British actor Stephen Fry rings the five-minute bell ahead of the second day's play
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The Essentials

With bells on

When English actor and writer Stephen Fry made some noise at HQ

What was it like to ring the bell at Lord's [on the third day of the second England-India Test]?
I was told, in MS Dhoni fashion, to put a lot of wrist into it. Afterwards I was told I had made the loudest noise. You are only ever allowed to ring the bell once in your lifetime. It is typical of both the absurdity and splendour of Lord's.

Test cricket or T20?
I would pick Tests. There is something quite extraordinarily different when you compare an epic to a short poem. T20 may be a short poem, which is full of excitement. But if you take an epic like the Mahabharata, Homer's Odyssey or the Iliad, it has a huge architectural shape. There are many flat periods and then suddenly this extraordinary climax comes along.

What is your favourite cricket law?
Any law that is put in place to make the game fairer and to make the balance between bat and ball fairer.

Who would you pay to watch?
MS Dhoni is one. He gets to the ball so quickly. He leans forward so much and uses his wrists so extraordinarily. A lot of the best batsmen are short. Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest example of our time and Don Bradman the greatest of all time. Both probably the same height.

What's your desert-island cricket book?
Brightly Fades the Don by Jack Fingleton. And Beyond A Boundary by CLR James.

What has been your favourite decision as an umpire?
I once gave a batsman out for hitting the ball twice. It was quite controversial. It had come off a fine edge and then he tried to sweep it and made contact. Someone smartly appealed and I said that is out.

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi

 

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