Monday, 24 February 2014

What's new?

I mentioned in my first post that nothing seemed to have changed in  village/club cricket in the 15 odd years I was away from it except for one thing. I'm sure you have been on tenterhooks since you read that. So what was it?

Simple,wrist spin.

When I was first around (80s to mid 90s) no-one bowled wrist spin at any level of cricket.  You never saw anyone do it in a match. I used to be one of the rare breed in the nets and would occasionally send some absolute rippers down ( I do remember doing so at a young Glamorgan summer school and Alan Jones telling me I would be getting a call up for special coaching- never did. No real loss to be honest) .  When it came to a game though, like everyone else who bowled something less than medium, I just darted it on middle and leg the way Emburey did .

Now playing, and coaching kids, the big difference is how ubiquitous wrist spin is among the youngsters.  It has become the default spin bowling style for under 20s. Even the finger spinners seem to give it  a rip as well. Obviously it has a lot to do with Warne, probably a bit to do with the changing ethnic- demographic too ( Abdul Qadir and Sivaramakrishnam did  keep the flame alive in the 80s after  all pretty much on their own at least on my tele screen) . The site of 10 year olds being brave enough to send down leg spin was the most disorientating of my return to cricket.

This is all great stuff obviously and hugely to be encouraged- and not just for the selfish reason that they do give the middle aged club bat a fair few long hops and full bangers to tuck away.

Now, when will we start seeing the lament for the good old fashioned English non-spinning offie?

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