Game For Anything: Writings on Cricket
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ornaments, such as C.B. Fry and Archie MacLaren, is decidedly curious for a representative of both the left and of the imperial periphery. Where are the professionals? Where are the Australians? Where are the South Africans, the Americans, the Indian Parsees and, for that matter, the West Indians, all of whom toured England in the first decade of the twentieth century? Victor Trumper and Ranjitsinhji attract thirty mentions in Beyond a Boundary without their origins, in Sydney and in Jamnagar,
calendar, like Mark Twain’s view of weather, is something everyone talks of but nobody does anything about. Does the hegemony of batting, however, reveal a deeper malaise in the game? While we have been busy rejoicing in the splendour of stroke play, bowling seems to have been becoming less ambitious, more stereotyped. Its rhetoric is accented to nagging and negating – ‘the corridor’, ‘the channel’ and ‘getting it in the right areas’ – rather than beating and bewildering. This is so even among
as some comrades insisted later, me time to duck. The batsman, fatally conscious he was in the 90s, was bowled playing soberly back as the ball kept low. I’d seldom backed my ability on a cricket field before; for frankly good reasons, I still rarely do now. But just for a moment I glimpsed what it takes to prosper as a spinner. That and, errr, talent. The Wisden Cricketer December 2003 Fast Bowling and Captaincy Just Do It IF YOU WERE TO PICK AS DECISIVE one of the many trends in cricket
happened next. Like a veritable human googly, he did the opposite of what you’d expect, choosing to study dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania. While South Africa gave rise to no fewer than four expert exponents of the googly – Vogler, Faulkner, Schwarz and White – the Australian who bowled it best was representing the Gentlemen of Philadelphia, visiting the Caribbean once, England and Ireland twice, Canada thrice. An obliging university team-mate filled his locker with Bulli soil to
spoke with authority, having declined an offer from Lancashire five years earlier. So it is necessary, then, even though he is known primarily through a photograph taken by an Englishman in England, to understand Trumper in an Australian context. In Australian thinking, he became proverbial. When Australia’s great general Brudenell White joined the British Army, official war historian Charles Bean lamented: ‘We have lost our Trumper.’ His name, as well as his reputation, was designed to live on.