Is anyone else starting to find this kind of thing grating?
“Sometimes you just have to put your hands up and say the opposition were better than us with the bat.”
So said Alastair Cook after the fourth one-day international. There’s been an awful lot of ‘accepting that the opposition were better than us on the day’ recently. It’s not always ‘on the day’ either. Sometimes it’s ‘in this Test’ or ‘over the winter’. Pretty soon it’ll be ‘for the last decade or so’.
To be honest, this whole ‘being magnanimous in defeat’ act is really starting to get on our nerves. It’s not that we expect England cricketers to be bad losers. It’s that the subtext seems to be that they played really well and that sometimes the opposition are slightly better and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS.
Similarly, who has ever suggested that the opposition aren’t allowed to play well? No-one. Yet ‘the opposition are allowed to play well’ is a phrase we hear again and again in response to defeat.
Let’s make this simple. When someone says ‘the opposition are allowed to play well,’ or ‘they were better than us on the day,’ that person is trying to tell you that this is some mystical phenomenon that’s beyond anyone’s control. Don’t believe them.
Why? Because the person who’s says these things is invariably someone whose job it is to prevent the opposition from playing well and being better than them on the day.39 Appeals
That’s what you can expect from our latest knock for All Out Cricket.
In the preamble, All Out Cricket have accused us of having a ‘beady eye’ which is pretty much libel – we have two beady eyes and we make use of both of them.
We’ve decided not to take this to court because they could quite easily change it to ‘Alex Bowden takes a sideways look at cricket’ if they were to lose the case.8 Appeals
Or listened to it. Or paid a bit more attention to the scorecard than we did. In which case, please could you leave some sort of pithy synopsis in the comments section so that everyone else can feel like they got something of value out of visiting this website today?
That’d be great. Cheers. It’s much appreciated and we promise we’ll start doing things properly again in a bit.
That timeframe again: ‘in a bit’.
Also, here’s a link to the Jos Buttler section of the site. We’d definitely have linked to at least one of these articles had we written something about the match ourself – probably the one about him batting at five, but we can’t be sure. Presumably at least one of them’s relevant in some way. You’ll have to judge for yourself.14 Appeals
No, like, we REALLY wrote about Paul Collingwood this time. It’s like a proper article for a proper website. You may have read it a couple of days ago, of course. If you did, we apologise, because this is all you’re getting here on King Cricket today.
But why not read it again anyway? Come on, it’s a good one. On Twitter, none other than Paul Collingwood himself said of the piece:
“Very kind words!!”
Two exclamation marks! For once we’re actually happy about that, rather than irritated. If you think that betrays a certain inconsistency in our attitude to punctuation, why don’t you toddle off and score a double hundred in an Ashes Test? Do that and we’ll be perfectly happy for you to use two consecutive exclamation marks, providing you’re also expressing approval for something we’ve written.21 Appeals
Which is a shame, because it looked rather fun.
You may have noticed that some of our updates have been a little
half-arsed cursory of late. However, you don’t get to be King Cricket without coming up with some really rather ingenious ways round being completely uninformed about things. Fortunately for you, we’ve already put one of these ploys to use and so you probably won’t even notice that we’re not really doing any kind of a job here.
So that you could still get top-notch cricket coverage here at your ninth-favourite cricket website, we asked our mate who doesn’t even like cricket what happened in the cricket.
He said something like:
“We were shallot on Sunday at Chester le Street and livid about that so were intent on proving ourselves today. I don’t know what the fungi happened. Load of knobs pissing about in the rain and nobody watching as far as I can tell.”
Take THAT, Cricinfo!12 Appeals
We honestly thought that someone would have left some sort of tirade in the comments section of our latest article for Cricinfo, but alas, it’s mostly just confusion. We demand a tirade!
Fortunately, on Twitter someone said: “hey u never always boss nd god sachin” which might be a tirade.
Someone else said: “who is alex bow nvr heard????” after earlier saying: “And wiz team better dan english team currently sure ne school cricket team of world…..haha”
We guess we’ll have to settle for that.
Early season, I always try to take in a day of county cricket with my old friend, Charley “The Gent” Malloy. It helps us both to get over those winter withdrawal symptoms.
Charley has his favourite place to sit at the start of play – “Death Row” right at the front of the Pavilion, close to but not exactly behind the wicket. By 11am, we were well set in those seats. But Charley was in thoughtful mood.
“I’m going to be very careful what I say today,” said Charley.
“Why’s that?” I asked.
“Because anything I say might end up in your King Cricket report, showing me to be the idiot and you to be the clever clogs.”
