Category: Extras (page 3 of 39)

Cricket recipe: Ged Ladd’s “Home Of Cricket” Glazed Drunken Prawns

King Cricket was one of my guests the first time I cooked and served this dish. Although he praised the dish, KC also described the glaze as “less of a glaze, more of a gelatinous gloop”.

Well I can assure you, King Cricket, my original attempt at Throdkin was gloopy, whereas the sumptuous, high viscosity sauce for the drunken prawns is glazy.

If you want an artificially shiny glaze, then add cornflour, like a cheap Chinese restaurant.  But don’t listen to KC (or me) – try it yourselves.

Ingredients

  • 8oz raw Nicaraguan jumbo prawns (other varieties of large prawn would do, but surely part of the purpose is to enable remorseless prattle at the cricket about your recent holiday in Nicaragua)
  • One clove of garlic, crushed
  • One large spring onion, finely chopped
  • A little bit of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • A splodge of sesame oil
  • A splash of good, honest, light soy sauce
  • A dash of decent white wine (cheeky Riesling ideal, but not essential)
  • A smidgeon of five spice (fresh ground if possible, otherwise any good brand of powder)
  • A teaspoonful or two of the finest Manuka honey (ok, ok, in truth any honey will do)
  • An ounce or two of sesame seeds
  • Four large rolls or bagels, but ideally Paul Rhodes breakfast muffins
  • A squeeze of fresh lime (optional)

Method

Heat the sesame oil, then add the garlic, spring onion and ginger. Once the oil is seasoned with those ingredients (don’t cook them), add the prawns and cook the prawns thoroughly.

Once the prawns are well on their way, add the five spice, soy sauce and white wine. Reduce.

Towards the end of cooking, glaze with the honey and toss in some sesame seeds for good measure.

Chill. (That’s an instruction to you, as you might be getting a bit stressy at this juncture. Don’t. It’s an easy dish; it pretty much cannot go awry. Anyway, if something has gone wrong, it’s too late now.)

Allow the dish to get cold. You can refrigerate it overnight and it should be good for a couple of days at least if you want to prepare it well in advance.

Makes reasonably generous portions for filling the four large rolls, bagels or muffins. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime to balance the sweet with sour (optional – but that’s what I do).

Not convinced ‘cricket recipes’ will turn out to be a thing, but pretty much every match report we’ve ever received has devoted a great deal of attention to what was consumed, so maybe it will. Email us at king@kingcricket.co.uk if you’d like to contribute something. Maybe send a photo too. Everyone likes photos of food.


Free-to-air cricket debate is short-sighted in the internet age

There’s been a few headlines about the possibility of some free-to-air cricket off the back of the ECB’s proposed new T20 league. People get excited about this sort of thing, but the whole point of free-to-air is that it opens up a larger market, yet this is a form of media which is of rapidly diminishing importance.

How many people will be watching conventional forms of TV by 2020, which is when the tournament is due to take place? Whatever free-to-air channel wins these rights may also broadcast via some sort of internet player, but it seems to odd to us that this is secondary and not the focus itself.

We saw one report on the tournament last night – which has since been edited – which floated the possibility of an online stream to which cricket fans could directly subscribe. We were briefly excited about the prospect, but then the end of the sentence revealed that this would only be available to overseas viewers.

Why?

Last month we wrote about how more and more people are streaming live cricket via Kodi or other online applications. It’s a mistake to think this is happening purely for reasons of cost. In many cases it’s because it’s more convenient, or because it’s literally the only way of accessing the matches you want to see.

The software is arguably not yet sufficiently mainstream to warrant serious consideration, but what will the situation be three years hence? The concept of a sport-specific subscription at reduced cost to the consumer – because they wouldn’t also be paying for darts, biathlon, motor racing or the broadcaster’s hardware – makes sense to us.

A broader cricket app could even serve as a hub from which individual matches could be ordered. That might typically be for a fee, but it could also be free of charge if the broadcaster in question could find a way of funding the broadcast through advertising or reduced outlay on rights.

The ECB seems keen to make at least some of their domestic T20 matches easily and freely accessible. Perhaps in 2020 the place where people will go looking for such a thing is in the ‘free sport’ category within their online TV application.


I Don’t Like Cricket, I Hate It – the North v South 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.

Anything you want to know about this week’s North v South cricket matches?

Is this real? Is it really North versus South? Are they trying to drum up interest in this manner?

Absolutely real. I don’t know about interest up-drumming being the primary aim. It’s a kind of pre-season taking-a-look-at-people thing mostly, but I think they’re maybe hoping it’ll become “a thing” too.

Balls to that. I know this is barely related but I hate the whole north/south thing. Northerners are hard and friendly salt of the earth folk, southerners are soft and unfriendly. I’m a northerner and I know loads of soft and unfriendly bastards up here.

And, in a country where you can basically walk from the top to the bottom of it in an afternoon or so, we are supposed to believe that there are different characteristics between the people who live about half an hour apart. Balls, balls, balls. Dog balls, cat balls, lion balls. Balls.

Yeah, if a southerner told you that Lancashire and the North had nothing going for them compared to the South, you’d just shrug it off, wouldn’t you?

They’re just being a colossal ball bag. But the fact they are being a colossal ball bag has nothing to do with the fact that they’re a southerner.

Even when they’re saying the New Forest pisses all over the Forest of Bowland, say?

Well, if they’re referring to pure ‘woodage’ they’d be spot on. The Forest of Bowland has relatively few trees, the ‘forest’ in its name, being used in its traditional sense meaning ‘royal hunting ground’. If they mean the New Forest is just generally better than they are, of course, talking balls.

Let’s steer this back towards another kind of balls. Would we be right in saying that you are unlikely to be won over to the sport by a North v South match played in the United Arab Emirates then?

That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard. I’d rather go on a stag do in Blackpool than watch that.

What about a stag do in Margate?

At this point Prince Prefab sent us a surprisingly long, detailed and sweary work of fiction focusing on the bitter personal rivalry between Terry Bardane and Tony Abercrombie, two competitors at the Blackpool and Fylde Annual Veteran’s Pole Vault Championship at Stanley Park. The story climaxes with one of the crowd being impaled by a pole after describing this website as ‘shit’. We deduced from this response that our North v South discussion had probably run its course.


Books to read at the cricket – A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Ged writes:

This was a first for me in the matter of reading a novel while watching county cricket. In the past, at cricket, I have always gone for:

  • factual books (usually on economics, psychology, ethics or some mixture of those things)
  • plays
  • journal articles
  • and/or my general weekly reading (e.g. The Economist and/or The Week)

A Confederacy of Dunces is a great book. Most of it works fine as cricket reading, although some of the longer ramblings of the lead character, Ignatius J Reilly, are not ideally suited to the tempo of reading while watching cricket.

Walter Percy’s introduction to the book describes Ignatius as, “slob extraordinary, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote…”. I suggest that the cricket lover imagines him as their least-favourite rotund cricketer. In my case, the cricketer in question was Fatty Pringle.

While watching Sam Robson nurdle the ball effortlessly off his legs and Nick Gubbins drive majestically through extra cover, I imagined “Ignatius” trying instead to hoik the ball to cow corner while emitting bovine styles of methane and noise.

But I digress. In summary, A Confederacy of Dunces is:

  • a cracking good read
  • almost certainly better read over a few days, not in chunks over a few months
  • entirely unconnected with cricket, except in your own imaginings
  • moderately suitable as cricket match reading. On balance, yes, go for it

Have you tried to read summat while at a cricket match? Let us know how it went at king@kingcricket.co.uk


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.


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