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What AOC Learnt This Week

While the rest of the country swims in Pimm’s and patriotism, Sam Stow has locked himself away in AOC Towers to round-up another handful of hot-off-the-press cricket revelations.

There was a time when Michael Atherton couldn’t get through a stint of commentary without mentioning the words ‘blob’ and ‘bunt’. The latter is particularly satisfying to say out loud (try it next time you’re home alone), but it has been tarnished, to me at least, by the Queen’s Jubilee; becoming nothing more than a few triangles of multi-coloured cotton, strewn anywhere and everywhere in England’s green and pleasant land. Let’s hope that come tomorrow, cricket and Athers can claim it back.

Lesson 1. Swing is not influenced by humidity
Although that’s not to say overhead conditions don’t affect the movement of a cricket ball. In a new scientific report, researchers claim that cloud cover may influence lateral movement, but only because it stills the air. The report concluded that swing is produced when there are different kinds of airflow on opposite sides of the ball. All clear?

Lesson 2. Craig Kieswetter should bat at No.7 for England.
And not because he’s the best wicketkeeper in the country (although he’s not bad, is he?), but because he’s just revealed himself as a first-class, er, first-class offie. Bowling for Somerset against Worcestershire the other day (before you ask, this wasn’t declaration bowling) he recorded barely creditable figures of 2-3 from three overs. If England are looking to get a fifth bowler into their side, why not take a punt on Kiesy?

It turns out that there’s no need for Matt Prior to beat up Craig Kieswetter after all

Lesson 3. Cricket isn’t a “gay game”
As we all know, a sport can’t be gay, heterosexual or any other sexuality for that matter, although former Seinfeld star Jason Alexander has only just realised this. Having branded the sport “a gay game” on CBS’s Late Late Show, Alexander quickly realeased a “message of amends” apologising for his offensive comments.

Lesson 4. Cricket songs are just as bad as football songs
Passing through Chelmsford on my way to London last night, I was ‘treated’ to the musical stylings of some rather merry (and, if truth be told, smelly) Gloucestershire fans, who were in high spirits despite having just seen their side demolished in clinical fashion by Essex. The stand out ‘track’ on the set list was a song dedicated to Benny Howell, based on the chorus of K.C. & The Sunshine Band’s hit single, Give It Up. I’ll leave you to work out the lyrics yourselves, but they included the words ‘Benny’ and ‘Howell’.

Lesson 5. India is being run by cricketers
Yesterday saw Sachin Tendulkar sworn in to India’s parliament, and while he is the only active sportsman to sit in the Lok Sabha, he joins former pros Mohammed Azharuddin, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Kirti Azad in serving his country. Don’t expect football to take over as India’s national sport.

Click here to see what AOC learnt last week

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