“There’s a pleasure sure to being mad, that only madmen know”
– John Dryden in The Spanish Friar (1681)
Arthur Mailey famously declared that the greatest cricket fan is any twelve year old deeply, madly in love with cricket and it’s heroes. How will it feel if you find your heroes, the people whom you adore, in your living room one day and ready to play street cricket with you? One of the most deeply moving videos I have seen in a long time, the kind that makes you sob uncontrollably thinking about your childhood days dreaming about cricket non stop.
CLR James may wonder at the social and political implications of cricket for the masses, but just watch the joy on the faces of these little kids as they play with the Proteas. What do they know of cricket who only cricket know, was James’ famous rhetorical question. But to invert that slightly and provide an answer: it is this: the joy, the unbridled happiness, as a little kid, when you play the game you love. This video is perhaps the most moving tribute to Mike Marqusee, the American born cricket lover and writer who passed away recently.
Edit: From Gideon Haigh’s blog:
This love for cricket is aptly summarized by Afghanistan’s Hamid Hassan:
I have seen people die and I have not shed a tear. But there is something about cricket that gets me here [pointing to his heart]. Cricket is our chance.
(Photo taken from Cricinfo webpage; Photographer: Bruce Postle)