Vote for the Sidearm even though it should have a better name

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< 1 minute read

Frank’s been on. He’s made a thing:

The Wangotron 9000

“It has been shortlisted in a business competition run by Barclays. If I beat the other two finalists in a public vote, I win 50 grand to help get the things on the market. I’ve had some great support from Goochie, two Floweries and Graysonny and we’re not far off ready to start production.

“Would you be kind enough to vote for us? And as I’m sure you have a wide cricket-loving readership, perhaps you could ask some of them as well.”

You can vote here. You might also want to suggest to Frank that he changes the product’s name from ‘Sidearm’ to ‘The Wangotron 9000’.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. pardon me for being a bit of a churl, but is it appropriate to give an award to someone for inventing something that already exists?

    i would like an award for inventing this thing you attach to vehicles that goes round and round and helps it to move along. i shall call it the roundy-roundy thing.

  2. I’ve voted also. I think for being the second, I should get two.

    Not really, of course. Buying votes is for Americans and Muhammad al Fayed

  3. So, you grip one end tightly, put your balls in the other, and wang it as hard as you can?

    Can I have two dozen?

  4. this is gay, but pretty neat nonetheless. Can I get one which doesn’t release the ball at all and then you can just walk up to the batsman and bash him over the head with it?

  5. Doglover, getting an idea from something similar is how many great inventions work. I reckon this is the dogs bollocks.

  6. Great idea! I have already voted three times on three different computers. I would imagine with the five foot long Steyn 9000 version you should be able to reach speeds in excess of 100mph.

  7. Don’t let Lalit Modi see it, or we’ll all be watching TWangty TWangty in a year or so.

    Top video, by the way. I like the bit right at the end.

  8. I can’t be bothered to vote, but I should get one anyway because I want one.

  9. I have pinned a note in the USC University of Los Angeles asking all 32,000 students to vote as often as possible. Unfortunately they are all on vacation right now, when is the deadline?

    I have World Wide Copyright, Patent and whatever to produce a Baseball SuperWanger 9001.

    Saab (USA) apparently are the only people allowed to use 9000 in their product title.

  10. What are the other two finalists? I feel that I should at least have a look at these before I vote, just to be fair and all. I mean, it’s fair enough voting for the SidearmTM if it is up against, say, a cure for malaria, but if it were up against a device that causes all Premier League footballers to become immediately incontinent as they run onto the pitch, well that would be another matter entirely.

  11. I’m disappointed. KC. Since when were research and objectivity relevant to this site? Surely whim and lazy prejudice should be its hallmarks?

  12. It’s more to do with finding out whether either of the other two products is at all funny than anything to do with clarity and fairness, if we’re honest.

  13. Are you in training to become some sort of boss or something, KC?

    To be fair to me, I did actually try to find out before posting my question. In the search for actual information, I do realise that asking around here is the act of a desperate man. When I looked I could only find a very big list of other inventions (not two).

    To be fair to me again, I was sort of hoping that Frank would be hangng around ready to immediately answer all such questions. But no – he’s probably nipped out for a quick wang.

  14. Having tried to use one of those dog ball chuckers as a cricket batting aid, I can assure you all that it doesn’t work. The dog can’t pick the length properly regardless of how hard you chuck it and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better given time.

  15. I am reserving judgement for the moment though. Frank seems to have completely missed the point of nets with junior cricketers. THEY DON’T GET A BAT, FRANK! Isn’t it the idea that first team captain to turns up to flay the bowling of the under 15s to all corners for three quarters of an hour? How the HELL they going to learn to deal with getting repeatedly wanged (couldn’t find anywhere else to fit it in) over midwicket if not for bowling their little hearts out for two hours on a Thursday night? This Sidearm Wangatron isn’t going to help with that AT ALL, is it Frank?

    Young cricketers need to be repeatedly pounding their feeble bodies into the ground for the benefit of older, fatter, men – not spending an enjoyable evening wafting around outside off stump at medium pace away swing from a bit someone has hacked off Johnny 5.

  16. That said; I’ve still voted for it as I don’t know what the other two products are and so I’ve assumed they are drug paraphernalia.

  17. Frank refers to “Goochie, two Floweries and Graysonny” and you are then surprised that he’s not good at coming up with names?

    The gadget should be called “The Geroffoutavit”.

  18. I must admit it took a few minutes to find the finalists. One reason is that the Wangathingy from the SW region made it to the final 3 of the Eastern region.

