Introducing Lou (a reluctant cricket correspondent)

A few weeks ago we received an email (unpublishable) from a bloke pretty worked up about the state of cricket in Australia. His friend, it seems, a reasonable cricketer himself,  recently pointed him in the direction of a number of articles penned on the Almanac site about four years ago (the ones about cricket and commerce and the rise of corporate culture). He read them and has decided the Almanac readers are more likely to understand and appreciate his sensibility than most.

He is calling himself Lou. But I suspect from the exchange of emails we have had that he is actually Luigi. (He signs his emails, Lou) He has finally given me the OK to introduce him on the Almanac site so I’ll take a few words from a couple of those emails.

Firstly, I think Lou has played a fair bit of (good?) cricket. But he is not the type to talk about himself. Very old school in that regard.

Secondly, I don’t think he is the type to have ever commented publicly but his hair is now grey and he feels he has nothing to lose. His maverick ways suggest he is not the type to have taken a placea on boards and advisory groups.

Thirdly, he’s fired up. In the second email to me he had a crack at about a dozen different people.

Anyway, as I say, he wants to put a few of his thoughts down on paper. A little reluctant at first, he’s now keener and he’s probably a bit loose. Perhaps he bowled leggies?

Here’s part of an early email.

“I love my cricket. Strange because I inherited my name from my Italian grandfather who brought his family over from the old country. One of his first jobs here was working on the construction of the [Harbour – Ed] Bridge. He got dragged along to the cricket by the blokes he was working with. Football [rugby league – Ed] in the winter. He took my Dad to the cricket. Dad used to say he saw Bradman play. My Dad took me to cricket wherever we lived. He went everywhere after the war. He worked on the Snowy. Picked fruit on the river (when I was very young). Went to Queensland. Went back to Sydney. Then to Melbourne because we had other relatives in shops, some in fruit.

I used to go to club cricket to see Stacky, Redders and the boys.

In Melbourne it was work, work, work and I never had time to play. I wanted to alright and all my spare time was cricket games and the big ones at the MCG. Eventually I did play. I loved it. I called myself Lou in honour of the best, most fearless umpire of them all, Mr Rowan.

Now, with the help of Chappelli and the boys I’ve now become quite an expert. I was thinking I might start contributing to this Almanac thing. I remember what the game used to be like and we’ve lost so much of that. I know that times have changed and the shorter forms of the game have to be played for financial reasons. And I have theories on how they should be played but that will be for another edition.”

Later he sent me this:

“Let me start with my namesake Lou Rowan and his fellow umpires in the 60s who weren’t afraid to no ball chuckers out of the game. There weren’t so many then so it wasn’t that hard to weed them out. But now, they’re everywhere. They have to chuck the ball because they can’t get wickets by bowling legitimately.

The ICC made a massive mistake by ‘condoning it’ and now chuckers are rampant in our wonderful game. But finally, the ICC has grown some balls and these fellows are slowly being weeded out. Let’s hope so. It did worry me though when Nathan Lyon said his bowling coach told him there are only two balls, the off spinner and the Doosra. Well Nathan, those Doosra chuckers are being weeded out so that leaves you with only one ball again…….good luck.

John Inverarity only said one sane thing when he was Chairman of Selectors, “there will be no Australian chuckers on my watch.’’ Well Invers they couldn’t even wait for your seat to get cold. Now the ICC is serious let’s hope sanity prevails.”



  1. Welcome Lou. Very glad you have overcome your initial reticence.

    Any thoughts on issues emerging from the First Test in Dubai?

  2. Sounds like you are a similar vintage to me Lou. Like your straight shooting style.
    Cricket was my first love, but now I largely don’t give a toss except during a big test series I can watch on free to air TV.
    In my youth I spent all 4 days at Sheffield Shield games watching Favelli and Chappeli. Now I couldn’t tell my Redbacks from my Worryarses, or name the captain of one state team (?franchise).
    Cricket as I knew it seems a game designed in the 19th century for the 20th century, but now anachronistic in the 21st. Like everyone I have limited time, multiple choices and a short attention span. International cricket is a business offering entertainment, not a sport.
    But given all the constraints of money, time and limited competition, I am not sure how it could be otherwise.
    Any suggestions Lou?

  3. You can’t fool us, Lou Vincent.

  4. I’ll bet he’s not Lou Vincent. Is Tom Waterhouse opening a market?

  5. Welcome Lou. Like you, I am new to this wonderful sport community site too. I’m afraid to say that I don’t watch cricket so much although I watched a Boxing Day match in Auckland, New Zealand in 2006. But I would love to read your article. Let’s make this sport site unique and interesting together.

  6. I am very much looking forward to reading more from Lou.

  7. Welcome Lou.
    Take the new ball.

  8. Peter Fuller says

    Peter B.
    I suspect that if Tommy W. was running a book on the identity of Lou, you would be done for insider trading, that’s if ASIC’s gamekeepers weren’t asleep at the wheel.

    You’d find diverting an exchange on a blog I frequent which is dedicated to the eternal quest for a winner. It followed a comment by a spruiker for let’s say XYZBet “astute XYZ customers snapped up the $3 for Uncle Joe’s Horse Radish in the early market.”
    The cynical observer reacted: “There’s no such thing as an astute XYZ customer, if you start winning , they ban you.”

  9. PF – Tommy W will always mean Woodcock, Reckless and Phar Lap to me. A true gent unlike generations of thieving Waterhouses.

  10. Peter Fuller says

    Agreed with your characterisation of both, Peter; correction acknowledged, and apology offered.

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