QUICK Singles has heard that Lower Clarence umpires collectively lost several kilograms on Saturday, courtesy of the callisthenics involved in signalling the 106 sixes, the 127 fours and despatching the 128 batsmen during the Clarence River Fishermen's Co-op sixes tournament.
Matt Ardrey's Muddies lifted the trophy after an afternoon of cricketing mayhem in which batsmen scored 2500 runs, including 11 '10s' ? sixes hit between long on and long off.
The Co-op deserves the congratulations of the entire cricket fraternity for its support of the tournament and cricket in gener- al.
-THE success of the sixes comes at a time when some are questioning the future of limited overs cricket.
Quick Singles believes Australian coach John Buchanan is on the right track when he describes the new abbreviated form of the game, Twenty20, as part of the cricketing mix.
Although agreeing the 50 overs game is starting to show its age, he puts the onus back on the players to come up with ways of playing the game to overcome its shortcomings.
-QUICK Singles is of the opinion that limited overs cricket has been the saviour of Test cricket, which is enjoying a resurgence of crowd support ? especially with Australia dominating the game for the past decade.
The surge of support for oneday cricket in the 1980s introduced a whole new breed of fans of cricket who, as they follow the game, fall under its spell.
Eventually they found that the one-day formula no longer satisfied them, but they developed a taste for the subtleties of Test cricket and dramas that unfold over the five days.
It's likely Twenty20, which has been credited with attracting people with even shorter attention spans to the game, will have a similar effect in years to come.
-QUICK Singles was delighted to receive a call from Clarence Valley cricket elder statesman Lewis Ellem.
Lew had been away from town, but called to discuss some of the dramas that erupted in local cricket in the past few weeks.
He was also keen to pass on an item of cricket trivia that Quick Singles is confident not too many Australians would be aware of.
He asked: Where was the first cricket ground in Australia? The answer later in the column.
-LAST week Quick Singles joined a dedicated bunch of cricketers beginning their journey into cricket coaching by doing their Level One course.
It was a revelation to see the depth of knowledge that has gone into teaching cricket techniques to young players.
Rather like the movie The Karate Kid, where the venerable old karate master begins teaching 'Daniel-san' the karate basics by getting him to wash cars and paint fences, these cricket drills at first sight seem to have nothing to do with cricket.
After all, none of us have ever tried to stand on one leg trying to catch a ball and call out 'purple' when a different coloured ball comes toward us.
Ah, but Grasshopper, when you can catch these three red balls, you can leave.
-SERIOUSLY, a cricket coaching course has a lot to recommend it.
It refreshes knowledge of the game's basics in experienced players and promotes awareness of cricket's finer points in beginners.
And it also should help give clubs some tips to brighten up those boring net sessions, where players spend more time standing around than training for crick- et.
-BRETT Lee's beamer to Pakistani all-rounder Abdul Razzaq in Sunday's second final of the international one-dayers roused the commentators from their slumbers as Australia lumbered towards another predictable win.
Scenting controversy, Tony Greig was adamant it was reprisal for two beamers bowled to Lee while he was batting.
'Greigy' should be a little careful. Thirty-odd years ago, in his pomp as an England all-rounder, Greig beamed Australian batsman Graeme Watson, hitting him in the mouth with a ball that ricocheted off his bat.
I'm sure he would have been horrified if players had accused him of bowling the ball deliberately.
-THE oldest cricket ground in Australia was built not on the mainland, but on Norfolk Island.
Apparently the early settlers, starving because they could not grow crops in Australia, sent off a group to Norfolk Island.
Of course once they were out of sight of the boss, Governor Phillip, they did the typically Australian thing and built a cricket pitch to play their favourite game.
In Black and White
LAST week ING Cup umpire Darren Goodger asked: a spinner is bowling with a number of close in fielders. The batsman plays the ball down into the ground and the ball spins back towards the stumps. To protect his wicket the batsman flicks the ball away, to a short leg who catches the ball and appeals for the catch. What is your decision?
Answer: Not out as the ball has touched the ground after the initial strike.
For this week: following the delivery of a ball, the bowler runs in the protected area on the pitch. Assuming the bowler has not run into the protected area previously in the innings, what action would the bowler's end umpire take?
In Black and White is brought to you with the compliments of the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association, local contact Paul McEr- lean 66423815.