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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Thursday July 08 2010

County cricket blogging warning.  Blogging about county cricket force four to six, imminent:

Paul Sheldon, the Surrey chief executive, has criticised the ‘frenetic’ schedule in this season’s Friend Provident t20 and has called for a reduced Twenty20 competition to be fit into a four-week window next year.

According to Cricinfo, Surrey are now playing against Middlesex even as I blog, in the early evening, and are then scheduled to start their next game in Cardiff tomorrow at 1am.  Well, that’s what 01:00 local time and 00:00 GMT means, isn’t it?  It has to mean 1pm, and 12:00 GMT, but perhaps Sheldon has been working to this schedule, in which case no wonder he thinks things are a bit frenetic.  To say nothing of spectator unfriendly.

[FRIDAY MORNING: This has now been corrected.  The match begins not at 1pm, which would also have been pretty frenetic, travelwise, but at 6.30pm.  Was there a riot at 1am this morning when play failed to begin?  Somehow I doubt it.]

But that’s a mere typo.  Something far stranger than that happened in another recent t20 game, one between Northants and Yorkshire on July 2nd, as this slightly-shrunk-to-fit screensave shows:

image

If there is just one ball left in a limited overs game, and the batting side has to score twelve runs to avoid losing and one more than that to win, what’s the one thing you absolutely must not do?  Correct.  You mustn’t bowl a no ball.  Bowl any other sort of crap ball so long as it’s legal, and the batsman can hit it out of the ground and for that matter out of the county, but the batsman can only get six runs no matter how far and how magnificently he hits it, the game is over and the bowling side wins.

But look what Richard Pyrah did.  And Boje hit it for six, and could then have won the match for Northants had he hit the next and genuinely final ball for six also.  As it was he hit the last ball for a mere four and it was a tie, snatched by Pyrah from the jaws of victory and handed to Yorkshire on a plate.

Quoth Cricinfo about Pyrah:

Richard Pyrah is batting allrounder who has carved a niche for himself with some steady performances in one-day cricket. His Championship efforts have been less sparkling, ...

Lucky for him he’s a batting allrounder, or that moment of madness could have cost him his entire career.  It still might:

It will be interesting to see if the Yorkshire cricket history books will be kind enough to judge Richard Pyrah as simply unfortunate. But the 27-year-old all-rounder earned himself a place in Yorkshire folklore by conceding 12 off the final ball of a Twenty20 match to hand Northamptonshire a tie.

This Cricinfo report of the game, in particular its headline, gives Nicky Boje the credit for this circumstance, mentioning Pyrah’s astonishing blunder only in passing.  Yet, excellent though Boje’s slogging was, it was Pyrah who did the truly remarkable thing here, not Boje.  If an England footballer had done anything as inept as this during the World Cup, it would have been been front page news, and he would be notorious for ever.

This guy explains how well Pyrah has bowled in other games, and points out that it was a no ball on height rather than because he overstepped the line.

So how the hell is that a no ball? He hit it for six. A no ball for height is if it is too high to hit, isn’t it?

And Yorkshire fans who boo Richard Pyrah are not Yorkshire fans at all.

Pyrah vs Northants home 4-0-19-1 (won)
Pyrah vs Lancs 3.1-0-11-2 (won)
Pyrah vs Leics 4-0-19-2 (won)
Pyrah vs Notts 4-0-17-1 (won)

As a defence of Pyrah’s future career, that’s fine, but I’m afraid it doesn’t excuse the no ball.  Pyrah either does know the rules or should have.  Obeying them was all he had to do.  Anyone could have done this.  I could have done this.  Boje’s treatment of my ball would have slightly worsened the earth orbit debris problem, but it would not have been a no ball and Yorkshire would have won.  As we bloggers say: epic fail.

These guys at Betfair are right on the money, their money:

richard pyrah is a ****

Indeed:

unbelievable knocked the commentary off with 13 needed of one ball or whatever it was waiting for my profit can’t believe what happened

How much did that bloke lose, I wonder?

It goes to show you never can tell.