Cricket

WORD PLAY

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Glove love

What is it?

A relatively recent ritual that involves batsmen touching gloves as they meet mid-pitch to talk about the weather, plumbers (reportedly) and dinner plans. Old timers frown upon it, hankering for the era when a curt nod sufficed, but kids these days…

Why do it?

Batsmen hold the view that out in the middle, it’s two against 11 (or 13, depending on how you feel about the umpires). So anything that is comforting, evoking a feeling that you’re in it together, helps. Besides, done just right, it adds a dash of swagger

Not to be mistaken for

The wholly pure and completely rational relationship between wicketkeepers and their mitts. Unlike brooding batsmen who need all the crutches they can find, ’keepers take refuge in solid reason: ‘Look after your gloves, and they’ll look after you’.

Most memorably done by

Ricky Ponting, a noted critic of the practice. He was put in an uncomfortable position during a charity game when Brian Lara offered a gloved fist. He obliged, and allegedly never lived it down. “So you’ll do it with Lara, but not us,” his teammates wondered aloud.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:22:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/word-play/article19694522.ece

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