Too Many Spins, Turns and Breaks

By Zaheer E. Clarke

(Published July 20, 2015)

TWIN TOWERS: Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, the two most accomplished spin bowlers in cricket history.

TWIN TOWERS: Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, the two most accomplished spin bowlers in cricket history.

A seasonal yet perennial turbulence now rages on amongst local pundits regarding a spinner’s stock deliver in cricket. The main pitch of contention lies in whether a spinner is bowling off breaks or leg breaks, and if this definition changes depending on if the batsman, or the bowler is right-handed or left-handed. Yeah, it seems confusing, but cricket, unlike these pundits is rather simple.

Months ago, I wrote an informative exposé on the nostalgic and statistical definitions of terms such as good, great, and godlike, in cricket. It seems another exposé is warranted lest these so-called pundits and fans, confuse themselves and others with their willy-nilly, slapdash approaches to this ‘spins, turns, and breaks’ debate. Continue reading

‘Roger Federer is simply Amazing Grace’

By Zaheer E. Clarke

(Published Monday, July 6, 2015)

Roger Federer will be seeking his eighth Wimbledon title and eighteenth Grand Slam title this week.

BELOVED: Roger Federer will be seeking his eighth Wimbledon title and eighteenth Grand Slam title this week. © PA Images / Clive Rose / POOL Wire / PA Wire

A fortnight ago, US President, Barack Obama delivered an enthralling eulogy in Charleston, South Carolina, for Pastor Clementa Pinckney of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. In closing, he bellowed an old, yet popular folk song, “Amazing Grace.” This famous ‘African-American’ spiritual was ironically written by a white man, John Newton, who was once a vile slave trader but later reformed to be a man of God.

A few days after the President’s rapturous rendition, which had over 5000 standing and singing in chorus, I sat in the depths of depression over West Indies cricket. Miraculously, my haemorrhaging heart perked a beat when I surveyed the still unfolding career of tennis legend, Roger Federer. Maybe due to years of West Indian asphyxiation, my tiny vocabulary gasped to find the right descriptive words to fully encapsulate Roger’s career. Just then, as hope vanished, the title of the old Negro spiritual, sang often in that old Methodist church, came to me forcefully, “Amazing Grace.” Without a doubt, those simple words are the fitting description for Roger Federer. Continue reading