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    July 18, 2007

    The 2007 Colin Cowdrey lecture

    The 2007 MCC Colin Cowdrey lecture was delivered by Christopher Martin-Jenkins, the Chief Cricket Correspondent of 'The Times'. Incidentally, his (CMJ's, not Cowdrey's!) son, Robin Martin-Jenkins, thwarted the Indians twice during the tour game against Sussex.

    His talk (text & audio) focussed on players 'walking' when they know they're out, speeding up over rates, 4-day tests (in contrast, last year, Inzy was talking about six day tests!), an innovative bidding option at the toss, having just 3 umpires around, a shorter 2011 World Cup, the BCCI's 'administration', the ICC's stand on Zimbabwe and the recent influx of non-England born players into the England team.

    Broadly, there's not much I disagree with. I totally agree that teams need to bowl their overs much faster than they are right now. Monetary fines are not the solution. Docking runs, not allowing teams to complete their innings, giving runs to the opposition or forcing the team bowling slowly to take 11 or 12 wickets rather than 10, etc. seem the right way to go.

    I'm not a huge fan of walking. While my argument isn't based on the fact that decisions even out (they don't!), I believe that batsmen have a right to wait for the umpire to make a decision. The other problem I have with 'walking' is that there's a huge potential for players to walk when it is convenient. In my opinion, Gilchrist abuses the 'karma' he has earned.

    I don't think 4-day tests are a solution. That could be a reality when teams bowl 20 overs per hour, but I don't see that happening soon.

    I totally agree that the BCCI's lack of transparency, over-commercialized mentality, etc. are pathetic, but that seems to be a recurring theme across all cricket boards. Why else would everyone agree to play Australia/India/Pakistan in venues spread all over the world?

    The fact that Zimbabwe are now out of the ICC test rankings means that the administration has failed the players. Yet, they're not held accountable - at least not yet.

    Past Colin Cowdrey lectures were delivered by Richie Benaud, Barry Richards, Sunil Gavaskar, Clive Lloyd, Geoff Boycott and Martin Crowe.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 7:14 PM |
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