Sunday, 17 April 2011

Action for Happiness

Fantasy Bob is sure that his readers (in their handful) keep themselves fully up to date with the latest social and political trends.  They will therefore be aware that Action for Happiness launched last week and many will already have signed up.  The Action for Happiness website describes it is a movement for positive social change bringing together people from all walks of life who want to play a part in creating a happier society for everyone.  (This by definition must exclude leg spin bowlers, which is a bit unfortunate).

The website points out that despite being much wealthier, we're no happier than we were five decades ago.  (This is of course to be interpreted in the general sense - many individuals weren't alive 5 decades ago so cannot verify this statement).

'At the same time', the website goes on to say,  'we've seen an increase in wider social issues, including a worrying rise in anxiety and depression in young people. It's time for a positive change in what we mean by progress.' 

All stirring stuff from FB's point of view, and it is not for him to carp or criticise.  It all seems based on a kernel of undisputable truth.  Materialism has always been seen as pretty limited by philosophers down the ages and even Lennon and MacCartney observed that money can't buy you love.  FB is squarely behind them on this, although Mrs FB points out that a bit of jewellery in her direction now and again can help things along.  (FB also recalls that John Lennon also suggested that Happiness is a Warm Gun, but he will pass over that).

There is more than a little of Aristotle in all this.  For it was the ancient Greek all rounder who considered that happiness depends on ourselves and can only be achieved through the cultivation of virtue - the most significant of which are line and length.

What concerns FB however is that in amongst all the sound advice for pursuing happiness there is no mention of cricket.  No mention at all.  But surely no person who does not play or appreciate cricket can ever claim to be happy (a sentiment variously attributed to Aristotle).   In an effort to correct this disgraceful oversight Fantasy Bob has reviewed the website's 10 keys to happiness which conveniently spell out the word GREAT DREAM so that cricketers can properly understand their relevance to their own lives.

G IVING Do things for others - this includes fielding on the midwicket boundary when they are consistently pitching too short.

R ELATING Connect with people - how many phone calls do you need to find that 11th man for Saturday's

E XERCISING Take care of your body - it is always advisable to check that you have your box in your bag - and, on your way to the wicket, that it is not longer in your bag

A PPRECIATING Notice the world around - a good sledging tactic is to draw the batsman's attention to fit young Poonam Pandies sun bathing on the boundary

T RYING OUT Keep learning new things - like how to play leg spin bowling (mmm FB don’t be too ambitious, better set a more realsistic objective – how about keeping out the straight one)

D IRECTION Have goals to look forward to - goals is a bit too footballish a term - but it is always worth looking forward to tea

R ESILIENCE Find ways to bounce back - sometimes Scottish wickets don't encourage any kind of bounce back or forward - front foot play is advised

E MOTION Take a positive approach - a run up to the wicket leads to better bowling than a run in the opposite direction

A CCEPTANCE Be comfortable with who you are - yes FB fully accepts that despite that silkily flowing cover drive he is not and never will be Sachin Tendulkar but give the man space to dream

M EANING Be part of something bigger – CRICKET


  1. Those that do not appreciate cricket are lost souls and are beyond even your legendary counseling skills FB. The entire American Nation, for example, where "Association Football" is called "Soccer" and the nations most favorite sport consists of "those that pitch, those that receive & switch hitters" is testimony to their lack of moral fibre and an absence of sporting heritage. Like Leonardo Dicaprio in Titanic you need to let them go, watch them sink to the murky depths of capitalism and focus your attention of those you can save. I am more concerned on the growth of Materialism in the changing room, particularly in the junior section (i.e. age less than 35). Brian Close never owned a thigh pad or helmet, let alone an iPhone or 4th Generation iPod Touch. What can you do to help them see the light FB? What would your mentor Aristotle do?

  2. Barnacle - FB tried getting in touch with Aristotle to seek his advice but his iPhone is switched off.

  3. Geoffrey Boycott memorably christened the line just outside the off stump as The Corridor of Uncertainty. Aristotle would probably have appreciated the significance of this. The pinnacle of happiness for a bowler is finding this elusive trajectory - batsman achieves it by navigating it successfully. Cricket is not only a sport, it is a way of life. as we all know.