The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 11

The Nation Sunday, September 21, 2014 Page 11
Keith Hackett’s answers
It’s a clever attempt to save face, but it’s
not a goal. A penalty involves one move-
ment to kick the ball forward: he has effectively
taken two run-ups to the same kick. Caution
(yellow card) the taker for unsporting behaviour,
and order a retake.You should have avoided
this situation by blowing your whistle the mo-
ment he fell over.
Technically, it’s a dropped ball – that’s
what the law states if the referee isn’t sure.
But in practice most referees wouldn’t want to
appear so indecisive: it’s sensible to make a de-
cision one way or the other, and in this case the
least controversial option is to give the throw.
On paper, you should intervene – but
clearly this is a sensitive situation. Al-
though they have delayed the start, out of
respect to the tradition you should allow the
Haka to be completed. But make it clear that
you will report the matter to the competition: this
should have been pre-agreed, with time allowed
for the Haka so that the match would not have
been delayed. – [The Guardian]
A penalty taker trips and misses the ball
completely. As the keeper howls with laugh-
ter, the striker picks himself up and starts to walk
back to take it again – but as he passes the ball
he suddenly back heels it into the net. Everyone
looks at you.What now?
The away team tries to run down
the clock by keeping the ball in
the opposition’s corner – but a home
defender manages to get a foot to it,
blasting it out of play.The ball strikes
the flagpost dead centre, knocking it out
of the ground.The away side wants a
corner; the home side says it is a throw.
What is your decision?
A team from New Zealand starts to perform an
intimidating Haka dance, delaying kick-off.You
have given permission, and the TV company wants
the match started.What do you do?
40. Peter Crouch
Continuing our series You Are The Ref
Jamie Lillywhite
opening batsman Geoffrey Boycott
opposes the view that England do
not concentrate enough on one-
day cricket, but is not particularly
enamoured with the selectors.
In a wide-ranging interview
with the BBC he discusses a num-
ber of cricketing issues, including
his concerns for the future of Test
cricket and next summer’s Ashes
series in England.
ow do you see England’s
World Cup chances?
“At this time I won’t be putting
my money on England, but, I will
say this about the World Cup; we
play Sri Lanka, New Zealand and
Australia then three minnows, so
if you win against the three min-
nows, you’re into the quarter-fi-
“Although we seem to be at sixes
and sevens, one-day cricket is a
funny game. If you play very well
and you get good decisions going
for you and bad ones for the op-
position, if you get a bit of luck,
you can go through on that day
and suddenly you’re in the semi-
oes England focus on one-
day cricket enough?
“I think they do focus, they’re
just not very good at it. Test cricket
is more important for England and
there’s nothing wrong with that.
We play quite a lot of one-dayers,
we just don’t play it very well.
“Instead of making excuses
maybe we should put our hand up
and say it isn’t working and we
have to have a re-think and open
up our minds a bit and get into the
modern way. We’re still trying to
play nice cricket with our opening
batsmen. Other teams come in and
they plunder it these days. It has
taken a long time to get Alex Hales
in, who is powerful, and give him
a go. That seems to be the modern
game, there is a lot of power in-
re the selectors choosing
the right players?
“We’re not sure who should play
in the middle order - we dropped
Ravi Bopara, who was quite good.
The selectors are very nice people
- James Whitaker, chairman, Mick
Newell of Notts - but they have
never played international cricket.
I think James has played one Test
match. Gus Fraser, who I admire,
he hasn’t played international
cricket for over 10 years and the
coach Peter Moores, he has never
played anything at all, so if I was
batting I don’t think I’d be asking
him for advice.
“I think it’s an important fac-
tor, it’s not belittling them. I don’t
think you have to be a great player
but I do think you have to have
played some international cricket,
and been around the international
scene, been on tour. [Former na-
tional selector] Geoff Miller was
very good, 34 Tests. He wasn’t a
great name, but he’d been around
lots of tours and I’m sure that
here does England need to
strengthen in Test crick-
“The second-string seam bowl-
ing. Stuart Broad and James An-
derson are very, very good but it’s
the second string when the pres-
sure on the opposition eases quite
alarmingly. They’re trying people
at the moment like Chris Woakes,
Chris Jordan, who’s got an aw-
ful run-up, and it’s not there yet.
Off-spin, left-arm spin, they don’t
seem to have one. Moeen Ali’s get-
ting a go but Graeme Swann has
been a big loss.
“Then the batting isn’t solid
enough. I’ve always believed in
Test cricket you win from a plat-
form of runs on the board. I’m
quite aware of the old saying you
need bowlers to take 20 wickets to
win, but it’s very difficult if your
batsmen don’t make any runs and
bowlers are always under pres-
“The best sides make a lot of
runs, they’re never really in much
danger. We have too many low
scores, too many difficulties where
we’re climbing a mountain for bat-
ting badly in the first innings. We
don’t put enough big scores on the
ave the ICC been right to
crack down on suspect
bowling actions?
“The umpires feel more comfort-
able being able to report them in
privacy rather than having to call
them in a match. The Laws of the
game are held by MCC, from Test
cricket to school cricket. The ICC
decide, just like the PGA Tour in
golf, to have localised rules and
they have this rule whereby you
can bend and straighten your arm
15 degrees, that is a local rule by
the ICC and not the Laws of the
game. Many of us don’t agree with
it but we live by it because that’s
the rules.
“I have always believed to bowl
the doosra you have to bend and
straighten your arm - that’s throw-
ing. Now they have legalised
throwing up to 15 degrees. You can
tell as a cricketer when somebody
has a funny action, but the ICC has
chosen at international level to
have some boffins in a studio with
lights and camera and all kinds
of mechanics to say he bends and
straightens it - which is really a
euphemism for throwing - 10 de-
grees, so he’s alright.”
ho is favourite for next
summer’s Ashes?
