Tuesday, August 28, 2007

D'ya know who bowled out all ten batsmen in an innings...

....and recorded it himself for posterity? Now you know, don't you?

"The year 1864 heralded two major developments in the world of cricket. On the pitch, over-arm bowling was finally legalised; off it, a cricketing institution was born.

John Wisden, the "Little Wonder", was already well-known in cricket circles for his astonishing bowling feats for Sussex - including all ten wickets in an innings, all bowled. Now he turned to publishing to secure an income in retirement. His original Cricketers' Almanack was a slim 112-page volume, one of several similar publications to appear around the same time. Paper-bound and priced at one shilling, it gave details of all the Gentleman v Players fixtures of the preceding season, plus an eclectic array of facts and stats, from the
winners of the Derby and Oaks, to the rules of an obscure game called Knur and Spell."

Historic fun. Quite like reading old first-day-first-show reviews of a movie released years back but still getting a run in theatres!! (I was mentioning Sholay there and not DDLJ...so much for favourites) Circa 1864 that "all 10 bowled" feat must have been a fancy effort from John Wisden. You think of it as 'wow'.

Cut to 2007 @ the home of Wisden's good friend the bearded doctor. Imagine someone mentioning Wisden's feat to Indian bowlers any time during the 16 odd starting overs of the 2nd innings of Bristol ODI on 24th August. "So what? That's the only way to get them." The fielding was neither historic nor fun.

Pre-historic? Indeed.

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