Cricket equipment in an unusual place on the BBC Sport website

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Send your pictures of cricket bats and other cricket stuff in unusual places to king@kingcricket.co.uk. Please feel free to deliberately place the cricket thing in the unusual place yourself.

Bail-out writes…

Difficult financial times are often accompanied by desperate pleas for government subsidy and surprise corporate mergers as old business models struggle to survive. While details of the suggested cricket-tennis tie-up remain elusive, my bet is the branding consultants will prefer the bold and meaty sound of “TENNET” to the hissing and slightly sinister “CRICKIS”.

One suggests the titular surname (and frankly what other name would be required) of the hardest of hard-boiled detectives (probably with a shambolic personal life and a pitch-dark sense of humour), while the other recalls a terrifying breed of flesh-eating insectoid space monsters from a cheap sci-fi movie (probably with shambolic personal lives and a pitch-dark sense of humour). 

The tennet rules committee faces an all-critical equipment choice of hitting implement and spherical target. If this is a merger of equals, rather than a simple takeover, it could have gone one of two ways. The hint the BBC have dropped about the preferred ball suggests tennis players are about to discover their sport has suddenly got a lot, lot harder. Both they and line umpires might need to start thinking about investing in a good box.

If, on the flip side, cricketers are about to get their hands on hitting implements of substantially greater girth, then I doubt I’m the only inept player willing this merger forward. I have certainly found rackets add a certain je ne sais quoi to the “French” and “beach” variants of cricket.

Sudden upheavals are hard to bear and purists will initially baulk at such changes to their beloved sports. But if a preference for purism can be passed along the generations, I have no doubt that after 200 years of further format/kit fiddling, the more cultured among their great-great-great-grandchildren will strike a blow against conformist commercialism by sneaking off to secret pitch-courts for a proper match of “real tennet”, 2020s rules.

6 comments

  1. If it’s Tenet you have to play backwards and forwards at the same time, difficult that.

    1. Whilst reading this post I am being ‘served’ with an advert that says ‘Cricut makes things happen’.

      Maybe that’s Ben Stokes’ rival sport?

    2. I’m well up for this idea. Bowlers/servers at each end delivering simultaneously? Two balls for the fielders to chase after? Would make the decision of whether or not to risk a quick single a bit tricky. Possibility of some spectacular fielding though. Would pay good money to watch someone take a double-catch.

  2. Yes I had that very piece in mind when I proposed “real tennet”, Ged – the fact it’s actually so weird to see a cricket bat at Lord’s is remarkable. A little world within a little world. In fact the asymmetric kink on a real tennis racket reminds me of the very early cricket bats (mid 18th century and before) when deliveries were skimmed or rolled along the pitch so a hockey-stick design was the order of the day. Wikipedia informs us that “In 1611, a French-English dictionary was published by Randle Cotgrave who defined the noun crosse as “the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket”” so this asymmetry was presumably the original design although I think the earliest surviving dated bat is from 1729. I’m sure Ged knows exactly what shape I’m talking about but there is a potted history with some photos here for the curious: https://b3cricket.com/latest/cricket-bat-evolution/

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