Stuff White People Like: The Cricket

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Cricket as a sport is great, and pleasant to follow. However, “The Cricket” is a slightly different proposition. This is when you pack deckchairs, hats and a lot of sunblock in your car and actually go to the ground to watch a match.

White people can do this endlessly, or at least for five days in a row. That is how long some cricket matches last.

Since cricket is a slow sport that plays out over several hours, live cricket viewing lends itself to leisurely days at the stadium relaxing in the sun, drinking beer and applauding at specific points during play.

In cricket culture, applause is expected when a new batsman scores his first run, when he or the team passes 50, 100 or any permutation thereof, at the start and end of play, after a maiden over, and generally after good achievements like a four, a six or a wicket.

That’s a lot of applauding, and a lot of concentrating if you want to get it right. So what most white people do at the cricket is ignore the game completely. They get beer, chat and fiddle on their phones, and then when someone claps they applaud too, and ask what just happened.

When something awesome happens, like a wicket or a massive six, most of the crowd misses it completely, then looks up and checks the replay on the big screen.

So in a lot of ways, going to the cricket means watching an enormous outdoor television screen while getting sunburnt and drunk in public. There are few other places where you are allowed to do this, so white people thrive on the cricket like nothing you’ve ever seen.

The one drawback of going to the cricket for white people is that because you are wearing shorts and sitting down in the sun all day, your knees get sunburnt. It’s to do with the angle of incidence of how you sit. One can apply layers of sunblock to no avail.

So if you see a drunk white person in a hat and shorts with very pink knees, ask them, “How was the cricket?”

This is an exerpt from the book Stuff (South African) White People Like

Writer for television, print and digital, corporate and editorial. Editor and writer of books. Musical performance, spoken word as Inspector Ras. Guitar/vocals for The Near Misses, (Worst Band In JoburgTM). The last whitey at umsebenzi. Latest book 415 Action-Packed Neighbourhood Marketing Tips with Basil O'Hagan, out now. @hagenengler

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