Statistics have revealed the famous Slope at Lord’s is now solely responsible for 96% of all wickets taken, some even at other venues.
For those new to cricket, the Slope is a 2.5 metre gradient that runs from north to south at the Home of Cricket, a characteristic of the ground considered as iconic as Old Father Time and the media centre where Andrew Strauss called Kevin Pietersen a “c**t” on-air.
While the Slope can be used tactically on-field, it is a feature barely detectable to the untrained observer. This is provided you suffer industrial deafness that can drown out the 17 references per minute made by commentators, a number that can steeply rise once a game begins.
According to experts, the Slope advantages seam bowlers from the Pavilion End and swing bowlers from the Nursery End by providing natural variation that alters the bounce of the ball when bowling, and batsmen seeking an excuse.
The laws of the game officially state that no wicket can be attributed without the gradient receiving abundant royalties, whether it be attained via a ball moving with the slope, against the slope and or even a gun-barrel full toss.
To provide context around the Slope’s profound influence, it was once credited for effecting a run-out after the batsman fell short of his ground when he failed to fasten his abseiling harness in time.
Additionally, it was also celebrated as a beacon of morality at the 2019 World Cup final, etching itself in to history after valiantly attempting to prevent the crucial Ben Stokes overthrows by throwing itself in front of the ball 200-odd years prior.
According to commentators, the Slope at Lord’s is responsible for everything post-1814 including reverse swing and childhood obesity, and is clinically proven to be indomitable against all-comers- batsmen, bowlers, and anything else I’ve missed here except sensible analysis and a spirit level.
In fact, with its uncanny knack to take other bowler’s wickets, the Slope now boasts a test average of 23.12, an undeniable figure that lead to it being mentioned as a candidate for the Wisden Team of the Century.
Regrettably, the Slope was overlooked for selection due to its poor record away from home, and because the criteria no longer recognised topography-based nominees after Mike Gatting was controversially selected for the mountain just above his belt-line.
As you can see, the Slope enjoys perplexing levels of prevalence at Lord’s fixtures, with the second Ashes Test no difference.
It was already upheld as a hero on day one, with commentators waxing lyrical on its desperate efforts to drain the water-logged surface, drawing the ire of hordes of gravity apologists.
The Slope also figured heavily on a pulsating day two, reaching its crescendo when Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal by Nathan Lyon saw the record equalled for most mentions in commentary alongside Shane Warne’s stories about himself.
But besides over-relevance, what is the feature’s history?
As traditional with cricket venues, Lord’s was originally designed for construction anywhere but a mountainside.
However, despite the proposed construction site appearing more suited to drunken Otto bin racing, building still went ahead thanks to approval by the NSW Government.
Ever since, the steep gradient has stood the test of time, despite its crooked nature and ability to obnoxiously involve itself in everything in the game drawing comparisons to the BCCI.
While proposals have been made across the years to level the surface, none of these have never come to fruition.
This has been mainly due to the advice of civil tradesmen, who not only supported the Slope’s cultural relevance, but also because it provides a convenient angle to rest a smart phone for watching YouTube.
While history will probably see further campaigns to have the famous feature consigned to history, Lord’s administrators have given assurances the only way the pitch would be removed is if the AFL demanded a drop-in.