The many shades of Cricket ………………….. (A conversation between two old timers, Bill Williams and Bob Roberts at the Club.)

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“Hey Bill, what do you think about this Murali business?” asks Bob.

“Why what happened. Is he playing again? Diabolical action. I don’t know how they allowed him to keep bowling,” says Bill.

“No he has retired. But Cricket Australia has contracted him to help our spinners.”

“Wonderful choice. Great bowler. Didn’t he get about a thousand wickets or something?”

“He got 800. The most by any bowler,” says Bob.

“Great bowler. I mean even our Shane Warne didn’t get that did he?” asks Bill.

“Yes he couldn’t quite get there, but then he didn’t play test cricket for a while.”

“Yes yes. He took some sleeping tablets or something and didn’t get up for about one and a half years or something isn’t it?”

“He took some diuretics. Apparently it helped him improve his looks.”

“Good on him. He needed it. Even if it meant sleeping for that long,” agrees Bill.

“So what about Murali working with the Australian bowlers?”

“What about it. Great bowler,” says Bill. “We can learn a thing or two from him.”

“But we reported his action to the powers that be at the time.”

“Diabolical action”, says Bill.

“And we boooed him from the roof tops and called him a chucker and all sorts of names,” counters Bob.

“Did we?” asks Bill.

“Yes. Well not from the roof tops but from Bay 13. That’s as high as we go.”

“Yes yes. You always get these …….. what did that former Prime Minister call them ………………… recalcitrants. You always get some recalcitrants in a crowd.”

“But you also said he had a suspect action Bill.”

“Yes but that was when he was bowling against us. We couldn’t play the bloke remember?”

“So how does he now become a great bowler?”

“Well didn’t you say he got 800 wickets?”

“With a suspect action.”

“Diabolical action.”

“So is it alright for Cricket Australia to engage him to coach our players?”

“Well if he can get 800 wickets, what’s wrong with our players trying to get a piece of the action?”

“I don’t know Bill. We crucify the bloke while he’s playing and then recruit him to tell us how to do it.”

“Hey Wayne,”  (Bill calling the waiter), “get us another round will you?”

“What do you think of ‘mankading’?”

“Isn’t that an Indian thing?”

“Well it was an Indian cricketer who first ran a batsman out at the non striker’s end.”

“Diabolical. Where is the spirit of cricket these days?”

“Well that happened about 50 years ago.”


“So do you agree with it?” asks Bob.

“Well it depends. Who was it done to?”

“Most recently to a batsman called Buttler, an Englishman.”

“Who else would have a name like that. That’s alright then.”

“What’s alright?”

“That it was done to an Englishman. Who did it?”

“A Sri Lankan. Another one with a suspect action.”

“Diabolical. That’s the problem these days. These new cricketing nations. They are starting to get better than the English and us Aussies. We have got to find a way to keep them at the bottom of the table.”

“Well the English reported this bowler just before the final game in their ODI series. Thought they could throw the Sri Lankans off.”

“Did they?” asked Bill.

“No. The Lankans won the series. Sri Lankans are at the top of the one day international table I think.”

“Unbelievable. That’s without Murali as well.”

“Yes, they are a talented bunch.”

“Well we got Murali now. Let’s see how they face us next time.”

“But Murali won’t coach the Aussies against Sri Lanka.”

“Hmmmm. That’s a bit of a problem. Maybe we can poach their coach then.”