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Old 08-30-2019, 01:35 AM
PatrickLondon is online now
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 3,676
The traditional explanation for foreigners is this

However, as a non-enthusiast, it seems to me that the appeal is in the not-quite-infinite variables of skill when there are eleven players on each side, and what they can do with variable pitch conditions. This offers no end of tactical choices, not only to team captains deciding the order of bowling or batting, and who fields where, but also to individual bowlers and batsmen facing each other. And the number of possible outcomes to those choices is even bigger.

It can be played in various formats: enough for a single afternoon village match where the mid-match tea may be more important to many, or at the international ("test match") level over five days, where the ups and downs for both sides can keep the spectators guessing. Sometimes it's a complete whitewash for one side or the other, sometimes it all depends on the last ball to be played. It's not uncommon for the choice to be whether to play safe for a draw, or be bold and aim for a winner that might actually risk losing.

There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night—
Ten to make and the match to win—
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote
'Play up! play up! and play the game! '