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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The kid didn't sustain fatal injuries, thus saved Warner, ICC, and Cricket.

At Perth aka WACA, against Afghanistan, in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Australia's David Warner played a swashbuckling knock of 178 off just 133 balls is news. More so, as numbers matter in business, and cricket is a big business after all.

In fact, for 'breaking' news, his innings was literally perfect because one of his sixers hit a kid in the gallery, who had to wear a temporary 'arm sling', thereafter. 

And thanks to media, and the social media, Twitter to be precise, the following things we came to know to improve our GK (General Knowledge): 

1) Warner can kill bowlers, as well as spectators 

2) Warner should, must apologise to the injured kid

3) The guy in white shirt sitting next to the kid was his father 

4) The father is an insensitive guy because he remained glued to his mobile phone

5) The injured kid is adorable because he didn't cry on camera despite being injured badly   

6) Guys, who tried to catch and stop the ball, are idiots because they failed in their mission 

(True, if guys can't catch a ball, they are idiots for sure).

Award winning analysis, no doubt!

Anyway, let's look at the pictures below to know how the kid got the blow, and where, in order to understand what could have happened to him, fatefully and terribly, had the ball struck him a few inches above on his head... right on the right temple... BANG!

(Click on each of the pictures to enlarge)

Well, from 'concussion' to 'coma'... to 'death' was very much a possibility, what, thankfully, didn't take place... saving not only an innocent child but also cricket -- the sport that's been 'patronising injuries and deaths on the field and off it' in the name of machismo and bravado, since ages, rather mindlessly.

To be precise, with adequate disgust of course, it's a 'cricket ball' that injures and kills -- but god knows why, neither ICC nor any national cricket board nor the ball manufacturer nor the media nor even cricket fans try to take this matter, seriously... instead of accepting on-field and/or in-action injuries and deaths as freak accidents... to move on to another accident on the cards... quite freakishly. 

Sad and bizarre, but true! While so many innovations keep happening in cricket bat manufacturing, hardly any innovation (except some cosmetic changes on the leather or in the seam) has occurred so far to make a cricket ball less lethal. 

In case fatal injuries and deaths are imperative to the macho image of cricket, it's better to merge the sport with boxing or bull-fight or WWE circus for that matter. 

If, for some inane debates sake, it is to be pointed out that many a sport like football, rugby, F1 racing, etc. are more injurious and life-threatening than cricket, my humble rebuttal is, since Israel and Palestine war to kill innocent people for collateral damage, it doesn't mean every two neighbouring countries got to indulge in similar idiocy, so as to make the war a national game. 

Every sport has its own essence, personality, and character, and cricket being a gentleman's game should behave itself to become gentle in true sense without compromising on the competitiveness though. And for that, unnecessary and absolutely stupid toughness should be gotten rid of on an immediate basis.

A close look into the Kookaburra Turf Cricket ball -- getting used in the World Cup 2015 as well -- will make it clear how hard such balls are; not to help bowlers but batsmen who hit the leather all around the park at will to make even 500 runs possible (in the days to come) from 50 overs catering to the market demand. Because the more the run, the more the fun, the more the entertainment, the more the eyeballs, the more the business, so it hardly matters whether a Phillip Hughes dies or a Hillel Oscar or an unknown kid.  

Such a killer ball is made by using a centre nucleus of cork and rubber, with 'five concentric layers of cork sheet' wound on by worsted yarn, with a cover made from cowhide.

Plus, Kookaburra uses plastic cover under the four pieces of leather to add more durability to the Turf. 

'Five concentric layers of cork' and 'the plastic cover' make those balls as dangerous as bombshells, which often manufacture fatal injuries to invoke disquiet and fear in people's mind. Certainly, that's not going to help the spirit of cricket in any way, especially when more and more children, as well as women, particularly in developing economies, need to be brought into the mainstream of cricket, so the sport proliferates across the globe. 

So, there is no alternative but to invest judiciously on the research and development of cricket balls because a new avatar of leathers is a must for the greater interest of the game beyond media rights. 

The first thing in that direction has to be done by disowning and replacing the plastic and the five concentric layers of cork with some other and better substance that will enhance the durability and performance of cricket balls; however duly eliminating the hurtful elements from inside.  

As there is no dearth of money at present in cricket, hence investment on research and development should be no issue. 

At our cricket clinic, SHOTS & DOTS, I was experimenting with a tennis ball by wrapping some duct tapes on it, and found the ball swinging quite well after that, given the imbalance of weight, induced. 

It prompted me to design a cricket ball, which I'm not sure though whether workable in reality because I have no lab facility to keep experimenting for something concrete. 

Nonetheless, exploiting my idea, any cricket ball manufacturer -- if having the balls to do something uncanny -- can do something worthwhile about it. 

To conclude, it's only imaginations -- often wild ones -- that help innovations. For instance: If none had ever imagined that humans might fly in the sky one day then, eventually, no aeroplane would have been a reality till date. 

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