Category: County cricket news (page 24 of 40)

Response to England’s fifth Ashes Test squad

Jonathan Trott, who is being dropped into a deep end infested with piranhas from a great height for his debut, said:

“I’m chuffed.”

Mark Ramprakash, writing on Twitter, (genuinely) said:

“Defecating in a package to send to Geoff Miller.”

Quite bizarrely, Trott seemed to echo Ramps’ thoughts when speaking about how he’d deal with the pressure:

“I’ll try to stay relaxed and let nature take its course.”

It’s the Ashes decider. Of course everyone’s crapping themselves.

Chris Adams commentating on Twenty20 Finals Day

We’re not convinced.

“He’s doing exactly what it says on the tin. Bowling straight; wicket to wicket.”

You can’t use ‘does what it says on the tin’ wherever you like. There are rules.

You can’t say: “I’m doing exactly what it says on the tin: I’m stopping in with a bottle of red wine and watching a film.”

You can’t say: “He did exactly what it says on the tin: He stole a Ford Mondeo, put it through the front window of Comet and took a load of plasma screen televisions.”

Rob Key’s sanguine outlook

Maybe not the most appropriate picture, but it IS brilliantRob Key’s greatest strength is his don’t-give-a-toss-ishness. It’s the main reason we originally warmed to him, back in the winter of 2002. It’s also why he makes a great captain.

We know what you’re thinking: what about that bat-flinging hissy fit on Twenty20 finals day in 2007?

That was a serene strop of poise and elegance and when his bat flew majestically over the rope, the volley of cussing that followed it sounded like a lullaby sung by a chorus of angels. Rob’s red-faced huffing that day was grace personified and anyone who disagrees is an Australian in disguise, bringing down English cricket from within.

Will Rob play in the fifth Test next week? Dunno, but he won’t jellify if he does.

Flimsy headline of the week

From the BBC: “Ramprakash in England contention”.

How have they deduced that this is the case? Because when asked about the likelihood of Ramprakash’s selection, England national selector, Geoff Miller, said:

“I’m not ruling anybody out.”

We’d have gone with “Geoff Capes in England contention” on the grounds that he hasn’t been ruled out either.

Maybe Ramprakash will play, but a batsman whose sole yet hugely debilitating weakness is a susceptibility to the pressure associated with Test cricket might not be the best choice for a Test that will decide a home Ashes series.

England cricketers’ heads drop

Ah well, you can always put it right next weekThe difference between England and Australia so far is that when Australia have been down, they’ve fought like bastards. Even when they lost, they still managed 406 in the fourth innings.

England fought in the first Test, but their decline since the middle of the third Test is unstoppable. The players may not know the meaning of the word momentum, but if they take a look at their deterioration from one day to the next – that’s momentum.

But why? They’re not bad cricketers. On Australia’s bad days, they scrabble to stay in it. On England’s bad days their heads drop and they seem to resign themselves to it. It’s certainly not deliberate, but is there something in the England players’ make-up that makes them this way.

We wonder whether it’s a county cricket thing. If you look like losing a county cricket match, you endure the loss and aim to win the next match, which will probably start within 24 hours. It’s easy to forget. By contrast, Australian domestic cricketers only get a handful of matches a season, so they concentrate on the here and now.

Rob Key deserves our faith

Rob Key thocking awayPeople thinking second division cricket is just as first-class as first division cricket have bothered us in the past, but now that this view can be exploited, we don’t care quite so much. ‘Not really caring’ is a state we can slip into pretty much at will.

Rob Key‘s last three first-class matches have brought him scores of 123, 270 not out and 110. It doesn’t matter if they were bowling underarm, it’s first-class cricket and his average is in the sixties now.

It doesn’t matter that Phil Hughes averaged 143.5 in the second division and has just been dropped by Australia. Averages only count when you want them to count.

And whose should we count? Well, if Robert Key is a glass of chilled champagne, Phil Hughes is half a mug of cold, weak bovril with a turd in it – let’s just say that.

Headline hero of the week

The BBC go with:

Cool Laxman steers Lancs to win

Which is fair enough. Laxman did hit 38 not out off 37 balls to get Lancashire home.

However, he was dropped twice and had a relatively easy task as Tom Smith hit 43 off 28 balls.

This is what happens when you’re the boring-named one in an opening partnership. Tom Smith should change his name to ‘Splendid McFancypants’ or something.

Jonathan Trott of Warwickshire and England

Jonathan Trott brings even more puns to the world's worst party

England’s selectors have sprung a slight surprise in picking Warwickshire’s Jonathan Trott.

We’ll say two things:

  1. Trott has scored a lorryload of runs on a pretty flat Edgbaston pitch (Jeetan Patel and Rikki Clarke have hit hundreds there this year).
  2. Test cricket is played on pretty flat pitches these days.

Does the pitch negate his runs to a degree or does it mean he’s a batsman who ensures he scores when conditions are good and is therefore well suited to Test cricket?

Jonathan Trott doesn’t care either way. He’s just peppering the boundary boards and leaving those questions to someone else – just as he should.

He probably won’t play anyway. Picking six batsmen is the kind of cowardly thing Australia do.

Middlesex v Sussex Twenty20 match report

Sam writes:

The ICC Twenty20 Bonanza (or whatever it was called) caught the imagination of the entire world, but more importantly of my girlfriend who suddenly expressed an interest in attending a live match.

So off we went to Lord’s on a humid Sunday afternoon for her first proper cricket match. Even before we had arrived at the ground, the questions began. Eyeing up the hefty coolers in the hands of those in front of us, the other half asked: “Should we have bought some food?” I assured her that the game wouldn’t last much more than three hours and we could maybe get an ice cream at “half-time”.

The heavy skies looked ominous but the weather held and the match got underway. My companion’s eye was immediately caught by Ed Joyce, fielding in front of us, who I was assured was “quite pretty.”

Seizing on this early interest, I informed her that he used to play for Ireland, then he played for England, and that he also used to play for Middlesex and now he plays for Sussex. This torrent of information was met with utter confusion, before a more decisive statement that Luke Wright looks like a cross between Michael Vaughan and Shane Warne.

The interval came soon enough. We went for a walk round the ground via the toilets, which got one of the biggest nods of approval of the day, and the tea and coffee stall which required a return trip after it became clear that one has to manually add milk to one’s beverage.

As the rain began to fall, I took a trip up to the impressive spaceship-like media centre using my press pass, leaving the ball and chain to wander back to our seats and watch the drainage system work its magic.

Behold the supernatural shininess of the Lord's media centre interior

Anticipating stern stares and soggy scorecards on my return, I smuggled a handful of bread rolls into my jacket pocket from what I assumed was the complimentary press box food table for us to munch on during the second innings.

When the match finished there was quite a long queue at the ladies’ toilets near the Grace Gate. It was gone 7.30pm by the time we got home and neither of us could be bothered to cook, so I sliced some mushrooms, put them on a pizza and popped it in the oven.

“That was a really nice day,” my girlfriend said.

And I agreed. It was a really nice day.

Send your match reports to – but don’t mention the actual cricket.

One Twenty20 competition in county cricket next season

The England and Wales Cricket Board have done the right thing. We can stop posting excrement to them now.

We’re not going to. But theoretically, we could stop.

We could stop phoning them up and screaming ‘TURMOIL’ in a demon voice when someone answers as well, but this is very much a ‘one step at a time’ process and we’re not ready for step one yet.

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