The return of the comical

In an era obsessed with professionalism, multi-dimensional players and do-it-alls, today demonstrated that – in the English public’s mind at least – there is still room for the comical and absurd. Monty Panesar, who surely owns the most regal of names in English cricket, had a howler in the field, an absolute howler. I was going to write some musings on it but have just noticed my editor has done similar so, go read his.

It was just quite a comforting sight to see someone so gangly in the field; he almost appeared to have four arms, flailing around like a blind octupus. Best of all, he has been immediately accepted into the public’s bosom: they love him. In Panesar they see a man who, like thousands of club cricketers up and down the land, make the very same gaffes and howlers every Sunday. He’s human, and normal – and a damn fine bowler to boot.

I’ve written in the past about tailenders (RIP). On a similar note, I now want an influx of rubbish fielders. There’s nothing better than watching a fielder nervously kneel down, hands at the ready, preparing for the exocet to arrive before WOOPS! there it goes, straight through the gaping hole between knee and leg and through for four! Brilliant.

Rock on, Monty – and well bowled. Not only was his line immaculate – I don’t remember him bowling a single bad delivery – but his pace was perfect for the pitch. As useful as ol’ Ashley Giles was, he had a tendancy to bowl a touch too slow. In fact it’s a problem most spinners have, and is also what makes Murali and Warne so devastatingly effective. Monty is no Murali, and is certainly no Warne – but he’s a damn fine Monty and let’s be glad we have him!

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