March 2009
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Jrod: Women's game provides purist pleasure

March 10th, 2009 by Jrod in International, One-day cricket and tagged ,

Do not be lulled into a yawn at the mention of women’s cricket. It is way cooler than you think (unless you already thought it was cool, then it’s as you were).

The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup is on in Sydney at the moment. Women’s cricket is an interesting hybrid of cricketing styles. The bowlers are usually of Ganguly pace but that doesn’t stop them having a few slips in, even in the one dayers, and if someone like Katherine Brunt bends her back she can still bowl a vicious bouncer.

Attacking shots usually don’t go as far, like men’s cricket was before everyone used super-steroided bats, but Anagha Deshpande still managed to cut a six at North Sydney Oval.

If you haven’t seen some of the players, you are missing out on some superb cricket skills.

Mithali Raj, India’s gun bat, has a technique so pure it should be snorted, not watched. She never seems to hit the ball but it just races off the bat, which is lucky, as you wont find many lazier runners between the wickets than Raj. When watching her bat, you aren’t watching some inferior product; you are watching a high-order batting stylist.

If brain transplants were possible, and affordable to the ECB, England could do worse than transplanting Holly Colvin’s brain into Monty. She has got to be one of the most exciting spin prospects on the planet.

Ellyse Perry is Australia’s fast bowling allrounder, she is the sort of cricket athlete that John Buchanan has been rattling on about for years. She has already played for Australia in football as well as cricket and from all reports could have done so in volleyball as well.

New Zealand always seem to have a big hitting allrounder – in the women’s side it’s Suzie Bates, batting average of 29, bowling average of 22, and she gets injured less than Jacob Oram.

These aren’t just classy women players – these are top-class cricketers.

The series even has its controversy, with England quick Jenny Gunn called for chucking twice, once before the World Cup, and once again during England’s first match. Her action may actually be legal, but it does resemble a child imitating a spider.

Well it wouldn’t be a World Cup without a controversy, would it?

Women’s cricket just feels more pure than modern men’s one-day cricket. With the ball they have to rely on a lot more than pace, with the bat they have to use something other than raw power.

It’s a nostalgic trip back to the 70s and 80s version of men’s one-day cricket; a time when it wasn’t all about bang and crash but it was about subtlety and skill.

I’m a massive fan and not just because Holly Colvin bowls with more flight than a six pack of men’s one-day spinners but because every time I have seen a game, I enjoy it.

Posted in International, One-day cricket | 7 Comments »

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