Monumental rant about Anya Shrubsole narrowly averted

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Anya Shrubsole (via ICC)

We properly went off on one there for a minute. Internally.

An onlooker wouldn’t have noticed a thing, but inside we were seething. Anya Shrubsole took 6-46 (plus a run-out) to win the World Cup for England and she wasn’t even player of the match. They gave it to a batter.

Except they didn’t. Tammy Beaumont was actually on the podium as player of the tournament. The 23 runs she made against India may have contributed to this a little bit, but they weren’t enough for her to be considered Main Person in the final.

The Main Person was – obviously – Shrubsole.

This World Cup has felt like a big deal. A bigger deal than normal. At the same time, it’s very difficult to gauge whether one’s own perspective is in any way representative of a wider trend.

What’s your take on it?


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  1. You’re right, this felt big. Not entirely sure why.

    I did see an advert at Liverpool Street Station yesterday for the final, which I’ve never seen before. So the insidious influence of marketing, combined with the finalists being the host county and India, might have helped.

    As might the fact that there were some bloody good matches on show. England don’t half know how to put their fans through the ringer. Three nail-biters. THREE.

  2. Cracking tournament, and good to see things not limited to the usual suspects.

    A perverse thought is that, as a commercial and professional proposition, it might have been better for England to lose, particularly via a late dramatic twist rather than via a full-on thrashing. Back in 2007, when Misbah needed six runs from the last four balls against an Indian side whose board didn’t think T20 was proper cricket and almost didn’t both sending a team, he was just one shot away from eternal glory – he didn’t manage it, but in his failure he transformed the face of world cricket forever.

  3. Also, I refuse to sully my main post with this grouchathon, because the players and organisers of this magnificent tournament really don’t deserve it, but my non-Murdochised enjoyment of the final was rather hampered by the Cricwotsit redesign.

    Back in the days of Cricinfo, we were able to devour information about cricket matches. I could see, simultaneously on my computer, details of which pair were batting and who was bowling, who was on strike and their score so far, quick summaries of the last few overs, the required run rate, the last wicket to fall, etc PLUS be regaled with text commentary, of which the last two overs or so would fit on my screen. The only thing I could have wished for – and in the ODIs I did often wish for it – would be DL par score updates at the end of the over once a chase had gone past 20 overs. Since its replacement by Cricwotsit, so long as I waste a few minutes fiddling around scrolling and resizing my screen, it is possible for me to view some information regarding the cricket, but not all the important stuff at once. I can see the commentary alone, but then the match situation is wotsit. Or I can see the match summary, but “what is actually going on” is wotsit. Without the colour added by the text commentary, the summary is not only dull to watch but the couple of lines of information it provides are only really useful for understanding the match context, and if that was all I wanted to do, I’d rather set my browser to a live scorecard and watch it ticking over.

    I’m only griping about this because other commitments prevented me from being able to listen on the radio, but it did spoil my enjoyment. I am either going to have to buy a king-sized screen, or find the live-text equivalent of Test Match Sofa. (I ended up following along on the BBC in the end, but Cricinfo of days yore always had the advantages of update speed, ball-by-ball reporting throughout, plus that nifty match status bar immediately about the commentary.)

  4. I thought it was a really good tournament and it felt like a very positive development in the women’s game. Incredible really to be playing to pretty much packed out Lords in the final, helped no doubt by who was in the final but that can only ever be a good thing.

    My friends daughter who was watching with us now wants to go and play so it seems to have worked on one minor level!

  5. It’s nice to see a limited overs tourney which isn’t dominated by the bat to the same extent. Could well explain the number of tight finishes experienced. Men’s game could learn from that.

