'Cos this thread being on-top was annoying Matt79, and I think " Underwhelming" sums-up the competition superbly.
'Cos this thread being on-top was annoying Matt79, and I think " Underwhelming" sums-up the competition superbly.
Appreciating cricket's greatest legend ever - HD Bird...............Funniest post (intentionally) ever.....Runner-up.....Third.....Fourthcricket player"; "Bob"), 1/11/1990-15/4/2006
(Accidental) founder of Twenty20 Is Boring Society. Click and post to sign-up.
What, you don't think that thread would be an appropriate one for eternal display on the forum?
Nooooway. It simply has to be the " Underwhelming" one.
Another interesting article -
GILCHRIST?S INNOVATIVE SPRING-TRICK
Michael Roberts - 9th May 2007 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Gilchrist has had a remarkable career and as batsman has taken attacks apart on many occasions. His batting has been marked by crisp hitting. In certain respects he is a batting equivalent of Lasith Malinga, Geoff Thomson and Muralitharan: he has a unique grip that would not be conventionally recommended to any budding tyro. He holds the bat quite high on the handle and uses lots of bottom hand. This has assisted his strike power, especially square of the wicket, but renders him technically vulnerable. Moreover, the bat is liable to slip out of the hand.
Of late this technical weakness plagued him and he had a relatively poor World Cup series – till the all important final. Thus bedeviled, he reverted to a tip from a cricketing mate from Perth, Bob Meuleman. He inserted an old, messed up squash ball in his bottom left hand glove.
Note Meuleman’s account of the previous experiment on these lines, courtesy of Dilip Premachandran’s article in cricinfo. "I've worked with him for 10 years and he has an unusual grip in which his hand goes too far around the back of the bat. It [the squash ball] is a great big lump in your glove but it means that you can only use your bottom hand in a V. He had a few hits before he went off to the World Cup; he didn't have the squash ball in and he hit them like he couldn't even play fourth grade. He put it in and he then hit the ball so good."
So, in Barbados Gilchrist tried out this improvisation at practice just before the final. Then went ahead with this innovation on the field and, well, the rest is history, flaying history: the Sri Lankan bowling attack was massacred. Moreover, to quote Premachandran: “There were lofted shots aplenty, but most were struck with precision straight down the ground. A staggering 65 runs came from strokes in the V, including six fours and five sixes” -- so that the fields set by Mahela Jayawardene on the basis of his previous pattern of strokes were of little benefit. Gilchrist had sprung the fielding traps with his spring device.
GILCHRIST THANKS BOB MEULEMAN: ?THAT DID THE TRICK?
As any cricketing analyst will tell you, the difference between the two teams in that final was Gilchrist and his tremendous strike rate – a factor that was compounded by the winning of the toss on a feather-bed wicket and the intervention of rain and gloom when the Sri Lankan batsmen were making a match of it. But once the Duckworth-Lewis method came into play it was Gilchrist’s trumps, so to speak, that did the trick for Australia. It is no wonder, then, that Gilchrist thanked Meuleman from within the cricket field itself as another striking picture (Picture 1) reveals.
Once all this came to light thanks, let me stress, to Gilchrist himself, with amplifications from Meuleman, a storm erupted on cyber-net waves. Irate Sri Lankan fans have hit the typewriter with questions about the legality and the ethics of such an innovative device, an invention of the handyman-type rather than that of a technological boffin. Motivated by fervent patriotism and its emotions the demands have sometimes been over the top – even insisting upon a reversal of the result and severe punishment for Gilchrist.
The fact that Gilchrist went public on his workaday trick, of course, means that he did not think it unethical. The rules do not prohibit such a device and by convention batsmen and keepers are allowed inner gloves to protect the hands and to assist gripping capacity. In opposition to the extremist fans who have intervened in anger, John Stephenson, the head of cricket at the MCC, which is the final arbiter on these matters, had this to say: "The official view is that you are correct. It is no different to wearing inners, etc."
