But is it Cricket?
By Nicholas Messenger
Migration Issue, 2015
What say you made it to the First Eleven and they told you,
incidentally, there are no rules left.
We’re sorry, but we’ve lost them.
Lost them? All of them?
How could you lose the rules?
We seem to have mislaid them.
How? Forgotten them?
Well, not so much forgotten, as lost confidence in them,
so when we went out in the field to play
we’d look around and somebody would grumble,
this is stupid! and we’d all feel stupid.
So you want me to go out there, and, do what exactly?
Play. Play up and play the game.
But there aren’t any rules!
You won’t need rules
as long as you can state the purpose of the game.
It’s harder to declare that, than to list the rules.
What is it? Ah! they say.
Ah now, we haven’t quite agreed on that.
There are several schools of thought –
a dozen or so – hundreds actually.
But all called ‘cricket’?
Look, it’s not that big a deal,
as long as there’s a way to score.
Just go on playing for as long as possible,
for days on end if need be.
Only, keep in mind
it’s not so satisfying if it all ends in a draw.