For years now they've been telling us that the art of Off Spin is on its last legs. But I bet if someone said 30 years ago that in 2010 England will have an offy at number 2 in the world rankings and the team that has spend 15 years a clear division above everyone else will also be employing a full-time offy, you wouldn't have believed them.
Even at my local club the skill is chuckled at a bit. Offies are not really taken seriously if they can't bat in the top 6-7. Yet at the same time, on a bowler friendly pitch they often go for about 10-15 runs per wicket at this level. Our offy gets a wonderful frisby-like flight on the ball and is always taking the wickets of batsman trying to charge him or those that misjudge length to any degree.
This anti-offy snobbery stems from the top. Barely a month goes by in which a former player and/or pundit doesn't write off the art, tells us in not so subtle terms that kids should forget it, it's a dead art. Yet it's still here after all these years, played and played well from the local parks to the very top level - test cricket.
How long do people think it has? Or will it be around until the Sun eventually swallows the Earth and everything in it?