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Thread: Letter to The Wisden Cricketer

  1. #1
    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Letter to The Wisden Cricketer

    Today, to cure my boredom, I decided to try and enter myself into the Wisden letter page, by writing a peice about Shane Warne and his retirement. It is fairly short, and may I ask the enlightened views of the Cricketweb memebership to give me their views on it, so I can improve it for reading. Thanks.



    As Im sure that every person reading will know, the 5th Ashes Test at the SCG will be the last two great Australian bowlers, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Tributes have been pouring in from all over the globe, mainly for the latter of the terrible twosome, who many perceive to be the better and more important of the pair. These tributes have ranged from Warne being a sleazy and immoral fat bloke, to being the greatest bowler of all time. The latter of these two claims, is some kind of exaggeration on the media and publics part, and an offence to the many supreme bowlers of the current and past, which in my eyes, exceed Warne in terms of greatness. I do not doubt his supreme talent, and his masterful skill of his chosen art one bit just airing a voice of realism into the debate. On his day, he is irresistible, a match winner, and maybe even a genius; but when he faces up to such greats of the modern game, when playing spin, such as Lara, Tendulkar, Inzamam, Flower and Pietersen, and on a bad day, he can be made to look frustratingly mediocre. I hear you think Doesnt this happen to every bowler? the answer is no. The aforementioned Glenn McGrath, is one of the all time great bowlers, and very rarely have I seen him hit out of the attack, that is one of the many reasons why I rate McGrath a fair bit ahead of Warne the greatness stakes In fact, I have seen him hit around and out, just twice in my life (Im 14, and have been watching Test Cricket for 6 years), once by Abdul Razzaq (in a ODI, in the dying overs), and by Kevin Pietersen, in this Ashes Series and the last. On the other hand, I can recall numerous times where Warne has been dominated by the aforementioned batsmen of spin (and more), thus being made to look like a mere mortal compared to McGrath. Whether this is his game plan, or anything else, I urge people to take a step back, and reason, and think at the calibre of bowlers there has been in the past.
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  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    I'll be fascist on it and pick up anything I could see as improvable - don't take it personally, once I get started ripping into writing I don't stop. My own stuff needs 3-4 drafts until I'm happy.

    As I’m sure that every person reading will know, the 5th Ashes Test at the SCG will be the last two great Australian bowlers, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.

    This isn't a sentence. Last for...?

    Tributes have been pouring in from all over the globe, mainly for the latter of the terrible twosome, who many perceive to be the better and more important of the pair.

    Would reform the latter clause into "perceived by many as..." - this keeps Warne as the subject of the sentence and makes it more powerful

    These tributes have ranged from Warne being a sleazy and immoral fat bloke, to being the greatest bowler of all time.

    Repeating 'being' is quite weak... try 'castigating' and 'lauding'

    The latter of these two claims, is some kind of exaggeration on the media and publics part, and an offence to the many supreme bowlers of the current and past, which in my eyes, exceed Warne in terms of greatness.

    Aside from the fact that that you can't use commas and apostrophes, this ain't bad. Fiddling around with word order and punctuation will really aid the flow. Oh, and don't use 'some kind of'. It makes you sound eleven. "The latter of these two claims is, in my eyes, exaggeration on the part of both the media and the public, and an offence to many supreme bowlers past and present."

    I do not doubt his supreme talent, and his masterful skill of his chosen art one bit just airing a voice of realism into the debate.

    Again, this ain't a sentence. You have two clauses running into each other like a road accident with no punctuation in sight. Kill the sentence after 'art', and use 'nor' rather than 'and' seeing as you've started on a negative. 'Just' is another 11-year-old word; rewrite and keep yourself as the subject... "I simply wish to..."

    On his day, he is irresistible, a match winner, and maybe even a genius; but when he faces up to such greats of the modern game, when playing spin, such as Lara, Tendulkar, Inzamam, Flower and Pietersen, and on a bad day, he can be made to look frustratingly mediocre.