  6. On the ICC website they had some figures on the growth of the tournament.

    “Record breaking global TV audiences have watched the group stage unfold with a staggering number following the event via digital channels. Viewing figures include:

    80% higher global viewership expected across the course of the event (vs 2013 edition)

    Global TV audience reach of more than 50 million

    51% increase in the UK TV audience (vs 2013 edition)

    47% increase in Indian TV* audience (vs 2013 edition)

    300% increase in Australian TV audience (vs 2013 edition)

    32 million page views on ICC Women’s World Cup website and app

    75 million views of ICC video content

    In the UK, on the BBC Sport website “Brilliant Wilson catch removes Manodara” is the second most popular cricket clip on BBC Sport over the past 28 days with over 190,000 views.”

    This is in addition to the fact that they sold out Lord’s for the final.

    1. Aaargh! Non-footnoted asterisk alert*

      *May have copied from original text and missed the footnote
      *May not have referred to anything in the first place
      *I’m pretty sure they have TV in India hence success of IPL
      *Are Indian TV audiences measured as accurately as those in the UK?
      *Is anyone even reading this?

      1. This video literally explains the confusion caused by the definition change.
        On the topic of the final it was great to see a bowler getting the job done. Not enough runs? Team mates catching like Kamran Akmal? Doesn’t matter when you hit the stumps.

  7. I was a fairly distant observer of the womens team until last month. I had heard of most of the players and knew roughly what they all did but that was about the extent of it. This month has properly drawn me in though to the point where I don’t remember being as invested in a game of cricket (that I wasn’t involved in) as I was in the latter stages of the final.

    The steep improvement in standard of the womens game is clearly a factor, as is the fact that there were 5 competitive teams in the tournament (maybe 6 if you include the West Indies who were up there with the favourites but had a bit of a shocker).

    An interesting one for particularly people that liked cricket pre-T20 – does the amount of runs scored in a match actually matter? I get that some fans (particularly the newer ones to generalise completely unfairly) just want to see the ball disappear, but I would much rather 150 plays 143 than 320 plays 275. Teams seem to beat each other with a lot more regularity than possibly any other point in history, but a close mens match – Test, ODI or T20 – seems to be such a rarity.

  8. Very good point about the competitiveness/closeness of the cricket match there by Steve.

    Real ebb and flow in a 50 overs-a-side match starting at 10:30 at Lord’s – rarity value again.

    Apropos to the Anya Shrubsole angle of this KC piece, I forgot to add the rather strange Anya Shrubsole connection enjoyed by me, Chas, Dot and Daisy towards the very end of the match, but now it is included in my Ogblog piece – the link again:

  9. My main gripe is not about women’s cricket, which is ace, but about Anya Shrubsole herself, and specifically her name – Shrubsole. The Kentish origin of the name is fine, as is its derivation from “Marshy Land”. But it is far, far easier to pronounce than it looks like it ought to be, and this causes me discomfort every time I see or hear it.

    Look at it! At the very least it should be as hard to pronounce as Shrewsbury, the –sh sound from the beginning forcing its way in again at the second S. Shrubsole shares the –shr opening, but instead of causing you to sound mildly drunk it resolves itself into annoyingly perfect clarity, as sharp and cymbal-like as Poe’s unseen censer swung by seraphim. It’s not that the second S should be softened, just that my brain is expecting a challenge which fails to materialise.

    This is like walking off a stationary travellator. It’s just walking, but your brain is expecting it to be difficult, so you stumble. So with Shrubsole. The panic and adrenaline triggered by the opening makes you over-concentrate on the middle, at which point the surprising ease of pronunciation causes you to forget whatever it is that you were going to say next.

    1. Daisy feels your pain, Bert.

      Try as she might, she cannot pronounce the surname of this fine photographer friend without accidentally inserting an additional “Sch”:

      It is a quintessential shibboleth. It is a miracle that Daisy is still with us, given the circumstances.

  10. Women’s cricket is not very good. They can’t bowl quickly enough, or (tending to have smaller, weaker fingers and wrists) spin the ball enough, to be interesting to watch as bowlers, and while many have decent strokeplay as batters they lack the explosivity to be particularly interesting in that facet, too. They’re at about the standard of a good colts side, and no-one wants to watch colts teams play, apart from their parents and a few mates. Same is true of rugby (I don’t watch football, but I assume the same is true there, too).
    Perhaps they will develop the power and skills to make it worth watching, but I kind of doubt they will be able to overcome basic biological issues.

