What is just as interesting as the ICC's apparent clamp-down on chucking, is the ICC's concomitant opinion of the rubber stamps at UWA:
Primarily, the ICC is unhappy with the biomechanics lab at the University of Western Australia in Perth, where bowlers with suspect actions have usually been sent for testing and correction. The ICC is not convinced that the lab's testing procedures are rigorous enough, at least to the standards they want. They are unhappy that not enough of the bowlers reported and then tested in recent years have been found to possess suspect actions.
Sky Sports commentator Strauss, believing he was off the air in a break in play during the Lord's bicentenary match between MCC and the Rest of the World, reportedly described Pietersen as a c--- to fellow commentator Nick Knight.
Bloody hell, Lou Vincent. That's not how it is supposed to go.
I was taken in context? I am sorry I offended everyone? I have not been misquoted?
You are supposed hire a public relations outfit (he probably did that one), spread the blame, optical illusions, corrupt cops, vindicated when others are also caught, my mother did it, the supplements did it, everyone does it, fall guy, scape goat, victim of rank injustice, weasel words, heavily legalled:
"My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat. I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing. I have shamed my country. I have shamed my sport. I have shamed those close to me. For that I am not proud. I lost faith in myself and the game. I abused the game I love."
The technology for in-game testing is almost upon us, but it will be blocked by the usual suspects. But if the ICC ever has the balls to implement it, then several careers will instantly end, and records will have to be erased if they are serious. That's why it will never be permitted.
But the truth is that one day it will simply be possible for anyone to run a video image through a computer and do it themselves. When that day comes it will be very, very embarrassing indeed for some bowlers and cricket boards.
Jumping to conclusions between the lines, I suspect the ICC knows it.
The ICC chief executives committee meeting in Melbourne as part of the governing body's annual conference, recommended that ICC management review the current process for reporting, assessing and clearing suspect bowling actions, while also suggesting that wider powers may need to be applied to allow the monitoring of suspect actions beyond the end of formal testing.
"The message out of the cricket committee was there's enough bowlers with suspect actions that should be being scrutinised, that probably haven't been," Geoff Allardice, ICC general manager of cricket, said. "By scrutinised, it just means they're being tested whenever there are concerns raised. At this stage, it's been pretty quiet for a couple of years. The cricket committee was of the view there are some bowlers operating with suspect actions that should be scrutinised a bit more closely."
June 16 Footy Classified discussed the Essendon supplements saga. Craig Hutchison and Caroline Wilson were in broad agreement the 34 players should cop the six months on offer.
Hutchy (3.23): "Is there not a really strong case here for the players to take plea bargain deals?"
Hutchy (7.40): "No one remembers the bans to Shane Warne for 12 months."
Hutchy (7.47): "This won't be a stain on any of their careers."
Hutchy (7.55): "Take the deal!"
Ignore the obvious contradiction within Hutchy's first comment - if no one remembers Warne's drugs ban (singular, Hutchy), how can Hutchy remember it? (No doubt Hutchy is no one to some of you; especially in the unfootified states.) Ignore Hutchy's non sequitur - it does not follow the Bombers should take the hit because no one will remember it. It may be a lot to ask to ignore those loops of logic, but implicit to Hutchy's non seq. is the Bomber-Warne comparison: EVERYONE would remember an Essendon ban, just as EVERYONE remembers Warne's ban. It is impossible to have a discussion about Warne's career without someone mentioning his drugs ban (or his John the bookie scandal, or etc, et al, and the rest). Warne's misdemeanours are cricket's version of Godwin's Law: that is, if a cricket discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Warne's shenanigans. Hutchy is mad if he thinks a drug penalty will not be a stain on the Essendon players' reputations.
Suspect actions can be deliberate but they can also be functions of the mechanics of human bodies we do not understand. Could anyone have imagined that a study would find 99% of bowlers in cricket straighten their arm to some degree?
An action with an accidental irregularity (speed wobble) is far less problematic than an action with an intentional bending (doosra).
Also, no mention of the inconvenient truth that Murali's action was indeed a chuck and did indeed exceed 15° and was not a racist optical illusion since Murali already had a bent arm.
The great Muttiah Muralitharan, clad in an Australian team-issue shirt, has been teaching Nathan Lyon to bowl a delivery that can go the other way in a powerful demonstration of how old grudges have been discarded in Australia's desperation to solve its spin problems.
Muralitharan, the most successful bowler in the history of Test cricket and the most famous exponent of the doosra, has been hired as a coaching consultant for the Test and limited-overs series against Pakistan in October.
