24 September 2006

Doctor Warne bending the elbow?

Cricinfo reports that there was some ill feeling in the Hampshire v Lancashire cricket match where the Hampshire skipper, Dr Warne , was piqued by the opposition's refusal to give his team a sliver of opportunity to win the game outright.

Shortly after lunch there was a surreal five-over period where Warne and others deliberately offered up a series of ridiculous deliveries in an apparent protest. Warne himself sent down a succession of bouncers and was no-balled for throwing the ball from a standing start.

No balled for throwing? The photo of the incident shows a well flighted ball delivered by a gunbarrel straight arm. Wearing a cap to deliver a ball and not running in are not illegal: I recall seeing West Indian Chris Gayle doing the same last year in a ODI v Pakistan .

Anyone who thinks that tossing a ball high in the air is somehow against the spirit and laws of cricket needs to be reminded that another doctor, Arthur Conan Doyle, as Michael Parkinson reminds us,
once wrote a story "Spedegue's Dropper" about how the Ashes were recovered using just this ploy. Nobody has raised an eyebrow about the legitimacy of the delivery, and, showing that art occasionally does imitate life, it has even made the Cricinfo XI freakish dismissals list .

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