Pakistan January 26, 2010

Teens gone wild

Adolescent cricket with the ridiculous shots and the irritating antics of senior cricket, and Nick Knight thrown in for good measure
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Oh pipe down already, or you'll have detention with Shane Watson © International Cricket Council
 

I’ll be honest. I don’t like teenagers. Their music is dumb, their hair is too long, they are having way, way too much fun and most irritatingly of all, I’m not one of them. So, the Under-19 World Cup, an entire tournament confined to adolescents, was never going to appeal as a prospect. Still, if Sky has gone to the trouble of sending an outside broadcast unit all the way to a field in New Zealand, it is the least I can do to tune in and pretend to take an interest.

So on Saturday, I sat down to watch the highlights of the India versus Pakistan quarter-final. It was a little disorienting. A 50-over game, reduced to 23 overs per side, then squeezed into a half-hour transmission. Take out the ad breaks, the replays and the waffle and it boiled down to a collection of sixes, wickets and the more amusing cock-ups. Every piece of action seemed only vaguely related to what had gone before. It was like watching a French film.

I am not qualified to say whether the teams were any good, although after witnessing a particularly horrendous slog across the line, I had to drape a handkerchief over my marble bust of Peter May, lest it start to weep. But all told, they did a fair impression of a proper grown-up one-day game, albeit with more hair and fewer beer bellies. They even managed a few circus shots (I counted at least two Dilscoops, one of which actually worked).

I could have lived without the cranked-up celebrations though. I haven’t seen that much roaring, posing or strutting since I stopped watching WWF. It is not possible for the sane viewer to watch a cricketer puff up his chest, stick out his bottom lip and howl like a baboon in the mating season without feeling a spasm or two of irritation. When the cricketer in question is a teenager who has just dismissed one of his peers with a long hop, the irritation is increased exponentially. I blame Shane Watson.

Nick Knight was Sky’s man in a suit for this occasion, paying his dues before he moves on to bigger things. He troubles me, that one. It’s the eyes. At first, I thought he was just frightened. But now I’m sure he’s trying to exert some kind of mind control through hypnosis. I haven’t worked out what he’s up to yet, but he doesn’t appear to want to join the Botham-Gower-Lloyd-Hussain-Atherton axis of washed-up old warriors. I can imagine him hosting a Saturday night quiz show or founding a cult in the wilds of Warwickshire. He’s plainly someone to watch, by which I mean, keep your eye on him. Just remember to blink.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • babarzia on February 2, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    the best part is a cricket article about the under 19 world cup managed to offend a frenchman's sense of articitic intellectual integrity or something.......amazing...cant stop laughing

  • segars on January 30, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Cracking article! Good acurate observations with the usual twist of humour. Agree with you 99%, except for the French films. Keep it up Mr Hughes.

    @ Rahul. That prat was a real nuisance to watch last year in Kuala Lumpur but I think he has matured now, playing well in the senior side.

  • Abhi on January 29, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    wow this was one of the funniest articles... I couldn't stop laughing on the nick Knight description. I had to go online and look him up to add a face to it :-).

    btw ppl when an article features on a page with the title 'Cricket humour and satire', maybe just maybe the article is intended in jest...

  • ramesh on January 28, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    haha you seem to have touched the nerve of some people .. but really when we can scream and shed tears in gully cricket matches the under 19 tournament is at least sanctioned by the ICC ..

  • Andrew Hughes on January 28, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    Thanks to those who took the time to comment. I seem to have attracted one or two criticisms, so I will do my best to answer them.

    First of all, I do think some respondents might have saved themselves a little trouble if they'd taken the time to read the article before venting their spleens.

    Then there are those readers who, in taking a determined stand against irony, insist on reading everything on Page 2 as straight journalism. I cannot fault their determination, although I do fear for their blood pressure.

    It has also been suggested that I am in some way jealous of teenagers. Well, that goes without saying, surely. Who wouldn't want to be eighteen again?

    The only criticism that left any impression on me was the suggestion that I had unfairly slighted French cinema. Guilty as charged. It was a cheap shot and I apologise.

    Finally, to Arshad, you are very kind, but I am afraid I am not an Australian.

  • Lou on January 28, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    Funny article, but I have enjoyed the tournament. You should have watched Mitch Marsh batting. He bats as correctly as you'd like.

  • Auchi, Sri Lanka on January 28, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    You're just jealous of teenagers!

  • Syphier on January 28, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    Funny article i really ejoyed it. I likw how you hate u-19 crickets. Lol.

