Ashes December 12, 2010

How Australia should pick their spinner

The way they'd pick a shoe for Andrew Hilditch
22

Wednesday, 8th December I’m not convinced by this wheeze of the IPL’s to swap all the players around. For one thing, certain players have become synonymous with their team. Can you imagine the Kings XI without Sreesanth? Or Chennai without Napoleon Einstein? Worse still, there is the danger that Sourav Ganguly might not be playing for a franchise in IPL4, which would be unforgivable and quite possibly illegal. I can understand why Kolkata might want to get rid of all of their players, but not Sourav, surely.

I do, however, see the merit in giving this idea a try in international cricket. Every January, the ICC could hold a ceremony at which all Test players have to put their passports into The Passport Randomising Machine. By mixing things up, IPL-style, the tired old format will be rejuvenated at a stroke. Who knows what we could end up with? Harbhajan playing for Australia? Ricky Ponting the captain of India? South Africans playing for South Africa?

Thursday, 9th December The West Indian tour of Sri Lanka has ended a little earlier than planned.

“We can’t control the weather,” admitted Mr Ernest Hilaire, whilst standing in a puddle right up to his middle, holding a Viv Richards umbrella. It wasn’t for the want of trying. The WICB had issued legal proceedings against the Almighty on the grounds that the incessant Sri Lankan downpour constituted a breach of contract, as set out in the book of Genesis.

However, despite a personal intervention from Mr Hilaire, who flew up in his helicopter to address the weather via a loud hailer, the clouds continued to permit rain to fall and an irresponsible lightning strike singed his official executive tie. Having thus failed to successfully organise the meteorological conditions, the WICB must now concentrate on failing to organise West Indian cricket instead.

Friday, 10th December Selecting a spinner is like choosing a pair of shoes. But more specifically, it is like choosing a pair of shoes for a middle-aged man. A spinner should be picked, not because he is fashionable, but for his potential to endure a regular pounding on flat surfaces without falling apart. A spinner must be worn in over a period of time, he must be given time to mould himself to the shape that the team needs and, if he starts to sag a little, he shouldn’t be thrown out, but repaired. *

Andrew Hilditch, however, is the Imelda Marcos of selectors. Sometimes even the rumour of a shiny new spinner is enough to get him reaching for the telephone. Mr Doherty is the latest hot new item to end up in the bag for the charity shop and who knows how long Steven Smith or Michael Beer will last? Mr Hilditch would be best served by sticking to a sturdy brand, like the Hauritz. It may not turn heads (or indeed cricket balls) but it won’t let you down. Much.

* My thanks to Hogwash Publications for allowing me to reproduce this theory from John Buchanan’s bestseller, “Unlikely Analogies for Cricket Coaches Volume One”. Readers interested in pursuing this metaphor further may wish to read the same author’s idea that coaching cricketers is very much like repairing shoes, as outlined in the seminal, “Let’s Talk Cobblers: The Buchanan Method”.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Goutham Ramesh on December 16, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    South Africans playing for South Africa ! LOL

  • Prateek on December 15, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Awesomeness!!! Mr. Hughes, you can write!

  • Jay Jayakumar on December 13, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    Man.. I almost rolled on the floor on the 'South Africans playing, South Africa". Very funny.

    And the swapping of players in IPL? it just looks like you kind of got used to associating a player with a team and now we have to start all over again ?

  • rahul shegokar on December 13, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    Wow also pakistani played for india someday

  • Imtiaz Ahmed on December 13, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    SA playing for SA and WICB's failing theory were Hilarious...

  • Pramod on December 13, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    Hey Andy,

    Hilarious as ever but on a serious note there is gentleman by the name Swann who is taking wickets on "FLAT" pitches. So all the other spinners are just not good enough!

  • Abz Meer on December 12, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    LMAO ! Best Part; - Every January, the ICC could hold a ceremony at which all Test players have to put their passports into The Passport Randomising Machine. By mixing things up, IPL-style, the tired old format will be rejuvenated at a stroke. Who knows what we could end up with? Harbhajan playing for Australia? Ricky Ponting the captain of India? South Africans playing for South Africa? Hilarious.

  • Vithun Kumar on December 12, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    "South Africans playing for South Africa"..... I started laughing heavily on reading this and was unable to get through the rest of the article. That line is legendary!!!

