Believe it or not, there are days when I don’t wake up thinking “Hmm, I’d like to see someone’s teeth smashed out of their face today.” There are those days, but then there are days when it happens anyway.
It’s one of those quirks of probability. We all know cricket balls are very hard. We’ve worn the brutal sting when they crash into that one unprotected spot on your inner thigh, endured the cut fingers from trying to spin the seam, and every time a batsman smashes a straight drive back past the bowler, Tony Greig always says gee whiz, that could’ve killed him theah, nearly took his head orff. But for all that, I’ve never actually seen it happen.
Until it did, with a Zimbabwean death bowler nearly becoming a Zimbabwean dead bowler when he managed to save a certain boundary with his face. Last ball of the innings too, God bless. Thanks to the slow-motion replay, you can see those bits of teeth cartwheeling away from his purpling lips like wedding rice off a car roof.
None of this was enjoyable – I rather wish I hadn’t watched it, and even thinking about it is kind of nauseating. If you’re Curious George though, catch the YouTube vid before some over-enthused subcontinental fan turns it into a Bhangra montage extravaganza starring Yuvraj Singh.
(If you’re squeamish, don’t watch this. Seriously.)
A part that was enjoyable, though, was the big middle finger it issued to anyone who says cricket isn’t a hard sport. Another part was the parade of headlines – and the best jokes are the ones writers may not realise they’re making.
See, the bowler’s name was Meth. Keegan Meth. Great potential already. But add it to this situation, and we got the following.
All I’m hoping for, apart from a speedy recovery for the masculine hero in this story, is that he’ll marry one o’ the local girls and name his daughter Crystal. And that we can award him Steve Waugh’s old nickname of The Iceman.
A range of non-drug-related headlines were sadly passed by, though. “Toothless Zimbabwe attack smashed by Bangladesh,” would have been a good example. “Denture dare give me full tosses,” perhaps. “Zim’s late bowling hardly incisive.”
“Emerging all-rounder on the bicuspid of success?”
Next time. Mind you, match reports also had a lot of lines about Bangladesh “saving face” with their win. Doesn’t look like they did that great a job of it to me.