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The Rose Bowl, England – There have been renewed calls for the Sidearm Pro – a type of dog-ball thrower adapted for use during cricket practise – to be abandoned by England after Ian Bell was injured during training today whilst chasing after an imaginary ball.

The injury, which was initially reported as a serious blow to the face inflicted by Bell top-edging an attempted pull shot onto his chin, was in fact caused after he turned blind to quickly chase a fake throw and ran straight into the wall of Hampshire’s indoor practise facility.

England batting coach, Graham Gooch, explained further, “It’s my fault. For a laugh, I’ve got into the habit of doing the kind of fake-out throws you use to fool dogs. Batsmen, bless them, don’t tend to be the sharpest tools in the box and fall for it every time.”

When asked about calls in the media for England to abandon use of the Sidearm Pro, Gooch was adamant in his answer, “I don’t think we should ban use of dog-ball throwers. We just need to find some brighter batsmen.”

It’s currently unclear if Ian Bell will be available for selection for tomorrow’s ODI against the West Indies and, if he is, whether he will have to bat wearing a veterinary prescribed cone-collar.

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