  • Anonymous on December 12, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    Wow! One of your best! "South Africans playing for South Africa"!

  • D008 on December 12, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    ''South Africans playing for South Africa?''

    the funniest line of the article

  • Goutham Ramesh on December 16, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    South Africans playing for South Africa ! LOL

  • Prateek on December 15, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Awesomeness!!! Mr. Hughes, you can write!

  • Jay Jayakumar on December 13, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    Man.. I almost rolled on the floor on the 'South Africans playing, South Africa". Very funny.

    And the swapping of players in IPL? it just looks like you kind of got used to associating a player with a team and now we have to start all over again ?

  • rahul shegokar on December 13, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    Wow also pakistani played for india someday

  • Imtiaz Ahmed on December 13, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    SA playing for SA and WICB's failing theory were Hilarious...

  • Pramod on December 13, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    Hey Andy,

    Hilarious as ever but on a serious note there is gentleman by the name Swann who is taking wickets on "FLAT" pitches. So all the other spinners are just not good enough!

  • Abz Meer on December 12, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    LMAO ! Best Part; - Every January, the ICC could hold a ceremony at which all Test players have to put their passports into The Passport Randomising Machine. By mixing things up, IPL-style, the tired old format will be rejuvenated at a stroke. Who knows what we could end up with? Harbhajan playing for Australia? Ricky Ponting the captain of India? South Africans playing for South Africa? Hilarious.

  • Vithun Kumar on December 12, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    "South Africans playing for South Africa"..... I started laughing heavily on reading this and was unable to get through the rest of the article. That line is legendary!!!

  • Anonymous on December 12, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    Wow! One of your best! "South Africans playing for South Africa"!

  • D008 on December 12, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    ''South Africans playing for South Africa?''

    the funniest line of the article

  • Jacob on December 12, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    South Africans playing for South Africa! This article is funny

  • sahit on December 12, 2010, 9:23 GMT

    South africans playin for SA,hilarious........

  • Sam on December 12, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    Harbhajan playing for Australia. LOL!

  • Sarvo on December 12, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    Brilliant, especially the cobblers bit.

  • Just passing by on December 12, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    Oh Andrew! Well done mate...

  • Nitesh on December 12, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    Shoes and Spinners.

    Best. Analogy. Ever.

  • KP on December 12, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    "Harbhajan playing for Australia? Ricky Ponting the captain of India? South Africans playing for South Africa?"---hilarious!! "Having thus failed to successfully organise the meteorological conditions, the WICB must now concentrate on failing to organise West Indian cricket instead."--howlarious!

  • RMM on December 12, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Don't think so high of yourself mr.Hughes

  • Chris Drake on December 12, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    Very funny, and very true...

  • SPN on December 12, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    Another belter Andrew but hardly fair on Imelda!

  • Ajinkya on December 12, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    The last part about picking a spinner was absolutely hilarious! Keep up the good work!

    P.S - Hopefully they pick Hauritz again, he really hasn't done much wrong.

  • satyen on December 12, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    south africans playing for south africa ... andrew hilditch as imelda marcos.... hilarious as always.... !!

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  • satyen on December 12, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    south africans playing for south africa ... andrew hilditch as imelda marcos.... hilarious as always.... !!

  • Ajinkya on December 12, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    The last part about picking a spinner was absolutely hilarious! Keep up the good work!

    P.S - Hopefully they pick Hauritz again, he really hasn't done much wrong.

  • SPN on December 12, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    Another belter Andrew but hardly fair on Imelda!

  • Chris Drake on December 12, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    Very funny, and very true...

  • RMM on December 12, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Don't think so high of yourself mr.Hughes

  • KP on December 12, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    "Harbhajan playing for Australia? Ricky Ponting the captain of India? South Africans playing for South Africa?"---hilarious!! "Having thus failed to successfully organise the meteorological conditions, the WICB must now concentrate on failing to organise West Indian cricket instead."--howlarious!

  • Nitesh on December 12, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    Shoes and Spinners.

    Best. Analogy. Ever.

  • Just passing by on December 12, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    Oh Andrew! Well done mate...

  • Sarvo on December 12, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    Brilliant, especially the cobblers bit.

  • Sam on December 12, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    Harbhajan playing for Australia. LOL!