Only one man could have taken a 10-for in real life, bowling like Graham Thorpe in Brian Lara Cricket on the PlayStation

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Graham Thorpe was a dynamite bowler in Brian Lara Cricket. Graham Thorpe was not a dynamite bowler in real life.

The various mechanics and failings of Brian Lara Cricket (which was apparently called Shane Warne Cricket in Australia) resulted in some innovative strategies, back in the day.

Sixes were about as easy to pull off as forward defensives, which meant there was every incentive to bat like Shahid Afridi, regardless of the format. Compounding this was the fact that you were only ever an accidental button-press away from a catastrophic run-out so time spent at the crease was inherently dangerous.

Bowling was a little more realistic until you brought on a medium-pacer. For some reason all bowlers in this category were capable of delivering gargantuan in- and out-swing on demand (albeit delivered at gravity-defying Chris Harris speeds).

This meant that Graham Thorpe was every bit as useful a bowler as Darren Gough, so the smart thing to do was drop most of your bowlers for batters and rely on the likes of Thorpe and Neil Fairbrother for the bulk of your bowling.

It is rare to see a man saunter in and deliver this sort of fare in a real life Test match, but Ian Botham did precisely that in the sixth Test of the 1981 Ashes. Furthermore, with his characteristic disregard for reason, Beefy used it to snaffle 10 Australian wickets.

A couple of times he even deployed that other great Brian Lara Cricket delivery: the stump-threatening slower ball bouncer.

More on this in the sixth and final episode of the 1981 Ridiculous Ashes.

You may also want to revisit this old piece about cricket computer game graphics through the ages.


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. I look forward to giving that podcast a proper listen once I have got other ridiculous stuff (like work) out of the way.

    I paid ridiculously little heed to that test match at the time. It all felt a bit “after the Lord Mayor’s Show” with the Ashes already secured in such exciting circumstances. I watched a bit of Day 3 (Saturday) and quite a lot of Day 4 ( Bank Holiday Monday) – the latter in a rather hungover state I think.

    Day 5, which would have been incredibly exciting, had the Ashes still been on the line, more or less passed me by. I think we were all expecting England to lose the dead rubber.

    Really looking forward to listening to the podcast. I have really enjoyed this series and imagine that others, even those without memories of the actual items being ridiculed, will also have enjoyed it. Ray Bright “entering stage left” is now etched in my brain.

    1. Thanks. People’s feelings about the podcast are even more unknown to us than their feelings about the website, so nice to hear at least one person has enjoyed the latest series.

      1. Website is fine, and occasionally enjoyable except for the periodic bouts of potty mouth (or is that finger?), propped up by a reasonably informed and interesting comments section.

        Carry on; you’re doing okay.

  2. Don’t normally post reactions to stuff but, bloody hell!

    SA vs India is a bit epic at the moment. SA all out for 55 in the 1st innings, with India getting close to a 100 run lead, until they lost their last 6 wickets for 0 runs.

    The match may end on the first day, but I hope not.

    1. South Africa spoiling it by actually putting an opening partnership together, the cads.

    1. …and 2024 looks to be no different. Another two (seriously?!) test match series in New Zealand with a third rate team being sent could see them beat their own record of matches ending before 692 balls old.

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