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Finally They Banned Ultramarathon Cricket

My career as an inventor has had its ups and downs.

After I sold the patent for my disastrous Jacuzzi Suit to Timothy Dalton, I needed to focus on something a little less dangerous.

I have always had these recurring dreams about being a world-class cricket player, although fuck knows why.

I have always found cricket to be the most wretchedly boring game.

I never understood why someone would want to stand there in the smouldering heat wearing a white jumper and waiting for something — anything to happen.

I was having lunch with Sir Russell Crowe once.

He asked my advice on whether or not to take a role in Les Miserables. I told him he should since it would help with his desired rebrand as a ‘classy’ actor.

Also — Anne Hathaway. Hello.

Russell invited me to the ashes test series with him. I said I would consider it, but I found cricket to be tedious. He told me that was part of the sport. It was an endurance sport as much as anything.

I said it was more enduring for the audience.

Still, I stayed behind at the sports bar as Russell had to take off and I thought about this concept of cricket endurance for a long time.

I sent Russell a text.

Yer right about cricket, Russ. But if ya gonna do endurance, you should do it.

By my seventh beer, I had come up with the idea of ultramarathon cricket.

I went to a local cricket match and spoke to the team captains. They agreed to let me try a couple of things if I bought lunch for both teams after.

I replaced the corky — the rock-like solid ball—with a very bouncy, light version. Then I explained to the participants that there was no boundary in this game.

They just had to retrieve the ball from wherever it landed.

The first ball was bowled, and the batsman smashed it hard. It flew high in the air, out of the park, and just continued. The fielders looked at each other in confusion and just stood there.

“Well, don’t just stand there,” I said. “Go get it.”

A somewhat overweight fielder strolled off after the ball, and the batsmen started running.

“Too fast,” I told them. ‘“This is ultramarathon cricket. The fielder could be gone for a while, so pace yourselves.”

The fielder returned after ten minutes, walked straight up to me and kicked me hard in the goolies.

“You’re a fucking idiot,” he said, walking off.

This is what happens when you are an innovator. There’s always going to be someone trying to injure your bollocks.

It’s those that get straight back up that are the eventual winners.

It took me 2.5 minutes to get back up. Given the velocity of the fielder’s foot at impact, people were impressed by that.

I struggled to get a license for the game in Australia, so I took it to New Zealand.

The first ultramarathon cricket match took place in the middle of a national park. After the first hit, it took the fielders 17 hours to retrieve the ball. The batsmen made 26,420 runs while they were gone.

Those early games were crude but there was a sense of youthful anticipation in the air.

The game took off in Thailand more than anywhere else.

They played it in the jungle where there were other exciting obstacles such as tigers. The Thai government tried to ban the sport since too many fielders were getting eaten by tigers or falling off ravines.

They failed.

The balls improved, and the bats improved until a world record was set by Ananda Shinawatra who hit the ball almost eight hundred metres. The fielding teams became more organised and skilled.

Everything was going so well until one day, a ball came down fast, hitting a tourist in the neck while they were eating a scallop.

The scallop got lodged in the tourist’s throat, and they didn’t make it.

Unfortunately, that tourist was the US ambassador. The President made one phone call, and ultramarathon cricket was finished.

As an entrepreneur, it sometimes takes years to hit on an idea that is successful. I learned that from some podcast. Anyway, I promised myself I wouldn’t give up but just learn from the experience.

I went to dinner with Sir Russell the night the ban was announced.

He told me it was a bullshit game anyway.

I told him his performance in Les Miserables was bullshit, but I wasn’t going on about it.

He kicked me in the junk hard and left.

I think my testicles might be broken.

Image: MAM Ashfaq

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