On the Front Foot: Lie detectors are a red herring. The MCC want pink balls and Tests at night

Amid all the fuss about lie detectors, the dear old pink ball was forgotten. But the MCC, determined to show their credentials as leaders of the game, will clearly stop at nothing to save it. The World Cricket Committee, now five years old and comprising 20 members of the great, good and plain legendary, ran through the whole gamut of possible technological innovations this week in Perth. The Lord's switchboard was virtually jammed by polygraph manufacturers after the committee suggested their machines might be used in stamping out match-fixing. It would have been fascinating to see how their claims stood up to examination by their own product. Lie-detector tests are the idea of Steve Waugh, who spoke eloquently about the need to stamp out corruption and will lead an MCC-WCC working party. But lie detecting deflected attention from the issue of the pink ball. MCC are on a crusade to develop pink-ball cricket with a view to having floodlit Tests. The pre-season match between MCC and Nottinghamshire will again be played in Dubai with a pink ball, this year with a white rather than a green seam. The WCC has also jumped on the Test championship bandwagon. Indeed, it would claim to have started it and hopes it will "ensure the supreme format of the game can thrive worldwide". To be in Australia right now is not to fear for the future of Test cricket. Rather the reverse. But another series is taking place in South Africa between the host nation and India, ranked at No 1 and No 2. In assessing the crowds it would be kind only to say that touts and scalpers did not bother turning up.

Scouse touts are just the ticket

Talking of touts and scalpers, they have been out in force at the Waca. They litter the sidewalks and the entrance to the gardens leading to the ground, muttering from the corner of their mouths. Authorities frown on them, of course but the fact that they are conducting the trade is the sign of a healthy sport, notwithstanding fags hanging from the corners of their mouths, opposite the ones from which they are speaking. The most surprising thing is that they all appear to come from Liverpool.

Press gang given a kicking

In 1902, long before there were Tests in Western Australia, the touring England cricketers played football in the state. They were on their way home via Perth after losing the Ashes when they agreed to play a challenge match at Fremantle Oval against the WA state soccer XI. A crowd of 5,000 watched a side including Gilbert Jessop win 4-0. In 1907-08 Jack Hobbs played in a 3-2 English win. Running the line, as he had in the first match, was the fast bowler Sidney Barnes. The match died out but it was revived eight years ago as a match between the Western Australia media and reporters from England. England lost this year's match 5-3.

A different spin on things

Australia's search for a spinner knows no bounds. The Mighty Mollygrubber Malone may be the answer. That he is a fictional 12-year-old leg-spinner who has mastered the art of the one that goes along the ground and is eventually picked for the deciding Test in Sydney, in the Aussie journalist Will Swanton's endearingly jaunty fictional tale, does not mean the selectors will overlook him. They have picked everybody else.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Jodie Stimpson crosses the finishing line to win gold in the women's triathlon
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning