Monday, 26 September 2011

Cage Cricket - 4 for 33

John Cage 1912-92
4'33" may well be the most celebrated and most satirised piece of modern music. The piece was composed by American avant garde composer John Cage in 1952 and its three movements are performed without a single note being played.  It is silent. Readers may be forgiven for thinking that there must be some association with Fantasy Bob's batting in which whole innings can pass without a single shot being played.  The content of the composition is meant to be perceived as the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed.  So there is a higher aesthetic point being made by Cage - about sound, the chance or random impacts of it and how humans make order of it.  Fantasy Bob's batting, though, makes no such higher point - it is not even avant garde, it is just rubbish.

4'33'' has had many reference points -  Hitler was conjured up to vent an opinion and there was a campaign last year to attempt to make a recording of the piece the Christmas No 1.  It failed, more's the pity. 

Cage Cricket
But there can, FB suspects, be no connection between John Cage and Cage Cricket.  Even so this game has its avant garde aspects. It was developed by  former Hampshire player Lawrence Prittipaul and backed by Stuart Robertson, the man who invented Twenty20.  It is played in a cage such as are commonly found on urban playgrounds and has with coloured zones for scoring and positioning.   Players bat bowl and field.   It describes itself as dynamic, visual, high octane entertainment fused with the attitude of youth culture and extreme sports.  Just the thing for FB then.

There was a launch of Cage Cricket involving Ian Botham earlier this year at the Rose Bowl which shamefully rather passed FB by, but Botham was at it again yesterday suggesting that this game could sort out urban youth - along with a little corporal punishment (which never did him any harm of course) and probably a spell in the army.   FB is unsure what rattled Botham's cage, as it were, to set him off.

Cages of the non avant garde composer type do seem to be in the air.  For at the same time as Both is advocating putting kids in cages, others are outraged that kids took part in a cage fight at Preston Labour Club.  FB finds the whole concept of cage fighting rather difficult to deal with at the best of times and really does wonder who thought this was a good idea.

Cage cricket looks a good idea and if it brings kids to cricket then good on it.  But FB has used several towels to review the rules which have some complexity and require judgements and decisions to be made at various points - the risk of cage cricket descending into cage fighting must therefore exist.   But FB wishes it luck - anything to introduce kids to cricket of any sort must be good.  Is there tea in the cage?

PS - John Cage's music is not all off the wall  try this charming and delicate piano piece Dreams

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