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Thread: How did Boxes Effect the Dynamics Between Fast Bowlers and Batsman?

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    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    How did Boxes Effect the Dynamics Between Fast Bowlers and Batsman?

    There is an old cricket joke: the first box was used in cricket in 1874 and the first cricket helmet was used in 1974 – it took men 100 years to realise that their head was also important. This pretty much sums up the box.

    Although the joke states 1874 as being the year cricket boxes came into existence I think it must be earlier. As Simon Hughes’ excellent book ‘And God Created Cricket’ tells us, overarm bowling was around from about 1860 – so surely the box would have been used from then, along with all the other pieces of padding?

    In fact, there is earlier evidence of some kind of protection being down there, from the time of John Nyren, a cricketer for one of the oldest clubs in the world, Hambledon, and an author. It was said (however fictional) that there was a player who had something resembling an aluminium box protecting his vital organs, from which a loud noise would emanate were it to be struck. Nyren was playing First Class cricket no later than 1817 – predating our previous estimate by over 40 years.
    Considering only the Test cricket fast men – and subjectively ignoring seam and swing merchants in FC cricket – we find:



    * Pre-1877: N/A since no Test cricket existed.


    * 1877-2015: They knocked over batsmen at 30.63 with a strike rate of 64.7.

    ......What does this mean in cricketing terms?


    i. With boxes, runs were still scored against the fast men of the generation. *However, getting wickets became less hilarious. Batsmen could resist longer against the quick bowlers, perhaps powered by the protection aided confidence. Batting technique changed. Batsmen no longer bothered with bending over clasping hands over the family jewels in reflex. The new batsmen were not necessarily inferior to the old brigade, it was the evolution of a different technique with the diminished risk of "head" injury.


    ii. When post-box fast bowlers arrived, they developed new skills to pick wickets at the same rate as their predecessors. With genital intimidation not being what it used to be, they extended their repertoire, developing the over-arm delivery to target the extreme ends of the body rather than just the centre. In Barnes, Trueman and Ambrose we witnessed many splendored munitions in their arsenal. Brett Lee perfected the low beamer because no one expects the low blow. In came the awkward bounce, off-cutter and other innovations to exploit the lowered guard (mentally speaking, not protection-wise).
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    International Captain indiaholic's Avatar
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    One major change was the improvement in running between the wickets due to not lying on the ground writhing in pain.
    Many experts are of the opinion that the sport grew in popularity as young men who were previously disinterested in the game due to its adverse impact on their marital life, could join the game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by duffer View Post
    Heh.

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    Up until the age of twenty I never wore a box. At first I just backed away to everything and didn't think twice about it. Then when I got bigger as a teenager I learned how to get behind the line and doing so without a box teaches you how to do it correctly.

    Only wore one when occassion demanded it throughout my career (e.g. the bowler was 120 plus) until 6 years ago when I top edged a sweep shot on my nuts. Blood everywhere. Shattered my confidence and can't bat without a box now. Havn't had occassion to do a sweep shot since.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend zorax's Avatar
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    Players back in the good old days didn't need a box because they had proper batting techniques and balls of steel.

    The batsman that have emerged from the 1830s have grown up playing with a box, and as such are more willing to lunge forward to good length balls, without the fear of incurring injury to their own.

    That forced fast bowlers to aim for new targets, such as the body, head, and occasionaly the stumps.
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    Someone do kiwiviktor's 6 foot 7 post
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend zorax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
    Someone do kiwiviktor's 6 foot 7 post
    When I played I didn't bowl bouncers unless the batsman had a box. Being 5'7" there was naturally a lack of bounce, and I was pretty sure that if I put down a decent bouncer I had a good chance of hitting a guy.

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    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
    Someone do kiwiviktor's 6' 7 post
    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane View Post
    Woah, he's 6' 7? Nice to know.
    zzz

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    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    Another relevant factor here could be the sizes of wood batsmen have nowadays. There was that image posted the other day of Barry Richards comparing wood from his days to the present day players' wood.

    His expression said it all.

    "It's just unrecognisable as a weapon. The only thing that seems to be in common is they've got wood and they've got a grip....... I really think there's going to be some serious injury. .................. I think they can get bigger and bigger until somebody gets injured."

    Can Box technology keep up and contain the burgeoning wood problem?

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    The Tiger King smalishah84's Avatar
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    Boxes allowed batsmen to grow balls, literally. I mean now there was no chance of the balls being cut short.

    The batsman could now focus on the bowler's ball rather than his own balls. This increased focus saw batting averages increase with time. So the box made batsman more potent
    And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW

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    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalishah84 View Post
    So the box made batsman more potent
    It is interesting to consider that point in the literal sense.

    It stands to reason that the introduction of the box would have greatly reduced the prevalence of impotence in the general male populace, thereby reducing the workload of doctors and freeing them to take up sporting pursuits in the spare time now bestowed upon them.

    It would therefore not be amiss to say that the Box made possible the exploits of arguably the sport's greatest practitioner - Dr. W G Grace.
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    The Tiger King smalishah84's Avatar
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    interesting thing to note is that cricketers become X-cricketers when they move from behind the Box to the Commentary Box. They still retain their behind the box persona in the commentary box though
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    International Debutant Victor Ian's Avatar
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    Don't forget without boxes, there would be no Boxing Day test.
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    Cricketer Of The Year AndyZaltzHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorax View Post
    When I played I didn't bowl bouncers unless the batsman had a box. Being 5'7" there was naturally a lack of bounce, and I was pretty sure that if I put down a decent bouncer I had a good chance of hitting a guy.
    now the obvious question, how could you tell the difference
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    The artist formerly known as Monk Red Hill's Avatar
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    Have played with two guys who never wore boxes. Failed to comprehend.
    Quote Originally Posted by Test_Fan_Only View Post
    Red Hill is a piece of ****

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    Hall of Fame Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Do the ladies bother with any protection in the 'abdominal area'?

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