“But if you don’t say anything worth reporting at all, you know I’ll just make stuff up,” I replied. Charley laughed.
We tucked in to smoked salmon rolls (whisky smoked – the salmon, not the rolls) with a nice little Alsatian Gewürztraminer to wash them down. Later we had Parma ham in Ciabatta bread, washed down with a rather elegant albeit Australian Shiraz. Between and beyond those major courses were other tasty morsels, including honey-roasted cashews, savoury sesame cracker-thingies and some very jolly posh chocolate biscuits.
We discussed many things during the day, including my latest hobby, learning to play the baritone ukulele very badly; the latest exploits of Charley’s son and daughter; together with news of the house refurbishment carried out by Charley and Mrs Malloy over the winter.
While in the Grandstand for the middle session of the day, a chap sitting with a friend not far behind us, started to snore, increasingly loudly as the session went on. At tea, the sleeper woke up and said: “It really is lovely being with you here at Lord’s,” to which his mate replied: “I’m not sure you have entirely been with me.”
“Hmm,” said the sleeper. “I suppose I might have nodded off for a moment just then.”
At stumps, Charley wondered what I might report about him on King Cricket. “Will you tell them about me trying to remember a pint-sized cricketer who looked a bit like that little-feller on the field of play, only to discover that the little feller was the very chap I was trying to remember?”
“Unlikely to make the cut”, I replied.
“What about me not realising that your baritone ukulele is different from the instruments that George Formby used to play?” asked Charley.
“A mistake that many would make, Charley. The baritone ukulele is normally tuned as a four-stringed guitar, very different from the banjolele and conventional ukulele, but the distinction is a bit music-geeky.”
Charley and I decided not to have a final, post-stumps drink – I needed to get home and prepare for work the next day. I walked home my usual route. Three minutes from home, as I’m walking past the Prince Edward, a loud voice rings out, “Ged Ladd” (or words to that effect).
“Stentor Baritone”, (or words to that effect), I reply. An extraordinary coincidence for several reasons, not least because I had never heard of a baritone ukulele, let alone a Stentor Baritone ukulele, when I granted my MCC friend that KC pseudonym some years ago. Also because Stentor no longer lives on my patch, nor does the publisher chum, also an acquaintance of mine, with whom Stentor was having an outside drink, en route to a restaurant.
Being an MCC member, Stentor Baritone was naturally unaware that today had been a match day at Lord’s, nor indeed that the cricket season had even begun. Equally naturally, I joined the pair for a quick drink, leaving my work preparation to a slightly foggier, later hour.6 Appeals
Not one minute of it. We logged onto the internet this evening, saw a headline about it, thought: “Ooh, that sounds juicy,” and then went and looked up the scorecard.
Top stuff. Top, top stuff. Well played, England.
We take it this is still the transitional period then? Not quite the new era yet, eh?
It’s funny how things change. Time was, England’s one-day batting started with a bang/Banger and then burnt out. Nowadays they light tinder, wait patiently while the kindling gently crackles and then chuck on some logs which have spent eight months marinating in petrol right at the end.
The first scenario refers, of course, to Marcus Trescothick, who made 133 not out off 129 balls in a staggering run chase against Durham this week. Even Paul Collingwood couldn’t get him out. His robust, thocking straight bat presents a marked contrast to Alastair Cook’s deflections and Ian Bell’s scything cuts, which is what we get now.
At the other end of the innings, things are rather cheerier these days. Morgan, Bopara and Buttler provide increasingly demented sloggery, but there’s a case for saying that Chris Jordan presents the logical conclusion to this. In Bridgetown, he hit four of the nine balls he faced for six. Today, at the Oval, his strike rate slipped from that high water mark, but only to 292 runs per 100 balls.
Then he did some bowling. We like him a lot.34 Appeals
After whipping the first division’s whipping boys, Northamptonshire, with their whipping boy whipping whip, Middlesex are now 19 points ahead of Yorkshire and 22 ahead of Sussex, both of whom have a game in hand. Yorkshire would need to win to go top. Sussex would need to really, really handsomely win to do so.
Yorkshire’s next match is against Lancashire, so all they really need to do is bat competently and the rest should take care of itself. Sussex’s next match is against Middlesex, so they won’t go top, but nor will they lose that game in hand.
A lot of Middlesex’s success thus far has been built on the work done by their openers. This is great news for England, in that Sam Robson is averaging about 50. However, it’s bad news for England, in that his opening partner, Chris Rogers, is averaging almost 50 per cent more and scoring almost 50 per cent quicker as well. Rogers even treated himself to a six at one point.6 Appeals