The Dobber 22 March 2013

The Dobber looks at news, views and oddities around the game from around the world. 

In the Herald, Jeremy Wells visited the Basin Reserve for the second ANZ Test and found the experience warmed the cockles of his heart:

Underneath me the moist, dull itch of rye grass. In front, the soothing test palette of white on green. Around me the warm, knowing embrace of fellow test-cricket lovers. This is a place where vinegar-scented hours are encouraged to dawdle by. Where the stuffy can nestle in for the day, safe in the knowledge that nobody will judge them for being boring. Yes, test cricket at the Basin Reserve.  

Speaking of Mr Wells, you can see his piece on New Zealand Cricket on Prime, 9.35pm Monday 25 March - set the MySky!

Nick Knight talks to Brendon McCullum about the technique that's made him #1 in the world in T20. 

One of the stars of the show at the Hawkins Basin Reserve was the duck - he was photographed extensively and apparently 'curates' his own @ducknewzealand Twitter account.

Top BLACKCAPS supporter outfit the Beige Brigade have welcomed the Barmy Army by beating the pants off them in 'The Rashes', a series of friendly cricket matches. Match two took place at Wellington Collegians Cricket Club. Check out the superb photo gallery and match report via Henry Wisson. Round three took place last night (Thursday 21 March) at the Auckland Domain, we look forward to hearing how it went.

Speaking of the Barmy Army, not only have they been making friends everywhere while on tour - they've also raised £5000 for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. Super work! From their site:

The Barmy Army funds will specifically be used for the Garrick Park Repairs and allow this football ground in the winter and cricket ground in the summer to once again be used by the Lancaster Park Woolston Cricket Club and the Cashmere Technical Football Club year round. Garrick Park requires $200,000 towards field repairs which will address drainage issues and the Barmy Army will be raising as much money as possible in New Zealand to assist the Appeal in reaching that total. 

The Guardian's Andy Bull looks at the new crop of cricket publications springing up online and asks if we are living in a golden age of cricket writing:

[Matt] Thacker says he agrees that it is "a good time for cricket and sports writing". Wilson goes further, and reckons it is "a golden age". He rightly says that "there are more good writers than ever before, writing on a wider range of subjects and in a wider variety of styles." The Blizzard, The Cordon, The Nightwatchman, they are all testament to the truth of that.

Cricinfo asks 'What is the most influential innovation in cricket?', with overarm bowling, reverse swing, the Doosra, switch hitting and the leg glance under the microscope. From Jarrod Kimber`s piece:

Of course underarm bowling was kind of rubbish. Okay to your three-year-old nephew, but not really a demanding athletic endeavour that would captivate millions of people, like Wes Hall in full flight did. So bowlers tried to change it. The story goes (you weren't there, you don't know it's not true) that John Willes started bowling roundarm when he saw his sister Christina do it because her dress wouldn't allow her to bowl underarm.

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