  • Rakitha on January 28, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    not the best article ive ever read in my life

  • cpndodgee on January 27, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    I thought only old fellas like me deplored the state of modern cricket...thank god for tv totherwise...yes totherwise we the viewing public would be unable to put a face to a name as in Englands u19 captain doing a feddie mercury pose after taking a simple catch to beat india i think in a play off for 33rd place in the posing stakes. perhaps the brains trust known as australian cricket commentators shuld take some of the blame as well.is mark nicholls secretly in the closet for the aussie team. The last peach of a shot i saw was my missus

  • babarzia on February 2, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    the best part is a cricket article about the under 19 world cup managed to offend a frenchman's sense of articitic intellectual integrity or something.......amazing...cant stop laughing

  • segars on January 30, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Cracking article! Good acurate observations with the usual twist of humour. Agree with you 99%, except for the French films. Keep it up Mr Hughes.

    @ Rahul. That prat was a real nuisance to watch last year in Kuala Lumpur but I think he has matured now, playing well in the senior side.

  • Abhi on January 29, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    wow this was one of the funniest articles... I couldn't stop laughing on the nick Knight description. I had to go online and look him up to add a face to it :-).

    btw ppl when an article features on a page with the title 'Cricket humour and satire', maybe just maybe the article is intended in jest...

  • ramesh on January 28, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    haha you seem to have touched the nerve of some people .. but really when we can scream and shed tears in gully cricket matches the under 19 tournament is at least sanctioned by the ICC ..

  • Andrew Hughes on January 28, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    Thanks to those who took the time to comment. I seem to have attracted one or two criticisms, so I will do my best to answer them.

    First of all, I do think some respondents might have saved themselves a little trouble if they'd taken the time to read the article before venting their spleens.

    Then there are those readers who, in taking a determined stand against irony, insist on reading everything on Page 2 as straight journalism. I cannot fault their determination, although I do fear for their blood pressure.

    It has also been suggested that I am in some way jealous of teenagers. Well, that goes without saying, surely. Who wouldn't want to be eighteen again?

    The only criticism that left any impression on me was the suggestion that I had unfairly slighted French cinema. Guilty as charged. It was a cheap shot and I apologise.

    Finally, to Arshad, you are very kind, but I am afraid I am not an Australian.

  • Lou on January 28, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    Funny article, but I have enjoyed the tournament. You should have watched Mitch Marsh batting. He bats as correctly as you'd like.

  • Auchi, Sri Lanka on January 28, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    You're just jealous of teenagers!

  • Syphier on January 28, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    Funny article i really ejoyed it. I likw how you hate u-19 crickets. Lol.

  • Rakitha on January 28, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    not the best article ive ever read in my life

  • cpndodgee on January 27, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    I thought only old fellas like me deplored the state of modern cricket...thank god for tv totherwise...yes totherwise we the viewing public would be unable to put a face to a name as in Englands u19 captain doing a feddie mercury pose after taking a simple catch to beat india i think in a play off for 33rd place in the posing stakes. perhaps the brains trust known as australian cricket commentators shuld take some of the blame as well.is mark nicholls secretly in the closet for the aussie team. The last peach of a shot i saw was my missus

  • Dallas on January 27, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Shane Watson is everything that is wrong with the professional era of the game, especially in Australia. Indubitable talent mixed with a total lack of charm, social nouse or brains. What Australia would give to have one Mark Waugh or Mark Taylor standing in the slips analysing the game. When the smartest guy in the room is Michael Clarke - you got problems, baby. You got problems.

  • tjai on January 27, 2010, 19:36 GMT

    here comes another lad....strong on words...but weak on heart!!! u men of words find it difficult to understand the emotions a sportsman carries once he enters in the field!!

  • Shafni on January 27, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    Adrew, please dont forget once you too were a teenager, wonder how dumb you were then i totally understand by your words you are one person who didnt enjoy your youth like, sorry about that. To be honest mate you are too busy complaining than enjoying the sport, if you didnt like it why bother in the first place to come watch a under 19 world cup match??

  • Ayaz on January 27, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    I for one am enjoying the U19 World Cup thoroughly. It doensn't hurt to have my team, Pakistan, in the final.

    I've also been pleasantly surprised with the standard of cricket. These kids play with passion that a lot of the time seems lost with the senior sides. They seem uncorrupted so far from the glitter of fame and money.

    Can't wait for the final.

  • ravindra singh on January 27, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    this is a ridiculous article, without the passion and that little steam in the sport it would have no jist or interest to it, whether it's u19 or international cricket

  • alias on January 27, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    andrew to me your a big dumb son of a gun and jealous of the fact that the young cricketers of tomorrow have a tremendous talent you never had, and also this article is a horrible piece of work and by far the worst article a writer of cricinfo. ever wrote also bare in mind that the joy we youth get when you dismiss an opponent is such and tremendous feelin' you'll never feel. i will also advise you to find a different profession cause your just a poor excuse of a writer and you should be givin' advice to us youth and not slandering us. thats all i had to say you sick slob

  • Roly on January 27, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Kashif Muneer, you are one humourless sod

  • cricboy on January 27, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Omg, i hope they don't send you to another match, u disgrace cricket..... and if cricket is anything like a movie ( french or whatever ) buddy sorry u lack you sense of fun..

