Mike Holmans April 4, 2011

Golden Goofs

Amid all the lists of top players, teams, innings and what have you of the World Cup, I haven't noticed any booby prizes being handed out, and that is a serious omission
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Amid all the lists of top players, teams, innings and what have you of the World Cup, I haven't noticed any booby prizes being handed out, and that is a serious omission. No World Cup can be complete without its share of goofs, howlers and blunders.

I can only make a few nominations because I didn't watch that many matches all the way through and there were several of which I saw none at all, so there will be many worthy contenders I have missed and I would be grateful for anyone else's accounts of incidents which made them laugh out loud or squirm in agony (if perpetrated by the team you support).

My favourite of all the gaffes I saw was the Missed Catch of the Cup. Not “dropped catch” because it was not even touched, relatively easy though it was. Netherlands' Ryan ten Doeschate had started to cut loose in their match against England when he skied one high and deep over the bowler's head. Kevin Pietersen and James Anderson were fielding at long-on and long-off, and both set off to try and catch it. Either of them could have made it, but they saw each other coming and both stopped and looked at each other as the ball fell harmlessly between them. It was straight out of a cartoon, and I whiled away the boring bits of some other games imagining how it would have looked in a Bugs Bunny or Pink Panther short.

Partly because of my limited selection of games, Anderson also wins my Worst Bowling award, although I'm sure there are plenty of other candidates. Bangladesh had looked to be cruising home until a tight few overs pushed the rate back up so that they needed 33 off the last 5 overs. Time for the batting Powerplay, and Anderson to bowl its first over. The first delivery was five wides down the leg side, and he went on to bowl another two legside wides which Prior managed to take. Only three were scored off the six legitimate deliveries, so it might have been precisely what was required, but those wides just handed the game to Bangladesh on a plate.

The Worst Batting can also be looked at as an example of superb bowling, but for me Lasith Malinga's demolition job at the end of Sri Lanka's match against Kenya was an exhibition of comedy batting. It is of course a bit unfair to mock the tail-end batsmen of an Associate having to try and deal with lethal yorkers from one of the best bowlers in the business, but I could not suppress the giggles. They looked like Stan Laurel trying but failing to avoid a soaking from a fire hydrant.

Limited-over cricket is bound to cause some mishaps in running as batsmen get desperate. In my view of this World Cup, idiotic running reached its zenith in India's quarter-final against Australia. Gautam Gambhir had just reached his half-century when madness took hold of him. He was absolutely desperate to get the strike back, for reasons unclear, and set off for impossible runs from the non-striker's end. Twice he survived, once when Ricky Ponting's throw uncharacteristically missed the stumps and a second time when the throw went wrongly to the keeper's end, but on his third attempt he finally succeeded in running himself out. Yuvraj Singh hadn't even moved as Gambhir raced three-quarters of the length of the pitch and then halfway back before David Hussey calmly removed the bails.

Umpiring is a fiendishly difficult job and it should be no surprise that umpires make the odd mistake. The DRS now corrects most of the obvious ones – and it shows that the umpires generally do a very good job indeed. Only one in five reviews resulted in a reversal, and few of those had been obviously wrong in real time. Except, that is, in the Pakistan v Canada match, where Daryl Harper managed to have three consecutive reversals during Canada's innings. It made me think that ICC need to make another adjustment to the Daryl Review System protocols: that no team will lose a review just because it turns out that for once Daryl Harper was right the first time.

Those, then, were my Golden Goofs for this World Cup. What were yours?

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Caiden on January 26, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    This insihgt's just the way to kick life into this debate.

  • Arvind on April 8, 2011, 2:10 GMT

    @dheeman You have a valid point, but Bangaldesh collapsing is not considered a goof by most people.

    I remember Matt Prior getting stumped in a comical fashion against Bangladesh. Rahim attempted a stumping and appealed. Prior left his crease and was watching the umpire, when Rahim did the stumping again. Later it turned out that Prior wasn't out in the first attempt, but got stumped on the second attempt simply because he was distracted by the appeal from the first attempt. :)

  • Hiren on April 7, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    How about the Ausiies? Losing to Pakistan with Kamran Akmal playing.

    brave cartoon moment: Brett Lee stopping the ball with his face but it still goes for 4 and they lose..lol...

  • Asif Zaheer on April 7, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    Can anyone be more goofy than the superb Kamran Akmal through out the tournament and later Misbah, too, in the semi final ????

