Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mind Games

Hat's off to Sky for their 'Rain Stopped Play' coverage yesterday afternoon.

First they showed highlights from the Lords test of 2000 against the Windies, which included the most extraordinary days cricket I've ever attended when we, uniquely, saw parts of all four innings and the very rare sight of Andy Caddick bowling like a man possessed and a series of West Indies batsmen ducking for cover and taking balls on the body.

Then there was a wide ranging studio discussion between Gower, Botham and Hussain which started with the make up of the England squad and then revealed the wonderful news that the 'Kevin Shine Era' is about to end and Allan Donald is to become 'bowling consultant' with Shine shunted sideways.

Discussion then turned to the recent Ashes tour and the size of the England support staff that toured around Australia. According to Beefy he saw 28 people in England shirts at the MCG, and didn't recognise 10 of them. Well, I was at the MCG and there were about 28,000 in England shirts... but we'll let it pass.

Botham reserved most of his scorn for sports psychologists. "When I was in the team I didn't need one of those" said Beefy - putting on the faux working class accent he adopts when he's doing his 'straight talking man of the people' act, dropping vowels left right and centre - odd for someone resolutely middle-class, who attended one of the top Public Schools in the country. Botham went on - "If I wanted to talk about bowling I'd ask Bob Willis - if I needed anything else I'd talk to Mike Brearley..."

Erm, that'll be the Mike Brearley who's a trained psychologist would it Ian?


Anonymous said...

Same thought crossed my mind actually.

Tony.T said...

Top hole.

I was going to leave a comment here the other day asking if you'd seen the rain coverage, Mark, but didn't get around to it.

I really enjoyed sitting there listening to Athers, Nass, Beefy, Bumble, Jimmy Adams, Lord Gower of the Slouch doing their chat thing the other day. I wish we got even a quarter of the entertainment when there's a delay. Or even when the actual game is going on.

Although, I must say, at some points there was little to no chemsitry between Adams, Gower & Bumble. They kept having having those dry pauses where noone seems to know what to say next.

Nor am I absolutely sure why everyone seems to be talking up Daffy Donald Duck as the next bowling guru. Nothing he's ever said in the commentary would lead me to a conclusion that he's an expert in the caper. Yeah sure, he could bowl but... Brian Robson could play soccer, but can he coach? Still, I never get to hear what Daffy says behind the scenes.

Cricket Coaching and Fitness - David Hinchliffe said...

Beefy does talk some rubbish. During the World Cup he said going to the gym is the reason Shane Watson got injured. Sheesh.

As for Kevin Shine, I feel a bit sorry for the fella. He clearly didn't want to see Harmison, Plunkett, Mahmood and Anderson spray it around but would there have been a big difference under anyone else? After all, Hoggard has improved since 2005 while Flintoff and Jones have been injured.

Mark said...

David - You're right, Hoggard has improved, but Harmison has gone backwards and Saj Mahmood doesn't seem to have developed at all since his debut. Not sure about Plunkett to be honest.

Obviously a coach has no control once a bowler has the ball in his hand, but he must surely be providing input in terms of action, grip, body position and so on.

Tony - I've never been a big fan of Bumble... he seems to be totally cliche ridden and unable to contribute anything above the banal or simplistic. I could sit and listen to Athers and Nasser all day (assuming there's no cricket to watch!)

Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia.

Didn't think Bothan looked the public school type.

'He left Buckler's Mead Comprehensive School at 15, being only interested in playing cricket for Somerset, although he also had an offer to join Crystal Palace F.C.'

Otherwise a very good article.


Miles Down-Legside

(Public school chap)

Mark said...

Whoops, my bad... for some reason I was convinced Bothem had attended Millfield.

Thanks for the correction (should have checked the facts myself!)