Square cut | Batting lessons

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A side-on game of angles, the square cut is to cricket what a near-miss on a red is to a bad game of snooker played by Pagans.

Square everything. Square your footwork; square your bat stroke; square your follow-through. Should time allow, a counter-squaring of extraneous footwork will balance the batsman better and allow for him to play the ball bethwart the point fielder.

If you have a well-balanced bat, midway through your arc and counter-arc, you will reach a point at which it will unquestionably feel a fraction more comfortably weighted. It is at this point that you should completely blank your mind and simply allow the bat to mesmerise the ball. Failure to do this will result in successful execution of the stroke.

Practise this in the nets without a bat, ball or trousers, but ONLY bethwart you or you risk undoing all your good work in an instant.


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’m so sick of everything being described as “bethwart”. It’s become so trite.

    1. Just accept it, Howe Zat. You know his mantra – every time someone says it isn’t funny it just reinforces his theory. In fact, just say that it’s a classic joke that’s become an internet standard that people are abbreviating to BThwT. That’ll make him stop.

    2. Stop abusing our offspring.

      ‘Bethwart’ is going to grow up to be something someday.

    3. Bethwart to the right of them,
      Bethwart to the left of them,
      Bethwart in front of them
      Volley’d and thunder’d;
      Theirs not to make reply,
      Theirs not to reason why,
      Theirs but to hear and cry:
      Into the bizarre world of words
      Rode the six hundred.

  2. It must be my failure to blank my mind that has confounded me whenever I try to play the square cut.

    Thank you, KC, a lifetime of hopeless square cutting resolved with one simple piece of advice.

    One small question, though – how does one blank one’s mind at the appropriate moment? Would imagining being Matty Hayden do the trick, perhaps?

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