Science has officially been proven wrong. Those boffins in white coats are always telling us you can’t give 110 per cent, because 100 per cent is by definition the most there is to give.
Yeah, well maybe those scientists should spend a few hours watching Peter Siddle bowl in Test cricket.
This summer, Peter Siddle has risen from fringe Test player to the kind of player Australians cherish above all others. He is the toiler. The workhorse. The man with a heart so big it may one day be displayed in a glass cabinet in a museum somewhere like Phar Lap’s.
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England has won the second Ashes Test in Adelaide by an innings and 71 runs. But if you think this summer of cricket has been hard to watch for average fans like us, spare a thought for Glenn McGrath.
In an interview with The Punch, the great paceman admitted the first two Ashes Tests have been tough going for him too.
“There were a few good moments obviously up in Brisbane in the first innings where Sids took the hat trick, but the last two innings watching our boys bowl has been pretty tough,” McGrath said.
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Any captain wants one of two things out of his pace spearhead, and ideally he’d like both.
Firstly, he wants strike power in the mould of Jeff Thomson, whose famous sandshoe crusher broke both Tony Greig’s foot and England’s resolve in the corresponding match at the Gabba way back in 1974.
Secondly, he wants unerring accuracy. He wants to be able to throw the ball to his main man and say “hey if you can’t get rid of them, at least dry the runs up and build a bit of pressure”.
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Cricket’s foremost nineteenth century moralist the Reverend James Pycroft published his famous treatise The Cricket Field in 1851. He recalled a shocking chapter in the game’s history – the presence of bookmakers at cricket matches:
“They had all sorts of tricks to make their betting safe. ‘One artifice,’ said Mr. Ward, ‘was to keep a player out of the way by a false report that his wife was dead.’”
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