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The Heavy Ball

Sunil Gavaskar 36 not out

Our commentary team sits through a World Cup classic, but they won't stand for it

Alex Bowden
Sunil Gavaskar hits out, England v India, Lord's, World Cup, June 7, 1975

Gavaskar hits out during his 36 at Lord's in 1975 (yes, really)  •  Getty Images

Stuart: Gavaskar props forward. No run. The required run rate is now stratospheric. We're just going through the motions here.
Ash: There's not a great deal of motion from Gavaskar's end.
Stuart: You're not happy, are you, Ash?
Ash: I'm getting angry.
Stuart: It's hard to say what Gavaskar's thinking today. He seems to have been resigned to defeat since he first took guard. You wonder whether he'll make 50 if he bats out the entire 60 overs.
Ash: What's the slowest fifty in one-day cricket, Gordon? (Muffled speech)
Ash: He's going to beat that.
Stuart: Gavaskar leaves one outside off. No run. (Pause) Actually, Ash, I doubt he's going to make it to 50. The rate he's scoring, he'll be lucky to make 40 before the end of the innings.
Ash: You might be right there, Stu. Gordon, what will Gavaskar be on if he keeps scoring at this rate for the rest of the innings? (Muffled speech)
Ash: You're kidding. He's not even giving us that. He's batting too slowly to record the slowest fifty in one-day internationals. How can that be?
Stuart: Gavaskar waves that one through to the keeper. No run.
Ash: It's like he's stealing from us. I can almost feel it happening. It's like he's reaching inside me and extracting all the joy.
Stuart: That's an interesting view, Ash. What would you say he's doing with that joy?
Ash: I don't know. It's just evaporated. I guess he's heating it somehow and just letting it evaporate into the atmosphere.
Stuart: Well, hopefully it'll condense somewhere and you can recover it at a later date.
Ash: That's all well and good, Stu, but what am I meant to do now? How am I meant to get through the rest of today?
Stuart: Patel takes a single off the first ball of the over and the crowd sighs. Gavaskar back on strike.
Ash: Do you know who I blame?
Stuart: Well, I'd imagine you'd blame Sunil Gavaskar.
Ash: No, I don't. I'm watching him bat and I'm no longer sure what I'm seeing is real, so I can't blame him.
Stuart: It is faintly otherworldly, isn't it?
Ash: I blame Gordon.
Stuart: Gordon?
Ash: Yeah, Gordon. Look at him there, spectacles perched on the end of his nose, poring over those statistics like a vulture over a zebra carcass.
Stuart: Interesting description.
Ash: Feeding on horrific facts about slow-scoring and then disgorging morsels for us to pick at.
(Muffled speech)
Ash: No, you are like a vulture, Gordon. Don't deny it. And you know what? I hate your facts.
(Muffled speech)
Ash: No, I do. I truly hate them. Just like the putrid regurgitations of a vulture, they're rife with disease. Slowest this, slowest that. You're killing us, Gordon. You're killing us with miserable statistics that sap our will to live. I've half a mind to come over there, take those Wisdens and -
Stuart: Gavaskar drives!
Ash: What?
Stuart: Just kidding. Gavaskar again leaves one outside his off stump. No run.

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