Local Man Actually Starting to Enjoy Cricket

Waterford – Although other English sports like soccer and rugby have found a natural home in Ireland, until recently the game of cricket has been one of those mysterious English hobbies like queuing and soggy biscuit which the Irish have never really embraced.

However, Donncha O’Mahony (28), an unemployed travel agent from Waterford, has recently become something of a fan of the sport and has started a facebook page for Irish cricket fans, which is drawing surprising numbers.

"Those pages in the FAS window aren't jobs - they're bus timetables to Liverpool," explained Mr. O'Mahony.

"Those pages in the FAS window aren't jobs - they're bus timetables to Liverpool," explained Mr. O'Mahony.

“I suppose like a lot of people I thought I’d never watch a whole cricket match,” said Mr. O’Mahony, lying on his couch wrapped in a blanket because he can’t afford to heat his apartment. “Jesus, I thought it was boring as a blonde girl’s conversation – five fuckin’ days of lads standin’ around in a field, slowly hittin’ each other’s balls.”

“That’s the fuckin’ English for ya,” he said, raising a mug of homemade cider brewed in his bathtub as the price of a six-pack of Scrumpy just got too much. “There’s no level of sadomasochistic perversion they can’t turn into a game with strict rules and honour codes.”

However, during the recent Ashes series Mr. O’Mahony has gradually been won over by the gentle smack of leather on willow, so much so that he is quite looking forward to the rest of the series.

“I suppose like a lot of people I have a lot more time on my hands now than I used to,” said Mr. O’Mahony reflectively. “I mean, in the past, we all had things like jobs and such which kept us busy. And we’re used to faster sports like hurling; 70 minutes of non-stop action. How would we ever find the time or inclination to watch a sport that went for five straight days, and still ended in a draw?”

“But, sure, as I haven’t had a job now since 2008, and there hasn’t been one advertised in the paper since March, I need to find some way of passing the time.”

Mr. O’Mahony said that he’d lost track of regular working time over the past two years and is now in the habit of sleeping whenever he feels like it, which meant that he was fully awake the night the first Ashes test was played in Australia this year.

"The English - is no rule-based sadomasochistic perversion beyond them?" wondered Mr. O'Mahony.

"The English - is no rule-based sadomasochistic perversion beyond them?" wondered Mr. O'Mahony.

“Yeah, well, I’d flicked around on Channel 4 looking for some arty French porn, but they were only showing the Rocky Horror Picture Show – again!” said Mr. O’Mahony with a roll of his eyes. “And as I didn’t think I’d go back to sleep until the morning, I needed something to watch.”

“And you know what?” he asked, with the rhetorically flourished question so beloved of Irish orators holding forth. “After about five or six hours, I started to get into a bit.”

Mr. O’Mahony paused for a moment to dig around the back of the couch to see if there were any wine gums left for dinner.

“There’s nothing quite as glorious as watching Jonathon Trott drive a short ball through the cover and all the way to the boundary for a four,” said Mr. O’Mahony enthusiastically, his voice curiously adopting the public school boy mannerisms of English cricket commentators.

“And nothing can compete with the drama of how Mitchell Johnson turned the series on its head at The WACA when he bowled 6-38 to give Australia the momentum and level the series going into the fourth Test at the MCG.”

“That knocked the English for six!” he chortled. “Aggers and Boycott certainly weren’t happy about that! God, I can’t wait for Boxing Day. I’ve even organised my sleeping schedule to make sure that I sleep during the day and stay awake all night so I can watch it live on the BBC.”

A cricket fan responds to the excitement of Mitchell Johnson's sensational bowling at the WACA.

A cricket fan responds to the excitement of Mitchell Johnson's sensational bowling at the WACA.

When asked if such a schedule would interfere with his job-hunting, Mr. O’Mahony just looked blank. “What?” he asked in confusion.

“Anyway,” he said, with a shake of his head. “You wouldn’t believe how much dole money I’ve been able to save now that I’ve started following cricket. I’m now able to put away ten bob a week.”

“A few more international series like this one and I might have enough money for a new bicycle – that will make the 2 kilometre trudge to the supermarket a lot easier.”

According to Mr. O’Mahony, his facebook page for Irish cricket fans now has over 250,000 likes as other Irish people come to see the benefit of watching a sport that cheaply kills five days at a time.

“Yeah, well, it’ll come in useful if any of us ever raise enough money to emigrate to England or Australia,” said Mr. O’Mahony with a shrug as he hung some teabags on the washing line.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: