Very unappealing

On our stairs hangs a Punch cartoon involving a batsman turning to a wicketkeeper, who has evidently just appealed for a stumping. The batsman says to the keeper ‘You’re wasted ‘ere – you ought to be appealin’ on be’alf of some charity’. Which brings me to this:

After the horror of this morning’s live entertainment, we’ve been desperately searching for some explanation for the complete lack of spine displayed by England’s batsmen, and we’ve hit upon what we think is a pretty good one.

I am, of course, referring to the one-and-only Adnan ‘the Banshee’ Akmal, the latest of the dentally impaired shrieking Akmal brothers.

For some reason Kamran was more bearable. It may have had something to do with the fact that we were more concerned with the comedy value of his hilariously bad wicketkeeping. However, this latest Akmal sprog (cricket in the back yard must have been interesting in that family) can actually keep. I think this surprises him, based on the fact that every time the ball ends up in his gloves, he screeches with apparent joy that he’s actually caught one, whether or not the batsman was within four feet of it.

Similarly, these garden cricket matches between the Akmals must have featured some perverse version of the LBW law possibly derived from French Cricket, whereby any ball hitting the pad is automatically out. You could see this morning that even Misbah-ul-Haq was managing a chuckle at some of the more brainless appeals.

This would, just about, be ok, if Adnan didn’t start up like an air raid siren at 140 decibels each time this happens. The Pakistan fielders must have learnt to ignore it (although close-up shots of Saeed Ajmal reveal wodges of cotton wool lodged in his ears, and all the close-fielders’ helmets contain ear muffs), however, England’s batsmen appear to have been utterly frozen by it. Poor Jonathan Trott, afflicted with a wonderfully pun-tastic case of ‘the trots’ overnight, and having spent the last 8 hours within sprinting distance of a lavatory or equivalent, had to go and stand within three feet of this wailing wickie, and I think my resolve in such a situation would have been equally weakened.

The rest of England’s batsmen appear to have been utterly shell-shocked by Akmal’s antics, not knowing which option to take:

1) pad up in front of middle, thus suffering a full earful but at least then being able to stagger disorientatedly back to the pavilion posthaste, or

2) try and stay in, helping out the team, but at the same time being subject to multiple barrages and possibly suffering some permanent hearing damage.

In all seriousness, some of the appealing was ridiculous, and I hope Akmal gets ‘quietly’ ushered into the match referee’s office and cited for excessive appealing. It’s not fair on anyone, and it’s no wonder attendances are so low if all the crowds have to go and seek medical treatment afterwards for perforated eardrums…

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  1. The TGECF Awards 2012 (Part 2) « Two Grumpy England Cricket Fans

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