The Guardian is a lovely newspaper indeed. Amongst other things, cricket match reports, rendered redundant in these days of instant multimedia communication, is still beautifully done, retaining the freshness and spontaneity, that seem to be missing in these days of cliched filled reporting.
Anyway, there is a lovely article about why the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein loved cricket so much.
For me, though, the more likely draw for Wittgenstein was the game’s language. His whole life was spent attempting to deconstruct the lines of code underpinning evolution’s most fabulous app – verbal communication. And cricket, with its dense and extraordinary quilt of gorgeous words and phrases, must have utterly captivated him.
The complexity of cricket necessitates an equally complex language merely to describe the basics of the game. There’s quite a lot of vocab for a player to learn just to know where to stand on the field. Imagine a circle of radius three metres around a batsman. Any fielder brave enough to stand on that circle can be described as any of (the titular) silly point, silly mid-off, silly mid-on, short leg, backward short leg, leg slip, slip or gully, depending on which point of the compass they are standing on in relation to the batsman.