Cheese Major mentioned on Facebook that he had ‘registered his interest in tickets for Lords in 2012’. I was a bit surprised as he has never shown any interest in cricket, but as he pointed out in condescending tones to his dense old mother – it is the location for the archery matches in the Olympics.
Cheese Minor suggested that combining cricket and archery might lead to ‘brighter cricket’ – and having nothing better to do I spent half an hour in the bath working out some ideas.
Of course I had to start with the name - ‘Crarchery’ is silly but ‘Acket’ seemed much more suitable.
It has always seemed unfair to me that in a cricket match there are eleven players from one side on the field – but only two from the other. So we send the remaining members of the batting side on as archers. Much fairer!
To begin with I thought the archers could line up either side of the wicket, rather like the wings of archers at the battle of Agincourt – but decided, given the comparative scale of a cricket pitch and a battle ground, they would just end up shooting each other
So I decided that just as the bowler tells the fielders where to stand, the batsmen could place the archers round the pitch to their liking.
Of course, direct firing at the opposite side wouldn’t be – er- cricket, so the archers would only be allowed to fire at the ball, between the time it hits the ground, and the time a fielder gets his/her hand on it. [Any archer who actually splits the ball with an arrow wins the entire match for his/her side.]
Now this may sound a little one-sided, but after all the archers are spread around the ground just like the fielders, so there is always a possibility of ‘friendly fire’ – and anyway, they should all wear body armour and helmets, like batsmen already do. And those brightly coloured pyjamas they wear these days should make them stand out nicely against the grass. [Mmm – may be a need for protection for the spectators – needs a bit of R&D there.]
I did wonder about allowing the fielders to ride horses – a touch of medieval battles/polo – but we English don’t like to see horses get hurt. And anyway it would be silly.
In the interests of history/mobility/beautiful wood the archers would use longbows. [Mmm – may need more R&D to produce armour and helmets suitable for archers.]
Of course there is a possibility that whichever side bats first always wins – but this is not a fully developed plan, I recognise that it needs some refinement. We could start by playing some short limited over/arrow matches, and then if there were enough players left – I mean, enough interest - progress to longer matches.
What do you think? All suggestions for refinements gratefully received.
I was about to say that it’s a pity the French don’t play cricket - but then I remembered a nasty rumour, which can’t possibly be true, that the French archery team beat us in the last Olympics, so maybe it’s better we don’t introduce them to Acket. They might take it as a form of revenge for Agincourt and Crecy and all those other small medieval disagreements …
Off to do some sewing!