Ajmal Shahzad enters a completely different world

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Renouncing flat Yorkshire vowels in favour of flat Lancashire ones

Ajmal Shahzad has shacked up with Lancashire following the barney with Yorkshire which led to him sleeping in the box room. Welcome to the civilised world that lies on the correct side of the Pennines, Ajmal. Leave your thermal underwear behind, but bring a light waterproof.

The move makes a lot of sense. Not because Shahzad is the kind of player Lancashire need. Far from it. It makes sense because he is exactly the kind of player they like. Glen Chapple, Tom Smith, Kyle Hogg, Steven Croft and Luke Procter all lie somewhere on the batsman-who-bowls-seam to seamer-who-bats spectrum. In fact, we’d probably put Saj Mahmood on there as well these days. Judging by his batting progress and bowling water-treading, he’s spending most of his practice time at the wrong end of the net.

So why add Ajmal Shahzad to the mix? Well, if you look at the county cricket fixture list, you can never have too many pace bowlers in your squad. Also, it will irritate Yorkshiremen. To be honest, that’s reason enough.


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  1. I’ve been thinking a lot about the perplexing start to Lancashire’s championship defence. And I’ve come to the conclusion that not winning any of the opening four matches is not actually the strategy as planned. I realise that for people brought up on the idea that everything Lancs does is carefully thought out and controlled perfection, this might come as a surprise. But I think that exceptional circumstances have caused a wobble in the otherwise sublime balance of the team.

    Lancashire’s bowlers are, obviously, finely honed athletes of unsurpassed ability and skill. They can bowl a perfect line and length in their sleep. And this is the problem. Their instinct remains to pitch the ball on exactly the same spot they did two seasons ago, despite the fact that the wicket has been rotated 90 degrees beneath them. Result – less than ideal wicket-taking during this adjustment period.

    So what they need is an outsider, a bowler who hasn’t had perfection drilled into him from the first day of his career. Someone from a county where slapdashity is the norm, where second-bestness is a born-in quality. Someone, in other words, from Yorkshire. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to find that Lancs had secretly created the conditions at Headingly that made them kick Shahzad out.

    Genius, KC. And I think you’ll find that we are a shoo-in for the title again.

    1. Also, the addition of another bowler at a time when your batsmen aren’t scoring more than their opponents conforms to the modern school of thought that it isn’t the batsmans fault for not scoring runs, it’s the bowlers fault for not restricting the other team to less than your lot scored.

  2. Ooer – “a county where slapdashity is the norm” – Bert is on a one man mission to restart the War of the Roses

    1. Eh? Did it stop? Nobody told me it had stopped. Did you know it had stopped KC? Or is it just me, the last to know as usual.

    2. It definitely hasn’t stopped.

      It won’t stop until they belt up.

  3. Ajmal’s achievements are all the more impressive when you consider that he doesn’t have a right arm.

    (If you won’t bring back the Lies About Pictures feature, I’ll bloody well do it myself.)

  4. The lad is from Huddersfield.

    Many a “proper” Yorkshireman considers West Yorkshire, to all intents and purposes, to be in Lancashire.

    Places like Teddington, Roehampton, Twickenham, Richmond and Staines cause similar tensions between Surrey and Middlesex folk, but without the flat vowels, raised voices and hostelry ejections.

    1. I knew this debate would rear its ugly head at some point.

      Richmond is London. Staines is London. Sutton is London. Croydon is London. Streatham is London. Surbiton is London. Cheam is London. Tooting is London. Wimbledon is London. Kingston is London. Chessington is London. Carshalton is London.

      Sorry about that. I lost it a bit there. As you were.

    2. Yorkshire folk can try and distance themselves from the ‘Wezzies’ all they like, but they’ll have a hard job convincing anyone that a place called West Yorkshire isn’t part of Yorkshire.

    3. I used to live in Hull, and there was constant confusion about the difference between East Riding of Yorkshire, Humberside, Hull, Kingston-Upon-Hull and East Yorkshire.
      To this day, I’m not convinced they’re not all in fact names for the same Godawful place.

    4. I used to live in West Yorkshire, and I can confirm that it is as Yorkshire as pride in ones own miserableness. The main difference from the rest of Yorkshire seems to concern the purchase of two new blue shoes.

  5. Not since that post about throdkin have I felt my southern-ness quite so keenly while reading this site. And Sam – You’re mainly right, but Croydon? London? Not a chance.

  6. Whatever this lads demons have been lets hope he shines for both Lancs and England in the coming years!

  7. Not since the historic decision by Mancunian Michael Vaughan to play for Yorkshire…

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