Discussing a concept originating from post 90’s Zimbabwean cricket and that too resulting from an exercise with the Bangladeshis, is not what this class is for but when the concept in question dares to challenge the decade old supremacy of a Pakistani, it deserves it even more than the return of Dravid to the ODI team.
Charles Coventry looks and, dare I say, plays like an amateur cricketer (He’s a Zimbabwean, duh!). He looks in part like a librarian and in part as an Englishman from the imperialist age playing cricket against the oppressed natives. When under the helmet, he resembles Daniel Vettori not only because of the spectacles but also because of the way he keeps his mouth agape. His teeth, when visible, ruin the resemblance though.
He’s a batsman who relies more on power than on timing, more on brute than on subtle. His strong bottom hand’s a major role player and while the shots over the leg side look more like simple ugly hoicks, the shots over the extra cover look a bit more appealing.
(I came across Coventry for the first time when he was at 36 from 32. His name was the only thing that caught my attention. Little did I know then that this odd name would, by the end of the innings, end up at the top.)
The largess of the Bangladeshi spinners and the laxity of their fielders combined with the umpires’ reluctance to adjudge him LBW certainly helped the man but they are just the footnotes. The thing is he scored 194 n.o,Period . He was, at one stage, on strike at 189 with 10 more balls left in the innings. How me missed out on completely surpassing Anwar is a little mysterious from there on. What’s even more mysterious was the way his partners were nonchalant about giving him the strike. (He had to sneak in a couple of the last ball to get to 194 btw).
Coventry apparently made his test debut against the Indians in 2005 and ODI debut against the English in 2003!