This all flows back to The Sean's top 25 countdown. The top players were all Batsmen. Why? Batsmen have had it so easy for so long - bigger, fatter bats. Flatter wickets. Its not even a recent development. Why did pitches start to be covered? Just to make life easier for those love-hungry wastrels called batsmen. Let's not forget that it has only been a recent development to toast the success of the bowler who's taken a 5 wicket haul by letting him hold up the ball to the crowds. Batsmen have been hogging the limelight by holding up their bat to the crowd for reaching a paltry Fifty runs for god knows how long.
But why is this?
Well, I have been speaking to the leading lights of the left wing - Ken Livingstone, Tony Benn, Paul Rudd (who, dare I say it, was Clueless on matters of politics) and Cover Drive Man.
They have all informed me that the popularity of the Batsman is due to nothing less than Globalisation and Consumerism.
Think about this for a minute. Batsmen flash their bats at the cameras all day. The bats are plastered with the paraphernalia of sponsorship, sometimes even the batsman's face is covered with the trendy labels of the day. Replay after replay shows the batsman striking a pose by holding his labels up to the camera. The batsman is doing all he can to sell the manufacturers produce other than screaming "COCA-****ING-COLA" at the stump mic.
In contrast, what does the bowler offer the modern day marketing department?
I say "**** all". The bowler doesn't get to choose his ball of choice. Apparently, its "not fair" for the bowler to stick his sponsor's labels on the ball because its considered "ball tampering". Bollocks. If the batsman can stick labels on his bat, how can the bowler compete with the demands of consumerism if he's not allowed to place his Peter Beardsley Panini football sticker on the shiny side of the ball. So what if it makes the ball swing more, this would just help to balance the playing field which has been unbalanced by the demands of multi-national Corporations and the BCCI.
Its time to call a halt, my friends. No more should the batsman be the only person that kids can emulate! No more should a child only be able to buy "Virinder Sehwag's Bat" when they go to their local sports shop. No, no, no. Its time that bowlers were allowed to take their own ball into each innings and kids could go and ripely pluck a "Mohammad Aamir Cherry" from the very same shelf.
My solution. At the start of each innings, every fielding player is given their own ball. This means that each bowler will have a fair crack with the new ball if they so wish. If they wish to bring in an old ball to start with, then so be it. Not only will batsmen be given a much sterner examination with so many occurances of the new ball to face, but the bowler can personalise their cherry to their heart's content.
We'll see monogrammed initials and the player's number on one side of the ball, and who can see the harm in the other side of a shiny new red ball having "COCA-COLA" emblazoned on it. In the one day version of the game, I'm sure the Ku Klux Klan would pay a pretty penny to have their name printed on the shiny side of a brand new white ball.
Let's think about the bowler and make things fair. The time has come for the era of the Batsman to be brought to a close. Bring on the balance for the bowler, and my friends, don't forget to yell, "Viva La Revolucion!"