When the agitation against Gilchrist’s device erupted, my initial view was that this was a grey area that had been exploited by the man and that it was best not to kick up a fuss. For one, by inclination – one could call it a philosophy if you wish to be high-minded – I am opposed to practices guided by the bureaucrat’s rule-book and pedantic readings of events. Indeed, I detest pedantic fundamentalists as much as I do religious ones. For another, such reactions from Lankans seemed so much like sour grapes.
Moreover, Sri Lanka had suffered in the past from precisely such responses at heightened moments. That is, I refer to assaults on achievers only after they have hit the limelight through achievement. Recall the tales of one Muralitharan and one lesser-known Ruchira Perera. They were attacked only when they began to take wickets. Muralitharan had been playing for 4-5 years before elements in the Australian establishment, backed by the press, went after him in late 1995. Dermot Reeve in England started the outcry against Ruchira after he took several wickets in a Test in the summer of 2003 and the criticisms then snowballed. In both cases, of course, suspect actions provided the reason for such agitation.
In lesser decibels some English voices seem to have targeted Lasith Malinga recently because he was looming as a danger in the forthcoming World Cup. Fortunately, the Guardian made it a point to comprehensively undermine these protests with the measured opinions of Daryl Foster as one of their weapons – surely an outstanding case of fair play that obviated the need for the nation most affected, Sri Lankan cricket, to take up cudgels.
With the squash-ball issue, then, the agitation, literally salvoes from all quarters, have been coming from Sri Lankans, now backed by Sri Lanka Cricket. “Whingeing from the losers,” “assaulting the achiever,” some are likely to say. That constraint coloured my initial reaction. It led to my reserve and a desire to let things lie. However, like Ashley Mallett on Murali’s action, I have changed my mind. I have no intention of pillorying Gilchrist. He was exploiting a grey area. My focus is directed towards rendering that area black and white in the immediate future through an expansion of the rules.
Arguments for Intervention and Rule Change
My reversal of attitude was induced by an article by S. R. Pathiravithana, entitled “By Hook or by Crook” in the Sunday Times of 5 May in Sri Lanka and information from Vijitha Herath of Paderborn Universität, Germany as well as some of the posts in the Dilmah Cricket Forum. The context is provided by Law III.6 in the rule book:
“the umpires shall satisfy themselves that: (a) the conduct of the game is strictly in accordance with the Laws [ensuring that] … (b) The implements of the game conform to the requirements of Laws 5 (the ball) and 6 (The bat), together with either Laws 8.2 (Size of stumps) and 8.3 (The bails) …”
This is where Herath’s scientific expertise provides amplification: a compressed squash ball, he says, “acts like a spring (e.g.: a motorcycle shock absorber).” Result: “when a batsman swings the bat until it hits the ball, there is pressure on his bottom hand. This pressure compresses the squash ball thus storing energy in the ball similar to spring. Just after the ball hits the bat (ball still touching the bat) this pressure starts to relax while the bat is moving forward. At the same time the energy stored in the squash ball releases its energy to the bat in the form of kinetic energy. The result is that the bat moves faster than normal (without a ball in the glove). As a result, the release-speed of the cricket ball becomes faster.”Read Mallett on Murali and Warne: part of their spin-power is speed of shoulder and/or wrist. Indeed, specialists nowadays speak of bat-speed, or racquet speed in tennis, a vocabulary unheard of in my time. So Gilchrist’s extra power comes in part from this improvised trick, one that also reduced slippage of handle (though that occurred just once in striking fashion: see Picture 1), and assisted strokes towards the classic arc.
One could argue that this is good cricket. Playing through the V is good batsmanship, hence classic. But that is not the issue here. So I use Herath’s forensic skill to call into question John Stephenson’s viewpoint as rather simple-minded. The compressed squash ball is not mere protective gear of the inner glove variety. It is a spring. It enhances kinetic power. Batting and bowling is partly about arm speed. As Pathiravithana argued, it “cannot be termed as a protective gear and [must be deemed] a power enhancing substance.”
