Monday, 9 April 2012

What happened to spring?

Fantasy Bob has been allowed by the UK Border Agency to re-enter the country.  There is always that moment at the airport when the passport checker looks down at the passport photo with a slight flicker of incredulity that anyone would present such an appalling photograph for inspection.  The passport is then scanned and there is a moment during which fate hangs in the balance.  All it needs is for a computer with a mind of its own and FB could be turned away at the door.  But not this time.  The computer has been properly programmed with the imminent needs of the Carlton All Star Fourth XI for FB's services and it has responded positively.

FB returns but discovers he must apologise to his world wide readership for his presumption that it would be appropriate to celebrate the arrival of spring.  Snow and blizzards have been prominent in the weather reports - a bit early FB's first cricket match is still a couple of weeks away.

Indeed it was also decidedly winterish in Madrid for much of FB's stay there.  So poor was the weather that some of the Holy Week, processions which are a feature of Spanish life at this time of year had to be cancelled. A case of rain stopped pray - and a situation with which any cricketer can sympathise.

FB returns to find the world differently ordered.  England have won their first test match for many month.  Swann has restored his reputation as has KP.  So much has the world turned on its head that Michael Vaughan has been sent to interview golfers at the Masters.  FB has yet to understand why this has come about but he is taking great consolation in this bizarre appearance - he could never be as hopeless at it as Gary Lineker.

Would he bowl left arm?
There are 2 left handed players well up the leader board in this year's Masters.  FB supposes this is a record.  For he can count the number of left handed golfers on the fingers of one hand - probably his right. Handedness is an interesting thing. Statistics suggest that across the population as a whole about 11% of people are left handed.  This proportion is rising as in older generations many naturally left handed people were forced to do things right handed. The proportion of left handed batsmen to right handed batsmen at the top level seems higher than this and FB suspects it is rising.  Some bat left handed but bowl right handed - Stuart Broad for example.  Fewer bowl left and bat right (Zaheer Khan).  Tendulkar writes with his left hand;  Gower with his right.

But golf retains a huge right handed dominance.  Something to do with the availability of equipment, presumably, forcing natural left handers to play the wrong way round.  FB remembers playing with the occasional cack handed player who used right handed clubs but played with the left hand below the right.  Their swings were never things of beauty and FB has never seen this at the top level although many players put cack handed for psychological reasons.  Some day one of them will put left handed for a similar reason.  But there is probably no great advantage to playing golf left handed - unlike in cricket where left handers can make things a bit difficult for right handed players - particularly FB.

No comments:

Post a Comment