[Off Topic] The Ultimate Nightwatchman

I love cricket. So the following post is about Cricket but also has a lot to do with leadership.

This week there was an interesting cricket event in Australia. Late on the first day of the 5th test David Bairstow was sent in to bat with only a few balls remaining. This decision seemed unusual given the general practice of a team to send in a “Nightwatchman” late on a day of cricket.


This practice in four-five day cricket encourages a less talented batsman to occupy the crease while the more  The Nightwatchman’s job is simple: survive as long as possible to prevent one of the more talented batsman from coming in to bat late on a day when all that can really happen is score a few runs at best or get out. Even if the Nightwatchman is removed on the very first ball he/she faces they will have soaked up between 5-10 minutes simply by the change of batsman taking. Towards the end of days cricket this can often be enough to end the day and have the “real” batsman come back fresh on the next day.

So Bairstow comes in to bat and everyone is surprised. He’s decide to bat by himself.

In this case he knew what would happen if . Against the failing light of the late day and fearsome pace of Mitchell Starc even a good batsman would struggle. The chance of being hit on the body is quite likely given previous games. He took the responsibility for his team – he took ownership for being a batsman.

Bairstow got out. End of the day – stumps were called.

Bairstow’s team knows what he did. The Media thinks Bairstow made a mistake.

The ashes were over!!!

Bairstow’s team knows what he did, what he will do again.




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