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Stuart and Ash

Boycott b Holding 0

Our commentators argue over how fans reacted to the greatest over ever bowled

Alex Bowden

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A
The greatest over of all time? Geoff Boycott bowled by Michael Holding for 0, West Indies v England, 3rd Test, Barbados, March 14, 1981
As can be seen from the lack of celebratory banners and cartwheeling spectators, Bajans were united in their disgust at the dismissal of Boycott by Holding © Wisden Cricket Monthly

Stuart: Michael Holding to open the bowling. Geoffrey Boycott to take strike.

Ash: Holding looks like he means business, Stu.

Stuart: Well, the crowd will be hoping he doesn't inflict any damage this over. They're here to see the great Geoffrey Boycott bat.

Ash: Er, I'm not sure they are, Stu.

Stuart: Boycott rapped on the knuckles there by a fearsome delivery. He survives, much to the crowd's relief.

Ash: I really don't think they're here to watch Boycott, Stu.

Stuart: Of course they are. Don't be ridiculous. They've paid good money to see some straight-batted excellence.

Ash: We're in Bridgetown, Stu.

Stuart: They're discerning people here in Bridgetown, Ash. They know the value of a good, solid forward defensive. And that's beaten Boycott. Boycott beaten outside off.

Ash: Listen to them. They're roaring every delivery.

Stuart: They're encouraging Geoffrey.

Ash: They're baying for blood.

Stuart: Holding through Boycott's defences. Looks like that's caught him on the thigh.

Ash: It's a wave of noise. That's not the noise you make when you're encouraging a batsman.

Stuart: Yes, it is.

Ash: No, it isn't. It doesn't sound like this when Boycott's batting at Headingley. Why would he get more support here in Barbados?

Stuart: Boycott fends that one off. He's having a torrid time. We can only hope he rides it out.

Ash: Why, Stu? Why would he get more support here in Barbados?

Stuart: To answer your question, Ash. Boycott is being given a warmer reception here in the Caribbean because they only get to see him occasionally. They're more appreciative.

Ash: That's demented.

Stuart: No, it isn't. Remember how you felt during the 1979 Lord's Test when there was no battenburg for the first four days?

Ash: I felt hungry.

Stuart: And what did you do when the battenburg arrived on day five?

Ash: I…

Stuart: Go on. What did you do?

Ash: I… I roared.

Stuart: You did. You roared. You roared your appreciation.

Ash: I love marzipan.

Stuart: And the people of Barbados love Geoffrey Boycott. Boycott defends that one as well. Great reactions. That was a lightning-quick delivery.

Ash: I just think that when you're in the West Indies and the West Indies are playing and the ground's full of West Indians, they're probably supporting the West Indies.

Stuart: You leap to conclusions sometimes.

Ash: Isn't the most obvious explanation often correct?

Stuart: But it's impossible, and as Sherlock Holmes once said: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

Ash: Why is it impossible?

Stuart: Because no one - no one! - no man on earth could possibly fail to appreciate the extraordinary and spellbinding batting of England's Geoffrey Boycott.

Ash: What are they cheering now then, Stu?

Stuart: Er…

Ash: They're cheering Geoffrey Boycott's off stump as it careers towards the boundary boards, aren't they, Stu?

Stuart: It was, er… It was a brilliant delivery from Holding. As good as you'll see. And… Er…

Ash: The crowd are definitely louder now, Stu. They're definitely louder. Maybe they're admiring Boycott's walking-to-the-pavilion technique.

Stuart: They know greatness when they see it. Boycott did well to defend two of his stumps there. Few players would have managed that against the bowling we've just seen.

RSS FeedAlex Bowden blogs at King Cricket.
All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?

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Comments: 13 
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Posted by Siva on (April 3, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

The last 2 lines of Stu simply superb!

Posted by Peterincanada on (April 3, 2012, 1:54 GMT)

Boycott always says that no batsman in the world could have lasted as long as he did against that bowling.

Posted by aditya on (April 3, 2012, 0:45 GMT)

boycott told himself tat he has the one of the best techniques in this world? is it so?? i havent seen him batting!!! can anyone explain ?

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 2, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

Those perched on the roof could hardly celebrate; the others could hardly see what transpired for the sheer number of people. I suppose Boycott had a second chance in the second innings, but the same thing happened, and he did well to defend one stump.

Posted by Mohamed on (April 2, 2012, 18:47 GMT)

If ever a picture is worth a thousand words (or tousands in this case), this is it. Look at the fans sitting on top of the roof of the stands. We used to see that at Bourda and other places in the WI. Nowadays, they are lucky to get a 10% capacity.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 2, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

haha this was very very nice!!

Posted by Clive on (April 2, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

This was just amazing. There is nothing - not even a picture - like the written, or in this case, the spoken word. Sherlock Holmes himself would have agreed with this piece (conversation). I still remember that day when Holding was in full flight. Cricket is seen by many as a batsman's game, but bowling of this calibre will grab the aficionados anytime. Masterful presentation indeed.

Posted by Malik on (April 2, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

hahahahaha last line was awesome

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 2, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

Humour at its best! That "Over" by Holding is still legendary here in the West Indies. I saw the replay about five times, and believe me, Boycott did well to stay that long after being struck three times with two near miss. I would be happy if Cricinfo could post this "over" for the new generation of fans to see.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 2, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

Its amazing how you have created these two wonderful characters, and now after such a long time they have developed so well that I have become a fan of them. And what adds to the fun is that they talk hilariously about these historic moments with minimal fuss and importance to the situation. Brilliant! Keep rolling...

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