The Dobber

In a surreality up there with Lara playing for Cornwall or Warne playing for Karori, Christian Ryan writes about when Abdul Qadir played Melbourne club cricket for Carlton.

IT HAPPENED, like many of the best ideas, after a long and jolly lunch. The Carlton Cricket and Football Social Club was the setting. Big Jack Elliott, football club president and one-time prime ministerial aspirant, glared at the cricket club vice-president and barked: "Why can't you bastards win like us?"

"Well," said Craig Cook, "we've lost a little bit of flair. We really need a big-name player."

Big Jack barked again. "You get the player and we'll pay for it."

Wisden editor Lawrence Booth looks at press box etiquette, and confesses to breaking the 'no celebrations' protocol.

Then it happened.

With the total on 24, Lara slashed Caddick to point, where Dominic Cork clung on, before hurling the ball high into the air in a moment of release that spread instantly around Lord’s. Up in the media centre, I may have picked up the vibe. I leapt from my seat.

Hello. My name is  Lawrence Booth. I am 25 (or I was). And I leap from seats.

One of the weirder moments from the ODI series v England - Tim Bresnan's slow, looping 'bouncer' that was harder to catch up with than it looked.

In a follow-up to Thommo at lunch, The Old Batsman asks 'Are fast bowlers getting slower?'

The last ten years have seen a revolution in batting technique, the last twenty have spanned the careers of men who hold almost every international record. Batting is hurtling forwards into its new era. On the shoulders of giants like Warne, Murali and Kumble, spin bowling is ferociously inventive and utterly relevant. And as for fielding... well... But quick bowling?

This Reddit discussion asks which players from the past do you wish had played Twenty20? Chris Cairns (who *did* play Twenty20 toward the end of his career) and Nathan Astle get a mention, as well as:

Viv Richards: I have seen some of his innings but more importantly, I have heard a lot about him from so many world class bowlers about they being afraid of him and his shots were exquisite and brutal. I wish Viv would have played Twenty20.

Wasim Akram: One of the most cunning left arm bowlers I have ever seen in my life, Wasim Akram's intelligence in this form of the game would have been a treat to watch. With his outswingers, inswingers, round the wicket, over the wicket, bouncers, slower balls and god knows what what, he would have the bowler I would have looked out for.

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