    Zero Above were pleased to get the final round of the Barclays Take One Small Step competition but we didn’t make it to the final three. The Eastern Regions finalists are The Cafe Experience – Foam cup recycling scheme. The Café Experience is a catering supplier. They recently started collecting and recycling the polystyrene cups they distribute. These are turned into useful products like seed trays, reducing landfill in the process. With new equipment, they’ll be able to target larger operators and develop new products. If you would like to vote for The Café Experience text* CAFE to 87222 or vote online at

    The Little Care Clinic LTD – A garage with a heart. The Little Car Clinic is planning to provide clients and their cars with top class customer service and added TLC. As well as approachable staff with years of experience, the garage will offer extra services including courtesy cars and a shuttle bus. Funds are required to cover start-up costs and equipment. If you would like to vote for The Little Car Clinic text* CAR to 87222 or vote online at

    Sidearm – Cricket batting practice device. Without access to nets, machines or competent bowlers, batting practice can be difficult. Sidearm have created a simple throwing device that recreates the style of a professional bowler, so aspiring batters can practise with any partner. With endorsement from some famous names, its now ready for production. If you would like to vote for Sidearm text* SIDE to 87222 or vote online at

    So now you know.

  19. Breaking News:-

    Wangathon 3522 views, decent video

    Cafe Experience 1727 views, dreadful video of unstated length, turned it off after about 25 seconds

    Little Care Clinic 1414 views, poor video. Good name though, “liitle care” sums up most garages.

  20. Brilliant research – exactly what I hoped from someone nearly named after a reference work.

    So, one the one hand we have a garage whose main feature is that the people in it aren’t bastards. On the other hand, we have an operation turning cups into cups. And on the other hand (I’m from Wigan) we have a device that will ensure that the next generation of cricketers are completely able to play cricket in places where the ball swings (i.e. here), bringing pleasure to literally billions as we settle down to years of guaranteed Ashes wins.

    The Wangotron is a shoo-in.

  21. With one person we’ve never met adapting an existing product for a different use and then another person we’ve never met finding out about how that product’s doing in a competion, this is easily the most productive day we’ve ever had.

    We’re patting ourself on the back for this.

  22. Bert, I’m from Wigan too and played for Highfield for a bit as a lad and not once did I make it swing and I always attributed this to the conditions.

  23. From Wikipedia’s article on Swing Bowling –

    “All other things being equal; colder, damper weather enhances swing”

    Are you sure we’re talking about the same Wigan?

  24. My bad, I couldn’t shape the joke well enough to make it look like I was so terminally untalented that I couldn’t swing the ball.

    Perhaps you would like to omit the last three posts from history.

  25. I live in America now and have lost most of my sense of humor (sic), i took the original joke as being the 3rd hand information

  26. The original joke? We’re 30-odd comments into this now. What constitutes the original joke?

    Probably something about balls. Balls are always funny.

  27. Thanks for all the comments and votes – I can’t think how wangatron 9000 slipped through my mental net. It seems so obvious now. Having come relatively unscathed through the bearpit that sems to be king cricket i can face the rest of the cricket world with a clear and steady eye.

    AND you realised that although its very similar to a dog chuckit, it has been adapted for cricket. Hallelujah.


  28. The question we all missed is can we use it on dogs?
    My dog is a bit weak just outside off

  29. To be fair, Sevendaughters, Highfield was always a good bit more tropical than Platt Bridge. As I recall, it even had trees and things. Maybe that was affecting your action.

  30. There were a couple of points of interest that I discovered on my search of the Wangathon 9000. It seems that Frank actually lives and coaches in Essex, the still doesn’t explain how he got the the last 3 in East Anglia (Eastern) as Essex are firmly in the Southern section.

    Seems to have a decent bowling coach at his new cricket centre in Ian Pont, classic Wiki opening line claims he was known for his strong throw. Actually he did play baseball over the pond for a while.

    I bet he is a whizz with the Wangathingy.

    Pont’s latest discovery is The World’s Best Slower Ball known as The SLOB (Slower Obsolete Delivery), which is hailed as a breakthrough as it drops like a stone into the batting crease when appearing to be a beamer. His coaching web site is

    If you would like to send me a few Wangys i will set up an agency in USA, Frank.

    Just to show I’m a serious player our captain has been mia apparently in secret training with the USA national team.

    Actually, I bet we have more famous ex-players than any UK village green team

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