February 26, 2011

World Cup 2011

A reconstruction of Ricky's box-flinging incident

Andrew Hughes
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat and anti-corruption and security unit chairman Sir Ronnie Flanagan address the media at Lord's, September 3 2010
"It was found that there was a shadow of another protector fell on the TV set a second before Ricky's own landed on it  © PA Photos
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Wednesday, 23rd February Little Ricky’s note apologising for accidentally breaking a television with his groin protector is a classic of the genre. It will no doubt be filed in the same ICC shoebox as Michael Atherton’s handwritten letter explaining that he had soil about his person because he was trying to grow pocket potatoes and Ijaz Butt’s email insisting that he did have some really top quality proof that the England players were involved in match-fixing but unfortunately his dog ate it.

When it comes to the curious incident of the bouncing groin protector in the dressing room, I confess I’m a sceptic. I’ve tried reconstructing it like Jim Garrison investigating the death of JFK, but the physics of the thing just don’t add up. One groin protector flung into a kit bag could surely not have gained the velocity needed to break a television. Ricky Harvey Oswald was just a patsy. There must have been other groin protector flingers involved to topple a TV. We’ll probably never know.

But the absurdity of this situation is not in Ricky’s schoolboy-esque excuse but in the fact that he had to apologise at all. He was apparently in breach of the new Fixtures and Fittings Integrity Regulations. The ICC, having given up on trying to properly organise tournaments or tackle corruption have decided to crack down hard on the serious problems, such as the scourge of slightly damaged electronic equipment and lightly dented advertising hoardings that threaten to undermine our sport.

But these are entertainers, performing under pressure. Would the Rolling Stones have apologised for scuffing a television screen? If the ICC are that concerned about the state of dressing-room furniture, then why not provide the players with pretend items they can vandalise, such as televisions made of cardboard or polystyrene microwaves. They could even lay on life-sized mannequins dressed as Billy Bowden or Aleem Dar for batsmen to abuse in the event of an unexpectedly early return to the pavilion.

Thursday, 24th February It’s easy to criticise SKY’s coverage and its fun too. But it would be remiss of me to ignore their excellent selection policy for this World Cup. Regular bores Botham, Lloyd, Ward and the rest are off playing golf in Asia and so the production staff have had to dig a little deeper into the pundit selection box in order to put together a team that is well balanced, strong in all departments and capable of going all the way to the final without sneezing into their lapel microphones.

The line up has something for every viewer: a big one, a medium-sized one and a little one. Bob Willis is languidly pessimistic in a doom-laden fashion, ever ready to point out just exactly why everything is rubbish. Michael Holding’s flashes of anger and punchy opinions are disguised with a smooth delivery and Robert Croft is doing his best, though his mouth and his larynx do not always appear to be in sync, which may just be down to the demands of the Welsh accent. Even captain Gower has upped his game and is dangerously close to being animated.

But it isn’t all aromatic in the SKY herb garden. This tournament’s new toy takes the form of an interactive television screen which enables them to enhance the experience of the viewer by whooshing a small icon of Jonathon Trott into a screen-filling portrait, or to play at being Geoff Miller and choosing whether Ravi Bopara or Luke Wright should bat at six. That is, when it works. But this device really comes into its own when the touch-screen technology fails to comply and the former pro of the moment is left waving forlornly at the screen like a demented window cleaner or a sorcerer who can’t remember the magic word.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by Stormy on (September 6, 2011, 17:53 GMT)

Yup, that'll do it. You have my appreciaiotn.

Posted by ali on (February 28, 2011, 20:45 GMT)

welcome

Posted by addas khan on (February 28, 2011, 7:46 GMT)

All have to say is;

what the heck is this guy on about?????!!!!!!

Posted by akshay on (February 27, 2011, 19:28 GMT)

Hilarious, witty and crisp; as usual. Look forward to your post on the India vs England match.

Posted by Andrew Symonds on (February 27, 2011, 5:56 GMT)

Yes I can Brian, yes I can!

Posted by ragu on (February 27, 2011, 3:40 GMT)

Great piece!! The other absurdity of Mr. Ponting's pique and explanation is that he actually thinks that people will believe whatever he says. But then it could be that his box is metallic and not plastic given that his audacity needs big brass ones.

Posted by Alexander Thomas on (February 27, 2011, 1:57 GMT)

Well! I have been trying to throw my box at the TV but nothing is happening. Perhaps Ponting needs to gift his box to Muammar al-Gaddafi. That guy need some protection and nothing would help him other than Ponting's box :D

Posted by Greg Trivett on (February 27, 2011, 0:58 GMT)

Andrew Hughes you beaut

Posted by pedpathpres on (February 27, 2011, 0:34 GMT)

Re Ponting's actions. Could you imagine the response if it had occurred in England , with Mike Denness as Ref and Sehwag as offender? Come on guys-- Ponting was being silly, but I do not think it needs headline coverage.

Posted by Jas on (February 26, 2011, 22:46 GMT)

This is how a non story becomes a story, too much importance has been given to this incident but its still a breach and ICC has to deal with it. I agree ICC should do more about corruption and other technical issues, plus promoting the game in other countries.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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