Strange Ritual, That One

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Test cricket just threw down the gauntlet to all other sports with a riveting start to the day’s play in Dunedin. Due to dampness in the run up some Southern man decided that cat litter (Budget brand no less – the mainland’s no-expense-spared tendencies remain strong), rather than the more usual sawdust was the answer.

Sky’s viewers were treated to extraordinary scenes, as the groundsman waddled out to the wicket (all in glorious hi-def – the way the dull light sparkled off the two-colour plastic was something to behold) with his innovative solution in hand. Nisbett was desperately trying to hold it together, but even the veteran broadcaster was struggling with what was put in front of him.

Finally play resumed, and… promptly stopped again. The litter didn’t work. Time to get rid of it. Once again, an incredible plan was hatched. Rather than some kind of industrial strength sucking device (you’d think they’d have a few of those around the NZC offices), a good, old-fashioned dustpan and brush was brought out.

A perfectly executed sweep

A perfectly executed sweep

In between times the camera panned across the crowd, all swaddled in 15 layers of clothing and still looking freezing. This entire episode lasted at least 15 minutes. Would any other  international sport allow the opening match of the home season, after a one-and-a-half day rain delay, to resume like this? I can’t think of one. You gotta love cricket.

– Duncan

PS – Can this please be the last Test scheduled for Dunedin before, say, March? Can we at least gain that small nugget of wisdom from this?

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