Athers: “Offspinners were crap in my day!”

If it’s Sunday, it must be time to see what Mike Atherton is writing in the Sunday Telegraph.

Mike, if you read this, I pick on you because your good. I don’t do this to Roebuck or any of the other hacks out there.

This week, our hero is writing about England’s dire spinning options heading to India. No doubts there. But not to worry, no English spinner was ever going to bowl out Dravid, Tendulkar and co. England’s strength is in their pace bowlers. If England are going to win in India, it will be Simon Jones and Andrew Flintoff that are the men to do the job

But Athers goes into his own memory to make a point:

The best off-spinner that I played against, Tim May, didn’t bowl a ‘doosra’ but he did grasp the need to vary his pace and his flight, change his angle on the crease and give the ball such an almighty rip that a huge, bleeding gash was routinely opened on his spinning finger each time he started a spell.


*scott falls on the floor laffing*

Truly, your kidding, right? Actually, “Mayhem” was a pretty decent offspinner, who never took himself very seriously at all. It’s one of the funny things in life that Tim May, who was a affable joker of a player has transformed into the uber-serious head of FICA, the cricketer’s union.

The first Test I ever actually went to was Australia vs West Indies, 1992-93 (yes THAT one, where we lost by one run.) I had to catch my train back to the country town I was living in, so I had to leave the ground with an hour of play to go. As I regretfully walked out the Victor Richardson Gates at the Adelaide Oval, May was just coming on to bowl. He took 5 for 9 in that hour, routing the West Indies, and causing the rest of Adelaide to lose the plot. And I missed it! And Tim scored 42 not out to nearly take Australia to the Frank Worrell Trophy. There was real steel under that goofy grin, and real talent, too.

But I still want to know how much Mayhem paid Athers to write that. All of Tim May’s friends, family and fans want to know!

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