Haseeb Hameed is not a blocker

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< 1 minute read

The pace of the world is too much for us these days. Haseeb Hameed is already defying other people’s expectations of him even before we’ve managed to form expectations for him to defy.

Hameed has been labelled ‘Baby Boycott’ in some quarters. On the basis of what exactly? The fact that he hasn’t yet played one-day cricket for his county, mostly.

He’s not a dasher, ergo he’s a blocker, ergo he’s Geoffrey Boycott. A pigeonhole based on a caricature based on minimal evidence.

The lad’s only made four hundreds. If you overlook the fact that one of them was made off 124 balls, he fits the stereotype perfectly.

Today Hameed applied a small blob of Tipp-Ex and completely rewrote history with a six.


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. Boycs wasn’t a blocker per se.

    His first thought was defence, but he had plenty of shots and his mentality was to put runs on the board to protect the later batsmen, not just to see the shine off the ball.

    We don’t have strike rates from Boycott’s era, but I suspect his strike rate would be similar to Ali Cook’s.

    Boycott was a very selfish player who wanted to protect his average at almost all costs, so he wouldn’t “have a thrash” even if the match situation was ripe for it, unlike Cook.

    Nothing much that I’ve seen of Hameed so far reminds me of Boycs, other than the manifest talent and word that he is prepared to work very hard to make the most of that talent. Howay the lad.

  2. Even calling Boycott a “blocker” was a bit reductive. He had a method of play during an era of some bloody terrifying fast bowling and some very primitive protective equipment. He still had the ability to play all the shots as required but most of the time the situation didn’t require it.

    At the moment nobody really knows much of Haseeb because he’s only on his 2nd televised innings and given his age it is entirely possible that he doesn’t know how good he is or can be. At the same age, KP was considered a promising spin bowler who could bat a bit, an assumption that was probably more than a little erroneous because nobody in the wider world had seen him play.

    From all of the above, it’s the only reasonable conclusion will either be that he is the second coming of Virender Sehwag or is about to usurp Moeen Ali as England’s first choice spinner.

  3. Low key announcement. We’re launching a Facebook page.

    We’ll try and get into the habit of posting articles links to it, but we don’t plan on doing anything beyond that. It will be nothing but another doorway into this site, but if you want to do whatever it is you’re supposed to do with such a page on Facebook, feel free to do it.

    We don’t use the site ourself. We’re only doing this because it seems a bit wilfully self-defeating to continue spurning the world’s biggest source of web traffic.

    If we accidentally attract a load of bell-ends, we’ll pull the plug.

    1. Done what I can to draw attention amongst my mini-gaggle of cricket-loving Facebook friends, KC. If any of them turn out to be bell-ends, apologies.

      1. I don’t have Facebook, but pretty sure I can set up a link on my website, dealing in antique cricket pictures etc.

      2. All links welcome.

        By the way, you can link to your site from your comments via your username. Don’t know if you noticed that.

    2. I’m genuinely interested in what sort of traffic the site gets. Given how many of the comments (are they comments, ‘appeals’, as it says at the bottom of each post, or ‘replies’, as it says the text above the box I am typing this into?) are left by a relatively small number of readers, it can sometimes feel like only about 12 people read the site, but I know that’s a long way from the true readership level.

      Apologies to Ged for the potentially offensive placement of commas in the bit that’s in parentheses.

      1. The site itself gets maybe a thousand hits a day, about 400 people get the email and a similar number again subscribe via some RSS-based thing or other. Obviously those overlap.

  4. Do England have enough time left to push for victory?
    They could smash it around for 20 overs tomorrow, set India around 300 and then have a crack at them for 70 overs.

    I have a feeling a big Indian collapse is coming. They don’t handle pressure well and they were struggling to pick the English spinners. Could we still get a result?

    1. Guess we’ll find out tomorrow. We get the feeling the pitch is probably a day behind the necessary deterioration schedule.

    2. The only way England can lose is getting bowled out before lunch so ‘having dart’ will only happen once the lead crosses 250 or so towards the end of the morning, if it happens.

      England cannot lose this match. They can’t let that happen.

  5. I follow the King but rarely comment, and usually after the conversation has moved on to the next article or beyond. Does that help?

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