Ollie Robinson has been given a golden opportunity to develop a new ailment

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That feels the most likely outcome here. You pick Ollie Robinson and generally something goes wrong with him. This time around our money’s on – ooh, let’s see – auto-brewery syndrome.

To whisk through Robinson’s last few months once again, it’s gone back spasm, back spasm, tooth infection, food poisoning, back thing, covid.

The man he’s replacing, Matt Potts, has, in contrast, been a picture of health. He’s also bowled well enough. The issue, if there is one, is that Potts doesn’t really offer anything different to England’s other bowlers.

In fact the more Potts has played, the more we’ve thought about that baffling comment of Rob Key’s at the start of summer that he offered a “point of difference” in England’s attack. How exactly? By being quite a lot younger?

In the last Test Potts was England’s smallest and slowest seam bowler. We suppose that’s different, but we’re sure they could find smaller and slower seamers if they made a bit of effort.

Robinson will also be England’s slowest seamer, but at 1.96m he won’t be the smallest. Crucially, he makes use of that height, unlike the similarly-sized Stuart Broad. He also averages 21.28 in nine Test matches, despite being so decrepit that he has at times resorted to bowling off spin.

Ollie Robinson probably improves England’s bowling, a facet of the game that is, quite honestly, the least of their worries.

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  1. I’m not sure he’s really shown enough dedication to contacting one of those injuries that ‘normal humans’ don’t get. I’m thinking back to some of the all time greats like the Derek Pringle letter writing incident or the Alan Igglesden militant boundary rope affair.

    I feel if we need a right arm quickish bowler to really pull out all of the stops in this department then Ollie Stone (Warwickshire, England & Queen Elizabeth Hospital A&E) is the man. Currently suffering temple strain from a bout of rapid eye movement.

  2. I’m going to the test tomorrow. The weather looks good, we’ve got excellent seats. The only metaphorical cloud on the figurative horizon is that England appear to be bowling themselves into batting tomorrow. And as we’ve discussed here before, watching your team bat is vastly more stressful than watching your team bowl. To add to this, Wigan play St Helens that evening – which has been an extremely stressful thing in the last five years or so.

    Does anyone have any tips for ameliorating stress while in a cricket ground?

    Newsflash! As I write this, Jimmy is on a hat-trick. Back in a moment or two with more news.

    1. I find that eating, drinking and just bring with friends at the cricket ground ameliorates most but not all of the stress, Bert.

      Some of us are still suffering from the form of PTSD associated with witnessing (or in my case mostly, in the style of a Greek tragedy, learning that devastation is occurring just out of sight) carnage last week.

      In short, i’m finding it hard to sympathise with your plight, Bert, but sincerely hope you have an enjoyable and stress-light day.

  3. Last player to score a century and take five wickets in a Test for England?

    That’s right – Mark Butcher!

  4. Meanwhile, in local(?) cricket news:


    Shove it up your arse! Who’s the best club in the world!?

    There was even a serious article written recently about local cricket:


    I should try to get to a game over there but it’s not really in Seattle, it’s over on the east side with with the Microsofties. I don’t venture over there often. Plus I’m really quite invested in the baseball team being actually half-decent for the first time in forever. They just decided to give a (very very good) 21 year old an 18 year contract that might be worth like half a billion dollars.

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