James ‘Jimmy’ Anderson 400 Wickets
Well done Jimmy Anderson in the #ENGvNZ 2nd Test sees him reach his 400th cricket wicket milestone. He is the 12th man to reach 400 Test cricket wickets and the first Englishman to do so after passing Ian Botham last month. He had been waiting since the last Test, which England surprisingly won from a poor position, he made it with little wait in only his second over, third of the rain-affected day, go off for a shower, then come back on mid-over and ball after next strike again leaving New Zealand on 2-2! New Zealand recovered to 32-2 before going off for yet more rain.
Upon return, their recovery was short-lived and straight after tea, first ball of the 25th over, the up and coming all-rounder, hailed as the new Freddie Flintoff or Botham, Ben Stokes, takes a wicket leaving the tourists on 123-4. Ben Stokes, along with Moeen Ali and Joe Root, scored nearly 500 runs and took 8 wickets between them in an ascendant middle-order for England in the last Test.
The Rules of Cricket
Some decades ago, a spoof summary of the rules of cricket was written on a tea towel making them as clear as dishwater to be understood:
You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.
When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!
The Rules of the Weather
The above rules need rewriting to take the weather into account. The first rule of the British weather is that if it’s summer, it must be rain.
In Anderson’s 2nd over there was a rain break between his wickets. The day began at 10:50am with Headingley soaked by Yorkshire rain. The 1pm toss was followed by 1:20pm drizzle, but a delayed start at 1:30pm, only to go off again at 1:40pm. At the end of the 7th over the covers came on and the batsmen went off, or rather got 20yds trying to do so, since the umpires and fielders had remained and they were called back to continue for all of two balls before going off again at 2:20pm.
So, the rules of cricket, in England at least, should be:
You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. The sun comes out, and so do the batsmen, but then the sun goes in and the rain comes out, so both sides go in, or rather – as it’s only a drizzle, the fielders stay out, whilst the batsmen going in are called back out. Then the rain really comes out and everyone goes in, whilst waiting for the sun to come out…
Cricket Fielding Positions
All that is before trying to even understand silly mid off, backward point or short fine leg! Several of these fielding positions should be renamed as water-logged leg gully, deep-under-water mid wicket, and short-leg-because-standing-in-deep-water!
Whilst listening to TMS (Test Match Special) on BBC Radio 4 Long Wave (or Radio 5 Live Sports Extra) it can be helpful to have an informative guide to the field placements whilst listening to the quintessentially English commentary that is more likely to tell you where the pigeons and weather blimps are than the cricketers.
All this has been written whilst waiting for Jimmy Anderson and the revived England cricket team to come back out, except for Kevin Pietersen, of course, who is very definitely maybe out of the team, for now, at least. [Update 3pm: the players are back out and Jimmy resumes the 3rd ball of the 8th over]