Stephen Gelb July 27, 2008

‘The bowler’s Henderson, the batsman’s Kemp’


There was a great moment of irony on the radio commentary of the English 20-20 final last night. Kent v Middlesex. Both get to play in the Champions League, if it happens, but the winners also get onto the Stanford bandwagon and various other money-spinning opportunities. Kent needed 16 off the last over and then 4 off the last ball. The commentator – not sure who it was – said, “Here it comes, the most valuable ball in the history of county cricket.”

According to Wisden, Surrey were the first county champions in 1864, so that’s 144 years of history, tens of thousands of first class and limited overs matches, millions of balls bowled. This one was worth more than any other. He continued, “The bowler’s Henderson, the batsman’s Kemp.”

Oops. The most valuable ball ever bowled in England, and both bowler and batsman are South African. The most valuable ball ever bowled in England, and no Englishmen involved.