    Nice use of the semi-colon at the beginning, but then the sentence rambles badly into a jumble of confused commas and clauses. Break it down and re-focus it.

    I hear you think ‘Doesn’t this happen to every bowler?’ the answer is no. The aforementioned Glenn McGrath, is one of the all time great bowlers, and very rarely have I seen him hit out of the attack, that is one of the many reasons why I rate McGrath a fair bit ahead of Warne the greatness stakes

    I'm gonna assume you just forgot to press the full stop at the end of this sentence. Otherwise it would really have gone on. Do something about the comma fetish - and bring the evidence ('very rarely...') ahead of the claim, and then you may need to split up the second sentence for focus. Also, for reasons of tone, 'aforementioned' doesn't fit with 'I hear you think...' - one is formal, one far less than. The rest of the letter is quite formal so I would suggest consigning the first bit to the recycle bin.

    In fact, I have seen him hit around and out, just twice in my life (I’m 14, and have been watching Test Cricket for 6 years), once by Abdul Razzaq (in a ODI, in the dying overs), and by Kevin Pietersen, in this Ashes Series and the last.

    I'd love to know why you put a comma before just. Plus, brackets dilute a point - two in a sentence doubly so - which make this one fragmented.

    On the other hand, I can recall numerous times where Warne has been dominated by the aforementioned batsmen of spin (and more), thus being made to look like a mere mortal compared to McGrath.

    Find a synonym for aforementioned in one of the places. In fact, scrub it from the first instance - it's far more relevant here linking back to your list of names than to "the aforementioned McGrath". He doesn't need aforementioning for people to know who you mean, whilst your list does. Cut 'of spin', too. 'Batsmen of spin' isn't part of cricket's lexicon - 'players of spin' perhaps. Maybe re-focusing the last clause to keep the verb form the same (has been dominated v/s being made - they don't match).

    Whether this is his game plan, or anything else, I urge people to take a step back, and reason, and think at the calibre of bowlers there has been in the past.[/QUOTE]

    Commas! Commas! Commas! Don't need them before 'and' as a rule - particularly not in a list, and 'think at' is an unrefined choice of vocabulary (reflect on?). That context was the exception where the comma/and construction is valid, by the way. I'm not being a hypocrite.

    Lastly, you need to paragraph it because big blocks of text just put people off. Overall, the content and vocabulary is good, and for a short piece it's reasonably well targeted - just poorly structured and punctuated.

    Hope this helps rather than ripping your self-confidence apart!
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  3. #3
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFire
    Today, to cure my boredom, I decided to try and enter myself into the Wisden letter page, by writing a peice about Shane Warne and his retirement. It is fairly short, and may I ask the enlightened views of the Cricketweb memebership to give me their views on it, so I can improve it for reading. Thanks.



    As I’m sure that every person reading will know, the 5th Ashes Test at the SCG will be the last two great Australian bowlers, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Tributes have been pouring in from all over the globe, mainly for the latter of the terrible twosome, who many perceive to be the better and more important of the pair. These tributes have ranged from Warne being a sleazy and immoral fat bloke, to being the greatest bowler of all time. The latter of these two claims, is some kind of exaggeration on the media and publics part, and an offence to the many supreme bowlers of the current and past, which in my eyes, exceed Warne in terms of greatness. I do not doubt his supreme talent, and his masterful skill of his chosen art one bit just airing a voice of realism into the debate. On his day, he is irresistible, a match winner, and maybe even a genius; but when he faces up to such greats of the modern game, when playing spin, such as Lara, Tendulkar, Inzamam, Flower and Pietersen, and on a bad day, he can be made to look frustratingly mediocre. I hear you think ‘Doesn’t this happen to every bowler?’ the answer is no. The aforementioned Glenn McGrath, is one of the all time great bowlers, and very rarely have I seen him hit out of the attack, that is one of the many reasons why I rate McGrath a fair bit ahead of Warne the greatness stakes In fact, I have seen him hit around and out, just twice in my life (I’m 14, and have been watching Test Cricket for 6 years), once by Abdul Razzaq (in a ODI, in the dying overs), and by Kevin Pietersen, in this Ashes Series and the last. On the other hand, I can recall numerous times where Warne has been dominated by the aforementioned batsmen of spin (and more), thus being made to look like a mere mortal compared to McGrath. Whether this is his game plan, or anything else, I urge people to take a step back, and reason, and think at the calibre of bowlers there has been in the past.
    SS approves of this post. The part where you praise McGrath, at least.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup
    I'll be fascist on it and pick up anything I could see as improvable - don't take it personally, once I get started ripping into writing I don't stop. My own stuff needs 3-4 drafts until I'm happy.

