A few people commented (thanks) on my post about bowling standards, brought to my attention by an article by Mike Atherton. In it, he also hinted at a thought that bowling, and bowlers – in terms of quality – could be a cyclical thing. My question is this: if the bowlers of the 70s, 80s and 90s were so excellent – and they were – how hasn’t the trend continued? Even with excellent and improving batting skills and preparation, bowling skills have improved too – as has medical advice and physio treatment which ought to maximise the chances that potentially good bowlers makes it to the highest level.
But it’s no longer happening. A fault of the “previous greats” not passing on their knowledge? (Not the case with Lillee, of course). Batsmen have been allowed to make easier runs, but that’s a poor excuse. Too much cricket? Fred Trueman, himself a great, would scoff at that suggestion. He used to bowl hundreds of overs a season, and was thankful for it.
Let’s open this up a bit and see if we can come to some conclusions. I wish we could invite the opinions of some pro cricketers or journalists – maybe they’re reading our blogs after all. If you are – don’t be afraid to leave a comment!