Thursday, November 28, 2013


The now very public exposure of Michael Clarks forceful warning to James Anderson came about because the stump microphone, installed to assist commentators to make informed statements on bat touching ball, very relevant and decisive in caught behind and LBW decisions.
It has now been extended by way of accurate linking of the "snickometer" and the video feed to form a part of the DRS review system.

For many years, and rightly so. sledging has been a part of many sports with a widley accepted proviso that such behavior always remained "on the field".

Warners effort to the media was just dumb and proved to be seen by most as significantly dumber when  subsequently Jonathon Trott accepted his mental health status precluded him from continuing the tour. The biggest tragedy here was his denial for so long that  he had a problem, that said he has my very best wishes for a full recovery.

There have been many examples as to just how big The Ashes is to the only two cricket teams involved and followers of the long standing intense rivalry competition for the urn generates, is it the smallest most insignificant international trophy with its well documented origins.

My father and his generation, in my child hood, were still almost obsessed with the "Bodyline" series in the 1930s when Douglas Jardine brought a team from the MCC to tour Australia.
In that team was a stocky powerful man by the name of  Harold Larwood, who was genuinely quick and accurate.
After a period of English domination through the efforts of men including Sutcliffe(Herbert not Our Jack), Hobbs (Jack) and Wally Hammond  came the 1932/33 MCC tour of Jardine to face a resurgent Australia including a young Batting star called Bradman who had established himself in the 2/1 ashes victory of 1930 tour to England along with the outstanding efforts of New Zealand born Clarie Grimmett with nearly 30 wickets at  around 32 runs each.
Wickets were never covered and if rain fell during a game the outcome was created on a "sticky wicket".

1932/33 tour captain Douglas Jardine convinced himself that Australia must be contained from scoring runs or he could not win the 'urn', so to combat an Australian team including run machines Bradman, Pounsford, McCabe, Jackson and skipper Bill Woodfull he decided to use the "fast leg theory" that had most fielders between the keeper and square leg and fast bowlers bowling at the unprotected head of the batsman, leading inevitably to a parry with the bat popping a catch to one of the waiting fielders.
Remenber no helmet, no arm guard, no thigh or body pads. McCabe was the best equipped to deal with what was seen by many as tactics completely beyond "the spirit of the game" but with Bill Woodfull totally refusing to join Jardine in his tactics even though there was a genuine fast bowler of Aboriginal descent available who could have fought fire with fire.
After Woodfull was hit around the heart and almost felled, ironically with a conventional delivery rearing off a length, Jardine resumed the Fast leg theory and had Woodfulls wicket in short time.
At the end of days play the MCC manager Pelham "Plum" Warner went to the Aussie dressing room to apologise only to be rebuffed by Woodfull along the lines of there is one team playing cricket on that field and the other is making no attempt to.
Warner is said to have been reduced to tears by the whole incident.
I wonder if serially thick but massively talented Davy is any relation?

In the aftermath that threatened civil order and diplomatic relations the MCC ammended the rules to prevent the Fast leg theory that had become knon simply as "Bodyline" to be allowed.
Jardine an upper class twat simply retorted to a reporters suggestion that his tactics were not in the spirit of the game, "I have not travelled 6000 miles to make friends. I am here to win The Ashes!

A footnote Harold Larwood a player ie a paid proffessional as opposed to Jardine a Gentleman ie an amateur, was made the scapegoat and asked by The MCC to write a letter of apology to Australian cricket but under threat of never playing for his country again the commoner Nottinghamshire man whose team mate Bill Voce had bowled the other end in Jardines attack, told them to take a walk.
He always claimed the bodyline he and Voce delivered was on the instructions of his captain and since field placings are largely the skippers perogative, Larwood seems the more likely to be right.

So in my ever so humble opinion, the current contretempts are nothing more than a continuation of what is seen by most players and a few Gentlemen of earlier years to be total war and sledging that should never make it off the paddock is but a minor part.
Lets not assume little Jimmy Anderson had no part in the present manifestation of the behavior that has so many Mums and others up in arms, he was just never caught on the stump mike.

I will close with another link in the sledging legends still unfolding.
Douglas Jardine was reputed to have gone to the Aussie dressing room and demanded of his opposite Bill Woodful an apology from the player who had called him a Bastard. Woodful turned to his players and said, " which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard".
The case continues, Flower is a flower, Jimmy Anderson could still get his arm broken, I hope George Bailey gets another go, Michael Clark is still a good bat and captain, and the best way to control sledging is to make stump mic remain for its primary function even if that removes it from live feed.
Oh and someone try to get Davy Warner to STFU off the paddock, Uncle Plum might be offended.

And remember it aint over till the fat lady sings, with apologies to all overweight women who sing.


Tinman said...


Not only should Warner continue to make accurate, insightful comments (proved correct by subsequent events) but the great and good Douglas Jardine was the first to demonstrate just how gutless the bastard Bradman was.

watcher said...

" For many years, and rightly so. sledging has been a part of many sports"

Maybe used often but I agree with Bradman. It's a form of cheating.

And the reason I gave up cricket years ago.

gravedodger said...

Of course the bold brave Tinman would have had no fear of facing Larwood and Voce on a lifting wicket sans helmet, box, armguard, chestpad, hippad, thigh pad and with only a pair of gloves and the skankey pads c1933.