But he won't teach the Australian Test spinner the doosra, instead focusing on the carrom ball that is practised by Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin and released with a snapping of the middle finger and thumb. It is easier to teach the carrom ball to a classical finger spinner such as Lyon.
The first series of England’s new era ended in acrimonious defeat, as Alastair Cook exchanged words with his opposing captain, Angelo Mathews, in the middle and then accused Sri Lanka of “crossing the line” for refusing to withdraw an appeal against Jos Buttler after he had been run out for stealing a yard at the non-striker’s end.
Okay, non sequitur. Sachithra Senanayake did not Mankad anyone the last time his action was questioned:
Suspicions had previously been raised about the legality of his action during a 2011 tour of England, with the Sri Lanka A team. Senanayake had then worked to remedy his action with Sri Lankan coaches, after which he underwent biomechanical testing in Perth. Those tests found his bowling to be within the legal limits.
Oh, and the Mankad? It wasn't Sri Lanka who crossed the line, it was Jos Buttler. Buttler is a goose.
By "got in trouble" I naturally mean, Pakistan kicked up a stink. Not sure if Broad has yet been forced into a "sorry if I offended anyone, I was taken out of context" heartfelt apology (read from a piece of paper), but I assume one is coming. No word on whether Pakistan are similarly pressing for clarification from Michael Vaughan, whose tweet - “You are allowed 15 degrees of flex in your delivery swing…. #justsaying.” - prompted Broad's comment.
Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke, fresh from witnessing major American sporting events, will urge Cricket Australia to invest more in entertainment at matches to attract new non-traditional fans to the game.
“The one thing I’ve learnt from being here is that Americans do sports better than any other country I’ve ever experienced. The whole time you’re there is pure entertainment. Even if you don’t follow that sport, you will have a great time because there’s so many other things going on around the event that make you want to go back. That’s something I will take back to Australia and Cricket Australia.”
Serious question: can you remember even one instance of memorably good "entertainment" - as opposed to the Batmobile, Meatloaf, Billy Idol power failure, etc - at an Australian sporting event? Idea! Australia should make intentionally bad entertainment, which may accidentally end up good. It's what we are best at. Sorted.
Warnie's gone mad with cute photos on Instagram - "SHANE Warne has developed a disturbing obsession with cute animals. Particularly lions. They invariably come with nauseating captions, most of which include the word 'Awwwww', accompanied by far too many exclamation marks" - but he left out one photo:
According to the Herald Sun's Antony Pinshaw, the Shane Warne's Warnifesto was initially treated as a bit of a joke "but fast-forward about 14 months and several of Warne’s forecasts have remarkably come true, while others appear on the cusp of turning from pipe dreams into reality."
There is a great deal of competition for the lowest point in the history of English cricket. They have been defeated by Ireland and Netherlands, bowled out by a chicken farmer in Zimbabwe and whitewashed by India, West Indies and Australia. They were even knocked out of the World Cup they hosted in 1999 before the theme song was released.
But defeat at the hands of Netherlands - the second time they have lost to them in two meetings following the result in the 2009 World T20 at Lord's - in Chittagong ranks among the worst of England's defeats. In a winter stuffed with setbacks and disappointment, England left the most ignominious moment until last. The term double-dutch has rarely seemed so appropriate.
Why is Nasser Hussain unaware of how run outs work? "The elbow's okay, isn't it, Nick?" Surely you still have to hit the ball on the stumps with the ball in your hand.
I’d never bowled in full sleeves before, so I wanted to see how it would feel to bowl in full sleeves. That’s point number one. And I just wanted to see if I can get more revs on the ball if I could do little bit with my elbow – as much as there is. That’s what it was all about. I don’t know, you can tend to get a lot of advantage doing all these things. So why should I lag behind in the advantage when somebody else is getting a competitive edge?
It lacked the sledgehammer-like style of David Warner but the message from South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis was the same - how did the other team's bowlers get significantly more reverse-swing than his teammates had achieved?
"The first innings I think the pitch didn't rough it up. I must be honest, I was really surprised to see the ball reverse from their side. I think it was 27 overs when the ball started reversing - especially (surprising) after rain and a wet outfield. I was really surprised by that, so ... let's leave it at that."
"Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel."
~~ Mark Twain
Tim Lane's article in today's Age is a straight bat affair - since becoming captain Michael Clarke is making shed loads of runs, etc - until you get to this:
Clarke lectured the experienced commentator, Jim Maxwell, to the effect that "When you've played the game at this level you understand that their reverse swing bowling was outstanding." Not only was this unworthy, it sought to disguise Clarke's own failures. In neither innings was he a victim of reverse swing.
