They were not wrong when it comes to cricket. A drunk old man once told me that it was nothing more than organised loitering, with old men who can’t stand the company of their good lady any more, taking part.
Then came along a new format, a format where it was acceptable to ogle young ladies with next to no clothes on, to play reverse sweeps and ramp shots off your first delivery and generally piss about.
This was Twenty20 and it brought with it quicker bowling, bigger hits and gymnastic-like fielding. It also developed a few egos and mercenaries.
Seen as a game for the young folk: short and sharp and over in next no time, it has given players such as David Warner, Aaron Finch and the new Dumbslog Millionaire: Glenn Maxwell a platform to show off their undoubted talent.
However, it has also given a few of the more experienced players a place to retire. No more bowling twenty five overs in a day or standing in the field for three weeks without even picking up a bat for these guys. They can now give it a whack, bowl four overs of military medium and pick up a handsome cheque.
Are the old codgers still able to cut it? There is nothing better than experience in a pressurised situation. Been there, done it etc. Knowing when to go big and understanding that you have more time out there than you might think is invaluable in the shortest format of the game.
This has led us to have a look who might play in an over 35’s side to take on the young guns. I think it might be closer than you’d imagine…
1. Chris Gayle
Age: 35 Average: 41.51
(Barisal Burners, Dhaka Gladiators, Jamaica, Jamaica Tallawahs, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lions, Matabeleland Tuskers, PCA Masters XI, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Stanford Superstars, Sydney Thunder, West Indians, West Indies, Western Australia)
The man who has had his hand inside more things than Roger De Courcy, ageing lothario Gayle is still a dangerous customer at the top of the order. A must for any side.
2. Tillakaratne Dilshan
Age: 38 Average: 26.87
(Basnahira, Basnahira Cricket Dundee, Basnahira South, Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club, Delhi Daredevils, Dhaka Gladiators, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Northern Districts, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Ruhuna Reds, Sri Lanka, Sri Lankans, Surrey, Sydney Thunder)
The man of the Dilscoop is a scoop for any team at auction. Him and Gayle would cause heart attacks to any ageing population.
|A scoop at the auction!|
3. Jacques Kallis
Age: 39 Average: 32.04 Wickets: 98
(Cape Cobras, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa, Sydney Thunder, Warriors, Western Province Boland)
This man is so old that no doubt he keeps his vast wealth under the bed in a biscuit tin. Bats, bowls, catches pigeons at slip. A great cricketer.
4. Mahela Jayawardene
Age: 37 Average: 28.73
(Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Sinhalese Sports Club, Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, Uthura Yellows, Wayamba, Wayamba United)
After claiming his government grant for winter heating bills, Mahela can still get out there and show he is one of the most stylish in the game.
5. Mike Hussey
Age: 39 Average: 39.20
(Australia, Australia A, Chennai Super Kings, Gloucestershire, Mumbai Indians, Northamptonshire, Perth Scorchers, Sydney Thunder)
Rumours that Hussey regular suffered from hypothermia after his stays in the UK are completely unfounded. A class act and a brilliant finisher.
|Saga holidays kkara...|
6. Kumar Sangakkara
Age: 37 Average: 29.18
(Deccan Chargers, Jamaica Tallawahs, Kandurata, Kandurata Maroons, Kings XI Punjab, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Sri Lanka, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Udarata Rulers)
Saga-kkara? Rumoured only to wear the gloves due to the ability of them to stave off the cold induced arthritis. A great bat, a great keeper and one of the most intelligent sportsmen in the game.
7. Azher Mahmood
Age: 39 Average: 25.63 Wickets: 241
(Auckland, Barbados Tridents, Barisal Burners, Cape Cobras, Dhaka Gladiators, Islamabad Leopards, Kent, Kings XI Punjab, Lions, Pakistanis, Surrey, Sydney Thunder, Wayamba United)
At his age, maybe he should be called Alzheimer's Mahmood? A top competitor and still doing the business.
8. Alfonso Thomas
Age: 37 Wickets: 248
(Adelaide Strikers, Dhaka Gladiators, Dolphins, Lions, Perth Scorchers, Pune Warriors, Somerset, South Africa, Titans)
So old he is rumoured to be the twin of his brother, Doubting. A great bowler though and one who still came good on flat decks in Taunton last summer.
9. Saeed Ajmal
Age: 37 Wickets: 207
(Adelaide Strikers, Dhaka Gladiators, Faisalabad Wolves, Kandurata Warriors, Pakistan, Pakistanis, Titans, Worcestershire, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited)
Never mind is he has straightened his elbow, at his age he should worry if he can straighten his back. A wonderful offie and an integral part of Worcestershire's promotion last summer.
10. Brett Lee
Age: 38 Wickets: 103
(Australia, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, New South Wales, Sydney Sixers, Wellington)
Still going although his younger sister Peggy has retired. Brett still clocks 140kph, when most people of his age don't even drive that fast. Not quite in need of the Stannah Stairlift just yet.
11. Dirk Nannes
(Australia, Basnahira Cricket Dundee, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Lions, Melbourne Renegades, Middlesex, Mountaineers, Netherlands, Nottinghamshire, Otago, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Somerset, Surrey, Sydney Thunder, Sylhet Royals, Victoria)
As old as my Nan-nes, Dirk has had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus and more sides than my ex wife in a divorce battle. Still quick, still a decent bowler though. A must for any side.