Friday, June 02, 2006

The Hoggster - the Legend.

This isn't the photo I wanted, I was looking for one that captured that slope shouldered, ogre type lollop that the Hoggster has. Unfortunately, nothing quite captures it in a still.

Why a photo of the lollop though?

Well, it's the Hoggster's secret weapon.

Here's a man who looks about as unsportsmanlike as a world class sportsman can look. A man who given a little bit of cloud and a bit of a muggy day, can destroy world class batting in a few balls. A man who lives in the shadow of his team mates but despite that is currently by far it's most consistent bowler.

It's often forgotten that while Flintoff took 5-78 in the final Ashes Test last year, that bowling at the other end, the Hoggster took 4-97. He's not a man for the limelight, there's no side to him and for that reason non-cricket fans will probably forget him after 5 years of retirement. For those that love the game though he's up there with Trueman, Underwood, Statham and Snow. Uncomplicated men with the ability to reduce the other side to rubble.

What sets him apart from all the above though is that everything he does, he does with a smile. Nothing ruffles him, he never loses heart when he bowls. He doesn't remonstarate with his daft slip cordon, as they put down catch after catch. He doesn't chunter, as he goes past the edge, it's just a grimace, a swivel, a grin and the lollop.

I think the following taken from his Times column this morning sums up his approach to cricket and life. It addresses his batting, rather than his bowling, but it's the simplicity of approach that he carries to both disciplines, that is his charm.

''WHENEVER we play Sri Lanka, there is always a lot of fuss about the difficulties of trying to pick Muttiah Muralitharan.

Understandably so, because it’s bloody impossible. My solution is that I don’t really bother trying to pick him at all. I can’t really tell his off spinner from his leg spinner from his whatever-else-he-bowls, so I just try to spot which way the ball is spinning in the air and work it out from there. If I was to worry too much about watching his wrist, I think the ball would probably have reached me and bowled me before I had decided what to do.''

Here's to you Hoggy. Us cricket fans will always love you and when you retire I wish you many a long year, walking the dogs on the moors.

14 comments:

David Citizen of the world said...

Good article by Stevan James on facing Murali in the Guardian. Basically says the same thing - no point tying to read the spin 'cos it can't be done. The worst thing isn't the spin though - it's the dip that happens suddenly at the end of the balls trajectory. Makes KP's innings all the more remarkable really.



Plus James added that it's bloody annoying getting out to someone who's smiling all the time as he does it and doesn;t do all the pointing to the pavilion aggresive stuff. You'd like Murali if you ever met him.

Six Years Late said...

Thank you for that. Yes very good.

David Citizen of the world said...

Plus Freddie give Murali a lot of credit for helping him getting his head together. Something to do with being the only player in the dressing room who'd take the piss out of him when he was out to yet another crap shot. Not entirely sure how that works but it seemed to focus his mind so thank you Murali.

Six Years Late said...

Unfortunately i just had a thread stopped on UK news. But, Freddie looks like he's on fire today.

Six Years Late said...

Are you going to put siome stuff up about your Venice trip?

David Citizen of the world said...

I am - getting the photos organised at the moment. Been a blur isince I got back - tenth anniversary of my mum dying was on Wednesday so I wasn;t feeling up to blogging as it would have come out all bitter.



Freddie does look good today - hope there's a good inning fron Sanath today though - I don't want the old boy to go out with a whimper.

Six Years Late said...

Well I think he was the victim of Flintoff in peak form.

Six Years Late said...

Good glad you're going to post something. Hope you're feeling beter.

David Citizen of the world said...

Lol. first innings seem to be a mystery to Sri Lanka at the moment. Feeling fine although visiting mum's grave tomorrow so that could change.

Curmy said...

You gave me a shock,Six, I thought that was you !

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