What is genuine pace?

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< 1 minute read

Malcolm Marshall looks to produce some genuine paceIn cricket, ‘genuine pace’ is usually 90mph (144kph) plus. If a bowler has ‘genuine pace’, it means he bowls quickly, even though the words themselves don’t really mean that.

We’ve all got to stop talking about ‘genuine pace’. 36mph is a genuine pace, after all. What pace isn’t genuine?

One thing we do know is that England’s current bowling attack doesn’t feature such a quality. It could do with it.


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  1. Duncan Fletcher, in ‘his’ column in today’s Guardian, seems to think he has the answer to England’s pace-bowling problems…

    …Saj Mahmood.

    Nice to see he’s not missing a chance to big up his old favourites. I’m still waiting for the “I told you all along that Ryan Sidebottom was a county trundler” article.

  2. Are you guys short a writer? Your inane drivel seems more inanely drivelly lately (I say this in a loving way.) Plus your coverage is becoming remarkably unidimensional (I say this also in a loving way.) What up?

  3. Saj Mahmood is a poor man’s Amjad Khan.

    Speaking of Khan, he’s also less successful than his cousin Amir and that takes some doing.

  4. Short OF a writer, enkidu. I do hate ellision of prepositions. The King seems to be on form of late, sliding sideways into topics with the usual panache

  5. Top photo, KC. I’m already scared. Several other images have flashed automatically into mind – a nervous-looking batsman taking guard – two stumps standing serenely in the ground – a TV caption that says “England 2nd Inns (following on)”.

    Cricket was better in the 80s. The term “genuine pace” didn’t exist in the 80s, because the term “fast bowling” still meant what it said.

    “Marshall bowled that one with genuine pace.”
    “And that one.”
    “And that.”

    [repeat x 6 x number of overs in spell]

  6. Thanks Bert. We actually gave a great deal of thought to our choice of pic for once.

    enkidu, we have several levels of inanity beyond this and we’re not afraid to use them.

  7. “Genuine pace” is a pretty feeble expression. I would suggest that as an alternative, nothing quite beats “extreme pace and bounce”.

    Eg. Jacques Kallis – bowling with genuine pace
    Curtly Ambrose – extreme pace and bounce.

  8. Can’t we instead use the term ‘WELL fast’? It works best if you imagine CMJ using on the wireless.

  9. Has Jacques Kallie ever been known to bowl with genuine pace? Even at his bowling pomp he was no quicker than a hoggie.

    He is now most definitely a pie thrower (although it looks like he’s been eating as many as he’s been throwing). I will grant that his pies do have a fair bit of lateral movement unlike mine which just sit up and wait to be beasted into the next county.

  10. Kallis is quicker than he looks (even now). Also, I don’t think Ambrose was really out-and-out fast.

  11. Look you blokes are always going to struggle to produce genuinely quick bowlers. The workload in county cricket is beyond a joke. Our own Punter Ponting played 6 weeks for Somerset and he stated that the travelling was ridiculous- someone is going to be involved in a serious accident. The strains on the body are too much. Your quickest bowler with true potential may well be Stuart broad.

  12. Benno, Kallis was once as quick as Donald (not Donald at his peak, but still 90+mph). The South African keeper, not sure if it was Richardson or Boucher at that time, even said Kallis was a yard quicker than Donald back then.

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