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Thread: Cricket What-Ifs

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    U19 Debutant WalkingWicket's Avatar
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    Cricket What-Ifs

    Now, I know these kind of things serve no purpose other than sheer amusement and speculation, but I'm always a fan of a bit of alternate history and the what-not, so here goes.

    What if Emily Bradman had a bit of a headache 9 months prior to the 27th August 1908 and little Don had never been born. Would cricket be the same? Would someone else have stepped up to the plate in terms of statistical domination? Does Bodyline happen, as England don't fear Australia's battting line-up as much, and do Anglo-Australian relations stay strong*?

    Or closer to home, in the 2015 World Cup Final, what if Brendon McCullum steps out 3rd ball and instead of losing his stumps, whacks Mitchell Starc over midwicket for 6, and goes on to score 75 off 40 balls. Does this boost New Zealand to victory, or are Australia just too good?

    What about South Africa, just before the Gleneagles Agreement* excludes them from international sport. That team of Pollock, Procter, Richards and Barlow, had the ban not occurred, could they have dominated the game? A titanic struggle between them and the West Indian side of that time would have been quite a sight. Would those names be the first down on any ATG teamsheet, or were their achievements merely beginners luck?

    And of course, if Haddin holds onto that catch off Root, do Australia win the Ashes? :P

    So come one, come all, and enter the Scary Door, Twilight Zone land of Cricket What-Ifs!

    In all seriousness, this thread is meant to create some light hearted debate/discussion. Feel free to discuss the ones I've suggested, suggest and discuss your own potential scenarios, or totally refute the ridiculous and pointless notion that is alternative-future speculation.

    *My history may not be spot on.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    No Bradman no Bodyline

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    It takes a lot more than a headache for an Australian women to refuse a ride on the carnal carousel.

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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    A few that spring to mind...

    What if England had toured Aus 12 months earlier than the infamous 1974/75 tour, with Lillee injured and Tommo nowhere to be seen? Against an attack led by Colley and Dymock, new captain Mike Denness led his side to comfortably retain the Ashes, and Ian Chappell was sacked, never to be seen or heard again.

    What if Kerry Packer had no interest in cricket and never bothered to set up WSC? Tony Greig continued to captain England until 1980, when he was replaced by Bob Woolmer. Mike Brearley never managed more than a handful of unimpressive test performances circa 1976/77.

    What if Gatting didn't play that reverse seep against Border in the 1987 WC final? England go on to win, and Gatting, in a much happier frame of mind, manages to put up with Shakeel Khan and Shakoor Rana's nonsense with a wry smile a couple of months later. England continue the rebuidling that he'd started and retain the Ashes in 1989 in a tightly fought contest. Border now decides to call it a day, mumbling something about there only being so much one man can take trying to lead this bunch of no-hopers. Shane Warne's debut figures against India a couple of years later, with no consistent pattern of selection going on, lead to him being dropped for a couple of years. This leads to him missing the 1993 tour of England, where the home side take advantage of the tourists' depleted pace attack to regain the Ashes having narrowly lost them in 1990/91.
    Last edited by wpdavid; 13-07-2015 at 03:01 PM.
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    International Captain harsh.ag's Avatar
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    What if Dodda Ganesh had bowled a no-ball on the fourth delivery of his second over against Zimbabwe in this, his only ODI??
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpdavid View Post
    A couple that spring to mind...

    What if England had toured Aus 12 months earlier than the infamous 1974/75 tour, with Lillee injured and Tommo nowhere to be seen? Against an attack led by Colley and Dymock, new captain Mike Denness led his side to comfortably retain the Ashes, and Ian Chappell was sacked, never to be seen or heard again.

    What if Kerry Packer had no interest in cricket and never bothered to set up WSC? Tony Greig continued to captain England until 1980, when he was replaced by Bob Woolmer. Mike Brearley never managed more than a handful of unimpressive test performances circa 1976/77.
    The Brearley thing is interesting. There was no logic to his selection for the Indian Tour after his two poor performances during the summer. I think Greig took him to groom as his successor knowing that WSC was on the horizon.

    What if the reverse sweep hadn't been invented prior to 1987. Would England have a World Cup to their name?

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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson View Post
    The Brearley thing is interesting. There was no logic to his selection for the Indian Tour after his two poor performances during the summer. I think Greig took him to groom as his successor knowing that WSC was on the horizon.

    What if the reverse sweep hadn't been invented prior to 1987. Would England have a World Cup to their name?
    Funny you should say that. Great minds etc.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    What if Barry Richards had been English?

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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    What if Barry Richards had been English?
    Not initially selected due to the openers' slots being held down by Boycott and Edrich. Eventually picked to tour Aus in 1974/75 when Boycs was unavailable but struggled against Lillee and Tommo, so wasn't seen for a year and a bit. Brought back to face WI when even Bedser decided that Close was getting on a bit, and again copped a couple of unplayable deliveries and was dropped. Was belatedly brought back after Brearley's retirement in 1980, but once again the opponents were WI, and a decade of mainly playing county cricket had left him in no sort of shape to cope with the WI quartet. Thoroughly disenchanted, he joined the 1982 'rebel' tour and never played international cricket again.
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    What if Tom Cartwright hadn't got injured.

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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    Going back to Emily Bradman, if the child had been christened Donna, then England would have held the Ashes throughout the 1930's and Wally Hammond would be widely regarded as the greatest batsman ever to grace the planet.

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    International Captain kingkallis's Avatar
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    What if Lance Klusener didnt attempt that silly run and smacked Fleming instead?
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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson View Post
    What if Tom Cartwright hadn't got injured.
    I wonder how much would actually have changed, as SA were still playing test cricket a couple of years later anyway.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpdavid View Post
    Not initially selected due to the openers' slots being held down by Boycott and Edrich. Eventually picked to tour Aus in 1974/75 when Boycs was unavailable but struggled against Lillee and Tommo, so wasn't seen for a year and a bit. Brought back to face WI when even Bedser decided that Close was getting on a bit, and again copped a couple of unplayable deliveries and was dropped. Was belatedly brought back after Brearley's retirement in 1980, but once again the opponents were WI, and a decade of mainly playing county cricket had left him in no sort of shape to cope with the WI quartet. Thoroughly disenchanted, he joined the 1982 'rebel' tour and never played international cricket again.
    You old cynic - I think he'd have been brought in under Brian Close for the 5th Test against the WIndies in 1966 and would have played over 100 Tests and ended up with an average of 99.95

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    You old cynic - I think he'd have been brought in under Brian Close for the 5th Test against the WIndies in 1966 and would have played over 100 Tests and ended up with an average of 99.95
    Anyone brought in for the Final Test of an English summer for their debut always fails and is never seen again.

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