    All the more i agree with Kashif u watched 1 match against Pakistan Vs India... always a heated match..

    Andrew Hughes sit at home and read a magazine so u will not bother us with stupid comments...just cos your not a teen...

  • Arshad Jamal on January 27, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Yeah, Andrew Hughes.....Who?? Whosoever you are dude, why the hell you even bothered to watch the aforementioned highlights. I can understand, you maybe the one of those who consider everything absolute rubbish done by the teams and cricketers other then Australia

  • jon on January 27, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    Clearly Mr. Hughes has lost his mind from reading all the 'Indian' comments to his article on Gavaskar. This article proves that he's disoriented and needs a break from writing.

  • Kashif Muneer on January 27, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    Your article is funny but lacks credebility as you only base your argument on watching a single game's spiced up highlights that too between India and Pakistan. All I can say is chill dude and enjoy the cricket! The ICC are there to police the players if they cross the line.

  • Antipodean Andrew on January 27, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    That's one hilarious article. Five stars. I tried to give Shane Watson to New Zealand this summer. It failed. I should have known because I already had form: previously I tried to give away Shane Warne and Lleyton Hewitt, and they wouldn't take them, either.

  • Andre on January 27, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    I am a French national, found of cricket ! (Yes they exist !) I am shocked by the sentence "It was like watching a French film." Because French films are easy to understand for those you really want to understand them !

    Best regards.

  • Timbo on January 27, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    Nick Knight horrendous commentator and is extremely bias to anyone playing Worcestershire. Hes not good enough to join the top dogs of the Sky team.

    Funny article as well :-)

  • BIEF on January 27, 2010, 8:30 GMT

    AWESOME ARTICLE Am still in stitches.....

  • Rahul on January 27, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    Well Andrew, if you are disturbed with this lot then thank god you didnt watch the last U-19 world cup and the brat pack lead by that prat virat kohli. The final played between ind Vs SAF would have made you sit up and start following WWE instead of cricket again.

  • kubby on January 27, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    Andrew Hughes ---> who???

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • kubby on January 27, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    Andrew Hughes ---> who???

  • Rahul on January 27, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    Well Andrew, if you are disturbed with this lot then thank god you didnt watch the last U-19 world cup and the brat pack lead by that prat virat kohli. The final played between ind Vs SAF would have made you sit up and start following WWE instead of cricket again.

  • BIEF on January 27, 2010, 8:30 GMT

    AWESOME ARTICLE Am still in stitches.....

  • Timbo on January 27, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    Nick Knight horrendous commentator and is extremely bias to anyone playing Worcestershire. Hes not good enough to join the top dogs of the Sky team.

    Funny article as well :-)

  • Andre on January 27, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    I am a French national, found of cricket ! (Yes they exist !) I am shocked by the sentence "It was like watching a French film." Because French films are easy to understand for those you really want to understand them !

    Best regards.

  • Antipodean Andrew on January 27, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    That's one hilarious article. Five stars. I tried to give Shane Watson to New Zealand this summer. It failed. I should have known because I already had form: previously I tried to give away Shane Warne and Lleyton Hewitt, and they wouldn't take them, either.

  • Kashif Muneer on January 27, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    Your article is funny but lacks credebility as you only base your argument on watching a single game's spiced up highlights that too between India and Pakistan. All I can say is chill dude and enjoy the cricket! The ICC are there to police the players if they cross the line.

  • jon on January 27, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    Clearly Mr. Hughes has lost his mind from reading all the 'Indian' comments to his article on Gavaskar. This article proves that he's disoriented and needs a break from writing.

  • Arshad Jamal on January 27, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Yeah, Andrew Hughes.....Who?? Whosoever you are dude, why the hell you even bothered to watch the aforementioned highlights. I can understand, you maybe the one of those who consider everything absolute rubbish done by the teams and cricketers other then Australia

  • cricboy on January 27, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Omg, i hope they don't send you to another match, u disgrace cricket..... and if cricket is anything like a movie ( french or whatever ) buddy sorry u lack you sense of fun..

    All the more i agree with Kashif u watched 1 match against Pakistan Vs India... always a heated match..

    Andrew Hughes sit at home and read a magazine so u will not bother us with stupid comments...just cos your not a teen...