    As Im sure that every person reading will know, the 5th Ashes Test at the SCG will be the last two great Australian bowlers, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.

    This isn't a sentence. Last for...?

    Tributes have been pouring in from all over the globe, mainly for the latter of the terrible twosome, who many perceive to be the better and more important of the pair.

    Would reform the latter clause into "perceived by many as..." - this keeps Warne as the subject of the sentence and makes it more powerful

    These tributes have ranged from Warne being a sleazy and immoral fat bloke, to being the greatest bowler of all time.

    Repeating 'being' is quite weak... try 'castigating' and 'lauding'

    The latter of these two claims, is some kind of exaggeration on the media and publics part, and an offence to the many supreme bowlers of the current and past, which in my eyes, exceed Warne in terms of greatness.

    Aside from the fact that that you can't use commas and apostrophes, this ain't bad. Fiddling around with word order and punctuation will really aid the flow. Oh, and don't use 'some kind of'. It makes you sound eleven. "The latter of these two claims is, in my eyes, exaggeration on the part of both the media and the public, and an offence to many supreme bowlers past and present."

    I do not doubt his supreme talent, and his masterful skill of his chosen art one bit just airing a voice of realism into the debate.

    Again, this ain't a sentence. You have two clauses running into each other like a road accident with no punctuation in sight. Kill the sentence after 'art', and use 'nor' rather than 'and' seeing as you've started on a negative. 'Just' is another 11-year-old word; rewrite and keep yourself as the subject... "I simply wish to..."

    On his day, he is irresistible, a match winner, and maybe even a genius; but when he faces up to such greats of the modern game, when playing spin, such as Lara, Tendulkar, Inzamam, Flower and Pietersen, and on a bad day, he can be made to look frustratingly mediocre.

    Nice use of the semi-colon at the beginning, but then the sentence rambles badly into a jumble of confused commas and clauses. Break it down and re-focus it.

    I hear you think Doesnt this happen to every bowler? the answer is no. The aforementioned Glenn McGrath, is one of the all time great bowlers, and very rarely have I seen him hit out of the attack, that is one of the many reasons why I rate McGrath a fair bit ahead of Warne the greatness stakes

    I'm gonna assume you just forgot to press the full stop at the end of this sentence. Otherwise it would really have gone on. Do something about the comma fetish - and bring the evidence ('very rarely...') ahead of the claim, and then you may need to split up the second sentence for focus. Also, for reasons of tone, 'aforementioned' doesn't fit with 'I hear you think...' - one is formal, one far less than. The rest of the letter is quite formal so I would suggest consigning the first bit to the recycle bin.

    In fact, I have seen him hit around and out, just twice in my life (Im 14, and have been watching Test Cricket for 6 years), once by Abdul Razzaq (in a ODI, in the dying overs), and by Kevin Pietersen, in this Ashes Series and the last.

    I'd love to know why you put a comma before just. Plus, brackets dilute a point - two in a sentence doubly so - which make this one fragmented.

    On the other hand, I can recall numerous times where Warne has been dominated by the aforementioned batsmen of spin (and more), thus being made to look like a mere mortal compared to McGrath.

