Almanac Cricket – Look here, fellow…

That’s not cricket, old chap.


Yes, but what is? WG Grace disputed tumbling bails, “They came to see me bat, not you bowl.”


Douglas Jardine was pilloried for a bowling tactic that has been SOP for over forty years.  (I grew up a couple of miles from Harold Larwood’s residence.)


The underarm bowl, the aluminium bat, leaking details to bookies, the Bairstow headbutt presser, by golly, I haven’t been this shocked since Lemmy died.


“I’m not sure what is more damning for the Australian cricket team, the act of attempting to cheat, or the stupidity of thinking you could get away with it.”  Ian Chappell.


Painfully inept and amateurish, “we were desperate.”  Boo bloody hoo, being outplayed by a better team on their home turf, so let’s set up the newbie, he’s a ‘team man.’  It’s a test match, cameras everywhere.  But what would they know?  They don’t watch cricket on teev.


Smith has never struck me as a strong character, not the forceful type like Warner and Lehmann.  He will never captain Australia again, nor should he, I’m undecided about whether he should ever again play Tests.  I am less ambivalent about the other two.


“Who would’ve thought you’d chuck a piece of sandpaper in your pocket to scrub one side of the ball to help it swing reverse? I never thought of that sort of caper.”  Allan Border.


Wry, AB, very wry.


At time of writing, Taylor, Waugh and Ponting have yet to comment.

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. John Butler says

    “I haven’t been this shocked since Lemmy died.”

    Yep, given so much that has gone before, that seems pretty spot on, Earl.

  2. What is the fuss?

  3. It’s all the secrecy and bloody rules that are the problem. Just like performance enhancing drugs. Why not have the Pharmacy Olympics? Best uppers without someone’s head exploding wins the Gold.
    If we can’t work out where to draw the line, or how to police it effectively, best not to have any.
    Why not let little Davey carve crazy quilt patterns on one side of the ball with his pocket knife between overs? Golf balls have dimples. Why can’t Davey carve a few into a cricket ball?
    You know it makes sense.

  4. And while I’m at it, is anyone else old enough to remember when footy umpires lined both teams up before the first bounce to check sprigs for protruding nails and fingers for rings/knuckledusters? Small implements that could be “accidentally” raked across opponents in a tackle.
    Come back Mopsy and Captain Blood, these modern sports are going soft with their fancy rules and new found morality.

  5. Dave Brown says

    I think it is as noble as it is naïve that Australians are saying that they don’t want cricket teams that represent them playing like this. That said, did anyone notice that Megan Schutt took a hat-trick last night?

  6. If I wasn’t a cricket fan I’d be thinking – as I wrote in my Swans/Eagles article – “Waking Sunday morning to what could well have been interpreted as “the end of the world”, with the headlines screaming AUSSIE CHEATS, I looked out the window to see the sky still blue, the trees green, the birds chirping, and footy games still on schedule for the remainder of the day…”

    As a cricket fan, I’m sort of still thinking the same, although shocked like everyone else.

    Thanks Earl

  7. Smith does not deserve to be captain again because, as a minimum, he let it happen AND let a newbie do the deed. Warner should miss the entire next tour as a minimum. Feel a bit for the ball boy…..I mean fall boy. Difficult to know what pressure he was under and whether he willingly participated.

  8. Earl O'Neill says

    Peter, playing Rugby League in the 1970s, a stud check was compulsory. I like the idea of a Pharmacy Olympics, perhaps with compulsory recreational drugs – different ones for each competitor.
    BD, Bancroft is akin to the apprentice who, against his instinct, goes to the pub with the blokes on Friday arvo and ends up passing out in a pool of his own vomit.

  9. Earl O'Neill says

    Hearty congratulations, Megan.

  10. astute, EO’N.
    “less ambivalent about the other two”

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