“Last time in England it was
pretty close, it should have been
2-2. It will be close again and it
depends how we develop by next
“England is hoping Moeen will
improve. He’s done alright so far,
his batting has shown glimpses,
his bowling has shown glimpses
but he’s got to do a bit more than
that. You can’t just flit in and out
with your batting and bowling to
play well at Test level.
“If Mitchell Johnson gets in-
jured and can’t play, the odds may
come towards England, but Ryan
Harris is important too. He has had
injuries, so they may have to nurse
him a bit. At the moment, they’re
better placed than us, although in
sport it can change quickly.”
s the future of Test cricket in
“It’s a problem and we might have
missed the boat, it might be too late.
It will still be alright while I’m alive
but I don’t knowabout 30 or 40 years.
There is nothing certain about Test
cricket because as much as we love
it and we think it’s the best test of
a cricketer for his character, his
courage and his technique, one-day
cricket has become so important to
“We’ve seen for the first time in
England that when it’s not Aus-
tralia it’s difficult to sell the seats.
Lord’s will always sell out because
it’s the Mecca, people want to go, it’s
an iconic place. But at Headingley
or Southampton we’re struggling to
sell the seats and that will happen
more and more.”
ow do we preserve it?
“I’ve thought for a long time
the ticket prices are too high. The
people who run the game might find
they are going to have to address
that in the coming years.
“For years, I have advocated that
two grown-ups and two youngsters
free should be a family ticket to
make it more affordable, but next
year the best tickets will be over
£100 at Lord’s and more than £80 at
other places.
“For a couple, that’s a hundred
and plenty, so they might think ‘let’s
go somewhere else that doesn’t cost
as much’. That will happen more
and more.”
How would you like to be remem-
I haven’t a clue. I won’t have a
say in it will I?
“Adversity never breaks a good
man, it fines him down like gold so
he rises up a better man. You should
never be afraid of adversity, it’s
what you do about it that counts.
I’ve had my share. I’ve had to climb
the mountain again.” – [BBC]
Boycott on England, Test cricket,
the Ashes and his legacy
England opener Geoff Boycott in his prime
Brad Haddin will captain
Australia in next month’s
Test series against Paki-
stan in the United Arab
Emirates, if regular skip-
per Michael Clarke is ab-
Clarke has been ruled
out of the limited-overs
leg of the tour due to a re-
curring hamstring injury.
He aggravated the griev-
ance during the recent tri-
series with Zimbabwe and
South Africa at the Harare
Sports Club.
The 36-year-old Haddin,
meanwhile, has led the
country in two Twenty20
Internationals - against
New Zealand and Pakistan
in 2009 - but never in the
longest format.
“We talk about that a
contingency plan behind
the scenes as a selection
panel,” said coach Darren
“The thing is we want
our best player playing.
Michael has been a fan-
tastic player for us for
over 100 Test matches now
and we need our number
four playing and making
The Pakistanis and Aus-
tralians will meet for a
one-off Twenty20 Interna-
tional, three ODIs and two
Tests - in Sharjah, Dubai
and Abu Dhabi - between
5 October and 3 November.
– [Cricket365]
Cricket bat suppliers in Kashmir are hit by the floods
The supply of cricket bats in India
may be at risk because floods in Kash-
mir have washed away so much of the
willow wood they’re made from, it’s re-
Manufacturers says the price of bats
is about to go up because of an acute
shortage of willow wood, the Hindu-
stan Times reports. “Whatever willow
they had in their yards has either been
swept away or damaged by the flood
waters,” says Paras Anand, head of
marketing for Indian bat maker SG. “It
is bad news for the industry.”
The problem may not affect elite
players - who still use bats made from
imported English willow - but will hit
amateur and regional players who use
the more affordable Kashmiri-made
bats. The British introduced willow
trees to Kashmir before World War
Two and the cricket bat industry there
now employs about 10,000 people. It
is seen as second only to its English
counterpart internationally.
Around 400 people have been killed
and hundreds of thousands are strand-
ed in their homes by the worst floods
Kashmir has seen in half a century.
– [BBC]
Kashmir floods ‘hit
cricket bat supplies’
Haddin to captain if Clarke absent
Brad Haddin
Manchester United manager Louis
van Gaal has laid down the gauntlet to
his players: By the end of the season
everyone must speak English.
Last year it wasn’t such a problem.
David de Gea has come a long way in
learning English and Juan Mata joined
the club already fluent in the tongue.
But, with the new influx of Spanish
speakers – Ander Herrera, Angel Di
Maria, Marcos Rojo and Radamel Fal-
cao – there is a tendency for the group
to communicate in the native tongue,
even though some of them (Falcao)
are quite adept at speaking English.
Looking for complete transparency,
however, VanGaal has laid down the law
and is putting those not so comfortable
with English into classes. The Dutchman
told Manchester Evening News:
“You know already that all the Span-
ish players have lessons in English so
we have started already more than two
weeks. We are only two weeks in this
country because we were in the USA
and after that we had the international
week. But I can speak Spanish so it
is better to communicate sometimes
on the pitch in Spanish. But they shall
learn English within one year, I prom-
As noted by Van Gaal, knowledge
of Spanish among teammates can
provide huge advantages in terms of
communicating on the pitch when play-
ing opposition who are not familiar with
the language. The problem, however,
is that some players on your own team
may not understand the language and,
moreover, that when such behavior is
permitted without intervention, cliques
can occur.
And cliques, quite obviously, don’t
work well under a guy like Van Gaal.
We will speak English – Van Gaal
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