March 13, 2011


The golden age of poor running

Andy Zaltzman


The percentage of wickets in the 1987 World Cup that fell to run-outs, a tournament record, despite the fact that Inzamam-ul-Haq did not make his World Cup debut until the following competition. Out of a total of 385 dismissals in 1987, 64 involved batsmen trudging away from the crease visibly swearing, looking stroppily over their shoulders and facially apportioning blame to their partners, the umpire or the cruel hand of fate. This marked the start of a golden age of appalling World Cup running between the wickets - 13% of wickets in the 1991-92 and 1995-96 tournaments were run-outs, whilst no other World Cup can claim more than 10%, despite some magnificently school-boyish mid-pitch mix-ups in this tournament.

Also: Kamran Akmal's score, out of 100, in his school wicketkeeping exams. He has sat retakes on 12 occasions since, with a highest score of 19.3.

Also: What Alan Mullally's Test bowling average would have been if there had been no batsmen facing him.

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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