John Snow vs Jon Snow
John Snow vs Jon Snow
ICC (Twitter) and Wikimedia Commons

On Friday morning, Twitter was trending with Jon Snow, the popular character from the Ice and Fire series Game of Thrones by American author George RR Martin. A lot of people were trolling the former AAP leader and journalist Ashutosh for calling Snow one of the fastest bowlers in cricket.

It all began with a debate on a panel discussion on Times Now, where writer Anant Ranganathan and Ashutosh were part of a debate on the Pulwama attacks that was averted on Thursday. The Times Now report further claimed that former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was ‘lobbying’ with the Chinese despite the recent standoffs between India and China near Ladakh. Ranganathan was against the lobbying, while Ashotosh was reportedly speaking in favour of Abdullah.

Somewhere during the debate, Ranganathan compared Ashutosh to the Game of Thrones character Jon Snow, who knew nothing.

“Me: Ashutosh knows even less than Jon Snow; and Jon Snow knows nothing. Ashutosh: That's wrong. Because Jon Snow was a great English bowler. Sushant: Head in hand,” Ranganathan tweeted.

Now, the funny bit. Ashutosh is actually right. John Snow (not Jon Snow) was actually a great fast bowler in the late 1960s and 1970s for England. He played 49 Test matches and had taken 202 wickets at an average of 26.66. His favourite opposition was the Australian side and had wreaked havoc in the 1970 series Down Under. In fact, in his book ‘Idols’, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar wrote, “John Snow had become somewhat of an ogre to the Australians because of the way he bowled in that series.”

Of course, the fast bowler’s most famous incident that Indians will be aware of was his altercation with Sunil Gavaskar during the 1971 Oval Test. India needed 183 to win in the fourth innings to record a historic series win, but were reeling at 21/2 when Gavaskar was called for a quick single after hitting the ball to mid-wicket. Snow says he went for the ball and knocked him over. Gavaskar, however, says in the same book Idols that he was shoved by Snow, following which his bat was tossed to him. Snow denies that he shoved Gavaskar, but says, “I could imagine the horror on the faces of everybody watching the game from the committee room at Lord's.”

Snow also had published two volumes of poetry, which is seen his autobiography Cricket Rebel. The name of the autobiography raised eyebrows because it was critical of his county Sussex Cricket club, called for four-day Tests, and international umpires to officiate tests, which also shows that John Snow was far ahead of his time.

This is one of his poems

"Later, spiritlike,

while Father Time above the northern stand, eyes the breeze,

you move aside,

and see a body flailing,

bowl a ball swinging, along its way, batsman playing"

Ashutosh has been trolled in the past for many reasons, but if people are to troll him today, they may as well read some more about John Snow and not confuse him with the Game of Thrones character.

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