|Scene from The Real Thing|
This thing here, which looks like a wooden club, is actually several pieces of particular wood cunningly put together in a certain way so that the whole thing is sprung, like a dance floor. It’s for hitting cricket balls with. If you get it right, the cricket ball will travel two hundred yards in four seconds, and all you’ve done is give it a knock like knocking the top off a bottle of stout, and it makes a noise like a trout taking a fly….......This speech is celebrated by many critics for its use of a sporting metaphor to explain a creative act. Fantasy Bob fully approves of this and he greatly enjoyed the play and many of Stoppard's other works, whether benefitting from cricket metaphors or not.
But Stoppard is talking about a big hit - a truly exceptional hit. Is it possible?
|Afridi puts another one into the stands|
But Stoppard's cricketing experience might be more in line with Fantasy Bob's rather than Afridi's. So FB thought of his own 6 hitting. And before you say 'Oh come on', it has been verified that FB hits the occasional six. On a totally unscientific basis his biggest hit might be just over 80 yards and the hang time not much shorter than Afridi's - a speed of around 70mph. Carlton players should think how big a hit it is to put the ball over the wall at the bottom end - just under 100 yards. Afridi hit it over the wall, over the houses and then some. And Stoppard's batter puts it further yet.
Is it possible - have we reached the limits of human achievement? Or should we put it down to artistic licence?