How anyone can spin a ball the width of Gatting boggles the mind

Martin Johnson, The Independent

More larks from The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon today, this time in his guise as one half of The Duckworth Lewis Method, the world’s finest (and perhaps only) cricket-based concept album recording supergroup, which he formed in 2009 along with Thomas Walsh of Pugwash.

The jiggery pokery in question was Shane Warne’s first delivery in an Ashes test, twenty years ago. Calling it ball of the century might tend towards hyperbole, but it was one hell of a delivery with which to open his account. Poor old Gatting didn’t quite know what to make of it: I’ve always thought that he was hoping to find out that Ian Healy behind the stumps had accidentally knocked a bail off (how else could it have been dislodged?). As Neil Hannon puts it, with a Graham Gooch quote providing the punchline:

How such a ball could be bowled, I don’t know but if you ask me / if it had been a cheese roll it would never have got past me.