Old Trafford pitch messaging (a match report)

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Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. We’re only really interested in your own experience, so if it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. (But if it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.)

Bert writes…

Last year, the Old Trafford test led to a fundamental reworking of the concepts of space and time, one that scientists and carpet fitters are still trying to come to terms with. This year the emphasis was solely on geometry, that most ancient of the mathematical sciences, source of truth and beauty to the Greeks, and the foundation of our technological society.

Look at this photo. Can you believe your eyes? Is what you are seeing real, or just some sort of illusion, a trick of the light? No, I can assure you that it is absolutely real, as real as cheese.

Cricket, as you all know, is played on grass, and as you all also know, grass grows. This means that in order to play the cricket, the grass needs to be subjugated. The technical term for this is “mowing”, and it is a process carried out at almost all  cricket grounds (we’ve all played on some of the exceptions). However, what is not widely known is that this process has recently acquired a subtle secondary purpose. Look closely at the lighter square that approaches the boundary at the bottom. Look at its bottom corner. See it? No? Well here is a close-up.

Yes, that’s right. You can believe your eyes. Small plastic inserts mark the corners of every single square on the ground. This isn’t mere grass taming, it is geometric perfection. It is mowing with millimetric precision. Angles, lengths, areas – all are laid out to a level of accuracy that NASA would be proud of.

But why? Why go to all this trouble for what is only mowing? The simplest answer – that this is an astronomical alignment made up of shapes of mystical proportions set out by ancient Mesoamerican priests to appease the gods – is tempting. But surely not, that is far too obvious. No, the real answer comes not from our ancient past, but from our technological present. Ask yourself – what modern thing is a series of squares arranged in a precise pattern like this? That’s right – it’s a QR code. But who has a smart phone at an altitude where this QR code can be read? Yep – aliens.

So far so simple. The grounds-staff at Old Trafford have set out a QR code in grass so that aliens can read it. But why? Why would they do this? The next photo makes it all clear. This is Australia fielding in mid-afternoon on Day three. Look at the positions of the fielders relative to a) the squares in the grass, and b) the boundary rope. All nine fielders evenly spaced, 5m in from the boundary. Just as it would be if the field had been set by a nine year old. Or by an alien! The QR code was a message to the aliens to get them to use force fields to trap the Australians in predetermined boxes, carefully chosen to ensure that none of them could help with actually playing cricket. Taking catches – no. Saving one – no. Saving two – no. Preventing boundaries – barely. The single most useless set of Australians since the Committee for Upholding Australianness they set up after the sandpaper thing.

So there you have it. It’s not mowing, it’s Bazmowing. It’s taking what was done, ripping it up and starting again. It’s pushing the limits of what can be achieved by simple use of aliens in test matches. It is true that a better message to the all-powerful aliens might have been “Stop it bloody raining”, but that is a detail. I am sure that Baz and Ben will learn from this and move on.


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  1. I think it quite extraordinary how otherwise rational, scientific people are susceptible to wild, clearly fictional accounts of public events.

    Thank you, Bert, for being a voice of reason in the increasingly bizarre morass that is our modern social media. But I won’t be at all surprised if some of those crazy voices soon appear with so-called rational explanations to try and discredit your painstaking, evidence-based research.

    Don’t allow the naysayers to dissuade you, Bert. I, together with other rationalists around here, are eternally grateful to you for chronical…I mean chronicle…account.

      1. Indeed, enlightenment through supping beats enlightenment through suffering any day…unless you are a Buddhist Viking of course.

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