All Out Cricket’s very own midget gem, Sam Stow, picks and mixes another bagful of bullseyes and humbugs to satisfy your cricketing sweet tooth.
A gloveman myself, I’ve always respected the men behind sticks. At club level, wicketkeepers range from excellent to unspeakably poor (more of the latter in the cricket I play, unfortunately), but it is more than skill that makes the pros stand out from the amateurs.
Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I batted for more than 20 overs (46 if you’re asking), and even before I put the gauntlets on I knew I was in trouble. 20 overs in, cramp was setting in – every take down the leg side adding another knot in my grumbling hamstrings. Just as well we bowled the oppo out for 94.
Now, I consider myself to be in half-decent shape, but make no mistake – the likes of Matt Prior and MS Dhoni are not only super-talented, but super-fit too.
Lesson 1. A ‘bowler’s dozen’ = 12
Did you know that at the start of a Test innings, the fielding side get to choose a ball from a box of 12? You do now.
Lesson 2. Stuart Broad is an AOC man
England’s 11-wicket allrounder was spotted reading the latest issue of the mag (the one with his boss on the front) on the balcony at Lord’s on Friday. It’s official; we are the magazine the players (at least the good players) read.
Squint and you can see Alastair Cook’s head on the back cover
Lesson 3. Musical chairs isn’t what it used to be
David Gower came out with one of his less insightful observations today. In an effort to describe Andrew Strauss’ regular adjustments of the field, he was only able to muster a Colemanball of considerably quality: “It’s like very slow musical chairs, without the chairs… and no music”.
Lesson 4. Mark Butcher is getting better at golf
The former England batsman recently took part in a golf day involving members of Richmond CC at Finchley Golf Club. Having been roundly beaten in Dhaka by the deadly combination of Richmond’s current third team skipper Chris Austin and one-time England captain Bob Willis, Butch led his team to a third place finish on the north-west London course. Not bad for someone who plays golf right-handed despite having hit more than 20,000 professional runs as a southpaw.
Lesson 5. Sainsbury’s Local in Tooting is big enough to practise your bowling
I went for mince this evening, but I was also treated to a smooth, rhythmic approach and a textbook side-on action from a fleece-clad shelf stacker.
Click here to find out what AOC learnt last week