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Thread: "Great, but not without a helmet"

  1. #16
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G.I.Joe View Post
    He's all fluff and no substance here, which isn't a first for him.
    It isn't a first for anyone - all the best writers pen rubbish pieces from time to time. Unless you can show that Atherton consistently does it and pens good pieces with irregularity (which you can't, because it doesn't happen) then I'm not entirely sure how comments like yours
    Quote Originally Posted by G.I.Joe View Post
    Why is anything written by Michael Atherton being taken seriously?
    are justified.
    Last edited by Richard; 26-11-2009 at 03:36 PM.
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  2. #17
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langeveldt View Post
    Scores have generally been on the increase since the advent of helmets too, haven't they?
    Not really, no - helmets were first used in the late-1970s during the Packer Schism, and have gradually woven their way into the game since then. By the early-1990s it was just about unheard-of for anyone to bat without a helmet in Test cricket, and these days it's unheard-of for anyone to grow-up without it being the familiar rather than unfamiliar way to bat at any level.

    Scoring in Tests exploded in 2001/02 (the previous couple of decades had been some where scoring was notably difficult by historical standards, despite the near-universal preference for helmets), which was so long after they had come in that any correlation can be dispelled as non-existant.

    I don't agree at all that helmets have made run-scoring easier, they've just made avoiding injury easier. It isn't the first time I've heard Atherton suggest what he suggests in this piece and I don't agree with him, but he's still generally an excellent writer.
    Last edited by Richard; 26-11-2009 at 03:42 PM.

  3. #18
    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G.I.Joe View Post
    What does that have to do with the cricketing equivalent of suggesting that it would be insulting to the parents of yesteryears to compare them to parents nowadays who deck their kids with helmets and knee pads and elbow pads before they even get onto a bicycle?
    In your previous post, to which I was responding, you weren't talking about this particular article, you were talking generally about Atherton, and suggesting that it's not worth reading simply because it's written by Atherton.

    Quote Originally Posted by G.I.Joe View Post
    Why is anything written by Michael Atherton being taken seriously?
    It's that general comment that I was responding to.

    I haven't read this piece and I'm not trying to defend it. From what others have written here it does sound like nonsense.

  4. #19
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    At the same time, a 1930s pitch unaffected by rain would probably make today's pitches look positively sporting in comparison.
    Not really - a non-rain-affected deck in the English summer of, say, 1934 would be broadly exactly comparable to a typical deck in, say, the English summer of 2003.


  5. #20
    Cricketer Of The Year Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    There are always specific factors in specific times. For batsmen of that era who did not wear helmets and still managed to average over 50, thats a testament of their courage and skill. But a similar argument could be used now that batsmen nowadays play for more matches, both test and ODI and T20 and as a result suffer from far more wear and tear and injury related problems that might ultimately effect their performances.
    Personally, great players of each era are great because they are able to withstand certain conditions, that others are not able to, and thats what differentiates them. These conditions change from era to era.
    I think the likes of Tendulkars and Lara would still be averaging over 50 had they played back then without helmets just like I think the likes of Viv Richards would actually have 10000 runs and average 50 had he played now.
    "This is a clash of strategy. And of methods, culture and politics. This is a new-era rivalry. Not as ancient as the Ashes, or as passionate as India-Pakistan. Two countries that are so different, yet share rampant egotism, high self-opinion and a belief that being born in their country is superior to other births. This brings together a belligerent bunch of brats, bullies and braggers."- Jarrod Kimber

  6. #21
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langeveldt View Post
    Then you can come up with Boyc's favourite, uncovered pitches.. Surely harder to score runs on? In my book Bradman had it harder than anyone, which makes his performances even more unbeatable..
    Bradman himself has said pitches back in his day were perfect for batting, though. Stickies aside (which didn't happen often), generally, batting was easier by his own reckoning.

    This is what makes eras so difficult to compare. Incomparable, in my view, except with the broadest of terms of reference.

  7. #22
    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    Richard, zaremba, you're right. I let myself get carried away by suggesting that anything written by Atherton tends to be not worth reading. I don't agree with the article in question, but yeah, shouldn't have gone to the extent I did.

  8. #23
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Uppercut's Avatar
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    Aye. I'm a big fan of Atherton's writing, there aren't many better than him. But this is indeed all a bit daft.

  9. #24
    International Coach tooextracool's Avatar
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    Think batsmen these days may benefit from the use of helmets, but they also suffer from the fact that their techniques can be scruitinized by the billions of forms of technology available for opposing teams to use. The argument that players without helmets are better than those with helmets is certainly about as daft as the idea that players in this era are worse than those in prior eras because they are exposed to flatter pitches.

    My opinion on Tendulkar is that he is a great player, which is a reevaluated opinion off him based on his more recent performances, but that he is still very much an overrated player during the span of the game.
    Tendulkar = the most overated player EVER!!
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  10. #25
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Yeah you've had that sig for a while now
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  11. #26
    International Captain Redbacks's Avatar
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    Imagine facing a Flintoff, Harmison or Johnson without a helmet these days

    Here's a decent example of what they might face:

    YouTube - Dennis Lillee vs Vivian Richards

  12. #27
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbacks View Post
    Imagine facing a Flintoff, Harmison or Johnson without a helmet these days
    Techniques for playing the short delivery are now sufficiently (relatively speaking) poor that that is a frightening prospect. However, if a batsman had to do such and was growing-up with that reality, their technique for playing the short stuff would be far more adept.

    You mould yourself to your time. If you've got a helmet, you don't need to be quite so careful about not being hit on the head - though clearly it's never something anyone is going to be blase about.

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