The Impact Player substitution thing suggests that the IPL has been reduced to rehashing old ideas in its search for eye-catching innovations/gimmicks. How about being a little more creative? How about letting batters use two bats?
When we saw the shot of Ben Stokes above, we immediately thought of a court story we heard recently about a wedding near our home town which had descended into an insanely violent mass brawl.
There are two reasons why we thought of this:
- At least nine of the men sentenced were called Stokes
- One guy was apparently wielding two fire extinguishers as if they were nunchuks
When it comes to wielding a cricket bat (or a fire extinguisher for that matter), we’d argue that two hands are better than one. That didn’t dissuade Moeen Ali from going for a top-spin forehand against South Africa last month though.
The logical next step is to equip a second bat for extra damage. What else are you going to use that spare hand for? A shield? A torch? A spade?
We were therefore excited to see what Stokes would be able to do with two bats. Somewhat disappointingly, what he was able to do was ‘drop one of the bats behind the stumps before taking strike two-handed’.
Nevertheless, his move does at least conjure notions of a special slogging bat primed for deployment. You may or may not remember the purest example of such a bat, the Mongoose, which was occasionally used by Matthew Hayden in the 2010 IPL and far more memorably by Dwayne Smith while dressed as a cowboy.
Back in those days, batters very rarely began their innings using a Mongoose. They instead summoned it when they felt it was time to deploy the long handle (an apt phrase because that was the bat’s defining feature – less blade, more handle).
We always imagined them calling out, “Bring Forth The Mongoose,” in a booming Brian Blessed voice at such times.
The IPL starts tomorrow.
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