10Q: Another cricketing interrogation

Last updated 17:01 20/06/2008

Shouldn't there be a refund of all tickets if a match is a no result? That would increase the pressure on everyone to get the damn thing over and done with. Tickets for Edgbaston were more than £50 a pop, but there is a misalignment between the rules of the refund and the rules of the game. How so? Well, a one-day match is deemed to be valid once a minimum of 40 overs have been completed (i.e. 20 overs per side), but you'll only get a refund if less than 10 overs are bowled. Cheeky buggers. If 16,000 punters at Edgbaston had been about to leave the ground with £800,000 worth of refunded tickets in their back pocket, I reckon those 6 balls would have been delivered.

Feel sorry for Grant Elliott? Both times he has been rushed into the New Zealand team at the absolute last minute. I'm sure he would appreciate a training session or two, perhaps some introductions to the others in the dressing room or the administrative entourage. At Napier it was an Oram hip injury that saw him thrust into the Test arena, and this time the big lummox’s hamstring seized up and Elliott was drafted in from the lowly Surrey League.

Do you believe Paul Collingwood's claim that his team didn't deliberately go slow in the Edgbaston one-dayer? I don't. Not for one second.

According to Google Trends, which New Zealand city has the biggest appetite for cricket? 1. Christchurch; 2. North Shore; 3. Auckland; 4. Wellington; 5. New Plymouth. Cricket has been playing second fiddle to rugby for the past month though.

Is there still love out there for Craig Spearman? He is in his benefit year at Gloucestershire Cricket Club where the third ODI will be played on Saturday night. He certainly has a fan in Mark Greatbatch: “In my opinion [Spearman’s] test career was cut short by a lack of consistent opportunities and a lack of willingness from management to learn how Craig approaches the game, which is slightly different to the norm.” Get your naked Spearman calendar now.

Will the new lunch rule make a difference? Yes it will. ICC regulation 15.1 has been amended to allow the duration of the innings break to “be agreed mutually by the umpires and both captains” as long as it is between 10 and 30 minutes long. And under the new rules, even if Collingwood had played hardball and disagreed with Vettori over the need for another helping of Edgbaston macaroni cheese for his boys, the match referee would have been wheeled in to make a call.

Is Steve Kirby on drugs? Guess who the redheaded Gloucestershire seamer is on about here: “I think it's fantastic what he was doing previously. We have got some big decisions as a club to see where we're going forward, and I've got to make sure all those things are right for me, because I'll never be in this position again… I just hope that we can keep moving forward as a club. I want to win things, and I'm sure the club will make the right decisions, so I've got to make sure I weigh up all of the options." None other than John Bracewell’s second coming. Perhaps he would like to have him back before April 2009 – like, um, maybe tomorrow would work…

Are you surprised that Shane Warne was spotted ringside at the WWE Smackdown in Australia? That seems completely and utterly "on brand" for the peroxided baked bean connoisseur.

Is this a newsflash: Loye Approves of Slogging? The least surprising endorsement of KP’s outrageous backhand slog came from compulsive slogger and 7-time stopgap English opener Malachy Bernard Loye. He emulated it in domestic cricket this week: “We would all love to play that shot and I had a go at it in Tuesday's Twenty20 against Durham at Old Trafford, with the satisfaction of seeing the ball sail for six.” Good man.

Who was the original switch hitter? One of the most boring batsmen alive in fact: no, not Geoff Allott, Shoaib Mohammed, Alastair Cook, Rahul Dravid, Trevor Franklin, Chris Tavare or Mike Brearley - none other than Jacques Kallis, who hit two unorthodox sixes in a match for Middlesex at Uxbridge during his stint as their overseas player in the nineties.

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Ram   #1   08:11 pm Jun 20 2008

Even before Jacques Kallis, I remember Srikanth hitting a four with a switch in stance. At that point, it was his attempt at a "reverse sweep" and hence his version was funny. I remember commentators saying that it was not a reverse sweep, but just a left-handers sweep played by right-handed batsman. Think it was in the '87 World Cup against NZ when Sunil Gavaskar got his only ODI century.

Catherine   #2   02:25 am Jun 21 2008

How can you say Rahul Dravid is boring? There is no one I would sooner watch bat. Kallis, on the other hand, I'd sooner watch grass grow, paint dry or anything else entirely!

Cooch   #3   02:31 am Jun 21 2008

Didn't Ken Rutherford have a compulsion for the reverse sweep? Or was it the 'scoop sweep'? Either way, he never hit many sixes with it - it was usually catching practice for leg gully. A MUCH more boring batsman than Kallis, by the way...

Tomato   #4   03:50 am Jun 21 2008

Re: Point 1, I'd like to go one step further and suggest you should get your money back for any match where there is no result (except ties). Then you offer players match payments based on ground receipts and hey presto, you get players trying to force results in all games. Would take the boring draws out of cricket that is for sure.

Re: Point 5, how long do you think it will be before Spearman comes out declaring that he is still available for the England 20/20 team?

Mohit   #5   06:22 am Jun 21 2008

I thought over the lsat few years Rahul Dravid had done enough in ODIs to merit out of that list of most boring batsmen. :-) Maybe a quick checkup of batting scores and strike rates of these batsmen would be relevant here!

Andrew McLean   #6   07:57 am Jun 21 2008

Gavin Larsen's left-handed effort at Lancaster Park in the Shell Cup final was a switch of sorts. His single wasn't quite a six but then again he was only using one hand as the other one was broken.

Paul   #7   09:14 am Jun 21 2008

Why do they even have a long break between innings in an ODI game? IF they want to make it more exciting and watch able for the average person they should have only a 10minute change of innings break and to get rid of the dibbly dobbly type overs by allowing each bowler to bowl a maximum of 15 overs - this will mean teams can pick their 4 striek bowlers and not rely on part timers.

Spearmanfan   #8   11:23 am Jun 21 2008

Ah Spearman. He is easily my favourite player from the post-Crowe era. With his face permanently fixed with an Elvis snear and his often idiotic approach to batting, he gave the impression he wasn't all there, but apparently he is. The "Spearman Watch", which was to see if he could last longer than his career average of 21 balls (I just checked, he elevated it to 24 balls by the end. Well done!), added extra excitement to each ODI. The innings that summed him up, in my opinion, was when he hit Shaun Pollock clean out of the WACA, then got out to an ugly across the line hoick the next over. I think he was a better bat than say, Nathan Astle, it's just Astle could change his gameplan to churn out more runs rather than keep batting like a lovable maroon.

aussiestu   #9   11:52 pm Jun 21 2008

Is it me or does NZ's most famous school principle make a glaring gramatical error in his 'About Craig' statement in Spearmans site? FYG: don't check out the calender if you've just had your breaky. On that evidence Gloucester can have 'em....

The Holden   #10   05:14 pm Jun 22 2008

Catherine/Mohit: Thanks for the feedback on your unrequited love for Rahul Dravid. You may have missed the point of the post however. I'll leave it to the man himself to defend my comment. He was asked: You talk about not being a very exciting batsman to watch. Would you pay to watch yourself? And he replied: "In some conditions yes and in most conditions no."

aussiestu: Well spotted. Are you sure you used the correct version of principal/principle? Headmaster is a good way around that...

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