Stupid Things We Do

in cricket •  5 months ago 

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Not very smart.

Today whilst visiting a client I climbed some stairs into the warehouse and the roller shutter door that looked wide open was in fact halfway only. I nearly knocked myself out in the process and looked around and it was mainly 5 foot something people running around. It was my first time here so I can be excused and i will never forget this little trap that is there for bigger people.
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In 1996 this happened to South Africa and why Duckworth lewis was adopted by the ICC. It was deemed unfair and too much emphasis was put onto the batting team who batted first.

This leads me onto my story about stupid things that have happened in sport where everyone can see it but the person running the show. One such case stand out that I will never forget as it must go down as being the dumbest thing ever. Possibly there are others that can top it but this ranks high on my list.

The World Cup Cricket tournament was being played in South Africa and the team was captained by Shaun Pollock. This was back in 2003 and like most things the tournament was hosted in the summer months which is rainy season in South Africa.

If a match is effected by weather there is a method called Duckworth Lewis which calculates where you need to be at the end of each over. Wickets change things and at the end of the day you need to be one run above what the calculation says at the end of each over. During this match against Sri Lanka rain was threatening to bring the match to an end. If you have any idea about South African rain in the late afternoon early evenings you have a reason to be worried.


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Now there is an app which makes thing more simple for everyone and you don't have to rely on a sheet of paper.

It was the 45th over and if the game was called off South Africa needed 229 plus 1 run so 230 to stay ahead. If the game was tied Sri Lanka would go through as that is how it is calculated. Shaun Pollock had the sheet in front of him and there were two balls remaining in the over. Mark Boucher hit the first one for six taking the scores level and both on 229. The idiot Pollock sent out instructions that Boucher must block the next ball as they had won.

The rest of the stadium was horrified including the television commentary team saying they couldn't believe the amateurish level that they were now witnessing. A team works on all the skills to get this far into a tournament and we are talking professional players. They had no clue how to read the Duckworth Lewis sheet and that included Boucher as well. He had been fed the wrong information and unknowingly lost the game by blocking the next ball for no run.

The Sri Lankans jumped around celebrating as they knew exactly what had just unfolded and won the game. South African players were jumping around celebrating only to be told they had lost by one run. The crowd was booing the South African team as they knew the rules better than the players and it was a chaotic shambles.
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South Africa deserved to lose as if you don't know the basics then it is your own fault and I have no sympathy. The coach along with the captain should have been fired and then they could move forward from there. Pollock remained on as Captain and said it was one of the hardest lessons he has had to learn and it still haunts him. he is not alone though as the others in the team should have been aware and rectified what was happening. I always believe you do more than what someone says and Boucher should have at least taken a run off the last ball to make 100 percent sure.

The team was rightly criticized in the press for being too laid back and amateurish in their approach. Pollock walked around like he owned the place and kicking him down a peg or two is exactly what his career needed. Dumb has no words for this and I am sure most teams took notice making sure they don't go down the same road as Pollock.

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  ·  5 months ago Reveal Comment

Wow, that really sounds like an epic mess up. I have only ever seen players running the wrong way down the field in Football or making a shot at the wrong goal in basketball. Similar things in soccer too.

I remember that match and even as an Englishman it just makes you want to pull your hair out at the sheer frustration of losing like that!

2003 was a bit of an odd event all around. England boycotting their game in Zimbabwe, New Zealand boycotting a game in Kenya, Pakistan and WI not making it past the groups and Kenya reaching the semis + Shane Warne failing a drugs test. I'm not sure I can remember much about the actual cricket!

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Accidents like this happen and can have serious consequences. Good thing you are ok.