    1. Ahhhhh, we’ve got the token ‘biological issues’ poster who can’t see past the gender thing commenting on this post. It’s now complete and we can all move on.

      1. Our ‘biologically-challenged, smaller, weaker’ cricket players beat all the other ‘biologically-challenged, smaller weaker’ cricket players in the world, never mind anybody else, so shove it up yer arse!

    2. Indeed, many of us struggle to overcome basic biological issues; my sporting (so-called) career being a case in point.

      Others struggle to overcome basic cognitive issues.

      It can, however, be great fun (and indeed extremely good sport) to watch such struggles unfold.

  11. ‘Ahhhhh, we’ve got the token ‘biological issues’ poster who can’t see past the gender thing commenting on this post. It’s now complete and we can all move on.’

    What an odd and slightly passive aggressive response to the mere statement of a fact. I’m surprised you didn’t throw in ‘misogynist’ as well.

    1. There are a number of issues here, essentially the same general issues that women’s sport has to deal with time and time again. Yes, the speed is a bit lower, and yes, the strength is a bit less, but given that this is true for both teams, it makes very little difference. Certainly in rugby (union), any variation which lessens the dominance of pure strength has to be an advantage, otherwise you end up with that type of rugby known as The English Premiership, and who the hell would want to pay to watch that tedious crap?

      In cricket, there is one minor point that might make a more qualitative difference between the men’s and women’s games. The men’s version has found a balance between bat and ball that pretty much works. This balance is predicated on the fact that fast bowlers might bowl at 90mph, and regularly between 80mph and 90mph. The current women’s speed record (as far as I can tell) is 75mph, so it might be assumed that the typical range is 65mph to 75mph. For batting, on the other hand, there is much less of a difference. Speed of reaction, selection and timing of shot are more important to batting than pure strength. So it is possible that the balance point will be found elsewhere. Certainly, standards of batting ought to continue to improve unlimited by any “biological” barrier.

      (Women’s cricket is not alone in this. T20 cricket also has no balance between bat and ball, to the extent that none of the first five wickets makes the slightest difference to the outcome of a match. The important thing for women’s cricket is that it is allowed to develop independently of the men’s game, so that it can establish its own balance.)

      But nobody watches sport simply to see the skills of the players. What we pay to watch is the competition, and the mental challenge that performing at the ragged edge creates. What amazed about Jordan Spieth’s win on Sunday? Was it the shots he played on the final five holes, or was it the fact that he played those shots right then, when it mattered, when it was all going the other way for him? Technically, we ought to appreciate those shots in any situation, even if played in a practice round. But would we?

      England’s win at the weekend wasn’t an exhibition of skill, it was an exhibition of mental strength. It was all going badly, and they stuck in and turned it round. If all you can see is the technique, I don’t think you are watching the right thing.

    2. You could always record the match and watch it on fast forward if your perception of speed is so crucial. If your device permits double-speed visuals, a 65mph delivery would appear to be delivered at 130mph and would thus become extra thrilling.

      1. One could also watch it when one is busy and has ‘shitloads to do’, which is when time seems to collapse into a singularity and hence if the same amount of stuff happens in a shorter length of time will appear to go faster.

  12. I’ve only just noticed the hover-caption, which is a good one. What’s Lawrence’s stance on the women’s game? I rather suspect he would feel that cricket pitches, like gentlemen’s clubs and gin parlours, are areas that should not be frequented by the fairer sex. And that he’s the type to call women ‘the fairer sex’.

      1. I think, Fried, that the ECB scandalously failed to offer him a guaranteed place in the side and a central contract until he had ‘scored some runs’.

        Clearly this is a preposterous precondition, and so Laurence has rightly himself out from Test contention.

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