Well here’s a thing. Below just demonstrates how quickly we ALL can learn something new in a moment using information technology (IT).
A true story about Ashley Kerekes, a young Nanny from New England USA, and the game of cricket which to some is as complicated as IT. Ashley tweets (or micro blogs) under the name @theashes to a small group not aware that a major sporting event was taking place in Australia.
Not just any old game – Australia v England a fairly important bi-annual game of cricket. Well to say ‘fairly’ is an understatement and what any English loving cricket fan will probably tell you is that its the MOST IMPORTANT Test Match in a long time. The series of 5 matches (1 match or game can take up to 5 days to complete) started on the 25th November 2010
So on 26th November 2010, Ashley Kerekes mobile phone began chiming a little more frequently than normal as a deluge of new Twitter followers signed on to her feed. Most of the messengers wanted to know the score. She bounced the first few confused fans, and then launched the now infamous tweet.
“I AM NOT A FREAKING CRICKET MATCH!!!”
Most people might have been offended. But not these cricket fans who were fanatical by her cheek. They didn’t even think it amiss when, a couple of days later, she asked her growing audience, “What the hell is a wicket?”
Within hours, cricket fans had launched a campaign to bring her “home” — #gettheashestotheashes. The Ashes, which dates back to the late 19th century, is a big deal in England and Australia. Another Twitter campaign — #teachtheashestheashes — was established to instruct her in the game. The campaign gained momentum and an Australian Airline agreed to fly her over to watch the final game of the series which started on the 2nd January 2011.
When Ashley arrived in Sydney shortly before New Year’s Eve, she did so as a NEW VIP. She proved she was learning about the game too and said she also liked the sound of Twenty20 cricket — which is to Test cricket what speed chess is to chess — different. She was soon to learn the madness of this game as purists of the ordinal game, prefer the Test version. She was invited to a Test Match after all.
She met English and Australian cricket stars, Australian politicians and actor Eric Bana (aka Incredible Hulk). At least her American friends at home will recognise at least one “famous” person in her online photo album.
The Ashes earned its name after Reginald Brooks, published a tongue in check obituary lamenting the death of English cricket. Which read;
“In Affectionate remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval in London England on 29th August, 1882. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. R.I.P. N.B. The body will cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”.
When England next went to play they did so promising to return with the Ashes. Perhaps as many people are, Ashley was saddened to learn that there is no actual corpse which changes hands every now and then.
So on this occasion in 2010/11 @theashes witnessed the Ashes coming home to England.
Ashley may have been amazed by what has happened to her, but she knows an e–commerce opportunity when she sees one. She’s already selling “I AM NOT A FREAKING CRICKET MATCH!!!” T-shirts online which is easily accessed by her now 14,000 Twitter followers.
“It’s incredibly bizarre!” she said — through her new Australian media handler. “Who would have thought that Twitter would have the power to create such a life-changing experience?”
So to the moral of this story and I apologise now if this offends it is not meant to. If a 22 year old American girl can become a cricket connoisseur in less than 45 days then learning about technology can’t be that hard, can it?
Listen to the podcast about Ashley and her experiences at https://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/tms/9339769.stm