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since 1997 Feb 16

2019 Diary

A Ramble on Women's Cricket
 - with diversions -

This diary will be updated erratically throughout the year.

Previous Page : My Player of 2018

 

Who writes the Rules (not the Laws) and the Regulations?

As you will know if you visit here often I rarely comment on men's cricket. Indeed I haven't written much at all lately but more of that later.
 
Yesterday, no doubt in the company of millions of others, I watched the Men's World Cup Final. It was undoubtedly one of the finest and certainly most closely fought games I have ever seen appear on my plasma (or is it LCD?) screen. From minute to minute, especially as the game neared its climax, I was on the edge of my seat wondering who would manage to hold their nerve and come out on top in this hard-fought contest.
 
And, would you believe it, no one did! As you all know, not only did the match end in a tie but so did the so-called Super Over (SO), or as a scorer I know insists on calling it OOPS as the regulations once used this abbreviation for "one over per side". Now here's a problem! What to do now. Well the regulations will help us and so we dig into them expecting a logical answer to the problem in front of us. What might it be?
 
For instance, could it be we have another Super Over? Boy, that would really wind up the excitement to a pitch that prompted one commentator to ask his fellow "Is anyone selling defibrillators?" Were we going to pile excitement upon excitement? Well, we could have done but 'No' there was an answer in the fount of all knowledge. Enough excitement for one day - we can't have any more...
 
I know, why don't we work on who who has lost the fewer wkts? That would be logical. If two teams make an equal number of runs then the one losing the fewest wickets has obviously played better on the day. Apparently that wouldn't do either. We need to drag out the scoresheets and decide who had hit the most boundaries in the match.

 

When I heard this I could hardly believe my ears. Had something changed in the Laws of the game? Were boundaries suddenly going to be worth more than an equivalent number of singles? Makes no sense that 1x4 doesn't equal 4x1. Had whoever written this not done the most basic maths at school? Or was there a sudden change to the Laws of the game part way through the match and the later boundaries should be scored as 5 rather than 4. Maybe that was it...

 

The result to me was highly unsatisfactory. Please don't get me wrong! I am an England supporter - well if you've read anything here in the last 22 years you'll already know that - but this was really not the way I would want 'my' team to win and it's not the way I would have wanted to win anything back in the day when I dressed all in white - we hadn't invented coloured clothing then - well not for the cricket field anyway.

 

I have to extend my sympathy to New Zealand. Not only did they not get the rub of the green on the day (Ross Taylor's dismissal that shouldn't have been, and the extra run after the ball thrown in from the bounday that hit Ben Stokes' bat acquired one more run than it should have and put the stronger batsman on strike) but that's cricket. All human's are fallible including umpires, and despite some helpful but not fool-proof technology, we all have to live with that.
 
Nonetheless, why didn't we have another SO? It would not only have allowed one side to actually win (for I fear no one really did with this odd arrangement) or even a third or fourth. It could so easily have added so much extra drama that those in their twenties would one day be telling their grandchildren about it. It was a huge opportunity missed!!! [And don't tell me that's TV schedules for you - no TV company would have cut away from that!]

 

For a while I felt I was probably the only person on this side of the world who held these views when I received the following from a regular correspondent.
Because it feels like we won on an arbitrary technicality that has no part in normal cricket! After 50 overs, in my mind, New Zealand had won because they had lost fewer wickets. I mean, how do we record wins by the team batting? We say "won by X wickets" don't we? Do we ever say won by X boundaries? No. Did we once use wickets as a tie breaker? Unless my memory is playing tricks, yes we did.
Back to basics is my view
Well, at least I'm not totally alone!

 

In summary, England were lucky, New Zealand were robbed and cricket was the winner. It is likely to be the hardest fought match I will watch for many a year and it's a shame the trophy wouldn't be shared. [Notice I say 'wouldn't not 'couldn't'] That's what both teams really deserved!