Category: Extras (page 1 of 37)

A cricket book in an unusual place

It’s been a while since we had a cricket thing in an unusual place – so long, in fact, that many of you won’t even know that it’s supposed to be a regular feature.

Ged sent us the following photo and said only: “Sphere Of Influence By Gideon Haigh, spotted in a spa sanctuary, Phuket, Thailand.”

sphere-of-influence

As a postscript to this, Sphere of Influence is also the title of a book by former New Zealand right-armer, Kyle Mills.

We did wonder what he was up to these days. Apparently he’s churning out bestsellers.

More cricket things in unusual places.

Send your pictures of cricket bats and other cricket stuff in unusual places to king@kingcricket.co.uk


Innovative T20 scorecards – new ways to tell the story of a cricket match

We were talking T20 scorecards on Friday and this led to a discussion about whether the traditional form is actually fit for purpose. Our point was that in a T20 match, it’s not just ‘how many’ and ‘how quickly’ – it’s also about when runs are scored and when wickets are taken.

We were subsequently directed towards Mihir Vasavda on Twitter. Mihir writes for the Indian Express and they have apparently been presenting IPL matches rather differently. You can see a sample page here.

Of obvious relevance to our ‘what happens when’ line of thinking is the overs-runs graphic at the bottom, which presents an overview of runs and wickets in each innings over-by-over.

overs-runs-t20This, in our opinion, gives a better overview of the respective teams’ performances, although it lacks the detail about which players contributed.

For that, it’s back to the traditional scorecard, but even here there are a couple of innovations. For a start, the team totals are immediately followed by tallies of sixes, fours and dots, which gives you a feel for how each side went about its task.

sixes-fours-and-dots

There’s also a chunk of editorial placed at the relevant chronological point within the scorecard proper.

scorecard-editorial

Other informative little segments in the same sidebar include one allowing you to compare performance across the three main phases of the innings…

scoring-phases

… a Zero/Hero section focusing on dot balls…

zero-hero

… and ‘Swing Period’ which seems to be about shorter phases of play where each side appeared to be taking the initiative.

swing-period

Now this is obviously all supplementary to a traditional scorecard, but it does tell the story of the match in a simple and intuitive way – which a traditional scorecard doesn’t.

You don’t have to read a full report, you can just quickly scan for key information and we’re sure that the more familiar you become with this way of presenting the information, the more quickly you can pick up the key details.

Hat tips to Marees and Whistling Dogs for steering us towards Mihir and more of a bow to the Indian Express’s Daksh Panwar who is apparently responsible for coming up with much of this.

We’re sure other newspapers have their own great ways of presenting and elaborating on T20 scorecards, but this struck as being a particularly good example worth sharing.


Do you click through to T20I scorecards?

Still taken from Sky Sports

We’ve just realised we quite often don’t.

Unlike some, we’re actually into Twenty20 cricket. Its formulaic nature means that a team’s strategy is easier to perceive and assess. But at the same time, unless we’re actively following a series it seems we don’t have any interest in looking at a scorecard just to see who’s done well.

Every Test scorecard will earn at least a casual glance. For T20 we’re more inclined to piece together a fragmentary picture of what’s transpired via a few headlines.

Context and meaning and all that shit

The last couple of editions of Cricket Badger have unsurprisingly contained references to Australia’s impending comedy tour of India. Because of that, we’d perhaps understandably come to think of this as being the Aussies’ next international engagement. We completely forgot that they’d deployed the shoe-horn and crammed in a T20I series against Sri Lanka.

This series is a real who-gives-a-flying-Farokh-Engineer of an engagement. The two teams aren’t taking each other on in any other formats, there’s no ICC World T20 this year and Australia have a Test match scheduled on another continent within 24 hours of the third match finishing.

In short, it’s the kind of thing the ICC are going to try and sort out with their bid to impose some sort of coherence on international tours.

But even so…

We still don’t think we’d much care unless we’d properly followed the rest of the tour. Even then, if the T20s were at the end, we probably wouldn’t give a toss either. We’re fairly sure of this because we also haven’t clicked through to the South Africa v Sri Lanka scorecard as the bigger stuff’s already done and dusted.

So basically we like the World T20. There’s enough going on then that even losing performances seem pertinent and you also know that teams have tried to peak and are taking it seriously.

The ‘do you even click on the scorecard?’ test is an interesting one to gauge what does and doesn’t matter to you.


I Don’t Like Cricket, I Hate It – the new England Test captain edition

A semi-regular feature in which we ask Prince Prefab about cricket – even though he hates cricket. We are in bold. Prince Prefab is not.

Joe Root said he was ‘humbled’ to be named England Test captain. We vaguely remember you moaning about people’s use of this word. It basically means to be made to feel less proud, doesn’t it? In which case this is surely the exact wrong word to use in this context.

