“A gun is no more dangerous than a cricket bat in the hands of a madman”
This comment from Prince Phillip in 1996 drew great criticism from the public and media alike. Ostensibly, it seemed that the aged husband of the Queen had been insensitive and callous in his dealings with the touchy subject of gun crime. However, one might say that his comment was in fact a subtle reference to the continuing power of the batsman over the bowler. A batsman’s ability to piss off a bowler goes back to the early days of the sport itself. Indeed, ever since there has been willow on leather, there have been mind games and general dickish behaviour from batsmen to bowlers. Guns do certainly pose a tangible and physical threat to people’s lives, but cricket bats and the men who wield them pose a similarly great psychological threat to bowlers all around the world.
If you are after a confrontation / want to make the 5 runs you get before being bowled on the weekend more interesting, then have a look at these tips on how to piss off a bowler if you’re a batsman:
Take ages to walk out to the middle / be putting on your kit as you walk out
The bowling team have just taken a wicket and are really pumped up. The bowler feels full of rhythm and is desperate to keep bowling as quickly as possible. The last thing he wants to see is a batsman slowly walking to the crease, doing a few practice shots like they’re the next Joe Root.
Bonus points if you walk out to the middle and realise you’ve forgotten your bat and have to go back to get it (I’ve seen it done).
Take guard as a left hander if you’re right handed
This is so fucking annoying… I love it
Walk to the middle and confidently ask for middle stump while taking guard as a left hander. An alert bowler will immediately shout ‘leftie’ and the field will change accordingly. Keep this up until the bowler is about to start his run up and then change to your actual stance.
This means he will have to change his fielder and he’ll be fucking livid. The fielding team will think you’re a wanker but you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve got the psychological upper hand on the bowler.
Stop them half way through their run up for no particular reason.
Professional cricketers do this all the time. To be fair, it’s usually because some moron has moved behind the bowler’s arm but I’m pretty sure sometimes they just do it to piss off the bowlers.
It’s perfect for village cricket and a sure fire way to piss off a bowler. Picture the scene: a middle aged, overweight ‘quick’ running in for his 6th consecutive over. He’s puffing a bit and just before he gets into his delivery stride you pull away and say: ‘Sorry mate, thought I heard something’. You and he both know you didn’t.
Have a chuckle to yourself after edging him through the slips for four
Nothing beats being able to smile at a bowler who has beaten your bat for the fourth consecutive delivery, knowing that he will have to stop staring you down eventually and return to his mark. It’s even better if you edge them for four…
Say something annoying like ‘boom’ or ‘see ya later’ after you hoist them over midwicket for six
I don’t condone doing this at all but if you’re looking for a way to piss off a bowler (or even your own team mates) then this is the absolute worst. Being hit for six is shit at the best of times, but a cocky bloke talking to the ball as it sails over the ropes really does take the biscuit.
Hold the pose for ages after a solid forward defence
This is particularly good against a spinner. If he sends down a straightish ball just hit a classic forward defensive shot and hold the pose as it trickles towards him. Makes you look like you’re in complete control.
When a new batsman comes in loudly tell him that the guy bowls medium pace even though you know he’s their quickest bowler.
Not one of the more subtle ways to piss off the bowler but effective none the least. Every team has a bloke who thinks he bowls like Michael Holding, and the best way to piss ’em off is effectively to tell them that they don’t.
So if you’re after an awkward encounter with a bowler at match tea or you’re just a bit of a shit bloke then enjoy using these tips to piss off a bowler.