23 January 2009

Dull cricket

Comedian Andy Zaltzman in the preamble to his cricket blog article, the World's Dullest XI (Titans of Tedium):

Dullness as a cricketer is of course somewhat subjective, and is not measurable purely by statistics. Batsmen must not only score slowly, but do so with a lack of style that renders them unwatchable to all but their closest family and most dedicated team-mates. They must also be aggravatingly good enough to stay at the crease sufficiently long to send spectators into a deep coma. Bowlers must be skilled and patient enough to contain and restrict, without threatening the excitement of a wicket by any other means than a mental capitulation by the batsman, brought on by overwhelming frustration and an uncontrollable consideration for the paying spectator. Thus, we are looking for the crabby, awkward stubbornness with the bat, and trundling negativity with the ball.

The obvious temptation is simply to pick 11 New Zealanders at random – a team of Edgar, Franklin, Wright (capt), Richardson, J. Crowe, Coney, Blain (w-k), Bracewell, Snedden, Chatfield and Watson would challenge the enthusiasm of even the most ardent cricket lover (and if Jacob Oram could bat like Chris Martin, he would walk into the team as a specialist bowler). But that temptation must be resisted, if only because other nations must be rightly recognised for their contributions to tedious cricket...

- Cricinfo, 22 January 2009

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