  • Shankar Ramaswaamy on April 7, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Dropping of R.Ashwin for the semis and finals [despite his impressive show in power play overs] would have won Dhoni goof-up of the tournament award too. Fortunately Dhoni had his luck and the results were different and all were forgotten But the consistent all round goof up should go to Darren Sammy

  • Thomas on April 7, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    Surely by far the best example of idiotic running was Davison for Canada vs NZ. Sets off for an easy single and starts to walk, oblivious to McCullum taking a shy from the other end of the wicket, out of his ground by about a meter

  • Anurag on April 7, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    surely kamrans so many drops and indias collapse win the title

  • dheeman on April 6, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    i am not getting one point why you guys not talking of bangladesh batting collapse against the mighty low west indies. where bangladesh just managed 58 runs in theit innings and the whole game was finished within 35 overs. that seemed to me the worst batting performance.

  • Adrian Raftery on April 6, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    So many goofs despite such a great world cup:

    * fielding - Kamral Akmal v NZ has to be included together with the fielding for Sachin's semi-final dig & Eoin Morgan's quarter-final innings where both had more lives than a cat;

    * batting - India's Powerplay collapse of 9-29 wins hands down

    * toss in final - worst goof for a toss in World Cup history yet alone the 2011 version

    * selections - Sri Lanka omitting Mendis in final just beats Sth Africa's batting line-up with its long tail (but I suppose that Sth Africa should always come second in World Cups!)

    * administration - to limit the 2015 version to just the ten test teams with no qualification is the dumbest decision of all-time when trying to grow the sport around the world

  • Kinshuk on April 6, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    There was a clear run out in the west indian innings during their league game against the Indians. The batsman was well short of the crease with Simon Tauffel perfectly in line with the stumps to see the batsman's position when the stumps were hit. Tauffel somehow failed to realize that the batsman was out and the Indians never really appealed.... I wonder which of the two was goofier? the umpire or the fielding side???

  • Caiden on January 26, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    This insihgt's just the way to kick life into this debate.

  • Arvind on April 8, 2011, 2:10 GMT

    @dheeman You have a valid point, but Bangaldesh collapsing is not considered a goof by most people.

    I remember Matt Prior getting stumped in a comical fashion against Bangladesh. Rahim attempted a stumping and appealed. Prior left his crease and was watching the umpire, when Rahim did the stumping again. Later it turned out that Prior wasn't out in the first attempt, but got stumped on the second attempt simply because he was distracted by the appeal from the first attempt. :)

  • Hiren on April 7, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    How about the Ausiies? Losing to Pakistan with Kamran Akmal playing.

    brave cartoon moment: Brett Lee stopping the ball with his face but it still goes for 4 and they lose..lol...

  • Asif Zaheer on April 7, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    Can anyone be more goofy than the superb Kamran Akmal through out the tournament and later Misbah, too, in the semi final ????

  • Shankar Ramaswaamy on April 7, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Dropping of R.Ashwin for the semis and finals [despite his impressive show in power play overs] would have won Dhoni goof-up of the tournament award too. Fortunately Dhoni had his luck and the results were different and all were forgotten But the consistent all round goof up should go to Darren Sammy

  • Thomas on April 7, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    Surely by far the best example of idiotic running was Davison for Canada vs NZ. Sets off for an easy single and starts to walk, oblivious to McCullum taking a shy from the other end of the wicket, out of his ground by about a meter

  • Anurag on April 7, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    surely kamrans so many drops and indias collapse win the title

  • dheeman on April 6, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    i am not getting one point why you guys not talking of bangladesh batting collapse against the mighty low west indies. where bangladesh just managed 58 runs in theit innings and the whole game was finished within 35 overs. that seemed to me the worst batting performance.

  • Adrian Raftery on April 6, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    So many goofs despite such a great world cup:

    * fielding - Kamral Akmal v NZ has to be included together with the fielding for Sachin's semi-final dig & Eoin Morgan's quarter-final innings where both had more lives than a cat;

    * batting - India's Powerplay collapse of 9-29 wins hands down

    * toss in final - worst goof for a toss in World Cup history yet alone the 2011 version

    * selections - Sri Lanka omitting Mendis in final just beats Sth Africa's batting line-up with its long tail (but I suppose that Sth Africa should always come second in World Cups!)

    * administration - to limit the 2015 version to just the ten test teams with no qualification is the dumbest decision of all-time when trying to grow the sport around the world

  • Kinshuk on April 6, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    There was a clear run out in the west indian innings during their league game against the Indians. The batsman was well short of the crease with Simon Tauffel perfectly in line with the stumps to see the batsman's position when the stumps were hit. Tauffel somehow failed to realize that the batsman was out and the Indians never really appealed.... I wonder which of the two was goofier? the umpire or the fielding side???

