Monday's Google Doodle is a nifty little cricket game in which the batsman is a ... cricket! and the fielders are snails. The bowler is also a snail.
From the preceding sentence you might assume that I know something about cricket, but I don't. I have the basics. And playing Google's cricket game is mesmerizing. I'm as much adrift as my colleague Matt Weinberger.
I was waiting for the one thing I do know about cricket, which I learned from many listens to the English progressive folk-rock musician Roy Harper's cricket ballad, "When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease," a meditation of mortality and, well, cricket (Harper, by the way, sang lead vocals on Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar" and was immortalized in a Led Zeppelin number, "Hats Off to (Roy) Harper," from the group's third album).
Here's the first verse, from Harper's album "HQ":
When the day is done and the ball has spun in the umpires pocket away
And all remains in the groundsman's pains for the rest of time and a day
There'll be one mad dog and his master, pushing for four with the spin
On a dusty pitch with two pounds six of willow wood in the sun.
So what's with all the spun/spin stuff? Well, in cricket a spin bowler delivers the ball with rotation that's meant to make it hard to bat. And lo! In the Google Cricket game, the snail does indeed bowl with spin.
I was able to hit it anyway. Maybe it gets harder as you rack up the runs.
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