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Russian literature & test cricket

I don't know if anyone here follows the live commentary of Test cricket on the BBc website, but at 14.51 today, thre following appeared on the England v Pakistan match:

1451: Kevin Pietersen and Sir Geoffrey Boycott have always put me in mind of Yevgeny Bazarov and his father Vasily Ivanovich Bazarov in Turgenev's seminal work Fathers and Sons: Pietersen/Yevgeny the nihilist with his rejection of the old ways of cricket, Boycott/Vasily and his loyalty to tradition and batting with rhubarb...

Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox: "As an elderly cricket fan mildly obsessed with both 19th century Russian literature and stupid comparisons, it struck me just the other day that the Chappell brothers' depiction in cricketing history has marked similarities with the way Dostovesky paints the characters of the three Karamazov brothers. Ian's just like Dmitri, prone to extremes of anger and recklessness. Greg's the spitting character image of the tortured but calculating Ivan, and Trevor/Aleksey is there to witness, and be drawn into against his will, the turmoil within his dysfunctional family, before finally seeking solace in good works. Have any other readers noticed striking similarities between cricketers and famous characters in Russian literature?"

Later from the commentary:

Well, Anna Karenina commits suicide. Only once though, unlike Pietersen..."

'Strictly' not related to the current team, but there is a similarity between Mark Ramprakash and Uncle Vanya - both were nervous men who wasted their talents. to the nomination for Prince Myshkin in The Idiot - as the Myshkin's main characteristics are not idiotic but merely simplicity in nature and naivety in social situations, Peter Crouch springs to mind...

YESSSSSS! Perhaps the first ever accusation of elitism and snobbery on a cricket text commentary! Makes a nice change from being called "puerile"... Anyone read any Kafka?

Re: Kafka. Bizarre. Often Frightening. Rarely completed satisfactorily. A literary precursor to a KP innings."

In Terence Rattigan's script for Anthony Asquith's film 'The Final Test' we have Robert Morley as cricket-obsessed poet comparing a good cricket game to a Chekhov play - but I can't remember his reasons.
This is a delightful film about the son of a famous cricketer. Son despises cricket until he meets poet cricket-fan who makes him think again.

Well, Himadri, so much for you insiting literature isn't part of the mainstream anymore.  Cricket commentators seem very much part of the mainstream to me.  We heard some of this commentary last night - my husband mentioned that cricket must be the only sport where, when it is rained off, the commentary continues ad infinitum.  But I am rather sorry that we didn't actually hear this discussion.  Must have been after our bedtime.

Anyway cricket is non grata at the moment - NZ were all out for something like 118 in the 31st over chasing India's 222 (mostly scored by Sehweg).  Idiots.  I don't know what literary people they resemble.  Someone who gives up even before they have started would be the style.  Walter Mitty maybe.

Cheers, Caro.

Ye Gods!  I've been watching the cricket and England's collapse.  Is there a Russian novel that features a massacre or group suicide?

Well, Himadri, so much for you insiting literature isn't part of the mainstream anymore.  Cricket commentators seem very much part of the mainstream to me

Hardly...  We don't get cricket at all on terrestrial TV any more, except for a very short highlights programme during selected Test matches (not most of them).  You have to subscribe to Sky if you want to see cricket.  Not what I'd call mainstream!  Football is mainstream, cricket is no longer that, sadly.

Indeed - the loss of Test cricket on terrestrial television is a great loss for those of us who refuse to subscribe to Sky. And in any case - although this was great fun, it was hardly a serious discussion! But all the same, reading these comments on the live commentary on the BBC website did make me laugh.
Gul Darr

Reading this, reminds me of Monty Python's Thomas Hardy sketch, where a crowd gathers to watch him write The Return of the Native and there is a cricket-style commentary Smile

In New Zealand we get virtually no sport on free-to-air (netball, oddly, is the exception).  Everything else, including rugby, is seen on Sky.  I think it is repeated later on free-to-air.  Doesn't stop rugby being very mainstream here.  And cricket, really.  I would consider Sky as definitely mainstream now.  And no sport can really be considered elistist, so if your sports commentators are talking (and talking in reasonably depth) about Russian literature, I am hugely impressed by the knowledge of your mainstream media.  The very thought of NZ rugby commentators (who are perfectly adequate in their field, and certainly not dumb - well some of them aren't dumb) having such a conversation is quite beyond the bounds of imagination.

Cheers, Caro.

The BBC radio cricket commentary really is a law unto itself. It is one o fth egreat institutions. Basically, it's a bunch of chaps getting steadily tipsier as they get through the day, and, since cricket is not a fast, thrill-per-second sport, there is an awful lot of time to fill in - especially if there are stoppages due to rain or bad light. And the conversation can often take a surreal turn.

these particular excerpts are from the text commentary that appears on the BBC website. Basically, they give regular updates on what is happening on the field of play, and they also welcome text messages from the public. It's these text messages that can lead the conversation into strange directions. Here is today's text commentary (to be read from bottom up, if you want it in chronological order).

You'll find the account of the day's play intermingled with all sorts of other stuff.

Looking at the text and the comments on the Me-and-Dad joke reminds me of the amusing song about Meeting Mr Miandad on

Test Match Special is indeed brilliant but if you can't get to a radio (or you don't have sky) then Wisden Cricinfo is fantastic if you want ball by ball commentary and fantastic analysis / stats.

Its a much more detailed version of the beeb website without all the text message banter from the general public which I always find a little forced at times.

Oh, dear.  In the light of recent revelations, perhaps Dostoyevsky's "The Gambler" might be the most appropriate title?

Nice one! Very Happy

'The Idiot' also springs to mind...

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