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Do South African born cricketers like Jonathan Trott represent you and your country?

England currently have a number of South African born players. Jonathan Trott’s the latest and he seems to be under some suspicion at the minute, despite spending seven years qualifying to play for England.

Mike Norrish, writing on the Telegraph’s site, says:

“I guess the whole thing boils down to representation and whether or not we want England’s cricketers to represent ‘us’.”

Does Jonathan Trott represent you? Does he represent your country?

Over the years, we’ve met a number of people who were born in South Africa who are working and making new lives for themselves in the UK. Conversely, we’ve met very few people like Alastair Cook, for example.

Jonathan Trott represents our version of England pretty well.

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Warney finds the ball

“Here it is!”

I think Brad Hodge might be in there too

“It was tucked between two of my rolls of flab.”

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Howzat free online cricket game preview

We’ve had a quick look at the new free online cricket game Howzat, which is due to be unveiled shortly. We’re giving it the royal seal of approval.

Gameplay

It’s a player v player action game, as opposed to a management sort of affair. Batting is largely as you’d imagine: you aim in your chosen direction and then execute either a normal or a lofted shot. Timing is key.

There’s a quite a neat system for the bowling. You aim where to pitch the delivery using a cursor and then you stop a pointer on a meter to decide what kind of ball you’ll deliver. The ingenious part is that the meter is divided into three sections for three different deliveries, but within each of those sections, there’s a range for pace – so you can deliver a slow, straight ball or a fast away-swinger by pressing the key at different times.

It’s five overs per innings. We got battered in our test game, but we were playing one of the guys who’s made the game, so we don’t feel too bad. We hit a couple of sixes and got a few wickets.

Customisation and longevity

So far, so short-lived. The big selling point in our eyes is the fact that you’ll have your own team. You can change all the players’ names and change the kit that they wear, but you can also develop them. When you play well in a match, you’ll earn experience points and you can then allocate this to your players as you see fit. As players level-up, bowlers will get quicker and swing or spin the ball more and batsmen will time shots better and hit the ball harder. Fielders will become less spazzy.

Yorker spammers

Anyone who’s played a cricket game will know what this means. If you need convincing about this game, you’ll be reassured to know that measures are being taken to counteract this tactic, which should ensure a good, rounded cricket game that you’ll be playing for some time.

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Who the hell is Clint McKay and how did he get picked for Australia?

This is Clint McKayAustralia have called up the Victoria bowler Clint McKay, because after being on the road for about nine months all their bowlers are falling to pieces. Who is he?

Clint McKay has been selected for Australia because he really, really wants to play cricket for his country. Lots of cricketers say that they want to play cricket for their country, but they imagine that it’ll just happen because someone once told them that they had ‘natural talent‘.

Clint McKay had a Victoria contract several years ago, but lost it. Rather than spend his time simultaneously crying and eating meat and potato pies, he trained like a bastard with an Aussie rules team and lost a ruck of weight. Then he took a load of wickets for his club and earned another state contract, whereupon he took further wickets for Victoria and got picked for Australia.

Elite development the independent way.

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Mahendra Dhoni is really very cool

Mahendra Dhoni, flustered?

India are three wickets down in no time on a pitch that’s nastier than Satan when his haemorrhoids are playing up.
Dhoni: “Yeaaaaah. I’ll probably just stick around for 30 overs or so before basically just mincing the ball wherever I please when we get within touching distance of our target.”

Mahendra Dhoni is set upon by two thugs wielding knives.
Dhoni: “Yeaaaaah. I’m just going to take these knives off you, if that’s okay. Now off you go. Bye.”

Mahendra Dhoni’s trousers are aflame.
Dhoni: “Yeaaaaah. I’m probably just going to put these out now.”

This is what you can achieve when you’ve harnessed the power of the mind.

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Shakib Al Hasan is effing magic

Not top hats and rabbits magic – the good kind.

Shakib Al Hasan took 1-24 against Zimbabwe today. Then he hit 105 not out off 69 balls by way of an encore. Almost imperceptibly, he’s becoming a top all-rounder and Bangladesh’s first superstar.

He was even named Test player of the year by The Wisden Cricketer this month, which is quite an accolade. It says something that the article starts “Who is Shakib Al Hasan?” even though it’s a full three-and-a-half years since we said he was mint.

Three-and-a-half years!

We’re pretty certain that we can justifiably claim to be ahead of the curve on this one, which makes up for mobile phones and Seinfeld – both of which we were about eight years late on.

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Mahendra Dhoni strolls back into town

Mahendra Dhoni gives the beast free reinJust the other day we were wondering whether any of Mahendra Dhoni’s millions of fans had actually noticed that he doesn’t really obliterate the bowling any more.

Despite the fact that he scores far more runs now, we wondered whether he was largely buoyed by residual love from when he batted with blisteringly effective bat-spinning might.

Yesterday, Dhoni set off in nurdle mode before eventually engaging the long handle. The result was 124 off 107 balls and two textbook one-day innings in one.

It must be a constant battle for Dhoni to subdue his inner beast. Our inner beast sleeps a lot because it’s basically given up on life.

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Ask Michael Vaughan a question

Michael Vaughan thinks that's a very good questionRecovered England captain, Michael Vaughan, is being interviewed tomorrow (Thursday) and you may be able to have your question put to him if you comment here.

We would ask him to conjugate a verb and then watch him fall at the first-person hurdle.

Then we would ask him the one question that we always ask people: if you could have an additional body part taken from another animal, what would you have and why?

Update: CNN International want us to credit CNN International in this post and point out that some of these suggested questions will be put to Vaughan on air on CNN International.

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King Cricket comment of the week

There are people who only read this site for the comments. That’s fair enough. Really the posts are just pegs to hang the comments off. Sometimes we’re tempted to just put up a title on its own as that’s all that’s really needed.

However, what you, the reader, often miss out on are the late comments on old posts. We had a classic yesterday on a cricket bat invading a rival sport. It was quite possibly spam, but we don’t care.

i have a big dick so play cricket snooker with my dick (dick snooker).

by the way im baldy.

We were impressed by the first line, but it’s the addition of that throwaway second line that elevates this comment to a truly spectacular level.

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England’s next generation of Test players

How are the next generation of England cricketers going to get the experience they need now that the Home Office has brought in legislation that targets Kolpak players?

How will young South Africans get the necessary experience of English conditions to help them earn their place in the Test side? How will they even qualify for the national side if it’s going to be made so difficult for counties to sign them in the first place?

Nobody’s thought this through.

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