Monday, 23 January 2012

Jive Talking

Fantasy Bob woke from semi-consciousness to find the televisual machine in the corner leaking out a programme about the Nation's Favourite Bee Gees songs.

 'As Voted By You' was the strap line. FB blinked.  How long had he slumbered?  He has heard recent rumours of a referendum in Scotland about something or other - this must have been it and it has passed without FB exercising his franchise.

But he rapidly resumed his slumbering condition when it became clear that this programme would concentrate only on the 3 Gibb brothers who became renowned for their tight white trousers and falsetto voices. There was even some space for the fourth brother, Andy, who died at the sad early age of 30 in 1988.

Where is Herschelle?
There was little to interest the cricketer since the producers conspicuously failed to mention the cricketing Gibb.  FB concludes that this man must be considered the black sheep of the family. So black in his sheepiness, in fact, that this fifth brother, Herschelle, had to change his name slightly and withdraw to the safe distance of South Africa. Like all good pop stars, Gibbs' prodigious talents as a batsman and a fielder were accompanied by brushes with controversy.  His back catalogue of songs deals with both sides of his character.

Here are the nation's favourite Herschelle Gibbs songs, as voted by you:

10) I Gotta Get a Message to You - Gibbs was caught up in the match fixing affair with Hansie Cronje, who offered him $15,000 to score fewer than 20 in the 3rd ODI of the 2000 series in India. He tearfully claimed to the King Commission of inquiry into corruption in South African cricket that he did not follow through, in fact scoring a fine 74. As a result he was banned for only six months.
9) Islands in the Stream - During the 2007 World Cup his 6 hitting raised $1 million for the Habitat for Humanity housing projects as part of a contest run by tournament sponsor Johnnie Walker.  The award of citizenship by St Kitts and Nevis followed.
8) How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? - Gibbs is one of only three batsmen in ODI history to score hundreds in 3 consecutive innings, the others being Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar. He then had a chance to become the only batsman to score 4 hundreds in a row.  Gibbs fell just 3 runs short, finishing unbeaten on 97 when the winning runs were conceded by 4 wides.  Tragedy.
7) Night Fever - In the 2009 IPL Final, Gibbs was crucial to Declan Chargers' win by scoring an unbeaten 53 (off 48 balls). He also took a crucial catch to dismiss Mark Boucher.
6) More Than a Woman - a man for partnerships - Gibbs and Graeme Smith are the only pair in Test history to have stands of 300 on three occasions. He also holds the South African second wicket record, a partnership of 315* with Jacques Kallis.
5) Stayin’ Alive - his international career ended with his final ODI against India in February 2010. In season 2011-12 he has played for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League - his 69 off 48 balls against Melbourne Stars on 4 January won him the man of the match award.
4) Words - In January 2007, Gibbs faced a disciplinary panel after making racist comments during a Test against Pakistan. He defended himself by saying that his words were not directed at opposing players but at members of the crowd after teammate Paul Harris had been abused by them whilst fielding. But Gibbs was banned for two Tests, a verdict changed on appeal to one Test, one ODI and one T20.
3) Massachusetts - (a mis-hearing of massive-six-hits) - He became the first player to hit 6 sixes in one over in ODI cricket against the Netherlands in the 2007 World Cup. His six hitting continued throughout the tournament and he levelled Ricky Ponting's record of 28 sixes in World Cup history.
2) You Win Again - a fielder of the highest quality, Gibbs famously dropped a catch in a 1999 World Cup game against Australia, when he attempted to throw the ball up into the air in celebration before he had full control. Steve Waugh then went on to make a century and win the game for Australia, a victory which also gave the Australian side crucial momentum to go on and win the tournament.  Reports that Waugh had sledged Gibbs with the statement, 'You've just dropped the World Cup, mate.' have subsequently been denied by Waugh.
1) How Deep is Your Love? - Saffies are difficult to love - but this man at least deserves respect - 90 Tests, 6167 runs at 41.95, 14 hundreds; 248 ODIs, 8094 runs at 36.13, 21 hundreds 

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