  • Engle on April 6, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    Giving Tendulkar the MoM award for the most scratchy innings of the WC over Wahab Riaz for a superb spell of 5 wkts in the semi-final.

  • Bruce on April 6, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    How about Morne van Wyk taking a sleeping pill instead of a vitamin before one of the games - and then keeping wicket

  • Sunny on April 6, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    All of us are forgetting about a goof-up...a goof-up which may have altered WC final outcome. Yes guys, I am talking about SL team dropping a player with economy rate of about 3.5 runs/over & proving himself in the tournament whenever he got chance and making way for a player who had just landed the other night. Well no prizes for guessing those names though!!!!!

  • Rasbihari Mathur on April 6, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    In the umpiring section, I think Asoka de silva takes the cake. His decision to give Gary Wilson Lbw, even after using DRS, was as big a goof up as any. Surely if u bring the bat down on ball after full back lift, it doesn't qualify as playing a shot in Mr. ADS's book. But I think Irish didn't see the funny side of it all. It actually cost them the game and maybe a place in the quarters.

  • Michael Smith on April 5, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    YOU FORGOT THE EPIC GOOF UP BY BILLY BOWDEN ON THE 2.5 meter lbw decision in the england-india game, which england threw down the drain in the end(had the decision been given correctly, i predict india would have hammered us)

  • Whiskey_Dosa on April 5, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    Wot? The biggest GOOF was hiring Ganguly, Arnold and Manjrekar as commentators. (in the context of the game hahahaha)

    Kindly keep these dinosaurs out of the commentary box for future matches.

  • sri on April 5, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Nice one Uday, the question should be "The Zimbabwean Cricket Board may be stingier than BCCI ?" Of course not. The BCCI should be hung up to dry for avoiding customs - Ultimately it goes to the nation that is providing BCCI with mammoth profits. if BCCI can do this to customs for a prestigious World Cup, then think abt how stingy it would be in Taxes.

  • Binu Thomas on April 5, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    No other performance to match India's 29-9 vs SA in the Worst Batting category. In Kenya's defence: they were associates, that too lower order batsmen, against Malinga at his best. But what India did was unbelievably and grossly spectacular, especially after they had smashed Steyn,Morkel et al into a pudding till then.

  • Uday Menon on April 5, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    My vote goes to the BCCI's Ratnakar Shetty who odes his Master's bidding as all Admin Officers do....write a letter to Indian customs to keep the real Cup at their end so as to save rs 22 lakhs in customs duty. The Zimbabwean Criclet Board may be richer than BCCI ?

  • Shahid Mirza on April 5, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Hafeez,the king of goofs by scooping a wide from Munaf as if to take out icecream from bottom of an ice jar for his boss.This he did after displaying some finnest shots earlier in the most crucial semi of the entire WORLD CUP 2011

  • Anonymous on April 5, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    in the finals toss is a controversy,meanwhile indian selection of sreesanth is lousy as a bowler he can't bowl his quota while sachin bowled two overs to fill his quota.

  • Anonymous on April 5, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Selection goofs? I can think of a few, such as: 1) SA selecting 6 batsmen for the quarter-final 2) SL changing their entire (highly successful) bowling lineup for the final 3) Australia's decision not to bring a single decent spinner to the subcontinent where even Robin Peterson turned into a fearsome bowler

  • Satish Kale on April 5, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    How can you miss the TOSS GOOF-UP during the final. That should take the cake. Ear pieces for Crowe, the match ref. Cheers Satish

    [Mike: I have no excuse for missing this out other than that I didn't get up and switch the TV on until just before the opening over, so I only found out about it afterwards. I didn't think it fair to include something I hadn't personally witnessed.]

  • Arvind on April 5, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Asoka de Silva refusing to reverse his decision despite getting all the needed evidence from the UDRS. Then, of course, Haroon Lorgat made the "pebbles" comment even though no one asked him about it, only to get publicly bashed by the WI coach, following which he didn't come out of his hotel room for several weeks. :)

  • Ravi Kiran on April 5, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    One more golden goof up: First toss on the Final !

  • Ankan on April 5, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    In my list, there'll be Kamran Akmal of Pakistan at the top, with his hilarious attempts at wicketkeeping which gave rise to hundreds of internet jokes.