    Find a synonym for aforementioned in one of the places. In fact, scrub it from the first instance - it's far more relevant here linking back to your list of names than to "the aforementioned McGrath". He doesn't need aforementioning for people to know who you mean, whilst your list does. Cut 'of spin', too. 'Batsmen of spin' isn't part of cricket's lexicon - 'players of spin' perhaps. Maybe re-focusing the last clause to keep the verb form the same (has been dominated v/s being made - they don't match).

    Whether this is his game plan, or anything else, I urge people to take a step back, and reason, and think at the calibre of bowlers there has been in the past.

    Commas! Commas! Commas! Don't need them before 'and' as a rule - particularly not in a list, and 'think at' is an unrefined choice of vocabulary (reflect on?). That context was the exception where the comma/and construction is valid, by the way. I'm not being a hypocrite.

    Lastly, you need to paragraph it because big blocks of text just put people off. Overall, the content and vocabulary is good, and for a short piece it's reasonably well targeted - just poorly structured and punctuated.

    Hope this helps rather than ripping your self-confidence apart!

    You didn't mention the fact that the sentence "that is one of the many reasons why I rate McGrath a fair bit ahead of Warne the greatness stakes" doesn't make sense unless you place the word "in" between "Warne" and "the greatness stakes".


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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Very good, I did not realise you were so young, I wish I new as much about cricket at that age. A few mistakes that Neil and LT have picked up. It would be great if you could re-submit it here after you have fixed it up
    You know it makes sense.

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Nice letter, especially given your age (not a put down, as previously remarked, I would have liked to write something so erudite when I was in year 9). One comment, in the sentence where you refer to his battles with Lara, Tendaulkar and Pietersen, it is probably redundant to state "when playing spin".

    Otherwise, nice work.
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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Cheers Pickup, I'm used to fussy teachers, so it's ok. Thanks for all your help people, and I'll re submit it when it's finished. Thanks.

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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Edited version.

    As Im sure that every person reading will know, the 5th Ashes Test at the SCG will be the last for two great Australian bowlers, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Tributes have been pouring in from all over the globe, mainly for the latter of the terrible twosome, is perceived by many as better and more important of the pair. These tributes have ranged from Warne being a sleazy and immoral fat bloke, to the greatest bowler of all time. The latter of these two claims is, in my eyes, exaggeration on the part of both the media and the public, and an offence to many supreme bowlers past and present. I do not doubt his supreme talent, nor his masterful skill of his chosen art one bit, I simply wish to add a voice of realism into the debate. On his day, he is irresistible, a match winner, and maybe even a genius; but when he faces up to such greats of the modern game, such as Lara, Tendulkar, Inzamam, Flower and Pietersen, he can be made to look like a very ordinary bowler. I hear you think Doesnt this happen to every bowler? the answer is no. Very rarely does a certain Glenn McGrath get hit out of the attack, one of the numerous reasons why I rate him higher than Warne. In fact, I have seen him hit around and out just twice in my life (Im 14, and have been watching Test Cricket for 6 years), once by Abdul Razzaq, and by Kevin Pietersen, in this Ashes Series and the last. On the other hand, I can recall numerous times where Warne has been dominated by the great batsmen of this era (and more), thus being made to look like a mere mortal compared to McGrath. Whether this is his game plan, or anything else, I urge people to take a step back and reason by thinking at the calibre of bowlers there has been in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
    Edited version.