Yes, lots of people insist they are ‘humbled’ when something really good happens to them at the moment. And I think you are right about humble meaning sort of less proud, or workaday or very ordinary or something like that. The phrase that springs to mind is ‘a humble abode’.

And in sporting terms if you’ve been ‘humbled’ at something you’ve been embarrassed at it haven’t you? ‘The Premiership team were humbled by the non-league team when they lost three nil’ – that type of thing.

Is humility even a quality that one can assign to oneself?

I don’t think you can describe yourself as humble because that’s the opposite of what a humble person would do. The act of saying ‘I am humble’ isn’t humble. A humble person wouldn’t be so forthright as to describe themself as humble, would they? It’s for others to decide.

But, having said all that, I try not to be a colossal idiot and shout at the internet about it too much because we know what he means. He means he’s grateful, pleased and that it’s an important job and he takes it seriously – that sort of thing. And that’s nice. And nobody wants to be the person who is always correcting everyone’s grammar, do they? Apart from you and look where that’s got you.

We said on Twitter that what people are trying to say when they say that they’re humbled is: “I’m still normal despite this. In fact I’m going to redouble my humility to counteract my inarguable greatness.”

Yeah, in a way they are sorting of saying they are even greater than you thought. Mate, that’s not humble.

It’s kind of like they’re constantly fighting back the pride lest it burst forth and make them look like a show-off. In cricket terms, Root hasn’t even got all that much to be humble about. Using your in-depth knowledge of cricket captaincy and your carefully-researched insight into his character, do you think he’ll be just as successful as a captain as he is as a batsman?

Based on my in-depth knowledge of cricket captaincy and my carefully-researched insight into his character, I think Joe Root is going to be the greatest England cricket captain of all time. Why not? Someone has to be and it might as well be a blond lad called Joe from Sheffield and he stands more chance than Joe Elliot.

Interesting. Do you think he’ll also one day have a case for being named Sheffield’s Greatest Joe?

Doubt he’ll ever topple Joe Cocker. Not many men will ever cover a Beatles song and have it set as the theme tune to a cloying sentimental American sitcom about adolescence.


People are streaming live cricket online via Kodi

Kodi logo

If you don’t know about online TV streaming software, Kodi, we’ve written a bit of an explainer. As well as taking a quick look at the software itself, we’ve also looked at what sort of content’s available, the legality of streaming and what this technology might mean for the future of cricket broadcasting.

More and more cricket is being televised, but it’s spread across ever greater numbers of channels. It’s a complex landscape and things aren’t always straightforward even when you subscribe to a particular broadcaster.

For example, our Sky Sports subscription only seems to cover Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2. This means we generally can’t watch Test match highlights/discussion show The Verdict on weekends because it tends to be broadcast on Sky Sports 4.

If you want to watch all of this year’s England matches, you would also need a subscription to BT Sport because they’re the ones covering the Ashes.

Kodi’s burgeoning popularity arises because users are able to bypass these complexities and without any subscription costs. If that sounds too good to be true then you might want to have a read.


ICC horse design proposals approved to go before next committee

Boardroom table (CC licensed by Jonathan Baring via Flickr)

Boardroom table (CC licensed by Jonathan Baring via Flickr)

The Test nations are poised to rain an almighty storm of compromises down on the ICC’s proposals for the international cricket schedule.

We know this for a fact because in cricket ‘proposal’ means ‘thing that will never come about in any recognisable form’.

These latest proposals – for some sort of Test championship and a league for one-day internationals – are the product of the International Cricket Council’s chief executives committee. Now that they’ve agreed on them, the plans need to go in front of the ICC board.

The ICC board comprises representatives of each of the ‘full member’ nations, plus three blokes from the associate nations (not actually checked that they’re blokes, but we’re in real boys’ club territory here so it seems a safe assumption).

At the time of writing, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is being run by temps after the Supreme Court finally tired of the last president’s bullshit. The temps will doubtless be far too busy to approve anything significant.

They will be entirely preoccupied by three main concerns:

(a) Faxing their timesheets over to their agency
(b) Wondering why they hell they have to fax something in 2017
(c) Trying to sort out back pay after being paid a seemingly random amount last week

If they do find time to look at the proposals, all they will do is run them by the TV networks to see whether they would result in a contract featuring a bigger number.

When told that the proposals would result in a smaller number, they will make a few suggestions.


EXCLUSIVE! Rob Key’s position on snow revealed!

Rob Key

And by ‘exclusive’ we mean that we reported information that was already publicly available for a third party before pointing you towards it from here.

This week’s Twitter round-up has just gone up on Cricinfo. Critics are calling it ‘recently published and currently without comments’.

Needless to say, we’ve led with Rob Key and later on it also features something called ‘The Big Wedge’ which is surely deserving of your time.