  • Nasir on April 5, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    What about "the mother of all goofs" Pakistan wicket keeper Kamran Akmal? He dropped more catches than he took in the world cup but he was "at his best" when during the match against NZ, in a single over of Shoaib Akhtar he didn't even try on the first chance and then dropped a dolly of Ross Taylor which Mr.Boycott's grand grand ma could've walloped..

  • Jarry on April 5, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Kamran Akmal should receive the life time achievement award in this category.How did u miss it?

  • Rushabh Shah on April 5, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    Surely India's spectacular collapse against SA qualifies for the worst batting, given the match situation and the reputation of the players who were part of the collapse. The worst bowling award should in fact go to Pakistan for the lesson they gave in "how not to bowl in the last 10 overs of an innings" in their match against NZ. It was in fact the only goof-up by what was actually the best bowling outfit of the tournament. The last time I saw so many runs being plundered in 6 overs was in an India-Australia computer game I played on EA Sports Cricket 2007.

  • H L Cadambi (Cad) on April 5, 2011, 1:48 GMT

    Surely the BIGGEST gaffe of the tournament was the toss in the final? Jeef Crowe did not hear what Sangakkara called? How priceless was that?

  • shashank on April 5, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    Pakistans comical fielding in the semi final has to be there some where . They dropped four catches but still failed to help tendulkar reach his century of centuries !!

  • Yogesh on April 4, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    Here are mine :

    Kamran Akmal vs SL and NZ as far as i remember.

    Shoaib Akhtar & Razzaq vs NZ.

    Indian batsmen vs SA.

    Saffers vs NZ. It qualified for a C but also for a Goof, i think.

    Pakistani catching in Mohali.

    And the biggest comes today from ICC i.e, the exclusion of Associates !

    Between, I think in recent times Ponting missing the throw is not uncharacteristic. His accuracy seems to have gone down.

  • primaldual on April 4, 2011, 22:03 GMT

    avoiding a repeat of the gambhir-yuvraj runout madness may have been yet another reason why dhoni came ahead of yuvraj in the finals.

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  • primaldual on April 4, 2011, 22:03 GMT

    avoiding a repeat of the gambhir-yuvraj runout madness may have been yet another reason why dhoni came ahead of yuvraj in the finals.

  • Yogesh on April 4, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    Here are mine :

    Kamran Akmal vs SL and NZ as far as i remember.

    Shoaib Akhtar & Razzaq vs NZ.

    Indian batsmen vs SA.

    Saffers vs NZ. It qualified for a C but also for a Goof, i think.

    Pakistani catching in Mohali.

    And the biggest comes today from ICC i.e, the exclusion of Associates !

    Between, I think in recent times Ponting missing the throw is not uncharacteristic. His accuracy seems to have gone down.

  • shashank on April 5, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    Pakistans comical fielding in the semi final has to be there some where . They dropped four catches but still failed to help tendulkar reach his century of centuries !!

  • H L Cadambi (Cad) on April 5, 2011, 1:48 GMT

    Surely the BIGGEST gaffe of the tournament was the toss in the final? Jeef Crowe did not hear what Sangakkara called? How priceless was that?

  • Rushabh Shah on April 5, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    Surely India's spectacular collapse against SA qualifies for the worst batting, given the match situation and the reputation of the players who were part of the collapse. The worst bowling award should in fact go to Pakistan for the lesson they gave in "how not to bowl in the last 10 overs of an innings" in their match against NZ. It was in fact the only goof-up by what was actually the best bowling outfit of the tournament. The last time I saw so many runs being plundered in 6 overs was in an India-Australia computer game I played on EA Sports Cricket 2007.

  • Jarry on April 5, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Kamran Akmal should receive the life time achievement award in this category.How did u miss it?

  • Nasir on April 5, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    What about "the mother of all goofs" Pakistan wicket keeper Kamran Akmal? He dropped more catches than he took in the world cup but he was "at his best" when during the match against NZ, in a single over of Shoaib Akhtar he didn't even try on the first chance and then dropped a dolly of Ross Taylor which Mr.Boycott's grand grand ma could've walloped..

  • Ankan on April 5, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    In my list, there'll be Kamran Akmal of Pakistan at the top, with his hilarious attempts at wicketkeeping which gave rise to hundreds of internet jokes.

  • Ravi Kiran on April 5, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    One more golden goof up: First toss on the Final !

  • Arvind on April 5, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Asoka de Silva refusing to reverse his decision despite getting all the needed evidence from the UDRS. Then, of course, Haroon Lorgat made the "pebbles" comment even though no one asked him about it, only to get publicly bashed by the WI coach, following which he didn't come out of his hotel room for several weeks. :)