I’ve been watching a lot of cricket these past few weeks, while listening to music and reading at the same time. See? I’m learning multitasking. It must be the time I’m spending with my wife and Generation M children.
While watchening the cricket (I have no word to describe the half-listen half-watch that every child of mine has done with television when young) I heard a commentator use one of my favourite words.

“….and Dravid nurdles that past Smith”.

Nurdle. What a fine word, Mr Pockheel, as H*Y*M*A*N  K*A*P*L*A*N was wont to say. [An aside. If you haven’t read the two Leonard Q Ross/Leo Rosten books on the classroom adventures of Mr Kaplan, find the time somehow. They are just incredible, particularly for people who like some humour in their linguistics. I’m reading them for the 9th or 10th time. Rosten is fantastic.]

Nurdle. Now with an entry in Wikipedia, I’ll have you know.

Nurdle. Defined as: to score runs by gently nudging the ball into vacant areas of the field. There’s something bucolic about it, conjuring sounds of willow on leather amidst an aroma of freshmown grass.
While on the subject of nurdling. The commentators almost nurdled some truly useless cricket trivia past me while I was dreaming of nurdles, trivia that I love:

Name the five cricketers who’ve done the treble of 200 wickets, 4000 runs, …. and 100 catches. At Test level of course.

16 thoughts on “Nurdling”

  1. JP,
    I will use this next time a someone throws me a curve ball. I will nurdle it down to third man. Then I’ll bowl a doosra in my next meeting.

  2. My first thought was Alan Border because I knew he had the runs and the catches. I was surprised to find he had taken only 39 Test wickets in 156 match career.

    This was despite taking 11 for 96 against the West Indies. Surely he must have the lowest aggregate number of wickets for anybody who has taken ten in a match? Or the highest proportion of wickets in a single match or something.

    Anyway, back to the drawing board.

  3. JP,

    Glad to see you nurdling.

    The greatest cricketer of all time….not enough exposure due to the era….Sir Garfield Sobers. Quite an achievement due to the number of tests played.


  4. OK – Jacques Kallis? He was on 98 catches but fulfilled the criteria otherwise….must have taken 2 catches in the Pakistan test currently taking place. Am I right?

  5. Just started reading Wisden 2007 and it raises an interesting question about Andrew Strauss’s experience in Adelaide and Perth. Has it ever happened before that a batsman was wrongly given out in three consecutive innings?

  6. I thought Tendulkar had an appalling sequence in Australia in 2003, four poor calls, but he bounced back with a double century.

  7. In response to Dominic’s remark about bowlers getting a big bag of wickets in one match, but a low career aggregate, surely the nonpareil must be Bob Massie. He took 16 wickets in a single match on debut at Lords in 1972 (I was there – he swung the ball as if on a string) but took only 15 more wickets in the rest of his career.
    Hirwani also took 16 on debut but amassed 66 in total.

  8. Good heavens JP, the cricket authorities must have been listening to us. Umpires have started giving batsmen out lbw when they prop forward with the bat hidden behind the pad.

Let me know what you think

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