Category: England cricket news (page 1 of 138)

Australia win the bloody Ashes

Australia win the damn Ashes (via Southern Stars Twitter)

In shit news, Australia have retained the Ashes. They won the first T20 international to give them a four-point series lead with only four points left to play for.

Test centurion Ellyse Perry was at one point on a hat-trick for Australia as England slipped to 16-4. From there, the tourists did pretty well to make 132-9 – but sadly not well enough when trying to defend it.

Here’s hoping the men can level the Asheses and force some kind of a play-off.

 


Shaun Marsh is back

Shaun Marsh (public domain by Dave Morton)

It occurs to us that people are far more likely to say “Shaun Marsh is back” than use the contraction “Shaun Marsh’s back” when referring to his return. This rather undermines an excellent joke we were going to make. Never mind. We’re sure we’ll one day get an opportunity to deploy it using someone else’s surname.

In any case, the headline should more accurately read “Shaun Marsh is rumoured to be back” because it’s one of those news stories that’s based on the word of “a source”.  Apparently Tim Paine is also back – utterly bizarre as he hasn’t scored a first-class hundred in over a decade and hardly ever keeps wicket.

Marsh’s inclusion in an Australia team is always welcome from this website’s perspective. We’ve described it as ‘heart-warming’ before now.

The heart-warmth is brought by the innocence and naivety behind such a decision. In the face of all that has happened, these gnarled, wisened selectors still retain extraordinary optimism. It’s rather inspiring.

Like us, you may have something in the back of your mind that says Marsh’s lifelong efforts to try and ensure all his averages remain in the high 30s could end up undermined should he get to play more matches on Australia’s straightforward unchallenging Test pitches.

History disagrees. Marsh’s spectacularly Marshish Test average of 36 from 23 Tests actually drops to 34.23 for his 10 Tests in home conditions.

We’re really looking forward to a spectacular hundred in the first Test followed by extended payment of his duck tax throughout the remainder of the series.


Joe Root crushes the ‘targeting’ cliché

Joe Root (via Channel 5)

Joe Root has done many great things in international cricket. He launched England’s rebound in 2015 and kicked off the last Ashes with a magnificent hundred later the same summer. Now he’s shone a light on the fundamental bullshittery of ‘targeting’ the opposition’s captain/best batsman.

“I’ve heard a lot of chat about targeting me, in particular,” he said. “That’s always the talk. From our point of view, we’ll be targeting every single one of them – we won’t be singling any one out. To win a Test you’ve got to take 20 wickets.”

If he ploughs through his captaincy stint methodically undermining all of cricket’s clichés, we’ll happily allow him to bat James Vince at three.


Ellyse Perry takes a rare opportunity and makes it very difficult for England to win the Ashes

Tonkage from Perry

Ellyse Perry’s long wait for a Test hundred lasted nine years and seven Tests. If you don’t get too many opportunities, you might as well make any hundred a double – she finished on 213 not out.

The first women’s Test match was between Australia and England in December 1934. This is Test number 139. VVS Laxman got to play in 134 Tests; Alastair Cook has played 147.

The record holder for most Test caps in the women’s game is Janette Brittin, who died in September. She played 27 matches.

Ben Hilfenhaus played 27 Tests. So did Roger Binny. Jason Holder has already played 28.

Scarcity cuts both ways. It means this innings – the seventh Test double by a woman – is really special. It is also likely to leave England mathematically challenged.

Australia were 4-2 up on points before the Test match and will earn four more if they win. There are only six points available for the T20s that follow, so England need to bat out the final day.


Who is Tom Helm?

Tom Helm dismissing someone-or-other at some point (via Twitter)

We experienced a delightful nostalgic moment earlier this week when we read that Tom Helm had narrowly lost out to Tom Curran for an Ashes call-up.

“Who’s Tom Helm?” we thought.

We knew the name, we knew he was a bowler, but it’s been a long, long time since we had so little information at our disposal about a cricketer who was reportedly ‘knocking on the door’ for England selection.

We’ve been writing this site for over a decade now and throughout that time we’ve generally been on top of these things. This year, a family expansion has left us rather more out of the loop than normal, but that only seems to be part of the story.

Helm really does seems to have been residing wherever the hell leftfield is (on the left, we suppose – unless you turn round and face the other way).

He was named in at least a couple of narrowly-missed-out-on-selection articles earlier in the week, but even they emphasised that he didn’t actually play much first-class cricket this year and didn’t do anything too spectacular when he did appear. So how exactly did he make this leap from being unknown to being written about as a likely Ashes squad addition? There’s a full next-cab-off-the-rank interview over at Cricinfo today.

Presumably the cricket media’s been given a steer and presumably we’re no longer a functioning part of that (or maybe we should check our junk mail for press releases).

