England cricket’s ‘Bazball’ enters the Collins dictionary



A style of test cricket in which the batting side attempts to gain the initiative by playing in a highly aggressive manner.

Named after Brendon McCullum, known as Baz, New Zealand cricketer and current England coach.

And now worth a minimum of 20 points in Scrabble !

A high risk, high reward form of cricket that became addictive to all those associated since its birth in May 2022.

It is a brand of cricket enforced by the England test team that goes against the games’ archaic traditions, with seasoned pundits feeling that their beloved sport was being vandalised by this uncouth behaviour.

But in the space of under two years, they too have overdosed on this addictive ‘Bazball’ drug, widening their pupils to see how it has changed test cricket for the better.

Before this, England’s test cricket was aging grey and uninspiring in the tailend of Joe Root’s reign as captain, a call for a resurgence was imminent.

Step forward a trio, similar to ‘The Hangover’ or ‘TopGear’ but better and cricket related; Rob Key as new managing director of England cricket, he elected Ben Stokes as new test captain, and they appointed Brendon McCullum as head coach.

Stokes and McCullum are almost like long-lost brothers in the cricketing world, they were explosive dynamos in their own generation despite a few years cross fade between their primes, both have a bullish demeanor, both have back and arm sleeve tattoos, both have New Zealand blood in them, Stokes less so for obvious reasons, this was a coupling that was written in the stars and one that England fans were eager for.

They ignited what then was perceived a ‘mid-life crisis’ phase for England, Stokes would bring back the legendary duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, whom were previously axed by former director of cricket Andrew Strauss as well as introducing fearless youths like Harry Brook.

As a team, they made it clear they will play ambitious cricket with the result of the game being an undertone to the bigger aspect – making test cricket entertaining again !

There was a fine line between Stokes’ side playing attractive cricket and embarrassing themselves, which within games would usually seesaw but it’s safe to say the fans got their money’s worth for tickets.

Underneath the new teal coloured bucket hats we saw smiles on players and fans’ faces that were a far cry from previous years, a positive aura surrounded the England test team and it quickly reflected their results on the pitch.

To date, England’s ‘Bazball’ era has played 18 test matches, they have won 13, lost four and drew one, but there is so much more behind the results that absorbs the emotions of those watching.

Test matches were like a thriller movie, you never know what action is next, what is the plot ? Surely not another cliffhanger ?

This stems from some of the abnormal activity that would happen within games; premature declarations, reverse ramping, bail swapping and mind boggling field placings, it was really on the edge of your seat viewing.

The team was fearless in combat but there was always that murmuring thought of ‘what if’ or ‘we will run out of luck’, some fans and pundits were soon to jump on the back of any ugly dismissal or missed opportunity thwarted by recklessness but this was soon erased after that next bump of the ‘Bazball’ drug was injected into their bloodstream.

Fans on the whole have now accepted the unorthodox style of play it shows through sold out test matches and a spike in social media engagement with the England team.

About Will Hewlett

If I am not playing sports, then I am watching it. If I am not watching it,then I will be dreaming it. If I am dreaming of it then I might as well be writing about it !

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