    As Im sure that every person reading will know, the 5th Ashes Test at the SCG will be the last for two great Australian bowlers, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Tributes have been pouring in from all over the globe, mainly for the latter of the terrible twosome, is perceived by many as better and more important of the pair. These tributes have ranged from Warne being a sleazy and immoral fat bloke, to the greatest bowler of all time. The latter of these two claims is, in my eyes, exaggeration on the part of both the media and the public, and an offence to many supreme bowlers past and present. I do not doubt his supreme talent, nor his masterful skill of his chosen art one bit, I simply wish to add a voice of realism into the debate. On his day, he is irresistible, a match winner, and maybe even a genius; but when he faces up to such greats of the modern game, such as Lara, Tendulkar, Inzamam, Flower and Pietersen, he can be made to look like a very ordinary bowler. I hear you think Doesnt this happen to every bowler? the answer is no. Very rarely does a certain Glenn McGrath get hit out of the attack, one of the numerous reasons why I rate him higher than Warne. In fact, I have seen him hit around and out just twice in my life (Im 14, and have been watching Test Cricket for 6 years), once by Abdul Razzaq, and by Kevin Pietersen, in this Ashes Series and the last. On the other hand, I can recall numerous times where Warne has been dominated by the great batsmen of this era (and more), thus being made to look like a mere mortal compared to McGrath. Whether this is his game plan, or anything else, I urge people to take a step back and reason by thinking at the calibre of bowlers there has been in the past.
    The first bit in bold doesn't make sense. The "I hear you think" is not needed and sounds clumsy, just ask the question and answer it. I also wouldn't mention that you've never seen McGrath hit around and then state that you've only been watching cricket for 6 years as this indicates that McGrath was over 30 before you saw him bowl.

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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    As I’m sure that every person reading will know, the 5th Ashes Test at the SCG will be the last for two great Australian bowlers, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Tributes have been pouring in from all over the globe, mainly for the latter of the terrible twosome, who is perceived by many as better and more important of the pair. These tributes have ranged from Warne being a sleazy and immoral fat bloke, to the greatest bowler of all time. The latter of these two claims is, in my eyes, exaggeration on the part of both the media and the public, and an offence to many supreme bowlers past and present. I do not doubt his supreme talent, nor his masterful skill of his chosen art one bit, I simply wish to add a voice of realism into the debate. On his day, he is irresistible, a match winner, and maybe even a genius; but when he faces up to such greats of the modern game, such as Lara, Tendulkar, Inzamam, Flower and Pietersen, he can be made to look like a very ordinary bowler. Very rarely does a certain Glenn McGrath get hit out of the attack, one of the numerous reasons why I rate him higher than Warne. In fact, I have seen him hit around and out just twice in my life (I’m 14, and have been watching Test Cricket for 6 years), once by Abdul Razzaq, and by Kevin Pietersen, in this Ashes Series and the last. On the other hand, I can recall numerous times where Warne has been dominated by the great batsmen of this era (and more), thus being made to look like a mere mortal compared to McGrath. Whether this is his game plan or not, I urge people to take a step back and reason by thinking about calibre of bowlers there have been in the past.
    Last edited by PhoenixFire; 01-01-2007 at 06:01 AM.

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    Hall of Fame Member Jamee999's Avatar
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    PARAGRAPHS!

    It just looks so horrible to read at the moment. Split it into two or three of them.
    Or something.

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    Tributes have been pouring in from all over the globe, mainly for the latter of the terrible twosome, is perceived by many as better and more important of the pair

    For that to make any sense at all the word "who" needs to be placed before "is perceived".

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    International Debutant a massive zebra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
    The latter of these two claims is, in my eyes, an exaggeration on the part of both the media and the public, and an offence to many supreme bowlers past and present.
    The above sentence requires the addition of "an" before exaggeration, as shown.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFire View Post
    On his day, he is irresistible, a match winner, and maybe even a genius; but when he faces up to greats of the modern game, such as Lara, Tendulkar, Inzamam, Flower and Pietersen, he can be made to look like a very ordinary bowler.
    Remove the first "such" from the above sentence as shown - it is not necessary, and where possible, one should always try to avoid using the same word twice in a sentence as it suggests a limited vocabulary.
    Last edited by a massive zebra; 01-01-2007 at 06:05 AM.
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  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Getting better each time mate, keep going and it will be a master piece

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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    I hope so, I'll give credit to you lot if it does get in.

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