Cricket, but not as we know it

Ever watched the BBC TV programme, Last Man Standing? It's an elaborate gameshow where six muscled 'athletes' of varying size and likeability compete in a number of obscure games in various corners of the world.

We saw an episode last night, where the six rippling He-Men were playing cricket. Only it wasn't cricket as we all know it.

They were on a Pacific Island called Trobriand. Cricket had been brought here by Christian missionaries, but it's sort of evolved into something else entirely.

For one thing, there are about a million fielders (most of whom seemingly can't catch), but most strikingly of all, when a wicket falls, the fielding side performs a taunting dance. It's brilliant. For instance, when someone is caught out, they perform the octopus dance, which involves lots of thigh-slapping and hand waving, like the start of The Haka.

The batsman's bat's a bit longer and narrower than a conventional cricket bat and the ball's smaller and harder. The batsman himself doesn't run as there are specialist runners taking the singles. Imagine two injured batsmen at the crease and it works the same.

Of course, this also means you can get run out through no fault of your own. Not that this prevents the fielding side from rubbing it in by singing about how you're not going to earn any yams.

Those of you who can get BBC3 can watch the episode at 20:00 on Sunday. Or you could watch the denouement which features a glorious rearguard innings from competitor Rajko, who'd rather foolishly buried an axe into his own foot shortly before the match.

There's a proper documentary available too, if you're a grown-up.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012


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3 Comments:

Anonymous the scientician said...

The god of cheese, Rajko, is playing guitar tonight in Babalou (formally Bug Bar) in Brixton, south London. And singing! I can only imagine how unbelievably annoying he will be. I may go.

11:04 am  
Anonymous Sally Barnes! said...

isn't it just baseball mixed with that rugby dance?

baseby I think it's called.

3:10 pm  
Anonymous LemonBella said...

I demand they introduce taunting dances to international cricket.

Let's see how smug Matthew Hayden is when he has to dance for a wicket.

9:53 pm  

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