Archive for June, 2011

Anthony Martin, the new West Indian legspinner, seems like great fun.  Having just bowled his side to an admittedly futile victory over India, his press conference was a wonder to behold. 

“No-one comes here and destroys me on my pitch. This is my pitch. I don’t care who they are. I am here to destroy whoever I play against.”

“I am not married. I might not ever. I may also.”

“I have played against Sehwag one time before. I took a catch off him and he didn’t want to move. He stood on the pitch, leaning on his bat and I was celebrating. I went all around the park.”

“”I took a wicket of Rahul Dravid, caught at slip. I took another left-hander bat, don’t remember his name.”

“”I don’t like losing. That ‘L” word is not in my vocabulary. Only Love and Lord. Not Losing.”

For a man with 5 ODI caps to his name, that is magnificent.  We will be keeping our beady eye on him.


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Muddled Thinking

It comes to something when an Australian crisis stops being funny.  Now it is just sad.

Good on Simon Katich for speaking his mind.  Cricket Australia have caught the same disease that plagued the ECB in the 90’s, namely making the right decisions in entirely the wrong way.

“Youth is the way forward”.  An oft-repeated phrase that accompanies any chastening defeat, it can cover up a multitude of sins.  Instead of actually looking at the system in-depth, real deficiencies can be brushed under the carpet by bringing in someone young, fresh and flashy. 

 The problems with this are twofold. 

Youth is ALWAYS the way forward unless you find a way of making players immortal (which India seem to have admittedly managed).  Why wasn’t youth the way forward three years ago?  Just because the old guys are rubbish, it does not mean the younger ones are any better.

Second is who you drop, and Australia have just dropped their best batsman.  Katich averages more than anyone in recent times.  His Ashes series involved a 50 in the first dig at Brisbane, a low score in the pointless last innings, being run out for a duck by Shane Watson and making 43 despite the fact he could barely stand up at Adelaide.

His trench-warfare batting style is exactly what Australia need.  Maybe he is past it, but no more so than Ponting.  It is going to be tough for a little while for Australia, and an opening partnership of Watson and Katich would at least give them a strong start more often than not.

As it is, Phil Hughes will now be opening the batting.  Who would you rather bowl at?

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This website has a nifty little function where you can see what was typed into a search engine to direct people to this page.

To the person who was directed here after typing “women taking somethingin hole between thier legs” into Google, I can only apologise.  Still, saves you having to delete your internet browsing history.

And now I have made a post about it, even more people looking for nondescript filth who struggle to spell “their” will find themselves reading about Brian Close.  Excellent.

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Matt Prior got pissed off/dropped his gloves/sang in too high a note and broke a window.  Big whoop.

Of course, as it is a scandal similar in importance to the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972, we have to call it “Windowgate”.

But what if Matt Prior had lost his rag 30 seconds earlier and smashed the players gate?  What would we call it then?

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T20 Trouble

If ever you wanted to see the difference in how clubs feel about T20, yesterday was it.

I park right next to The County Ground at Chelmsford.  I have never seen so much pandemonium as there was yesterday.  Cars were parked all over the road and great swarms of people were marching down the narrow streets surrounding the ground to get in. 

As I got to the car park to go home, one guy asked me if I was going so he could get a space in the crammed area.  Barely two steps later, another guy asks me the same question.  “I think that bloke is getting it”, says I.  “‘E only just fackin’ got ‘ere!”, says my new friend, who marches over to remonstrate with Man 1.  All this over parking for a game of T20.

Maybe all the “killing the goose the laid the golden egg” stuff is scaremongering?

I then get in and flick the TV on to catch a bit of the game at Old Trafford.  If I had gone to this game, I would have significantly increased the audience.  There are literally a handful of people there, and it makes Day 5 of the Cardiff Test look like carnival time in Rio.  Yes, it is on TV and the weather is not great, but it seems clear that Lancashire fans could not give a shiny one.

Therein lies the problem  – how do you keep everyone happy without just decreasing the number of counties?

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If you were in charge of English cricket, how would you promote T20 cricket?

Generic broken stumps, bright colours and a prominant player padded up and playing a shadow slog over cow?

Or, you could have done what the ECB have gone for – monster grasshoppers trapped by branded lighters.  Baffling.

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There are two positive reactions to bullies.

In 2005, England went up to the big bully and pulled his trousers down.  For a brief moment, everyone loved them.  The problem is, this just makes the bully angry.  They pull their trousers up, do some push-ups, then pound you into the ground.

In the past two years, England have taken the option.  They have gone away and pumped iron, swallowed a bunch of pills and looked in the mirror every night cursing what they see.  They knocked the bully spark-out, then kicked him while he was down.

Now you are left with a load of muscles.  Do you relax and become fat and lovable or keep pumping and become the bully?

Going from being 20/3 one morning to merrily blasting the ball around Lord’s at 8 an over the next suggests which way England want to go.

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