Not in Wisden #8: Boomer’s Drooper

In the days of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle there was a bowler named Spedegue. Spedegue was famed for his brilliant Dropper delivery. He propelled the cherry like quoits into the air to a height of at least thirty feet. From this great elevation, gravitational force helped it fall straight and true on to the top of the bails.

There was a bowler in the GDCCC that had a novel stock technique in the style of Spedegue. Batsman struggled to deal with the unusually floated lob ball that was named a “Drooper”. The Drooper was a lofted spinning ball that suspended in mid air and came on to the bat in slow motion.

The bowler’s nickname was “Boomer”. An ironical reference to a sonic boom. It was beyond reasonable doubt that Boomer’s yawning balls didn’t travel at the speed of sound. His missiles didn’t emit shock waves either but Boomer it was.

Batsman soon worked out they could run two runs (byes) while waiting for the Drooper to drop. Running one run would be illegal as a different batsman would be at the crease. Boomer then changed the tempo of his pitch depending on the running power of the batter. The slower batsman, failing to make his ground, would lose his wicket and be out. The scorer was unsure to log in the scorecard run out or bowled.

Variations of play abounded of this unique battle between bat and ball. One batsman dummied to run before returning to his wicket and had a chat with the keeper while he waited on the ball. The fastest guy in the school could run four runs before facing the Drooper. Imaginative batsman practised umbrella shots. The Boomer years were a time of gold dust for the game.

Form comes and form goes and Boomer’s form burst big time. The Drooper was constantly over-pitched and captain’s had to place three men at third man. Boomer was dropped and tried his hand at lawn bowls. This was a disaster. He couldn’t stop lob bowling and he left a trail of cannon ball craters and destroyed jacks on every bowling green.

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