Everyone Likes Cake - January 3, 2011

I played a bit of cricket at school, very very badly. I was a terrible spin bowler, an awful fielder, and an even worse batsman, and I absolutely cannot claim to be a big cricket fan, or indeed, any kind of cricket fan, not in the way that I am a football fan - and I'm not even a very good football fan. But Test Match Special is still the best sports program ever, if not the best radio program ever. You name another radio program that provides ball by ball commentary on a game lasting for seven hours a day over five days, including breaks for lunch and tea. Heavily steeped in a deep well of arcane, yet somehow friendly language and traditions, TMS requires, due to the inherent slowness of the game, that the commentators be capable of filling entertainingly during the normal course of play, never mind when there are problems with rain or poor light, or whatever. It is a little window on a better, more relaxed world, and I not only enjoy TMS unashamedly, but I love it enough to deliberately stay up to listen to Test Matches played on Australian time, even if much of the actual cricket talk goes way over my head. Long may they be sent cake - or not, and long may they discuss that cake - or lack thereof: this is the best comfort food for the brain ever invented, and may it last forever.

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