Cricket Uncut

A group blog run by professional cricket writers from across the world

Monday, May 16, 2005

The precocious baby, and selectors' marriages

Fine writers, strange sentences. Two of our better cricket writers, Tim de Lisle and Mike Atherton, recently wrote pieces that were otherwise excellent but contained one curious sentence each. First, from a piece by Atherton in the Sunday Telegraph, comes this:
Having rattled up only 86 runs from seven innings, Marcus Trescothick's new baby is not the only thing at the moment that will be giving him sleepless nights.

This indicates, obviously, that baby Trescothick has already embarked upon a cricketing career, and it is hard to see why Atherton should complain about that. And then, there is this sentence from de Lisle's column in the Times:
The No 5 spot was up for grabs as the selectors made Graham Thorpe wait after twice pulling out with marital problems.

This sentence isn't exactly wrong, but it's ambiguous: when I first read it, I assumed that England's selectors collectively had marital problems, and poor Thorpe was suffering for it.

Both these men are such fine writers that I am assuming the copy desk twisted sentences around to produce these errors. (Cricket Writing Commandment 1: Blame the subs.) And as Chandrahas, who brought my attention to these sentences, pointed out, both pieces contain some excellent writing, especially de Lisle's superb paragraph on Alan Wells. We shall savour the writing, but shall not deprive ourselves of a chuckle at Trescothick's talented child or England's selectors' marital woes.
amit varma, 5:23 PM| email this to a friend | permalink | homepage