Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Rule of 4.

Yesterday as England was in the grips of the hottest day for 2011 at a mild face warming 21 degrees, so much so that men small & large were removing t-shirts at an alarming rate. With the sun showing its wares this early in April the mind tends to drift ahead a few weeks to the start of the cricket leagues, when I say ‘cricket’ leagues I don’t mean your jaguar driving, freshly pressed whites and bats with sponsor’s logos. I’m talking of the time of year when grass stained trousers show the signs of a veteran.

Having suddenly noticed someone had slipped him a Fosters, Warney quickly disposes of the venom

With the season sharply approaching and the weather now drawing more of us towards the green grass of the beer garden it made sense to look into proper preparation to a day playing cricket. There are many debates on the use of beer before, after and sometimes during sporting conquests. With many feeling its usage should be at a minimum, and others think maybe 1 is alright. My good friend Andy and I found ourselves pondering the theory of the pre-match drink, and where it sits in loosening up a player who is tense on the day leading up. We know or have been told of horror stories of nights gone wrong and days in the field ruined by an over indulgence of the amber fluid kind.

Andy tells of a great little tale from his university days when preparing for a big game against a Rival University the captain had specifically requested no pre match drinking. All the team were waiting at the bus for the 11th man, 15 minutes late Johnny Smith rocks up with his bit of skirt (she was only wearing a dressing gown – sparking riotous scenes) from the night before p*&@”d out off his mind. After a 2 hour journey he is still drunk on arrival at the crease as the innings went along his hangover grew. Dear old Johnny was not in a good state at tea! Unsurprisingly they lost the game and Johnny lost the rest of his student loan in fines.

Very few can drink and play cricket, Ponting an exception to this.

I stand on a simple mathematical equation, one not as difficult as the duckworth lewis method, but just as important to the fabric of cricket life, it is simply named ‘The Four Beer Rule’ and is in affect from the first Friday of any cricket season to the final Friday in August.

The Four Beer Rule for me works on many levels, as I'm a big fan of the ‘one round’ where the sum of those in attendance must be equal to task of necking the no. people in the amount of beers, with 4 being the limit to a round.

4 being the limit to a round back home (Melbourne) works well, mainly as you can tend to get a round in for under tenner ($2.50 for a beer) for 4 people, and if you can’t you are clearly in a bar/pub too fancy for the likes of you and your mates. Being under a tenner means that everyone can afford a round for 4. Plus it means you can take out of the bank exactly a tenner avoiding those moments passed 4 pints when your brain tries to trick you into thinking a 5th & 6th is a great idea washed down with tequila.

Now the ‘one round’ works well in groups of 3 and 4, but I find when drinking with just one other mate that 2 pints is not enough to discuss the days play at the cricket or to come up with good selections for the following days racing, and this where the double round should be employed yet not straying from The Four Beer Rule, with each member buying 2 lots of 2 pint rounds, finishing your night on the round figure 4 pints, and not opening up the wallet for more than a tenners worth.

Many will feel that they can test and find faults in such a theory and I have watch many who have failed to take hold of The Four Beer Rule and lose their way home with nothing more than a lamb sandwich to talk to. I know that there is always an exception to any rule, and we may find that within our cricket club the likes of ‘Bruce’ or ‘Pig’ can indeed put away beyond a tenners worth of rounds in a night, and it is these men that we try to avoid. We are all informed of drinking in moderation, but what is moderation? To me this is a bit airy fairy and doesn’t give your cricketing male who values figures and statistics a point of reference.

Good luck in the weather and remember – DON’T BE A FOOL, KNOW YOUR RULE

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