If today’s King Cricket update and the somewhat ‘less is more’ nature of our entire output this week has left you wanting more, you might also think about signing up for Cricket Badger.

You’ve missed this week’s, but there should be another instalment around 10am next Friday. Critics are calling it ‘weekly’.


Don Bradman Cricket 17 is the best cricket action game there’s ever been (+ video)

We’ll freely admit that we haven’t actually played Don Bradman Cricket 17 yet, but our keen deduction skills have allowed us to reach the conclusion that is the best ever cricket action game anyway.

Our reasoning, in short: Don Bradman Cricket 14 was the best cricket action game at the time of its release, they’ve improved it a bit since then, and nothing else has come out in the meantime.

Sure, the developers could have utterly sabotaged what they already had, but that’s pretty unlikely. It’s just not how things work. Annual videogame updates generally mean ‘new database’ and ‘improved menus’. They’re not actually new versions in any conventional sense.

You can trust us on this. Once upon a time we used to review computer games as a sort-of-job. We are therefore an authority on this subject.

don-bradman-cricket-17-screenshot

Career mode is still ‘the thing’

You create a player, you play the game only as that player and you (hopefully) rise to international cricket as you get better at everything.

This alone is enough to elevate Don Bradman Cricket above all of its zero rivals.

You may be aware that playing even one Test innings demands quite a lot of concentration. It is therefore utterly baffling that other simulations demand that you play as all eleven batsmen. Before this game came along, many a pad-mashing cricket innings was cut shot by a bit of ‘actually, I’m kind of sick of this now – let’s see if we can defend 120’ slogging.

The big career development for this 2017 instalment is that you can be a woman. And we don’t mean being a woman controlling an on-screen man. You can be a woman controlling an on-screen woman, or a man controlling an on-screen woman.

don-bradman-cricket-17-screenshot-2

Tattoo mode!

You can also tattoo your player in this latest version.

We presume you can go for the classic modern ‘sleeve’. If so, remember kids – the tattoo denotes the ‘doing arm’.

More about Don Bradman Cricket

Here’s our full review of Don Bradman Cricket from back when it came out.

And here’s a link where you can buy it from Amazon. It’s available on PS4 and Xbox One and quite possibly on PC via Steam, although we could only find the demo when we looked earlier.


Critics are calling our latest masterpiece ‘small-minded’ and ‘petty’

It’s great when your work has a real impact on someone. Our latest Twitter round-up has really hit home with Cricinfo reader, Big Frank.

Big Frank says: “First time I’ve read this particularly column -and the last.Small minded petty digs at international sportsmen who work hard to get and stay at the level where they are,plus the stick they have to take from the media.”

Petty and small-minded is pretty much what we were gunning for, so we take Big Frank’s words as a massive compliment.

He didn’t even take issue with the unusually faecal nature of much of this week’s subject matter.


May you enjoy a happy Festivus full of Pakistannery and Herath

Festivus (CC licensed by R Crap Mariner via Flickr)

Festivus (CC licensed by R Crap Mariner via Flickr)

Our Festivus post seems to get earlier by the year. We make it that today is Boxing Day Test Eve Eve Eve and so not really in any way something worth acknowledging. However, we’ve realised that if we get the “hey, have a good ‘un” tradition out of the way early and sign off now, we can focus on all the cooking, eating, drinking and sleeping without further distractions.

This year’s Tests are South Africa v Rangana Herath and Australia v Pakistan. Being as the first match is taking place at Port Elizabeth, it promises to favour the home side – although assuming Herath brings his mate Kusal Mendis along, maybe we could get something freakish.

Odds are, however, that the Australia-Pakistan match will be the more interesting of the two. Pakistan – who are, essentially, a swing bowling side – pretty much always do terribly Down Under. They promised new lows in the first innings of the first Test, being bowled out for 142, before delivering a vintage slab of Pakistannery by nearly chasing down 490 but not actually managing it.

Who knows what will happen next. Probably a fairly conventional defeat. That would be the last thing we’d expect and therefore what our money would be on.

Now, before we go, a quick Festivus message…

In a couple of days, when you’re sitting beside your aluminium pole awaiting the airing of grievances, or readying yourself for the feats of strength, just take a moment. Take a moment to think. Take a moment to ponder the likelihood that the world is going to hell in a handcart.

Could cricket be the answer? If this wonderful sport doesn’t actually encourage fans to embrace other cultures, then it does at least make them dimly aware of them. Could dim awareness prove humanity’s salvation?

The answer is no. And cricket is therefore not the answer, but it should hopefully prove an adequate distraction for some of us until international society inevitably breaks down and we all have to sustain ourselves by eating litter.

Have a good time. See you in a few days – or possibly tomorrow in the highly unlikely event that something important strikes us and we just have to get it out.


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