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A Ramble on Women's Cricket
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It wasn't long into the WWT20 (or WT20as I prefer to call it) when controversy reared its ugly head.
Now I have always argued that batsmen should not be allowed to run down the wicket. It happens far too often in county cricket and everyone ignores it. It is not fair on the team batting second, or even on the groundsman for that matter.
Suddenly (or is it 'suddenly'?) the Law is being enforced whereas, even at international level, it was always observed in the breach.
Now I have no problems with this at all - well, I lie, actually I have two. Firstly the 'danger area' is defined and you frequently see it as a red bar on your TV when the umpires are considering bowlers getting of the wicket so as not to damage it for the batsmen. Bowlers bowl to one side of the wicket or the other (sorry to state the blindingly obvious) and therefore their situation is somewhat different from that of the batsman. She stands centrally awaiting the delivery, strikes it, and then needs (she hopes) to run. She starts from a far different point! Getting off to the side (unless she cares to run an extra 2 yards or so, and turn through a right angle) is far, far more difficult. Indeed if she has advanced to strike the ball (and I do hope she will continue to be allowed to, or T20 cricket may become very bland indeed) she is already on that area - rule/law already infringed - an obvious nonsense.
My feeling is that the danger area, as defined from a bowlers' perspective, cannot be the same as that for a batsman. Some sensible allowance has to be made!
The other problem I have with this controversy refers directly to the current situation, rather than the future application of this principle. If umpires suddenly, very suddenly in fact, change their stance on how they intend apply this law, I trust the teams were informed well beforehand. It would seem to be unfair beyond measure to the first few teams out on the park if they were not. I cannot state definitively they were or they weren't. Indeed I'd love to know. If they were then the batsmen have only themselves to blame. If not the blame must fall elsewhere!
If teams at club, county and junior levels were encouraged to stick to the Law then none of the angst in the WI needed to have happened.
I do feel however, that just using the current "bowlers'" danger area is not sufficient and some more definite ruling needs to be made. I'm sure all sides, umpires, players of all nations and players at all levels would just welcome a little more clarity and sensible application of the Laws. Is this a job for the MCC?
Bangladesh at Last
I have followed this sport for quite a number of years to the longevity of this web site will testify. However I have never watched players from quite a few counties indeed actually relatively few when you consider women's cricket is played all the way from Nepal to South America and I'd love to be able to add more of them to my photo archive. I intend springing a few of these on you around Christmas time, and seeing if you can guess the nationality of the players in question. But to this point I have never seen Bangladesh. Well I have had some minor success although the light was not great and the images would not stand very close examination. Nonetheless it was good to see a time, knowing they were almost certainly on the wrong end of a hiding, doing their best to stick to their guns. One player in particular impressed me with her "I am not going to be intimidated" stance.
This lady showed some real aggression! Scoring more than half her teams runs she just soldiered on when others found it especially difficult. The rain soaking the pitch earlier and weather conditions generally did not make for an easy time for anyone, bowlers, batsmen or fielders. Hats off t Ayasha!
I should add a footnote that you should be wary of names on shirts. They frequently did not correspond to names on the lists issued in the Press Box. I suspect that these players have a few they can chose from, so why shouldn't they chose what name they wish to play under?
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