Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Dead Ball Rule

Monday was my first evening class in the level 1 course for becoming an umpire in the game of cricket. So here is an exchange between a bowler and umpire on the subject of the dead ball rule (with acknowledgement to Messrs Cleese and Palin).

The start of the fourth over of the day.

Bowler: I wish to complain about this ball what you gave me to bowl with not half an hour ago from this very end of the wicket.
Umpire: What's, uh...What's wrong with it
Bowler: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, ump. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it!
Umpire: No, no, it's uh,...it's asleep.
Bowler: “Look, ump, I know a dead ball when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
Umpire: No no it's not dead, it's, it's restin'! Remarkable ball, the Australian Kookaburra, idn'it, ay? Beautiful cherry colour!
Bowler: The colour don't enter into it. It's stone dead.
Umpire: Nononono, no, no! 'it's asleep!
Bowler : All right then, if it's sleeping, I'll wake it up! (shouting at the ball) 'Ello, Mister Kookaburra Ball! I've got a lovely fresh batsman waiting at the other end for you to knock his block off.
Umpire throws the ball hard on the ground:   There, it moved!
Bowler: No, it didn't, that was you making it bounce!
Umpire : I never!!
Bowler: Yes, you did!
Umpire: I never, never did anything...
Bowler: (yelling at the ball repeatedly) 'ELLO BALL!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your twelve o'clock alarm call!
(Takes ball out of the umpire’s hand and throws it fiercely to the wicket keeper and watches it drop to the ground and trickle along the pitch.)
Bowler : Now that's what I call a dead ball.
Umpire: No, no.....No, it's stunned!
Bowler: STUNNED?!?
Umpire : Yeah! You stunned it, just as he was wakin' up! Kookaburra cherries stun easily, my son.
Bowler: Um...now look...now look, ump, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That ball is definitely deceased, and when you gave it me it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and jiggered following a prolonged interview with Geoffrey Boycott.
Umpire : Well, it's...it's, ah...probably pining for the beaches of the Gold Coast.
Bowler : PININ' for the BEACHES?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that? look, why is it’s seam is as flat as a pancake?
Umpire : The Kookaburra Cherry prefers low profile! Remarkable ball, id'nit, son? Lovely colour!
Bowler: Look, I took the liberty of examining that ball in the first over, and I discovered the only reason that it had any seam at all in the first place was that it had been stuck there.
Umpire: Well, o'course it was stuck there! If I hadn't stuck that seam down, that ball would have swung round corners bounced up to the batter’s ear’ol’ and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
Bowler : "VOOM"?!? Ump, this ball wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'It's bloomin' demised!
Umpire : No no! 'It's pining!
Bowler: It's not pinin'! It's passed on! This ball is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! It’s 'istory! It's kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain. THIS IS AN EX-BALL!!
Umpire: Well, I'd better replace it, then. (he calls for the third umpire) Sorry son, my mate had a look 'round the back of the scoreboard, and uh, we're right out of Kookaburras
Bowler: I see. I see, I get the picture.
Umpire: I got a tennis ball.
(pause)
Bowler: **!!?X!?

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