Monday, 15 October 2012


Fantasy Bob is a fairly gullible sort.  He has responded to many players guesting in his All Stars XI who have told him on arriving in the changing room that they can bat a bit by inviting them to open the innings.  One ball later his credulousness is exposed.  He now understands that bat a bit means by comparison with my bowling in which I could not hit the wicket if it was 22 yards wide and 9 inches away, or my fielding in which I have never succeeded in taking a catch - even when we're throwing the ball back to the comparison with my high levels of accomplishment at these skills, I can bat a bit.

But his gullibility was stretched today when he heard for the first time of one of the fastest growing sports in the world.   A sport that may be a contended for the Olympics in not so many years time.  Chessboxing - which is a melange of chess and boxing.  This is a sport that would seem to have been made up by a wacky imagination such as Heston Blumenthal, but it is for real. Its proponents say in that it requires the competitors to excel at the physical and the cerebral it is a full test of their all round ability.

A full match consists of eleven rounds of alternating chess and boxing. A competitor may win the match by a knockout or referee's decision during a boxing round, by achieving a checkmate or other victory at chess eg the opponent's resignation.

FB wonders whether cricket has missed out on the development of such hybrids.  Cricket has on occasion been described as chess on grass, so cricket-chess would seem a natural in which the batsman and the bowler alternate an over with moves at the chess board.  But the batsman would be at a disadvantage trying to move the pieces with his gloves on, so maybe further thought is necessary.  Cricket-boxing might therefore be an alternative option.    There are those who suggest that it is already in development - as in this incident from last year's cricket world cup.  Lower league cricket can also find innovators keen to explore this new sport - but in FB's mind the suggestion that a square go with the umpire is a substitute for DRS in lower leagues needs to be resisted. 

FB will therefore pass on further hybridisation of cricket.  He feels that the game already tests his physical aptitude and his cerebral powers already.  Those who have seen him labour over a quick single will need no persuading of how demanding the physical test is for him.  Those who have seen him struggle to remember the names of the other ten players in his team know how the game also challenges his mental faculties.  Cricket must remain pure.

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