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Sight Screen

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Urn -- August 2

The Ashley Giles implosion (the theme, incidentally, of Angus Fraser's latest column), Michael Vaughan's injury, Shane Warne's Bishma-like vow to give up sex for cricket, Paul Collingwood's call up and Gillespie's return to form continue to dominate Ashes coverage, but there is still the odd story of passing interest.
Like this one by David Hopps, which attempts to trace that point in cricketing time when the classic wicket-keeper became secondary to someone who knew just about how to stick his hand inside the gloves, but could provide useful runs with the bat.
One thing beats me, though -- why are these two skills seen as mutually exclusive? Never mind the rest of the world (Jeff Dujon? Allan Knott? Rodney Marsh? Rashid Latif?), India has consistently produced high quality keepers who were worth their place with the bat, too -- Farokh Engineer for one, Budhi Kunderan (if memory serves, both made the playing XI in one game at least), Syed Kirmani, Sadanand Vishwanath; all keepers of the highest class who were no mugs with the bat. So when did that change? When did batting and wicket-keeping become mutually exclusive?
In the Times, there's this piece on the non-productive nature of trash talk, by Mathew Syed.
Considering the fuss England has been making about the security concerns of touring Pakistan, Jason Gillespie's comment that Australia is one bomb blast away from calling the Ashes tour off merits mention; so too does Wasim Akram's suggestion that the PCB should draw a line in the sand on the subject.
Outside of that, there is a Marcus Trescothick column that, in muted terms, suggests that it is time to ignore the flak from the press and focus on doing well here on. And Derek Pringle leaves Giles, Geraint Jones, Trescothick, Vaughan and Strauss alone for a moment to look at Freddy Flintoff's batting form. (At the rate questions are being asked, the Brit media could well run out of team members and be writing reams on the technique of the 12th man when he brings out drinks, by the end of the third Test.)
And that, pretty much, seems to be that for the international round up. Or is this damn fever making me miss things?
Back, with an Indian round up, in about an hour or so.


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