Cricketers straining the brain in this way are on the wrong track - big time. Their memory is playing tricks with them. And that is the point - for Wang Feng is the reigning world Memory Champion and begins the defence of his title on 6 December in China. There will be 62 competitors from 19 countries in this elite sporting event. There would have been 63, but Fantasy Bob forgot to send his application in on time. He has decided to enter the obvious jokes championships instead.
|Wang Feng having his brain pointed at|
Wang Feng and his competitors will undergo a series of tests including memorising the order of packs of cards - both a sprint, over 5 minutes, and a middle distance event over an hour. There is memorising strings of random digits and binary sequences. Other disciplines include putting names to faces and ordering randomly generated shapes.
The current world record for memorising packs of cards in 30 minutes is 7 packs. Wang Feng's world record for memorising digits in 5 minutes is 12 rows of 40 digits. FB feels slightly dizzy in recording these feats. It is a far cry from his days of playing Kim's game in the Wolf Cubs (FB's personal record 4 objects including the tray and the cloth...and the table...and the rug under the table.
These disciplines test the raw cognitive muscle and are content and meaning free. The material is remembered specifically to be forgotten. There are established mnemonic techniques which these contestants use and practice. Apparently Feng practices for 7 hours a day. FB has no idea if any of the contestants are any use when it comes to anything useful like cricket statistics. Could they recite the outcome of every ball, all 582 of them, of Brian Lara's Test record innings of 400* in 2004? There would be some point in that.
It is time for Memory Sport and real sport to join up to their mutual advantage. FB wishes to propose a new test for the next Memory Championships. Each contestant should watch a T20 cricket match and record it down afterwards dot for dot. After all this is only 240 events over 2 and a half hours - compared to 7 packs of cards in 30 minutes this seems too easy. But it would be a start.
..................now, where is FB's application form for the Obvious Jokes Championships. He is sure he had it a moment ago................