Puz­zlers and posers

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - JOSEPH ROMANOS

A few ques­tions this week.

What’s the rea­son for the mod­ern trend in cricket of field­s­men point­ing to where the ball is go­ing?

Are out­field­ers watch­ing their team-mates for di­rec­tions, rather than fol­low­ing the ball? Wouldn’t they chase it if it wasn’t pointed to?

It makes you won­der how the great out­field­s­men of the past ever man­aged to stop the ball with­out guid­ance from a team-mate.

On a re­lated sub­ject, why do crick­eters these days shout ‘‘Catch it’’ when a ball is hit in the air? Would a field­s­man not make an ef­fort to catch the ball oth­er­wise?

I am wait­ing for the day when the field­ing team shouts ‘‘ Bowl it’’ as a bowler turns at the top of his mark.

Mov­ing to foot­ball, why is there so much spit­ting these days?

Is it a male thing? I didn’t no­tice our cham­pion women’s rugby play­ers spit­ting nearly as much dur­ing their World Cup run last year. But if it’s a male thing, why don’t male ten­nis play­ers spit through­out their matches?

Some­one has sug­gested foot­ballers spit be­cause of the build-up of saliva brought about by all their run­ning. In that case, why don’t ref­er­ees feel sim­i­larly com­pelled to spit? Now to ten­nis. Why is there so much of the in­cred­i­ble shriek­ing among top play­ers, es­pe­cially women, these days?

It used to be called grunt­ing, but it’s too loud and pro­longed for that de­scrip­tion to be ac­cu­rate.

De­fend­ers of the ten­nis scream­ers say it helps play­ers hit with more power.

But that’s not re­ally cor­rect. Of­ten the same women make no noise while prac­tis­ing.

Their ear-split­ting scream­ing is con­fined to matches.

If play­ers need to scream to hit the ball hard, why didn’t big hit­ters of the past, such as Mar­garet Court, John New­combe, Arthur Ashe, Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sa­ba­tini, scream too? Weren’t they try­ing to hit the ball hard?

Coaches these days en­cour­age their play­ers to scream. The prac­tice is grow­ing more wide­spread. Ten­nis of­fi­cials should be mov­ing to curb it.

Mov­ing on, in dou­bles, why do part­ners have to touch each other af­ter ev­ery rally? Wouldn’t they feel they were get­ting their mate’s sup­port oth­er­wise?

Fi­nally, why don’t women play best of five matches at Grand Slam tour­na­ments, which are sup­posed to be the ul­ti­mate ten­nis test?

Af­ter all, they are paid the same as the men, who play the longer matches. And they are cer­tainly fit and strong enough to do so.

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