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The Heavy Ball

Bring on the lousy pitches

Juice in the wicket? Chances of injury? Oh good

Jarrod Kimber
Jarrod Kimber
So they want blood. Give it to them  •  AFP

So they want blood. Give it to them  •  AFP

There was a time when it was cool to be a bowler. They had long, flowing manly manes, or mullets you could park a pick-up truck on. Their shirts were half-unbuttoned to show their utter manliness. Ladies swooned. Facial hair was everywhere. And the world loved them.
Then bowlers changed. Their haircuts became sensible. Facial hair was removed. Shirts were buttoned up. Pace was reduced. And accuracy was their thing.
During the changeover period the batsmen took over, completely. They got the ropes in on the outfield. They got bigger bats. Took out the bouncers. Insisted on walking out covered by a mattress. Softened the balls. And only batted on pitches that wouldn't hurt, embarrass or dismiss them.
Now when they have to bowl on a pitch with real life they cry like little babies.
"Oh the ball jumped up".
"Ouchie, I wasn't expecting that".
"Stop it, you're hurting me".
Get over it. Every damn pitch in world cricket is made so that batsmen dominate and bowlers end up as sad cripples drooling on ugly cardigans, twitching in the corner of old age homes.
The Delhi pitch has the right idea. If these batsmen want to come out with two inches of unprotected space on their bodies, then they can take whatever comes at them. Bowlers around the world are being worked into the ground by pitches with less life in them than Johnny Cash. Pitches like the Delhi one are payback time.
Every international batsman in the world should have to play on this pitch. We can line up all those fast bowlers who have been blunted by the flat surfaces of the world. There would be more than a few who would turn up even on their day off to bowl on this pitch.
The carnage would be magnificent.
I want to see batsmen bleed. I want them to count their bruises at the end of a match. I want tailenders to think about their families before getting in behind a Dale Steyn ball. I want a ban on protection outside of groin, hands and shins. I want batsmen to be judged on a bruise-per-run ratio.
I want Tony Greig to be incarcerated for bringing "crash helmets" into cricket.
I want blood, catastrophe and wickets. I want to know a batsman can bat, not just flay bowlers on wickets flatter than an eight-year-old's chest.
I want pain, lots and lots of pain, for batsmen and their families - mental, physical and otherwise. I want pitches like Delhi, where your technique is not questioned, your courage is. A wicket that makes the batsman going out actually consider feigning an injury.
I want batsmen to get injured as often as bowlers, for fingers to be mashed into pulp, ribs snapped, jaws cracked and thighs blackened. I want the stump mic to pick up the noise of bones breaking, batsmen screaming and fielders laughing.
I want international batsmen to feel the pain, to know how hard it was for their counterparts in the past, and to truly earn their ice baths and isotonic drinks.
I want bowlers to rule again. And I want them to get there one bruise at a time.

Jarrod Kimber, the mind responsible for, is an Australian writer based in London. His new book is now on sale