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Kenny Realts

I am reading Michael Slater’s autobiography which was published in 2005.  It is creatively entitled: Slats.  I am part way through and it is OK but I am not going to review it.  However, I did come across a very interesting paragraph (p 63):

Also, although I’d been known as Slats for as long as I could remember, Geoff [Lawson] gave me my only other nickname – ‘Sybil’.  He christened me one night in the bar of the University of New South Wales, after I got onto the stage and started singing with the band after a few beers.  Geoff decided that I must have dozens of different personalities inside me and the more I drank the more personalities would emerge – just like the character possessed by 16 personalities in the Sally Field move, Sybil.

This is particularly interesting, funny even, because I have read Tim May’s riotous book, Mayhem.  This is without doubt May’s most important contribution to cricket, followed by his 5/9 at Adelaide in January 1993.  The book sends up modern cricket dairies as May writes his own diary.  Some of it has basis in truth but it is full of embellishment, exaggeration and fabrication.  The line between fact and fiction is at times blurry, especially for those who were not on tour.

May’s teammates are given false names and their characters are sometimes a blend of several real life characters.  However, some are clearly identifiable.  For example, opening batsman, Kenny Realts: ‘Very emotional young man.  Particularly interesting when alcohol affected.  Batsman.’

Later in the book, there is a story of the players trying to gently point out to the coach (Simmo) that May’s name is ‘Tim’, and not ‘Peter’ as the coach insists on calling him. The plan is for May to engage the coach in a conversation and let some of the boys interrupt and subtly address May as ‘Tim’.  Here are a couple of paragraphs (pp 60-61):

Our first ‘visitor’ was Kenny Realts who had been told to be first cab of the rank.  The necessity of this was that Kenny had a habit of changing characters during a period of alcohol intake.  It was decided that Kenny’s most stable and reliable character was between beers one and four. I reckon we may well have got him during beer number five.  All he could manage was “Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim”.

And a little later:

Speaking of wasted, Kenny Realts was trying to make amends for his previous attempts.  It would appear Kenny was somewhere between beers ten and 13, singing and encouraging every other person in the bar to sing, “There’s only one Tim May”.

How about that?  It’s tempting to think that Tim May could have read Slats but his book was published in 1998.  Perhaps Slats read Mayhem?  Anyway, Kenny Realts is obviously Michael Slater (as most would have known anyway) but I’m wondering if there is more truth in Mayhem than I had realised.

GoPros All Round

As we look toward the all important 4th Test at Old Trafford, the Anderson Push Affair simmers on.  In the new world order of cricket, it is rare to see India on the wrong end of the stick.  I don’t know if they are in this case but the Indians seem to think so.  India is positively miffed that Jimmy Anderson is off the hook.  The ICC has finally put the matter to rest and there will be no appeal.

The centre of the discontent is that shove.  The alleged push that nobody saw.  Or at least, nothing recorded.  In a previous post, I stated that the alleged push happened as the players left the field and it was just a matter of time until some video footage surfaced.  After all, what is not recorded these days?  However, I was not quite right.  The players had left the field and were in the tunnel to the dressing rooms.  That is why there was a video black out.

The interesting thing is that there is supposed to be closed circuit TV (CCTV) in these tunnels.  This is an initiative of cricket’s anti-corruption arm.  The dark players’ entrance tunnels are seen as the perfect place for a shady operator to approach a player to strike up a deal.  The cameras are supposed to discourage such activity. However, it seems that the CCTV was not rolling at the time.  Or at least, nobody is prepared to hand over the footage.  Ironically, the team that refuses to avail themselves of technological advances such as DRS can walk the talk, and forego the benefits of CCTV technology.

But all of this has got me thinking.  It is curious that we have CCTV to spy on shady deals in the tunnel but what about all the other places in the world?  You can’t have eyes everywhere.  What about in the dunnies?  Or behind the grandstand?  Or behind a tree during an optional net session?  The solution hit me during a reconnaissance activity on the week end.

I took a couple of my girls bush bashing to scope out a local creek to assess the possibility of some summer kayaking and fishing.  I ran down a steep embankment ahead of them. I turned around and they were standing at the top.  Isabelle, 13, had whipped out her iPod, started recording and shoved it down her pants.  She stood there with the lens just above her waistband and said, “Look at my GoPro Dad.”  Genius.  There is the answer.

From now on, all players will have a GoPro fitted to their waist band at all times.  Not just on the field but at all times.  This is to stave off the most persistent fixers.  And the by-product will be that pushing and shoving will be recorded.  Racial slurs will be recorded.  Ball tampering will be recorded.  Where were the GoPros during the Hair Affair? (see http://dongles.org/A-day-of-hair-brained-madness) .  Sure it might be inconvenient but that is a small price to pay for honesty.  Cricket will be the most technologically advanced game on the planet.  Not only will players be assured of on-field justice (through DRS) but off field behaviour in all areas of life will be above reproach.