Anyway, the long and short of it in cliché form is…

  • 6ft4in
  • Insistent line
  • Lively pace

We actually made up the last one, but if a seamer doesn’t demand comment about their bowling speed one way or the other, you can safely commit to ‘lively’.

Ashes selection, if it happens, would be above and beyond what he was aiming for this year. “It was my first full season and I was over the moon to get out the end without being in a cast of some sort.”


Tom Curran’s haircut

Tom Curran (via ECB)

Tom Curran’s been called into England’s Ashes squad. If you’re wondering why we’ve never really written much about him here at King Cricket, it’s because we don’t like his hair.

This isn’t a proper mainstream media news site. We can do what we like. If we think Tom Curran’s haircut is visual shorthand for evil then we’re probably not going to go out of our way to write things about him.

Here’s a slightly blurry shot of his hair in action. Come on. You must know what we mean.

If we had to sum it up in a word, we’d be forced to invent one. The word would be ‘eurocriminal’.

Curran has been called up because Steven Finn knackered his own knee by accidentally hitting it with a cricket bat.

Now there’s a cricketer you can get behind.


Two hat tricks in one match – has Mitchell Starc peaked too soon?

Sometimes you can’t be bothered sourcing an actual photo and just use something from the archives

We can’t remember the last time we used the phrase ‘peaked too soon’ to refer to anything other than someone we went to school with who hasn’t aged well.

Mitchell Starc took two hat tricks for New South Wales against Western Australia. In the words of Osman Samiuddin, he did an Amin Lakhani.

One hat trick is a lot of hat tricks, so two is a glut. Too soon. Starc will almost certainly be overbowled or injured come The Magellan Ashes (movement rate of all ships is increased by two).

A counterpoint to this is that maybe this run of hat tricks doesn’t quite constitute a peak. Even allowing for their obvious weaknesses, England will hope to put out better batsmen than Jason Behrendorff, David Moody and Simon Mackin in the first Test. Only at the climax of his second hat trick did Starc dismiss an actual batsman – Jono Wells.

Even so, it’s hard to see that any bowler’s got much room for improvement above twin hat tricks, so The Magellan Ashes (movement rate of all ships is increased by two) is basically England’s already.


All England’s rubbish batsmen make runs while their good ones don’t

Alastair Cook shows Western Australia how it’s done

A lesson here in the allocation of runs, surely. In England’s opening match against a Western Australia XI, Joe Root wisely restricted himself to nine, while that master of Australian conditions, Alastair Cook, hung around for all of two balls. Everyone else frittered away runs, meaning they are no longer “due”.

Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Dawid Malan and Gary Ballance all made fifties. Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes surged into double figures and remain undefeated with ne’er a thought for the Tests to come.

At least Moeen Ali has saved some runs through injury. At least we can cling to that.


Hit the Ground Running Watch

England hit the ground walking (via ECB)

If we’ve learned anything about Ashes series, it’s how vital it is that the touring team hits the ground running.

We know this because everyone says it all of the time and has done for years. It’s said so often that we don’t need to check whether the importance of doing so is genuine because it surely must be. That oh-so-crucial commodity of ‘momentum’ must be present at the very outset. It cannot be built.

Oddly, it is the nature of Ashes tours that England will not be hitting the ground in just the one moment but instead for an extended period. They will be hitting the ground from the moment their plane landed until the end of the first Test. This gives us a nice protracted spell in which to gauge whether or not they are running as they do so.

The good news early on is that Steven Finn has knackered his knee and we can exclusively reveal that the injury was sustained as a result of his attempts to instantly break into a run upon hitting the ground.

The early signs are that England have got this one in the bag.


Ben Stokes Ashes situation entirely unchanged by latest “revelations”

If you’re indicted for war crimes, “But they started it!” is not a particularly weighty defence – even if it’s true.

It’s some way down the scale, but the same principle still holds true with Ben Stokes. Today’s confirmation that he was defending two gay men when he rained all those punches down on a pair of fellas in Bristol doesn’t really change anything.

Why it happened doesn’t change what happened. We (somehow) covered exactly this yesterday. It’s entirely possible to do wrong even when you start off in the right.

“Towards the end of the fight it all got a bit scary so we walked off,” said Kai Barry, who clearly didn’t need too much defending by that point. “It was too much for me and we went to Quigley’s takeaway for chicken burgers and cheesy chips.”

If only Stokes had done the same.

Kai knows that if you’re going to step in and fight for the forces of good in every conflict you come across, you’re in for a long night. “If you ever see fights, you let it pass. It’s just Bristol town. You see it every night you go out,” he said.

These latest revelations are so staggeringly unimportant in the grand scheme of things that we were at least hoping to end this article by bringing you a little bit of insight into the offerings from Quigley’s takeaway. Sadly, our Bristol correspondent didn’t manage to get back to us before our deadline, so we can’t even give you that.


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