Wednesday, 18 June 2008

On is off, off is on, right or wrong

So here comes the official confirmation -- on his off, off is on, right or wrong.

As Pietersen the peacock goes swaggering around after MCC announces that the touch of madness is actually a stroke of genius, my cynicism hits nadir. Replacing leather-flingers -- already at the receiving end of cricket’s own state-sponsored pogrom -- with bowling machine seems the natural culmination of the process custodian and executives of the game have undertaken.

How else you explain MCC’s willingness to alter LBW and Wide Ball rules just to accommodate one of the most vulgar shots you can come across?

The only plausible logic put forward by the MCC eggheads was that it adds to entertainment. So does recreational drugs and I've Mohd Asif to vouch for that. So?

My sneaking suspicion is MCC’s decision to pander to the hoi polloi stems from its fear of redundancy. After all, cricket’s toothless watchdog is as relevant to the game as UN is to America’s foreign policy.

Consider the bowlers’ plight. Already pushed to the brink, he recalls the batsman’s chink in the armour, sets him up, makes minor field adjustment and then ambles in to bowl that delivery but lo and behold! Every bit of his plan is hit for a six because he did not come prepared to see mirror batting at the other end.

I don’t have problem with Pietersen’s wholesome hatred for tradition. But I don’t either think switch-hitting would make 'The Ego' any better a bat than what he is now. But of course it helps him remain the Prince of Foofaraw, whose coiffeur and cricket would continue to assume equal importance.

My problem is not with the shot, or any shot for that matter. I’m appalled by the sheer readiness of the MCC and ICC to play to the gallery and the absolute marginalization of the other, equally important, protagonist of the bat-ball drama. Beneath the haze, cricket is essentially an exercise where bowler initiates the action and the batsman merely reacts. But unfortunately, those who run the game are hell bent to make it a complete mismatch pitting the author-backed batsman against a no-hoper bowler.

This is surely not cricket!

Image: BBC

15 comments:

Straight Point said...

common som...that was just a (switch) hit...

Som said...

Probably so, but my blood boils with every move to marginalise the bowlers. The biggest danger lies in the fact that the game has become so batsman-bias that no batting feat surprise me anymore. Cricket has completely robbed me of one of my key emotions, astonishment.

Straight Point said...

before t20 everybody said thats its an end of bowlers...obituaries were written in advance...

guess who had the last laugh...

Som said...

SP, may your optimism rubs off on me...hahaha

D.S. Henry said...

Agreed on the bowlers getting royally shafted at every turn... but instead of stopping innovation in batsmen, let's encourage it in bowlers.

Also, I get the suspicion that this decision has more to do with keeping KP happy than anything else. In fact, just about everything the ECB has done in 2008 looks focused on that.

(I mean, seriously... they actually flew in some rich cowboy, straight out of an old Simpsons episode, to deliver a briefcase full of cash, just to stop KP from joining the IPL. I couldn't make that kind of stuff up if I tried.)

Wasim said...

Som

A bowler is equipped with so many varities he doesn't need to switch arm, he can bowl inswing, outswing, reverse swing, Doosra, yorkers, and bouncers with the same action switching arm will be almost impossible for fast bowlers and might not be an easy task for spinners.
But the LBW and wide Ball rules will for sure cause some confusion and should be reviewed, my suggession is that a batsman should not be allowed to change his stance after the ball has been delivered, he should be allowed to change it before the the ball leaves the bowlers hand.

Som said...

DSH, welcome. I can't agree more. The bat-ball game has not come across a more over-rated player. But mark my words, bowlers would survive even this injustice. No batting feat surprises me anymore, because it's so obvious after the administrators went on tilting the scale in batsman's favour. Mark my words again, 200 in ODI is just round the corner and people would take it as casually as yet another George Bush bloomer.

Som said...

WASIM, true. I don't see any ambidextrous bowler worth mention coming up, whatever the Buchanans of the world may say. You may see one or two gimmick-seeking Paul Adams but quality bowler, I doubt.

Naked Cricket said...

of the present lot, i can see sachin and uthappa trying the switch hit. who else comes to mind?
mark ramprakash? -only we won't see it. Bravo, yeah he might. as will some other lower middle order pommies.

Som said...

NC, I think Misbah will banish his scoop shot and go bananas like KP.

D.S. Henry said...

Naked C:

Afridi will.
Y. Khan will.
McCullum might.
Symonds might.
Michael Clarke will, if he ever gets back in form for a solid 6 months.

martyd said...

forget the switch hit, I like your image of the big head.

scorpicity said...

Though I found the MCC's judgement sensible, I feel there is too much for debate on this episode... there are some chances of people failing in that shot so it doesn't matter.

Som said...

Martyd, isn't it gr8?

Som said...

Scorpicity, hope so.