Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Fantasy Bob reads with as near as he can muster to interest that zips are to be banned from cricket trousers by the ICC. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.

Banned by the ICC
This has been confirmed after the fine levied on South African Faf du Plessis in the recently completed Test against Pakistan.  Du Plessis' offence, for which he was docked 50% of his match fee and his side given a 5 run penalty, was to shine the ball in the area of the zip on the pocket of his trousers.  This was deemed ball tampering so the fate of the zip was sealed, as it were.  Zip-a-dee-ay.

Old Faf might have been inconvenienced by the fine, but the 5 run penalty didn't hurt as S Africa won by an innings and 92 tuns.  My oh my.

FB was surprised to learn of cricket trousers with zips - even if they are on the pockets.  He has not encountered a zip anywhere on cricket trousers, least of all in the place you might expect a zip to be. For many years now all his cricket trousers have had a closed front. What a wonderful day.

du Plessis
It is arguable whether this is progress.  It has the unfortunate consequence that cricketers must now bare their all in a very undignified fashion when they nervously seek to relieve themselves prior to their innings. Rugby players moon with enthusiasm on every possible occasion.  But cricketers are more modest. And the requirement to present a bare rear at such a private time can only add to the fraughtness of these highly charged moments.  It is hard to believe that had such as Bradman or Hammond been faced with such indignity it would not have dampened their performance.  Indeed FB suspects that their consistency can be explained by there being an opening in their trousers where an opening should be.

There may be another way of looking at it. For the majority of their careers Bradman and Hammond would have had to negotiate a set of buttons.  Zips only came into widespread use in the flies of trousers in the late 1930s.   This immediately heightened the risks faced by cricketers.   In the USA there are 17,000 zipper accidents per year when that all too delicate part of the anatomy is caught in the zipper in the attempt to close it.  FB suspects that there will a similar frequency of eye watering occasions in cricket playing countries.  But it is not known how many cricketers have been so unfortunate, although the risk must be considerably higher since doing up a zipper with batting gloves on presents an added challenge.  This may explain the speed with which the fly-less modern trouser grew in popularity.

It's the truth
Its's actual
Everything is satisfactual...................

FB's dwindling world wide readership may find it of interest to know that the first modern design for the zip was made and patented in 1913 - by the American Gideon Sundback.  Since this was in the USA it is unlikely that cricketers' interests were significant in the designer's mind.  Well, Sundback should have thought harder and the heirs to his invention would not be facing this ban now.

PS the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah seems to have nothing to do with trouser fastenings.  It cames from the Walt Disney film Song of the South released in 1947 - which was also Walter Hammond's last year in Test cricket.  He got out when button flies were still available.

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