Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Comeback

Comebacks are in fashion................actually before we get started Fantasy Bob would like assure readers whose interest in cricket is less than obsessional that this posting is really about movie stars.  In particular (the cousin of) Russell Crowe and (the consort of) Liz Hurley.  FB thinks he might be out-Helloing Hello in such glamour.

So, to return to the matter in hand - comebacks are in fashion.

Cricketers may have noticed the press reports about the weekend comeback of Martin Crowe, rightly dubbed New Zealand's greatest batsman - 77 Tests, 5444 runs @ 45.36.  Crowe gave up cricket 16 years ago, and is now in his 50th year but has decided to turn out again.  He played for Auckland Cornwall club's second eleven, making what is described as a painstaking 15*.  Reports say that his innings was peppered with enthusiastic appeals from teenage bowlers on the opposition.   He is also reported to have commented that the pitch was the slowest he had ever played on - he should try playing Scotland at the start of the season.

Crowe states that his objective is to make some first class appearances and hopes to be selected for the MCC against the county champions at Dubai in April.  In doing so he wishes to promote further day-night tests and the use of the pink ball.  Good luck to him.

Crowe at Lord's 1994 - as elegant as you can get
Fantasy Bob recalls with great pleasure seeing Martin Crowe at the height of his game at Lords in 1994.  He scored 142 and assisted New Zealand recover from a perilous position to a first innings total of 476.  This is the classiest innings that FB has ever seen close up. Martin Crowe was a class apart and England's bowlers had nowhere to bowl at him, even though he could hardly move as his knee was falling apart even then.  If FB recalls correctly he played with a brace under his pads.  The match was eventually drawn.

Slimline Warne
Also on the comeback trail is Warney who is going to turn out for Melbourne Stars in Australia's domestic T20.  Apparently he has lost 12kg since getting engaged to Ms Hurley, so he may have in mind a few additional cakes at tea.  The T20 competition is sponsored by KFC.  But Warne's return is hardly a comeback since he only retired at the end of the IPL.  This is Frank Sinatra's concept of retirement - basically leaving the room for a short while.  But this comeback contains a lesson - get a high maintenance girlfriend and you have to find some income.

Fantasy Bob's comeback to league cricket a few years ago was less trumpeted than those of Crowe and Warne.  There is no accounting for this - it was equally memorable.  At least FB remembers it. Childcare and a policy of Mrs FB appeasement had led him to retire from weekend cricket in the mid 1990s.   But  eventually he made himself available for Carlton and has never looked back.  He's never looked any use either but that is another issue.

All these comebacks are united by the love of the game they demonstrate.  Equally all these comebacks represent but fleeting moments of time compared to John Traicos who made a return to Test cricket in 1992 for Zimbabwe, 22 years and 222 days after the last of his 3 Tests for South Africa.  Some wait.

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