Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A fine match report

Say what you might about Christopher Martin Jenkins, but the veteran journalist can still write superb professional match reports. It is the sort of writing you will not find in an Indian newspaper. Nor will you find it on a blog. It is the report of a man who actually follows Cricket and doesn't just show up for match after match after match.

It is a report about the first day of a county game. Sussex v Somerset at Hove. The scorecard of the days play rounds off the report. It's a simple report. It tells us what happened in the day, giving pride of place to the day's two exceptional performers - Marcus Trescothick and Piyush Chawla. Relevant recent histories of individual players and both competing teams are effortlessly woven into the report. Some context with respect to the situation in the county championship is provided. Its all very routine and unexceptional.

Even so, it draws you into the day's play as you read it. It tells you the story of what happened at the Cricket. When did it begin to appear that the tide was turning? When you reach the end of the report, you feel like you were there at the cricket. I can almost see in my minds eye, Justin Langer shaking his head in disgust at the LBW so early in his innings (possibly his first assertive stroke), half at the injustice of the decision, half at the fact that he missed the ball.

It was not an exceptional day of cricket. Nothing dramatic happened. The batting side reached 9/314, the opening batsman made a hundred and the leg spinner got 5 wickets (Piyush Chawla getting numbers 2-6 in the batting order). But it was enough for a seasoned old professional journalist who still writes match reports about County games.

Something for us to learn there...


  1. I can understand what you are saying, but we still need to get out of this colonial mindset. Its like Test cricket is way better then T20 because MCC or English Media says so. Everything has its own place.

  2. Where did you get that impression? It has nothing to do with colonialism and it has nothing to do with the MCC or the English media saying so. T20 is an English creature not an Indian one, the innovation was first tried out at the County level, and the BCCI until the ICL came along, was contemptuous of it.

  3. I know the history of T20. Your article implies that indian journalist don't care much abt local cricket and we need to learn from the our masters ... ok that might be a stretch but it sounds like that.