Paracricket – An Appreciation of the Situation

A new use may have been found for Twenty 20. Until now this format of the game has been associated with frantic action and innovation in equal measure. But the game between Derbyshire and Worcestershire at the County Ground last night illustrated how T20 can expose frailty and incompetence.

First, however, there is the question of the Worcester kit with its camouflaged forage caps and for some reason its camouflaged shirt sleeves which, when The Royals took the field last night turned the flood lit and utilitarian ground into what looked like an Al Qaeda training camp concealed in the Peak District.

The marketing boys who have already zeroed into the City’s role in the English Civil War, must have thought this garb was the perfect extension of their brand concept.

Yet, by cunningly obscuring the bowling arm, Duncan Fearnley’s most brilliant innovation in cricketing equipment to date enabled the visitors to defend their lowly score of 121, shooting the Falcons out of the night sky for 106 in their twentieth over.

These teams have the sixteenth and seventeenth worst records for domestic T20 and now the Worcester Seals can claim to have the worst kit.

In accelerating the speed of the game and in so doing compacting time, this type of cricket exposes any inability to make an appreciation of the situation, refine the tactics accordingly and carry them out, all at the double.

Chasing a run-a-ball target, Derbyshire fretted where they should have nudged and knerdled in equal measure.

As the innings progressed and the wickets fell – 13 was the highest partnership – so the sand slipped through the hour glass with accelerating ease, in marked contrast to the acquisition of runs.

The silver bullet in T20 is the big lad (they used to call him the haymaker), preferably around twenty years of age and preferably plucked from obscurity. For Derbyshire this is Chesney Hughes.

The trouble with silver bullets is that they can lack technique, especially against spin, and they don’t do nudging and knerdling.  Nor in this case do they do reliable calling which resulted in the needless sacrifice of the valiant Captain Sutton.

The prefix ‘para’ denotes something that is beside or beyond. Indeed this was paracricket and the Worcester kit suited it well.

Cricket in White resumes at the Rose Bowl later this morning.  For a close encounter between Third Man and The Bowl click here.

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