March 3, 2011


A fireman's stat

Andy Zaltzman


The number of Sri Lankans caught at third man in the first over of the momentous 1996 World Cup semi-final in Calcutta. As Oscar Wilde himself wrote: "To lose one opener caught at third man in the first over of a World Cup semi-final may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like fantastically cavalier recklessness guaranteed to appeal to the neutral spectator."

Also: The number of divisions of the Calcutta fire brigade required to attend to the stadium by the end of that game.

Also: The number of times schoolboy batsmen in England being brought up to play the game properly are allowed to be caught at third man before being expelled from school.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

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Andy Zaltzman
Andy Zaltzman was born in obscurity in 1974. He has been a sporadically-acclaimed stand-up comedian since 1999, and has appeared regularly on BBC Radio 4. He is currently one half of TimesOnline's hit satirical podcast The Bugle, alongside John Oliver. Zaltzman's love of cricket outshone his aptitude for the game by a humiliating margin. He once scored 6 in 75 minutes in an Under-15 match, and failed to hit a six between the ages of 9 and 23. He would have been ideally suited to Tests, had not a congenital defect left him unable to play the game to anything above genuine village standard. He writes the Confectionery Stall blog on Cricinfo.

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