Ashes 2010: Decoding “Ribgate”

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Ashes 100-1 Countdown: 38 Days Until the Ashes…

James Anderson has a cracked rib and must be considered a doubt for the first test at The Gabba despite insistence from the England camp that he will recover in time. Fans and the press alike are heaping criticism on the England boot camp which took place in Germany a week or so ago. And they are right to wonder whether the scrawny figure of James Anderson really has the right physique to handle a half decent body shot with under 50 days until The Ashes.

It certainly is a rather peculiar way to get yourself injured, but it’s nowhere near as bizarre as Sam Torrence sleepwalking and ending his 1993 Ryder Cup by tackling an inanimate yukka tree or the story of Lee Trevino being struck by lightning. And it doesn’t even come close to Dave Beasant being attacked by a salad cream bottle that left him out for 8 weeks or another GK, Alex Stepney of Manchester United, who dislocated his jaw by loudly shouting at fans behind his goal.

Whether the boot camp in Germany was a good or bad idea is another issue altogether. Freak injuries happen. They are all part of the drama. Think back to Glenn McGrath injuring himself before the 2005 Edgbaston test by stepping on a ball in the outfield. There should be no finger pointing for these kind of things.

However, what is fascinating about “Ribgate” is the identity of the perpetrator. Steve James, former Glamorgan and England opener, in a candid interview with Stuart Broad revealed that the guy who threw the punch was a rival fast bowler. It gets even more intriguing when you realise that in stark contrast to James Anderson this bowler has the physique of  a heavyweight boxer. Standing at a towering 6ft 7 inches Chris Tremlett is a man you wouldn’t want to spar against. I bet he couldn’t resist throwing that Ricky Hatton body shot. Who knows? That extra height could also see Chris Tremlett packing a few punches on the  hard Australian pitches.

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