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Archive for April, 2010

So now we actually get to watch it, and now there are actually some of our players in it, it turns out that the English don’t actually mind the IPL.  The over the top chutzpah that so infuriated us is in fact rather fun if we feel like we are involved.  It even goes on for far too long, which is how cricket should be.  It can’t be too long before we see the Mongoose unleashed at Taunton or a trumpet ring out at Canterbury.  Yet there are still some grey areas which seem to be bugging people.  With tongue firmly in cheek, let’s fix them.

The Mongoose

If some wally wants to go out with half a bat, let them I say.  However, the murmuring that this is somehow unfair on the bowlers won’t go away.  The Mongoose is a smaller bat which allegedly makes it easier to hit the ball miles.  Therefore, every time the batsman calls for his Mongoose, the bowler can call for a Cobra ball.  This is a ball double the size, but double the weight as well.  Let’s see Haydos belt that one for 6 from chin high while holding what looks like the stubby end of a pool cue.

Time Outs

I don’t really know what a tactical time out is, or why you would need one.  I like to imagine that they might be a Phil Brown style rant, so let’s show this rather than another advert for a mobile phone I have never heard of.  Stephen Fleming in front of a whiteboard bellowing at Doug Bolinger for bowling a long hop is my kind of entertainment.  Get Sharpies to sponsor the whiteboard, and everyone is a winner.

Caps

Seemingly an attempt to turn cricket into the Tour de France.  If you are going to do it, do it properly.  Get the leading batsman and bowler wearing proper crowns while they play.  The idea of seeing Jaques Kallis play a perfect drive through the covers while wearing a gold crown pleases me.  Not only that, it brings out the gentleman and amateur history, which is bound to cheer up the old duffers.

Free Hits

Poor old Ian Bishop.  He has to commentate on a game that he sounds endlessly bored by.  The only time he really gets animated is when a bowler oversteps, allowing a free hit.  “It’s too far!” he moans.  “The game is too lenient to the batsman!”.  Chin up Bish.  Every ugly hack which the batsman fails to connect with, the bowler gets a “free aim”.  No batsman, but no keeper either so if you miss the stumps, it goes for 4.  The umpire gets final say on what is “ugly” – to ensure fairness, Paul Collingwood is exempt from this rule.

 All ideas copyrighted to me.

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This is a bit odd.  England seem to have actually picked a half decent squad for a major tournament.  I genuinely don’t remember the last time this happened, and it certainly hasn’t in T20 cricket.  Damn it, who is going to be our Schofield/Maddy/Kirtley/Key/Napier this time?  A team like;

Lumb

Kiesswetter

Pietersen

Collingwood

Bopara/Yardy

Morgan

Wright

Swann

Broad

Bresnan

Anderson

actually looks more than reasonable. Especially when you consider the thus-far impressive Tredwell is in the mix as well.  Even Sidebottom could jut prove to be wily selection – if he stays fit, his left arm yorkers and slow bouncers are a handy variation.

Of course, the selectors picking the right squad for a change might actually prove to create an even bigger problem.  If England go out in the first couple of rounds, then it is going to be inescapable that it is because they are just plain rubbish.  This is where they need to learn a bit from their mentors, Pakistan.  If you drop half the team, you can at least pretend you would be good if you had a full side.

Another small issue is that Michael Lumb seems to have been born in a familiar country.  The link to the land of biltong may be tenuous in his case, but an alarming number of current England players seem to have strange combinations of “I”s, “E”s and “A”s in their place of birth.  It’s hard to escape the fact that this one is going to run and run.

Let’s be positive though.  At  10/1, England actually look like decent value for an each way punt.  Big hitters at the top, canny accumulators with the odd slogger in the middle order and a varied bowling line up – are England finally getting the idea?

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April Fool

Been a bit quiet this week, due to work/laziness/Football Manager.  Another couple of updates to come tomorrow, but I stumbled across this http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/apr/01/world-cup-left-hand-batsman this morning.

Surely has to be the first time cricket has been used for a national newspapers gag?  Assuming of course that it is an April Fool – Lord help us if it isn’t.  There have also been some places reporting that Ryan Sidebottom has made the T20 squad – I’m guessing you were all too smart to fall for that one though.

Cricket – so popular that The Grauniad are making topical jokes about it.

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