October 22, 2011

Offbeat

The role of Lady Luck

Dustin Silgardo

In the Age, Greg Baum writes about that important ingredient in sport that is ever present but never talked about: luck. He tells the story of how English cricketer Ed Smith did not believe luck played a role in sport, but changed his mind when he was wrongly given out lbw in what was to be his last Test innings.

There is luck in the bounce, in the draw - we have expressions for both. There is luck in injury: severity, timing, avoidance. There is luck in selection. Ricky Ponting began his Test career midway through the third day of a Perth Test against amiable Sri Lanka, with Australia 3-422. Matthew Hayden began on a few hours' notice, with a broken thumb, against South Africa, Allan Donald et al, in Johannesburg. It made for misleading first impressions.

Dustin Silgardo is a former sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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