May 19, 2010

New Zealand cricket

No gloves? That's just crazy!

Brydon Coverdale

Jacob Oram once joked that he would consider cutting off his badly broken left ring finger to ensure he was fit for the 2007 World Cup. Three years on, and after another tournament in the Caribbean, Oram and his team-mates stopped by to visit the Florida Marlins baseball team while in town for their T20s against Sri Lanka.

“That's just crazy,” the second-baseman Dan Uggla said at the thought of playing an entire game without a glove. His shortstop colleague Hanley Ramirez had some advice: “They were telling me how they break fingers and hands all the time. I told them, ‘Maybe in the future you should think about wearing gloves’.”

The Miami Herald reported that several of the New Zealanders “shagged flies” in the outfield, which we’re assured is a baseball term and not a variant on the New Zealand-Australia “sheep-shagging” banter.

Ramirez strapped on some cricket pads and had a hit, though was confused at where to run, while Oram made the pitcher Josh Johnson lick his lips with the concept that: “Sometimes in cricket, you try to hit the batsmen to unsettle them.”

Oram has picked Johnson in a fantasy baseball team in the past; perhaps after this visit Johnson might return the favour.

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Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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