The other day, I asked about those cricketers that transcend stats, and received a very succinct reply from Benny, aka @tracerbullet007. He lists just about every active cricketer known to, well, known to bring it when it matters. They might not be the best players on the planet, but if you had to go to war, those are the guys I would want with me. Hat tip.
He also told me of a famous quote that Sunil Gavaskar’s wife might have said, which I just love, no matter who said it:
“If I wanted someone to bat for my pleasure, I would ask my husband. If I needed someone to bat for my life, I would ask Javed Miandad.”
Now, I would love to be able to write eloquently like that on the cricketers I would trust my life to, if need be, but unfortunately, and simply: I have not watched enough cricket.
Being able to write lucid and brillant prose on the poetry of batting is something beyond me. I think quite honestly that in order to write like that, and do it well, you need to have been a cricket fan your entire life.
I firmly believe that.
A few weeks ago, one of my favorite tweeters, @legsidelizzy, tweeted about her favorite individual performance by a Nottinghamshire cricketer. I cannot find the specific tweet, unfortunately, but she basically summed up a transcendent bowling performance that would have an otherwise been ignored on a stat sheet, and she did so beautifully, in fewer than 140 characters!
She has followed cricket her entire life, and it shows.
And therefore while I want to write such prose, I have decided to instead stick to basing my posts on cold, hard stats.
And so: for the next five days: I will be posting about the five fastest hundreds in the knockout round of an ODI tournament. Not just the World Cup, but every tri-series, quad-series, World Series.
The only caveat is that the tournament has to involve teams with full test status. For instance, Gayle’s immense 110 off of 77 balls in the final of the 2008 Scotiabank Series does not count.
Great knock though.
After I write about the batsmen, I will write about the bowlers. Though I have yet to pick a stat on which to rate them, so I am not sure how that is going to go.
All of this starts tomorrow. Because I am tired. It has been a long week. And I was up at 6:45am CST to watch Arsenal.
Speaking of players that transcend stats, how about that Robin van Persie, eh?
You need a goal?
Need another goal?
And the stats support his brilliance, too.
For instance Liverpool has 30 league goals this season.
Robin alone has 25.
Anyway, this is a cricket blog.