What Cricket And Golf Have In Common
There is a fascinating 8-part series on Amazon Prime called “The Test”. It is the story of the Australian National Cricket team, who in 2016 were the world’s best team. Their fall from grace was spectacular after being caught (on TV) cheating in a Match against South Africa. The team’s two best players, Captain Steve Smith (perhaps the best batsman in the history of Australian cricket) and Dave Warner (their second-best batsman) were suspended from cricket for a year, which was a devastating penalty for both men at the height of their careers. The Test chronicles the re-building of the National team and their struggles over the next two years.
After serving their suspensions, Smith and Warner returned to the side. As the show focuses in on the two stars, it also details their pre-ball (while waiting to be bowled at) routine and what they do while waiting for the bowler to bowl.
In episode 6, Warner details how he has a series of sentences and sayings that he repeats over and over again when waiting for the ball to arrive. EVERY time. Same sentences repeated over and over and what Warner describes as gibberish to other people (Clear Key versions: “I want to live forever, so far so good”; “why is abbreviation such a long word?”; “Bingo kept Grandma off the streets”. etc.).
In Episode 7, Smith details how he has a pre-ball ritual, that is always identical when he takes his stance at the crease. He pulls at his left pad twice then hitches the left pad twice, before adjusting his jock strap, tapping his bat three times, looking over his shoulder and then two more taps. EVERY time.
Does that all sound familiar? Somewhere above us Carey is smiling. I am also certain that he watches over all of us and that he will help us get through these times. Like my Father, rarely does a day go by that I don’t think of him and the lessons and gifts that he left us with.
When discussing this with Australian Paul Smith who works at the West Australian Sports Development Association and who was a friend and student of Carey’s, he confirmed that they were indeed using Clear Keys. Paul has worked with the West Australian team and the National team in an unofficial capacity. The players had been introduced to Clear Keys and that most of them had incorporated elements of Carey’s brilliant work into their routines.
What Warner and Smith are doing is 100% Clear Key and is fascinating to watch being used in another sport and a sport which is in many ways different to golf. When Warner and Smith first returned to playing and were away from home, they were booed mercilessly by opposing teams’ fans so not only were they able to “block all the noise” with Clear Keys, it allowed their greatness as batsmen to shine. Carey always maintained that Clear Key could be implemented in almost any discipline and this is further proof of that.
You don’t have to be a cricket fan (I actually am not) to enjoy The Test. If interested you can read more about the series here https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11347692/