04 April 2006

Cricket snippets

Australia scrape home against South Africa

A narrow win to Australia , though by many accounts (inc radio and the scorecard) the South Africans fought hard. The umpiring apparently favoured the visitors, especially Mike Hussey in the second innings.

Where in Goa did India beat England?

Yes, India won but why does almost everyone describe the venue as "Goa", which is not a city but a state? I was curious to find out exactly where the "Nehru Stadium" is. Eventually Cricinfo furnished the answer for those prepared to drill down into its data: it is in Margao, the largest city in the south of the state and near Benaulim where I stayed for a few relaxing days last year, though a hour by bus from Panjim the capital. Panjim has also hosted first class cricket most notably a match in 1989 where Tamil Nadu made 6/912 with two players making triple centuries.

What's happened to Billy?

Has Billy Bowden discreetly been demoted or even put out to pasture? Here's his record from Cricinfo):

Test debut New Zealand v Australia at Auckland - Mar 11-15, 2000 scorecard
Last Test Australia v South Africa at Sydney - Jan 2-6, 2006 scorecard
Test matches 35
ODI debut New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Hamilton - Mar 29, 1995 scorecard
Last ODI New Zealand v West Indies at Napier - Mar 1, 2006 scorecard
ODI matches 87

No test since January and no ODI for a month (and that only in NZ where he wasn't even the "elite" panellist ) ?

This is what Cricinfo said about him in 2004

Some eccentrics are born. Others thrust eccentricity upon themselves. Step forward, Brent "Billy" Bowden, the New Zealand umpiring sensation who shot to fame with a zany array of embellished signals and a preposterous eye for showmanship. Bowden turned to umpiring after the onset of arthritis in his early-twenties, and earned a reputation for giving batsmen out with a curiously bent finger. Suitably encouraged, he threw out the rule-book which states that the best cricket officials are the ones that go unnoticed, and added a whole host of whacky twists to his daily routine. The most celebrated of these is his hop-on-one-leg-and-reach-for-Jesus signal for six, and he seems pre-programmed to pose throughout a match, even when ducking for his life as a pull-shot rockets through square-leg. His critics are just waiting for the day he comes a cropper, but to his credit he very rarely does, and his decision-making skills are almost without equal among the ICC's elite panel.

The last sentence is probably overdue for revision.

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