As his aggressively loud alarm rang incessantly, Tom Harrison slowly opened his eyes. ‘God,’ he thought, as he woke, ‘that alarm is boring, I must invest in a more exciting one.’
He pulled himself out of bed, admonishing the dreariness of his fuchsia pink dressing gown as he wrapped it around himself, cursing silently at the banality of his neon yellow slippers.
Down his unexciting staircase he walked, into his uninteresting kitchen. He tried to enjoy a bowl of cereal for his breakfast, but how could he when eating it was such a marathon? How could anyone enjoy something that took so long to consume? The world needed mini-cereal that could be marketed to the time-poor modern person.
Tom sighed, and threw his boring breakfast into his dull dustbin.
But as he drunk in the utter tedium of the world around him, an epiphany hit Tom. Yes, that was it! He fumbled for his phone, hastily punching in a number. At last, he had the answer…
“Colin, it’s Tom, I’ve got it. England need to play exciting cricket, even if it means that we lose, and the shorter the games the better. So, if the traditionalists insist on playing bloody test cricket between the proper twenty over stuff, let’s cut matches from five days to four. Then it might actually be interesting”.
“When it comes to test cricket, forget subtlety, forget nuance and for the love of Boycott disregard all notions of patience. Give me boundaries, ballast, and results. Give me four days. Hell, why not just make it three”?
And with that in mind, here are some of the most boring cricket matches of all time.
England vs Australia, Old Trafford, 2005.
This match was destined to be a stinker when Michael Vaughan hit a first innings 166 that contained only one 6 and a mere twenty 4’s. Pointless.
Australia were bowled out for 302 with Simon Jones taking a mammoth 17.5 overs to pick up 6 wickets. Ridiculous when you consider that you are only allocated 4 overs as a bowler in real cricket matches.
Ricky Ponting played what might have been a heroic innings for 156, if he had been striking at higher than a measly 56.72, and Australia clung on by one wicket for a draw that was anything but engrossing.
England vs Australia, Cardiff, 2009.
I remember this match vividly, and I can say categorically that not one England fan was living every delivery as if it may be the last they witnessed on earth.
My stomach most certainly did not drop several feet as Paul Collingwood was dismissed and I felt not a shred of euphoria as the hapless Monty Panesar and Jimmy Anderson failed to post a total big enough to set Australia a target to chase.
Batting out for a draw? Well, it’s just not cricket.
England vs South Africa, Johannesburg, 1995.
It really, really doesn’t get much worse than this. South Africa dominated the match and looked destined to cruise to victory.
There was just one problem: Michael Atherton. He batted for a soul-crushing 643 minutes, in spite of the fact that Allan Donald seemed to genuinely be attempting to murder him.
History will look on Allan Donald with sympathy, one suspects. Atherton on the other hand? The king of the snore-fest.
Australia vs West Indies, Brisbane, 1960.
Pity the damned souls who sat through a gruelling five days in which not a single reverse sweep was employed.
With Australia needing just one run to win, an impudent West Indies fielder saw fit to run out the last Australian batsman, who was inconsiderate enough to misjudge his run, meaning the match was tied, and everyone went home disconsolate and thoroughly unhappy.
One of the worst test matches ever played.
England vs Australia, The Oval, 2005
Yes, yes, yes, I know, not another appalling Ashes encounter. (Please cut me some slack here as my wide-eyed youth means that I have to mostly go off matches that I have actually seen).
The supposed hero of the hour was Kevin Pietersen – a bloke so bloody boring that he was exiled from England forever a few years ago.
With England teetering at 199-7 it looked like we might actually have the pleasure of a result in one of those god-awful Ashes matches. But Pietersen hit a not entirely useless 158 (seven 6’s can’t be sniffed at too much) and robbed us of a result.
England won The Ashes, but it was a draw, so really, what was the point?
Peter Jackson Eastwood