Cricket - It's a funny old game

Cricket - It's a funny old game

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Beige Archives: Historic History: 1932 - Scientists outline ‘Fast Leg Theory'

This article first appeared on on the 15th of November 2010.
Scientists from England were hailed as the heroes of the War of the Ashes fought between England and Australia in 1932-1933 after they published a paper on the ‘Unified Theory of Fast Leg’. In the run up to the Ashes conflict, scientists from both countries had been working round the clock to develop ways in which to gain an advantage over their opposition, and historians from both sides agree that England’s victory in the race for scientific dominance was crucial in undermining the power of Australia’s flagship destroyer, the HMS Bradman.

However, boffins from Australia were not impressed by the details of the theory and a formal response printed in the renowned ‘Australian Journal of Physics, Chemistry and Cricket’ stated that “this theory is based on a series of flawed assumptions and is not in the spirit of Newton’s second law of Thermodynamics”. Despite this, the theory was employed to great effect during the war and after each day the bodies of fallen Australians were laid out in a line, giving the theory its common nickname of ‘Lines of Bodies’. The invading English army was successful in their campaign and returned to England with their small urn-shaped spoils.

Throughout 1933, Australian scientists continued to provide evidence of algebraic irregularities proposed in the Unified Fast Leg Theory with General Stan McCabe saying “The Bay 13 infantry may break the odd rule, but even they know not to mess with Euler’s laws of rigid body motion”. The international scientific community eventually agreed and the universe’s physical laws were amended so that England’s Fast Leg Theory became illegal and ceased to be employed on the cricketing battlefield.

The fundamentals of the law were reused, however, in the Allies’ successful Battle of Britain campaign with a huge number of the Luftwaffe pilots falling for the leg side trap.

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