Ed Giddins to Matt Horne – dot ball

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Welcome to our new, three-part series, Cricket’s Greatest Dot Balls. We hope you like it.

The backdrop

It was the fourth Test of the 1999 Test series between England and New Zealand. Ed Giddins was making his Test debut and no-one knew quite how significant that was going to prove. Early in his first spell of bowling, Matt Horne was at the crease. How would Giddins bowl to this competent right-hand batsman?

The dot ball

Giddins ran in, as he always did – he never walked, crawled or made use of any kind of vehicle. As he approached the crease, he was thinking about bowling the ball, which he then did. The delivery was straight and wide of off-stump. Horne judged that it posed no immediate threat and therefore opted not to play a shot. Dot ball.

The aftermath

Matt Horne would go on to play 35 Tests for New Zealand, averaging in excess of 28. Ed Giddins would go on to reveal that his full name was Edward Simon Hunter Giddins. Upon learning that he had two full names, England dropped him.



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  1. I hadn’t realised he was once named Britain’s most eligible bachelor. Looking forward to the rest of this series already.

  2. a recount of such a historic moment makes me sad that in 1999 i had barely any idea what cricket was, let alone a dot ball. the perils of growing up in america!

  3. It will be interesting to see how this series develops. Where can KC go from here?

    On a side note, here’s the first paragraph of Ed Giddin’s Cricinfo profile:

    ‘He has been banned for cocaine use, no-balled for throwing, and ultimately kicked-out for five years for placing a bet on his county to lose a match, but he always had a permanent twinkle in his eye: Giddins was as chequered and cheeky as they come’

    1. My vote for: Nilesh Kulkarni to Maravan Atapattu -1997

      Atapattu – Batting average of 7 in 7 matches over 7 years
      Kulkarni – debut

      Atapattu – 81 matches 5,300 runs at 42
      Kulkarni – 1 wicket in 2 matches in 4 years

  4. Indeed, what a delivery that must have been. Here are the exact words from the cricinfo commentary:

    “10.6 Giddins to Horne, no run, outside the off stump, left alone, taken
    by the keeper

    End of over 11 (2 runs) New Zealand 8/0
    ESH Giddins 1-0-2-0 (1w) – Vauxhall End”

    Thank you, KC, for providing the requisite additional detail, for I was not there on that day.

    However, Daisy and I were there on Day 3 of that match, the Saturday. Day 3 was notable, because it was the first time I had ever taken Daisy to a day of test match cricket.

    This was Giddins’ first and only ball to Matt Horne on Day 3:

    “9.1 Giddins to Horne, OUT: 2 in 2 balls! Horne foolishly goes back to a
    full ball, plumb as can be

    New Zealand 15/2, Partnership of 0
    MJ Horne lbw b Giddins 10 (31b 0x4 0x6)
    SP Fleming 0* (0b) ESH Giddins 1.1-0-1-1”

    Not even faintly interesting, vis-a-vis the canon of great dot balls.

    Here is the scorecard from that match:


    At the end of the game on the Sunday, the crowd was singing “we’ve got the worst team in the world”, which in test rankings terms was, by then, true.

    But throughout the Saturday Daisy and I retained that vain hope which so many of us England fans held fleetingly throughout most of the 1990s.

    Happy times.

  5. Similar deliveries:

    Why we love Matt Prior
    Matt Prior – not a pan-handed buffoon
    Ian Bell’s ball-hitfulness
    England lose the ball
    Ball tampering: England must try harder


  6. These were the days when NZ were looking for not one but 2 opening batsmen. They’ve made great progress in the last 14 years.

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