This peculiar game

of bat and ball

on oval green and strip of grass

is a cauldron of challenge

that has united and divided,

disappointed and thrilled

generations of actors

who play or watch

this skill of eye and muscle

in a mindscape of strategy

of person and team.


The game is the geometry

and symmetry of

squares, arcs and angles,

and is measured in

yards and millimetres,

tiny margins and wide expanse;

and it is the physics of

actions and reaction

around a leather sphere,

all held together with

laws and traditions

that are as orderly as

the best society.


Cricket is a force political

and a source of unification

between cultures and countries,

and between players

from every stratum,

local and across the seas.


It is played with the power

of language in sledges and quips,

and by players of every age, size,

race, gender and ability,

in an unpredictable contest and

an admired physical quest

available to all

to play or watch on a screen;

and then it is remembered reverently

through plaques on walls

and in numbers divine

recorded from yesteryear

in dusty books or online.


And the theatre and the play

of the game that

began the English way

has its villains and its heroes

that are revered across nations;

and players long gone from the play

sit and talk of the glory

that once was theirs

and the moments when the

battle of leather on bat

and bat on leather made

the meaning of their lives.