And now back to the cricket

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< 1 minute read

Because time waits for no-one. You might think you can dawdle around, taking things in, but you can’t. Time is ravaging you.

It’s a slow process, but it’s happening all the time. Your pancreas is getting wrinkly; your spleen is going grey; your brain is starting to ache in cold weather. It’s already time to move on. None of us can afford to spend a second day discussing the most culturally significant cricketer who ever lived because there are massively unimportant-yet-current things to discuss, such as the identity of England’s third-seamer for the first Ashes Test.

It’s going to be Chris Tremlett.

Now that discussion’s over, we can move onto Shane Shillingford being reported for a suspect action. As ever with the chucking issue, you need to pick a side and stick to it FOREVER. Changing your mind about anything, ever, is a sign of massive weakness.

You’re not weak are you? No, you’re not. Although as explained above, you’re steadily weakening. You should therefore fully exploit what little remains of your life by launching yourself into petty, pointless ‘debate’. Do it with gusto. It’s what life would be about, if it were about anything. Which it isn’t.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. So David Saker holds a press conference where he says ‘We know who the third seamer is but we’re not telling you’.

    Then he, or someone else in the England camp, gives ‘off the record briefings’ to journalists saying it’s going to be Tremlett.

    Then all the journalists write articles saying it’s going to be Tremlett.


    1. Let’s set out what we know. All three of them are exactly 6ft 7in tall, so all equally capable of reaching a biscuit on the floor with their feet nailed to the ceiling. Each has three names, their unused ones being William, Timothy and Thomas, so little to choose between them there either. Two public schools and a grammar school – nope. Finn and Rankin are right-arm fast-medium, whereas Tremlett is right-arm-medium-fast – a possible plus mark for Tremlett there. Steven Finn has by far the best ODI batting average, but that doesn’t feel particularly relevant here. So what defining characteristic is relevant to the first Ashes test? In the end, it has to come down to nicknames.

      We’ve got Twiggy, Finny and Boydo. That settles it. Only one of them has an official nickname that isn’t just their own name spoken badly. Twiggy Tremlett it is.

  2. excuse my naivete, but i never understood all the bloody fuss over spinners being reported for throwing. the throwing law(s) originated to stop batsman risking their lives against dodgy quicks. what conceivable advantage does a spinner gain from “chucking”? spin is all about precision, right..? who cares what the action looks like or whether the elbow is straightened beyond yadda yadda blah blah. at some point the self-appointed guardians of the game got themselves confused and decided that the whole question of legal or illegal bowling actions was about preserving cricket’s aesthetic purity… this is bollocks.

    mike atherton gave this short shrift in one of his “books” (actually just a bunch of cobbled-togerher newspaper columns). he says that as captain of lancs, one of his bowlers got fed up with murali and announced (quietly) that he was going to do the same thing, and nwould gain tons of spin in so doing. he tried it, the ball flew off down the leg side for four wides, the bowler reddened and no more was ever said about it.

    i am ready to be corrected here… in the meantime, i consider the whole fuss over spinners throwing to be ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT. and sod michael parkinson while we’re at it.

    1. Yeah, pretty much. It’s usually a load of sanctimonious huffing from those looking to preserve the ‘purity’ of the game.

      Elbow bending does confer an advantage to spinners, in that it makes the doosra easier to bowl. Make your own mind up whether or not that is a good thing.

      It basically boils down to a massive grey area and when you step fractionally beyond it, you are labelled a cheat and treated like a pariah.

    2. oh yeah, i forgot about the doosra. sigh… the purity fascists may actually have a point there, in that it (may or) may not be physically possible to bowl that ball without “cheating”. OTOH… now that the delivery has been invented, it’s not going away is it?


    3. No, no, no Cent. Don’t backtrack. With the Doosra, you have to answer these two questions – and your original rant stands:
      – is bowling the Doosra dangerous?
      – is the sport better of with or without the Doosra (all things being equal)?

      Answers UNEQUIVOCALLY are clear:
      – no
      – better with

      Let spinners chuck – if they can. It’s difficult.

    4. the thing is, if you allow unlimited elbow bend, then bowlers will be able to incorporate all the ridiculous deliveries that baseball has, only now with extra motion because they can bounce.

      like, Stephen Strasburg’s curveball hits 90mph and has trickier flight than any offbreak– if you allow that to bounce and turn then it’ll be unplayable and probably dangerous.

      so that’s the bottom of the slippery slope. but it seems totally reasonable to put up walls at some point along that slope so you don’t actually fall and hit the bottom. right?

  3. on another note entirely, is tendulkar really the most culturally-significant cricketer who ever lived? would it not make more sense to consider him in a select group including grace, bradman, viv richards..?

    1. That way would have lain clumsy sentence construction. Sometimes it’s best to read what we write for gist. Our output rarely stands up to scrutiny.

  4. What rule of any sport anywhere ever can’t be labeled illogical? Why no forward passes in rugby? Why only the feet in football? Why does every red have to be followed by a colour in snooker? There is no answer to any of these questions. The rules are what they are; the set of rules defines any sport entirely.

    The rule in cricket is no bent arms. Complaining about it is equivalent to a batsman asking for a reason why he has to stop batting just because the ball hit his wicket. The only important thing is that ALL players play to the same rules. Trying to craft a law that allows spinners but not fast bowlers to bowl with a bent arm would test anyone.

    1. Except that in the case of “chcuking”, the rules seem to be evolving with time, and bowlers are under much pressure to correct what comes naturally to them. No one gave a shit about elbow angles in the 70’s and 80’s till it was *made* an issue. The problem with rules in cricket in general is that they seem to be a dynamical quantity that increasingly favor batsmen. Bowlers have to put up with free-hits, small boundaries, crap pitches, no fielders near boundary, and less than fifteen degree arms. While batsmen swing away to glory. No other sport looks to specifically disadvantage one set of players quite like cricket does.

    2. The chucking law has been weakened over time. If anything, it has been weakened to help bowlers, for whom slo-mo analysis would have revealed huge amounts of trangression.

      There is no usable law that can differentiate between spinners and fast bowlers, so any law must apply to both. If you want to let spinners chuck, by definition you’ll be allowing Michael Holding to chuck.

    3. You saying that has reminded me of a time 2 years ago when our club cricket league bought in legside wides for the top 2 divisions. At the meeting to decided it, Im not exagerating when I say that an argument went on for 40 minutes. Basically, a couple of the old fuddies on the committee wanted legside wides to only apply to seamers as it was “unfair” on spinners that started the ball straight. As their argument grew weaker, this changed to being no wides for off-spinners bowling to right handers and leggies bowling to left handers. Lovely stuff, especially when they confused themselves over chinaman bowlers bowling to left handers.

    4. Let ’em all chuck. Batsmen have it too easy right now, the big girl’s blouses. About time bowlers got an advantage.

      Any law based on a particular angle of ‘chuck’, to be determined in real time as the bowler runs past is so hard to accurately enforce that it might as well not exist. It just gets used where officials have pre-existing suspicions of the bowlers involved.

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