Moeen Ali’s got a new job

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2 minute read

“Hey, Moeen. You’re not going to believe this. We’ve found another one. We’ve been digging and digging and digging to try and find one and we’d pretty much given up hope. We didn’t think there was anything left. But there was. And we’ve found it. We’ve found another one. We’ve found another cricket job for you to do.”

Doing random cricket jobs has long been Moeen Ali’s thing. England have generally employed him as a sort of batting/bowling Polyfilla to fill all manner of cracks, chasms and rawl plug holes.

Like a switch-hitting back foot T20 specialist, this treatment has cut both ways. It’s surely diminished Moeen’s chances of getting to grips with one particular role, but it’s also given him many more opportunities to play international cricket than he’d otherwise have got.

You can pontificate about what might have been if you like, but we’d rather celebrate what was.

Indeed what still is. Because Moeen’s latest job is ‘opening bowler’ – and he seems to be pretty good at it.

Against the West Indies, he bowled four of the first seven overs and took 2-17.

He then bowled three of the first five against Bangladesh and took what we’re choosing to call ‘half of a double hat-trick’ in the middle one.

Maybe T20 opening bowler was Moeen’s true calling all along. Or maybe he’s just shed a load of fatigue and is approaching this tournament with a freshness he’s rarely ever felt.

You can’t get fit without also getting tired. The trick is to rest just enough that the latter subsides without the former ebbing away too.

Moeen has long been worn down by international cricket. He’s played for England over 200 times since his first appearance in 2014. That’s quite the workload even before you factor in all the travelling. There have been various periods of unavailability in there, but these only really advertise how fundamentally unsustainable his workload has been.

Always another game. Always another flight. You’d struggle to maintain 100 per cent enthusiasm.

But life is simpler now. Limited overs cricket builds to its two respective World Cups. This is one of them. Moeen seems pretty up for it.

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  1. Is “two in two” now rebranded as “half of a double hat-trick”, KC?

    I’m easily confused and out of touch these days, so please forgive me if the phenomenon “four in four” has been rebranded as a double hat-trick. I might have missed that.

    Moeen does good opening bowling on these Arabian surfaces, that’s for sure.

    I’m still struggling to get my head round and/or find the adjectives to describe my opinion of Quinton de Kock, going off at half-cock (as it were), in the matter of the South African team making an anti-racist gesture. Beyond disappointment. Beyond dismay.

    1. There was much brouhaha earlier in the tournament when Curtis Campher took four in four and a bunch of people called it a double hat trick. Just highlighting the nonsense.

    2. Seems to be an Australian quirk Ged. It was doing the rounds on Twitter on the day of the match in question. It’s seemingly a well-established “thing” in Australian cricket culture, whilst the rest of the world appeared to be oblivious to it. Cricket in Oz has evolved separately (see also, “curator”, “sundries”, “having the score the wrong way round”), which is a very Oz approach in general.

      As was pointed out, by that logic, scoring 101 makes you a double centurion. I don’t know what they’d call six wickets in six balls.

      1. Is the double hat trick not a thing anywhere else?

        I am not Australian, but am kind of close, and would refer to the phenomena of 4 wickets in 4 balls as a double hat trick.

      2. According to Wikipedia, “double hat-trick” is an Australian term for four-in-four.

        The “logic” of the term is that you can count two hat tricks in that sequence: of wickets 1-2-3 and 2-3-4.,2%2C3%20and%204).

        That logic would not apply to 101 being a double-century, Gareth. But the answer to your question, “what would said Aussie therefore call six wickets in six balls?” is, by that logic, “a quadruple hat-trick”.

        I’m still not entirely comfortable with this terminology, but I do get it.

      3. A hat trick is the feat of taking 3 wickets in 3 balls. So a double hat-trick is surely to achieve that feat twice ? Once you’ve hit the third wicket, then you start a new sequence in a second hat-trick. 4 in 4 is therefore only 1.3333333333 hat-tricks because you haven’t taken 3 wickets in 3 balls twice. You’ve just taken 3 wickets, followed by another wicket.
        The logic is flawed I’d say.
        The double-century point was to highlight that the hat-trick logic seems a bit silly, because from 0 – 100 is a hundred runs scored, but then from 1 – 101 is also a hundred runs scored, so that’s two separate centuries in the same way that 4 wickets in 4 balls is two separate hat-tricks. Therefore isn’t that a “double-century” is the same logic is applied?
        Anyway. This isn’t important, haha.

        What is somewhat more important…I am amazed at the sturdiness of the bubble that Yorkshire CCC are living in. Even after all this, still utterly blind to why their (in)actions are unacceptable. What will ever make them change? The extent of their lack of understanding/willingness to learn/change would be funny if it wasn’t very unfunny indeed.

  2. Yorkshire coming out and going ‘racism happened but we don’t need to do anything’ would be atrocious at any point, but for them to do it now… Jesus. At least Quinton came out with a kind of decent apology.

  3. I know you don’t do requests, KC, but it seems to me that a quintessentially rotund cricketer in the form of Afghanistan’s Mohammed Shahzad, has so far escaped your attention and that of the KC commentaterati.

    The lad can bat and catch Leverock style too:

    Mohammed Shahzad.

      1. WHAT?!
        It’s his own fault he found it offensive, and he said worse things. Except he didn’t at all. But he’d be the one in trouble. Not the person who said the awful stuff. That is one hell of a take on the situation.

        These days just feel like a giant psychological experiment and we’re all the lab rats.

  4. ‘Like a switch-hitting back foot T20 specialist, this treatment has cut both ways.’


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