That is CONTENTION One. It can be joined and bolstered, rather like Gilchrist’s squash ball and bat-handle, by a second argument. This is an argument by analogy.
Argument by Analogy: the Ball
To begin by being trite: cricket is about bat and ball, its two basic elements. Thus, principles applied to the ball can be extended to the bat. However, just examine Law 42 about “Fair and Unfair Play.” It has a Section on “The match ball -- changing its condition” which has six sub-sections, each further subdivided – so we have umpteen don’ts for the fielding side. In contrast there is nought, absolutely nothing, about bat, gloves and handles. The whole of 42 is a stark contrast: the restrictions and prescriptions for bowlers contrast sharply with those regulations aimed at batsmen.
Thus Law 42.3 (b) states that “It is unfair for anyone to rub the ball on the ground for any reason, interfere with any of the seams or the surface of the ball, use any implement, or take any other action whatsoever which is likely to alter the condition of the ball, except as permitted in (a) above,” namely, polishing the ball without the use of any “artificial substance,” removing mud from the ball under the supervision of the umpire and drying a wet ball with a towel.
Therefore, a fielding side or bowler cannot tweak or modify the ball with performance enhancing objects. It is now part of cricketing lore that the modification of the ball by using bottle tops to scar one side and favour reverse swing -- an innovation attributed to the Paksitani pacemen – was identified as unethical and banned. Likewise, elastoplast or whatever on the fingers are prohibited to prevent any extra twist they can impart. One is allowed, however, to shine one side only. Or to use a natural substance, one’s sweat, to enhance the shine and increase the weight on one side so that swing is, well, tweaked just a mite.
It is just possible that some backyard experiment (the lounge is hardly the site for this sort of thing) will lead to the discovery that semen also secures swing, juicing, so to speak, the “shape” as cricket-buffs refer to the arc of the swinging ball. Thus fortified, an enterprising bowler may conceivably contrive to impart some of his secretions secretly unto the ball. If he, then, produces a penetrative spell and generates a batting slide, well, we would have a piece of cricket history: a ‘semenic’ bowler and a triumph for the best of wankers.
This spicey twist is meant to mark the boundary between natural substance and artificial substance. One cannot use lollies, mud, brylcream or whatever to enhance swing or ‘modify” the ball – as Michael Atherton and Rahul Dravid will fervently tell you. Mind you, it is not quite demonstrated that these substances, let alone semen, generate greater performance in swing – or whatever—from the ball. But there must be some substances that do and the laws have decided, reasonably, that the prohibition must be sweeping.
The bottom line here is that one cannot enhance the movement of the ball with a foreign object or substance. That being so, how can batsmen be given the privilege of doing so with anything other than gear -- incidentally, there is no rule saying they have to wear gloves or pads; it is optional gear -- meant to protect the fingers?
Broader Issues and Futurism
There is a larger issue attached to this debate: how should the MCC, ICC and cricketing world respond to technological advance and modifications of weaponry/tools. New tennis racquets, and new poles, to take just one or two examples, have revolutionised capacities in their respective sports, tennis and pole vault. In such circumstances, of course, comparisons between modern sportsmen and past sportsmen in these events become meaningless. But our interest is not in the travails of historians and statisticians. The focus should be on the advance of the game of cricket amidst adherence to its basic principles/elements.
Let me be futuristic here. What if a bionic arm is perfected, one ‘trimmed’ to the requirements of a batsmen or bowler? What, then, if a young lad named Clark Kent, having lost an arm in a motor-cycle accident, has this contrivance fitted on and proceeds to hit every ball – he also has Sanath Jayasuriya’s eyes, naturally developed, not transplanted – at a speed which no one can stop? Or he becomes a bowler who achieves speeds of 120 mph and skittles every side? Clearly, this cannot be allowed. It would not only destroy the game of cricket, but would also encourage some crazy blokes, rather like ladies who implant silicone in their breasts, to amputate an arm and become bionic.
