The Good Cricket “Credo”
This manifesto emerged over ten years of playing cricket with the inner city community organisation Urban Seed who run an open lunch from an inner city church basement known as Credo Cafe. From this lunch the Credo Cricket Team was formed and some of the ‘Articles’ are often mentioned in the pre match address or as a stabilising reminder in the heat of battle …
- Cricket is an eschatological act of human faith affirming that the universe is in the hands of a greater power….because….
using the words of Mike Marquesse…
“How else could one explain the sublime waste of an entire day on something with no redeeming purpose whatsoever?”
2. Credo Cricket is rooted firmly in a school of thought that the best sport is played at the level of amateur (in)competence but is resigned to the fact that some concessions can and will be made to those blessed with genuine talent.
3. Cricket is not owned by anyone. Its beauty lies in its connection of the human body, the earth and the way it’s fluid laws and boundaries respect space and time. The fluidity of cricket encourages exploration of its limits, innovation and inventiveness, inviting participants to seize it and remake it for new purposes.
4. Cricket has never been just about cricket and so cricket carries many meanings and invites interpretation. Cricket therefore makes us ask which group, values or set of meanings are we representing in our involvement?
Some Credo Cricket ones….
5. Fair go!: Equality of opportunity and enabling participation is more important than sporting brilliance.
“Everybody get’s their $10 worth.”
6. Giving ones personal best on and off the field (no matter how ordinary that appears!)
7. We seek to give every opportunity for individuals to achieve their personal best.
8. Life is a team game. We need each other!
9. Give opportunity for people to improve in order to get better at cricket, the arts of the game and life.
10. Team success and achievement of an individual is always relative to community. (ie. some champions and “Premiers” are losers.) Co-operation with team mates and with the opposition is as important as competitiveness in evaluating success.
11. It’s cricket not a war. Cricket is morally superior to war.
12. The “Spirit of Cricket” is a highly contested historical concept and at worst a front for the abuse of power! Beware of those who are quick to say “It’s just not Cricket” and make sure you ask what they mean by cricket. That is to say in the Rudyard Kipling inspired words of CLR James …
“What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?”
13. The team with the best stories at the end of the day is the real winner.
14. There is always hope because cricket (like life) is a funny game.
15. Cricket is a great leveller which has a special way of revealing the ‘truth’ about ourselves and others!
16. Credo are the “Fun Premiers” every year… even if this means finding joy in suffering.
17. It’s easier to be the fun premiers if you are the actual premiers…ie. being competitive is more fun that getting slaughtered.
18. Lunch/Tea/Drinks breaks are as important as the game.
19. Everyone should get a chance to bowl “The Gatting Ball” because lets be honest, there’s a little bit of ‘Warnie’ in all of us whether we like it or not! In the words of Eddie Perfect , “Everyone’s a little bit like Shane!”
20. Especially where ‘church’ cricket is played, sin is not absent!… There is, nor ever was a ‘pristine’ cricket or in the words of Jim Young…
“No game has spawned more nonsense as has cricket, congratulating itself on its uniquely uplifting qualities.”
21. Failure and being willing to risk failure is an important part of success.
22. Sometimes in life it’s really important to have a win!
23. Sledging happens… it could be art or abuse. That is to say there is a line between being competitive zeal and boorish aggressiveness that is difficult to define…the sledger is not always a good person to judge.
24. Never forget the great Aussie adage…
“Were not playing for sheep stations mate.”
…..hmmm, just sponsorship, Bollywood movie deals, television rights, national honour, gambling revenue..etc???!
25. Sledge unto others only as you would have them sledge unto you. And the corollary “If you give it, you better be able to take it.”
26. We seek to love our enemies! Your opponent is often your shadow side affording you special insight into human folly.
(OK, These last two we adapted from Jesus, who obviously selected 12 as a good number for a team with cricket in mind!)
27. Formation of meaningful and significant relationships
28. Priority for those normally excluded from cricket cultures and society.
29. Honesty in evaluation of our abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
30. Variety is the spice of cricket: If a quick is getting carted put on a spinner; if a thin guy is getting carted, put on a fat guy; if a bloke is getting carted put on a woman; if someone good is getting carted put on someone ordinary….etc etc.
31. Nothing too strenuous: “If you play cricket well there should be no need too run!”
“There is no other game at which the confirmed duffer is so persistent and undepressed.” – EV Lucas
33. Credo Cricket: Sometimes its cricket you can believe in and at other times its just very believable cricket!