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Despite making efforts to steer clear of cricket at the minute, we’re rather struggling to switch on the box without seeing it. If it’s not in a fishing programme, it’s in a Western.
The opening shot of episode two of BBC drama The English shows a game of cricket in Caine County, Powder River in the newly created state of Wyoming in 1890.
We were quite surprised, but then it is called The English and those guys did have a track record of taking humanity’s greatest accomplishment to new lands. (Weird how the missionary zeal has faded since then and the English only really seem to want India and Australia playing the game other than them.)
Along with alarmingly high colour saturation, another aspect of The English’s very distinct visual style is its camera framing. In this case that means we don’t get to see the ball being bowled or hit.
We see the bowler about to bowl. Then we see a shadow of the ball and batter as he takes a swing…
… and then we see your man swing with the sun directly behind him with the ball just out of shot.
Even without the cricket, we reckon you could instantly determine this guy was English purely from his face.
Straight after that, some fella rides in and does a double equine Shahid Afridi halfway down the pitch. (Obviously we mean wicket tampering here. The horses don’t bite the ball or hit massive sixes or anything.)
“What?” says your man.
“Better see for yourself,” replies the horseman.
Your man blurrily mounts his steed leaving his hat on the ground and in focus.
And then they bugger off with great urgency.
And that’s it for cricket. Or at least it is in episode two. We haven’t seen beyond that yet so don’t be coming round here with your “oh but what about that bit in episode three” and your “oh wow have you seen the end?”
Next week on King Cricket: Cricket in a gardening programme or Bladerunner or something.