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Soup of This Day #285: Whisper Words Of Wisdom

January 15, 2013

Pollock to Hussey
Mike Hussey, demonstrating how not to step on your stumps, as he takes a stride forward to flay Shaun Pollock’s delivery through the off side – Photo: ~Prescott, 2005. ~Prescott is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.


If you’re reading this, well, you’re actually reading the transcript of a podcast. A podcast that was sort of podded, but never cast.

The latter is not because I had trouble recording it – Though I did – I thought I’d fittingly kick off by using voice control on my phone and so politely asked the device to:

‘Take a voice memo.’

My phone responded by playing The Beatles’ Let It Be.

Which I did for a bit but then I had another crack and that later time managed to record something which roughly approximates what you are reading here. Then, being a traditionalist I had to write it all down anyway. Of course I’m a lazy traditionalist, so I did briefly consider using a voice to text converter but ruled that option out as they are often inaccurate – Just yesterday The Wife and The Noah were playing with such a thing and somehow it managed to translate my name to Pizza Mall.

That is nothing like my name.

The concept of an entire mall of pizza outlets is interesting though.

In the end I chose to write this in a more conventional, if modern way. I listened to the words, typed them out and then edited the whole. I did this I guess, because at heart I’m a writer – I’m not a radio person or a talking out loud person, although I think I do ok at those things. I like the act of sitting down to write, of looking over my words (They are ‘mine’ once I start to write with them) and being able to disassemble and reassemble them, tweaking them into something that makes a little more, or less, sense.

In a way then, this is a kind of Claytons podcast – It’s not a spontaneous brain to mouth dump of my thoughts. If that troubles you then I can offer up that as I wrote this I imagined that Bill Bryson would be reading the audio. If you are listening to this in your mind and have never heard Bill Bryson before, or if you are just reading this, then go ahead and assume that you are or could be, listening to Bill Bryson.

You’re not though, unless you are actually Bill Bryson and are reading this to yourself. In which case you’ve absolutely nailed this Bill – Top job mate!

Recording my thoughts has proved useful in other ways though. It frees up my hands to do other things, like holding a baby, or loading the dishwasher. These are what some would argue are more appropriate uses for my hands, and that’s cool because that is the theme of this post – The appropriate use of hands.

Now, that does sound a little like it could go down any number of paths, some of which would surely be in bad taste. It could go from a flirtatious pinch of someone’s bottom through to absent-mindedly stroking your chin during an auction for a newly found Van Gough. Both of those things could be an inappropriate use of hands and can I suggest that if you do pinch some one’s bottom that the line you’re treading is so fine as to be invisible – If you’ve landed on the wrong side of it you’re liable to wear a slap, which could actually be an appropriate use of hands. So maybe don’t do that 1 and maybe don’t go to an auction for newly found Van Gough’s, unless you really want to buy 1 and have 1 of those credit cards that is above Platinum. An Unobtanium Card.

Laziest made-up mineral name ever, even as a MacGuffin.

Meanwhile, none of that is the inspiration for this post – Instead the central theme derives from a sporting story. Which is good because this is a sporting blog. I won’t be telling that story just yet though – Instead here is another sporting yarn that is sort of related to the general theme. Hopefully it will all come together in the end.

The other night there was a T20 match, part of the Big Bash League (BBL) here in Australia, between the Perth Scorchers and the Adelaide Strikers. You’ll notice that I’m still not calling T20 cricket.

Because it isn’t.

Anyway, in this particular match, there was an incident of some note, when an Adelaide Strikers batsman, Kane Richardson, got out but wasn’t. He’d attempted a pull-shot off a Nathan Coulter-Nile delivery and in completing that effort, stepped back onto his stumps, dislodging the bails. This is out, hit wicket, and so Richardson trudged off to the boundary. It is an unfortunate way to get out but Kane really only has himself to blame. Not knowing where the stumps are is a fail in 1 of cricket’s most crucial tenets – A batsman or batswoman should be protecting their stumps as a sort of 1st principle in their role.

Stepping on your own stumps is not being very protective of them. And you’re out.

Unless the opposing captain calls you back. They can do this – If a captain feels that the dismissal was in some way unfair they can call back a bat to have another go. It’s a bit unclear to me whether this was the case last night but Scorchers captain Simon Katich certainly recalled Richardson and allowed him to continue batting, possibly with the proviso that he try ever so hard not to step on the stumps a 2nd time.

It’s also possible that Richardson was being recalled on the instructions from the umpires as, under Rule 27.1 of cricket, in order for a bat to be given out, the opposing team must have appealed for them to be given out. No appeal appears to have been made in this circumstance, either by design, or because nobody thought to. Me, personally – I’d feel a little strange loudly pointing out to a guy that he’d stepped on his own stumps. It’s like watching someone surreptitiously do up their zip fly and then pointing out that they’d embarrassingly had it down during the school ball photo shoot. It seems like unnecessary overkill.

But thanks anyway photographer dude.

Either way, Richardson was recalled and it’s hard to imagine that this would have come about without the Scorchers making a magnanimous gesture. As it happened it was to have no real consequence upon the match. The match itself was of great consequence – A win for either side would guarantee a semi-final slot, while a loss would put that outcome at risk. And that is pretty much how it played out – 1 of the teams earned a home final, while the other was effectively eliminated.

So it was quite a serious match with a fair bit weighing on it, however by the time Kane Richardson did a clumsy tango with his leg stump, the match had progressed a fair way towards a conclusion. The Scorchers had batted 1st and compiled a very handy 189 from their allotted 20 overs, thanks to explosive innings from Herschelle Gibbs and Adam Voges, plus an anchoring stand from Shaun Marsh. That I think is the highest score recorded in the BBL this season.

It’s not an insurmountable score to chase down, is 190. The problem for Adelaide was that, at the point of Richardson’s misstep, the Strikers were 5 for 52 after 10.5 overs. They required another 138 at just over 14 per over with just 5 wickets in hand. Miracles can happen but pretty clearly they were done. This was borne out in truth – The Strikers were dismissed for just 91 off of 18.3 overs, 99 shy of the victory. It was the 3rd lowest completed total in the 2 seasons of the BBL. Almost as a footnote, Kane Richardson did top score for the home side with 20 before he was irrevocably out, caught swinging for the fences.

Now on to the inspiration for this post – It comes from an FA Cup tie between Conference Premier side Mansfield Town FC and English Premier League (EPL) leviathan Liverpool FC. Roughly 94 places separate the 2 so this was a classic FA Cup David-and-Goliath encounter.

Without slingshots. In football that would be an inappropriate use of hands. As is an outfield player controlling the ball with his hands:

To clarify, Luis Suárez is not kissing his hand because he used it to control the ball. He does actually do this after every goal. But yes, it is cheating.

Liverpool scored the game’s opener via conventional means. Their 2nd goal came via the right hand of Luis Suárez, who used the afore-mentioned appendage to control the ball in the lead-up to him slamming home a goal. None of the officials saw the infringement and so the goal stood.

Should Suárez have owned up and allowed the goal to be wiped out?

Yep. Like in that BBL game, sometimes it’s just important to do the right thing.

I’ll finish this up with cricket (Not T20 but related, this I’ll admit grudgingly). There are 9 ways to be dismissed in cricket. Apart from getting out by treading on your stumps you can also be given out if you handle the ball without permission. This is a fate that has befallen just the 7 Test players. The number probably would be higher but for the kindness of opposing players, who must surely see the occasional innocuous offence but are not willing to appeal.

Liverpool beat Mansfield Town FC by 2 goals to 1. I reckon they might have appealed given the option.

Whisper Words Of Wisdom

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