Sunday, 15 April 2007

The height of Ponting's fear

(Tendulkar, Lara - the pocket dynamoes)

When he is not talking about things like on-field etiquette, sportsman spirit and how-to-behave-in-a-pub, Ricky Ponting talks sense. At worst, his words can be thought-provoking.

Punter's most recent observation is that hulks like Kevin Pietersen and Matthew Hayden are overshadowing pint-sized bats like him, Sachin Tendulkar and Brain Lara . He fears cricket is all set to become a game of the towering players and players of his stature might feel like dwarf among giants.

Incidentally, Ponting's words apparently vindicate the recent BBC-commissioned survey which attempts to shatter the popular myth that little men are more aggressive, a notion that gained popularity since a 5'6" Napoleon Bonaparte picked a fight with rest of Europe.

Researchers claimed the 'Napoleon complex' or 'Short Man Syndrome' is in fact a myth and now Ponting airs the same view.

Since Don Bradman picked up a bat and the game was graced by such run-machines like Sunil Gavaskar, Javed Miandad, Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting , it never felt -- the bigger, the better. On the contrary, these big little men strode like giants despite their short height.

Interestingly, Thomas T Samaras, a Director and Senior Researcher at Reventropy Associates in San Diego, and his associates have published a number of papers in scientific and medical journals on the positive aspects of shorter height and they claim little men have faster reaction times, greater ability to accelerate body movements, stronger muscles in proportion to body weight, greater endurance, and the ability to rotate the body faster.

Naturally, shorter people excel as gymnasts, divers, skiers, martial artists, rock climbers, figure skaters, rodeo riders, soccer players and long distance runners and within their weight classes, they are excellent wrestlers, boxers, and weight lifters too!

Personally, this "growing" trend does not bother me either. At 5'8", I find enough solace in the facts that shorter people are less likely to break a hip from falling and die in auto crashes! That explains why I prefer to remain so "down-to-earth", at least physically.

1 comment:

Dr. Leonid Gavrilov, Ph.D. said...

Thank you for your interesting post!
I thought perhaps you may also find this related post interesting to you:
Body Size and Human Longevity