, either pulling them into a false rhythm and then confounding it, or prodding the batsman until he's no longer comfortable and falls off balance, either physically or psychologically. These are processes that are much more textural and, as you said, strategic, than the relatively very small number of individual confrontations in baseball. One hears about very few single spectacular deliveries [...] a style of play that relies on factors that deemphasize, to a much greater degree, any individual play, and rely on structures of multiples of balls, or multiples of overs, such that the picture of the play emerges as one that's much more textural, longer-scale, and fluid. All of which I find very much in the manner of Go.
The thing is, everything you're saying here is as true of chess as it is of go. Also, in go individual brilliant moves play just the same role as in chess (though they look different: they look like individual brilliant *strategic* chess moves, rather than, say, a brilliant combination): look at the 'ear-reddening move', for instance. I don't see what the contrast between chess and go re: cricket is supposed to be, and I suspect that if you flesh out an analogy in any way, you're going to have to relate cricket to chess rather than to go.
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davy
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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2010, 10:11:24 AM »

I give this debate an A. If you want the A+, you're going to have to ratchet up the tension or include 3-D tic-tac-toe, one or the other.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2010, 12:41:40 PM »

Pakistan are off to a roaring start over Australia in the second semi-final of the world cup cricket at the moment. Australia, who have been ruthless this tournament, are clear favourites, but Pakistan are capable of anything, including inglorious meltdowns or anonymously withering away. They're defending champions, and might feel that fate is behind them, especially with the rate they're scoring runs at right now.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2010, 12:46:18 PM »

The commentator's curse strikes again: just as I post that, Pakistan lose a wicket. 82/1 in the 10th over is still a hell of a score for a game of T20, and Pakistan have the players to press such an advantage home.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2010, 01:53:28 PM »

Amazingly, Pakistan set a target of 192. They can actually win this! They have a good chance at beating Australia! Australia have the firepower to pull this off, but 192 is a hell of a target in 20 overs, and the Pakistani bowling attack demands respect.

As I type this, Aus are at 22/1 at the end of the 2nd over. They're starting in the right vein, although the soft dismissal in the first over might cost them. Can they keep it up for the other 18 overs, though?
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2010, 02:22:04 PM »

While Aus started at a great pace, they've lost wickets now and have had a few tight overs. 63/4 after 9. Guys, Pakistan are looking like they're going to win this. If they do, it will be an amazing turnaround in fortunes: their previous performances have been somewhere between ordinary and embarrassing, but they managed to win at just the right times and had all the other results go in their favour. Australia have bludgeoned their opposition relentlessly throughout, starting to look like their victory was inevitable, and now it seems that Pakistan are going to unceremoniously dump them out.
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