The dobber is our bi-weekly ramble through the white picket fence then back to the dressing room again quickly. If you have a link you`d like to contribute, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternative Cricket knows how to win the IPL:
Slower Bouncers Are The New Yorker. When’s the last time you saw a slower bouncer get hit for six? (And no, Zaheer Khan’s unintentionally slow bouncers don’t count.) The real deception in the slower bouncer comes when the ball hits the pitch, at which point it grips the surface and loses momentum faster than Inzy going for a third run. This means that the subsequent bounce is slower, and crucially, steeper.
Speaking of which, The Old Batsman gets all nostalgiac about the League`s old stagers:
...but this year they have a headline act in Pondulkar, that irresistible pairing at the top of the Mumbai batting order. It doesn't matter that they haven't yet got many runs, or that one half of the duo is still a fully engaged international cricketer. Instead, it's just enough to see them together in an arena with some meaning. Ten years ago, they might have done some serious damage, too, but the IPL didn't exist then, and anyhow, there's something uplifting about watching Ricky Ponting in particular searching for method in a format that, in his orthodoxy, he initially disdained.
Last IPL link, promise - Jarrod Kimber goes to Bangalore, plays a match then experiences the big game atmosphere:
Slowly the ESPNcricinfo employees arrive, most walking, some on motorbikes. Teams are picked. The heavier-than-normal-special-made-for-cricket tennis ball is selected, stumps are placed at one end, a stone at the other. It's an eight-over game. The first game has casualties. A very senior member of editorial staff runs a six, but only five are counted. He leaves soon after. A diving caught-and-bowled chance that few remember seeing is attempted by a young member of the staff. Later he tries to throw the ball in and realises he has hurt his elbow. His two elbows don't even resemble each other. It turns out he has broken his elbow, which rules him out of office cricket for months and the office for two weeks. A key member of the staff has injured his knee, but he plays on like a dog that refuses to admit it has lost its hind leg.
But if history is, as Thomas Pynchon wrote, “a great disorderly tangle of lines”, for many Wisden represents a straight line through that tangle: the comfort blanket the cricket-lover can turn to when the hair shirt of current events gets a little too scratchy. While its unbroken 150-year run represents as much social history as sporting chronicle, that line of yellow-backed spines is as reassuring as a life-belt station at a storm-lashed beach. Even this year’s cover is reassuring, with the iconic Ravilious woodcut taking the place of the now customary photo (the photo will return next year).
Jeremy Wells welcomes the return of a love long thought lost:
I saw the future that warm summer's day. As a fully paid up member of the New Zealand Cricket Tragics' Society, my childhood dream of a two-pronged pace attack was finally about to be realised. In my fantasy, Bond would take the new ball, softening up the openers with his disconcerting in-swing at lightning pace, and then his unassuming partner in crime, Gillespie, would bustle in from the other end, providing deliveries that look like they should swing but don't - conning the batsmen into playing the wrong line and nicking them out.