This particular move on my part, obviously, is from the sublime to the ridiculous. But there is purpose, other than the tease, in this hop, step and jump. It leads to a recommendation: the authorities need to monitor developments in the production of bats and balls; and to do so with future possibilities in mind. Some degree of “freeze” on the processes in place may have to be imparted. For one, such possibilities give an advantage to those nations with the R & D facilities to innovate with magic bat handles or whatever, an advantage that will, no doubt, be equalized after the first year or two, but which will destroy the principle of a lvel playing filed in that initial burst of advantage. For another without any such restrictions the game of cricket could move into the stratosphere. As it is, and as Woolmer’s murder has demonstrated, the betting world and monetary greed has taken it to the caverns of Satan.
© Dilmah Cricket Network
Last edited by JASON; 17-05-2007 at 07:14 PM.
"This particular move on my part, obviously, is from the sublime to the ridiculous."
Like the whole article.
Mate. It's over. Give it up. Seriously. Come on. No more. Roll on the forum archive. Please. Enough already. A non-issue, even a non-event. Like the final itself. So, chin up. Let's move on, eh? Look forward, not back. Stiff upper lip, and all that.
We all have to live with unpalatable things in life. This may be something unpalatable to you, but unfortunately you'll have to live with it. If not, I fear you may be come (more) fixated on this thing.
So. Square those shoulders; straighten that back; look adversity in the eye; put the old nose to the grindstone; rise up against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them; suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same; live a life that's full and travel each and every highway, and please - let's get over it.
WWCC - Loyaulte Mi Lie
"People make me happy.. not places.. people"
"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." - Samuel Johnson
"Oh my God, there's a castle! A castle!"
Because otherwise the game may be heading to R&D Departments...and not staying on the Cricket Field as it should.
Last edited by JASON; 17-05-2007 at 08:47 PM.
The man, the mountain, the Mathews. The greatest all rounder since Keith Miller. (Y)
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RIP WCC and CW Cricket
Member of the MSC, JMAS and CVAAS
Because the bats are produced by companies, not countries, who want to sell as many of them as they can, to people all over the world, which is why they sponsor players from all over the world. Hence, Sachin. Lara & S Waugh use/ used MRF; hence Hayden, Strauss et al use Gray Nicholls; Smith & others use Gunn & Moore.
It's about commercial viability, not the sporting equivalent of the Manhattan Project.
The point of having to regulate is a vaild one, but to couch it in terms of one country over another takes it too far, imo.
Incidentally there was an article in this month's All Out Cricket (produced by the PCA in England) where they got 50 current and recently retired First Class Cricketers to each give one tip on technique or similar.
One (I think it was Michael Brown of Hampshire) of them recommended sticking a squash ball in the glove on your bottom hand if you were having problems with your grip (would type the exact quote but can't be bothered to go upstairs and get the magazine)
I'm fairly sure that that article was written pre-World Cup Final...
marc71178 - President and founding member of AAAS - we don't only appreciate when he does well, but also when he's not quite so good!
Anyone want to join the Society?
Beware the evils of Kit-Kats - they're immoral apparently.
Don't think it's available online to be honest - the text is as follows though:
If your bottom hand is too dominant when holding the bat try putting a popped squash ball inside your bottom hand batting glove, placing it between your hand and the bat handle.It will reduce the imapct your bottom hand can haveon the bat without negatively affecting how you play.
From what i've read about it, i don't think Gilchirst was the 1st player to use something similar. Its like most things, when a big name player has success with it, people just think he came up with the idea. I think that squash player himself used it a fair bit during his cricketing career. I think he played grade cricket or maybe even FC cricket in his glory days.
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