Clarke's you-never-played jibe is low rent and deserved a chip (notwithstanding Tim's "to the effect," which is one of those distillations that ask you to trust the reporter). It's the last part where Tim is wrong. Clarke might not have been dismissed directly by reverse swing, but the simple fact the ball is reversing makes every ball a potential banana; the balls which don't swing are every bit as deadly as the balls which swing late and destroy middle stumps a la the Haddin dismissal.
OPENING batsman David Warner says Australia will seek clarification from match referees over South Africa - in particular AB de Villiers - pushing the boundaries on scuffing up the ball.
“I think it comes down to the umpires warning both teams not to throw the ball into the wicket which you generally try and do. They did it better than what we did, or more obvious than what we did. At the end of the day it comes down to who can do that the best and work on the ball. We worked on the ball a lot in England and we got the ball to reverse a lot there and we got the ball reversing a little at home and this time it just didn’t work for us because the outfield was probably a little bit moist under the ground and day one it was obviously quite hard to get it to go reverse as well. That’s what happens in the game. You have to try and work out how to do that. Sometimes that happens.”
Carrot is right: we keep outbatting teams. Not bad when you consider we slump to 4 for 100-odd in most every first innings. No doubt we will soon start 0 for 200 then, from shock, get bowled out for 250.
Is bowling depth the key? While Australia has Johnson, Harris, Siddle and Lyon (and Watson) all capable of pinching poles, England only had a couple of bowlers who looked like providing the knock-out punch. Keep them out, then rally against the scrubbers. Steyn is a gun, Philander is handy, but Morkel averages 35 against Australia and the rest lack teeth.
As usual, fingers crossed we don't get ahead of ourselves.
“I truly believe that the wicket played a big role in the success that he had. He was able to extract every bit of life and uncertainty out of that wicket which, in turn, put us under an immense amount of pressure.”
It's a bit cheeky the way quotes are distilled. Nevertheless, Smurf is an oaf for complaining about the pitch after winning the toss and inviting Australia to bat; even though Clarke agreed. I wonder if Smurf's decision will haunt him like Ponting's blunder at Edgbaston.
Hard to know which way to call this series. South Africa, in South Africa, should win. But cricket is won in the bowling so it's even Stephen. Where cricket is lost for Australia, is in the dismal batting collapses. South Africa is unlikely to let Australia off the hook like England so often let Australia off the hook last Ashes. England were also putrid. Could an absent Shane Watson, and his key wicket taking ability, be the crucial omission?
Been quiet here for two reasons.
Everyone is going on about Kevin Pietersen. I have bugger all to add. People who select teams weigh up two competing characteristics: 1) is a player better than the next player in line; and 2) does the player compromise team performance? Clearly KP can perform and has more talent than the next in line, even if his recent performances, while better than his teammates, have not been special. Does he compromise team performance? Well, if you believe the England Cricket Group Unit: yes. Geelong always had issues with Gary Ablett senior, but they would not leave him out because he was too good to leave out. On recent form and with form as a troublemaker, the ECGU has decided KP is no longer too good to leave out.
The other salient issue has been the ICC, BCCI, CA, ECB brouhaha. I am in no way qualified or well placed to assess cricket's high level management, financial matters and all the other stuff relating to how cricket should be run. I leave that to the likes of Gideon Haigh, Russ, and the assorted cricket boffins. (Who, to be honest, have swamped me with their assiduous analysis.)
Alana Schetzer mixes in different circles to me. I do not know anyone who hails the underarm as a glorious day for Australian cricket:
Thirty three years on, Chappell's move is still hailed as a glorious day for Australian cricket but across the Tasman it's another story - then-Prime Minister Rob Muldoo [sic] called it "the most disgusting incident I can recall in the history of cricket".
Monash University academics David Dunstan and Tom Heenan are writing a new study on the life and legend of Don Bradman, whom they describe as an acquisitive, ruthless, and self-interested loner. In short, “an extremely peculiar Australian”.
This (English needs an eqivalent of the Latin "iste" which means "that" coupled with a scornful sneer) one sided, pejorative laden, context free shattering of the Bradman myth is textbook click bait. As Monash academics, you would hope their "new study" is a more fully rounded appraisal of Bradman's life, career and legacy and not a position paper in the left-right battle over Bradman's reputation.