Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Modest Proposal

There's no doubt that in first class cricket, the beamer remains a big 'no no' - the general reaction to Sree Santh's delivery to Pietersen at Trent Bridge yesterday bears this out. You can go to whatever lengths you need to (within the laws of the game) to get a man out, but the head high full toss aimed at the batsman is a line not to be crossed.

There can be no shadow of a doubt that the Sree Santh beamer to Kevin Pietersen was totally deliberate - as deliberate as his subsequent '18 yarder' to Paul Collingwood.

Rather than vociferous protest and an assumption that the matter will be sorted out after the game by the match referee, the beamer is serious enough to require an immediate, and meditated response. The England team should have taken a leaf out of the Major League Baseball playbook.

Throwing at batters in the MLB is more common than beamers in first class cricket. The nature of some pitches means that they can easily 'get away' from a pitcher and strike a batter. It's easy to tell when this is the case, and there is normally little retaliation. It's equally easy to tell when the throwing at a batter is deliberate. In this case, retaliation is swift. Pitchers protect their batters - it's expected of them.

SO, when the Indians came to bat England should have selected the equivalent batsman to KP in the Indian batting line up - most probably Tendulkar. When Tendulkar came to the crease, Jimmy Anderson should have deliberately bowled a head high full toss at Tendulkar. In the resulting furore - with Tendulkar likely taking strong issue with Anderson, Michael Vaughan should have apologised to him, and made it very clear that this was in direct response to the beamer bowled at Pietersen, and as far as England are concerned the matter is now closed.

The chances of Tendulkar having a quiet word with Sree Santh after the game and telling him not to try anything quite so crass again? Very high.

The chances of Sree Santh bowling a beamer at The Oval, and thus putting any of his batsmen in line for another retaliation? Very low.


harry said...

Like it.

It is, perhaps, in asimilar vein to a proposal I have for football, when a player pretends to have been deliberately kicked, elbowed or punched, but no such thing has happened: the (wrongly) accused should be allowed to do what the (lying) accuser pretends has been done. If need be, the (wrongly) accused's team-mates would be permitted to hold the (lying) accuser steady.

That'd bring the crowds back.

Anonymous said...

an eye for an eye? nice civilised way of sorting out matters mate

Anonymous said...

In the 2003 World Cup, Waqar Younis took out some of his frustrations with Andrew Symonds carting around Johburg by bowling him a couple of beamers, and he was promptly ordered out of the attack by David Shepard. Good solid sensible umpiring.

These days, no umpire is willing to say boo because the Asian nations will gang up on them to make them unemployable.