Sticky wicket, that's cricket! The charming account ("Ringer Aids Brits in Cricket Match," by Paul Dean, Dec. 12) of the British "ringer," Ian Botham, competing here in a Southland cricket match recalled an equally fun and equally bewildering visit Down Under in early 1981.
It was World Cup cricket, matching New Zealand and Australia. It was televised in both countries. The visiting New Zealanders were behind six runs at Melbourne with only one "over" left ("out" in baseball). Even if the visitors smashed the ball over the fence the six runs would only tie the score. Guess what? The Aussies pulled a trick that made furious headlines in New Zealand--and in Australia, too. Bowler Trevor Chappell, at the instructions of his brother team captain Greg Chappell, rolled the cricket ball along the ground to the batter, who could only hope for a squib hit (long bunt). Cricket experts admitted such a delivery (pitch) was legal, "but hardly cricket, old chap."