Matthew Hayden finally talks about himself in the third person

Bowled on 6th October, 2008 at 21:07 by
Category: Matthew Hayden

You can tell he’s the kind of person that does that just by looking at his face.

It’s okay, we’ve looked at his face to bring you that information, so you don’t need to subject yourself to the same torment.

He was saying something about Harbhajan Singh at the time. It’s not entirely clear what.

“In a lot of ways, to me off-field, if that’s affecting him that’s a good thing for Hayden because I don’t feel like I’m harbouring any massive resentment.”

He doesn’t feel like he’s harbouring any massive resentment. If he’s not totally certain, we can let him know about some of the symptoms of harbouring a massive resentment.

One of the main symptoms is that you devote entire pages on your website to things that you never bothered writing about when a former England captain did them, because you thought it was boring when he did it, yet you find yourself BURNING UP WITH THE HATRED when this other person does the exact same thing.

3 Appeals

India practice ‘clown tactics’

Bowled on 6th October, 2008 at 11:19 by
Category: India cricket news, Lies about pictures

“So I curl up behind him like this and then you give him a shove.”

Neither of these men are actual clowns

India’s clown tactics were all well and good in theory, but when it came to carrying them out with an actual batsman present, everyone got confused and Sourav Ganguly ended up with a black eye.

4 Appeals

Jason Krejza’s bowling figures

Bowled on 5th October, 2008 at 15:02 by
Category: Jason Krejza

Not the first to test the reslience of the boundary boardsThere’s a fine tradition of Indian batsmen being introduced to opposing spinners, shaking their hand before punching said spinner squarely in the face without warning. And then doing it again. And again. This usually happens before the spinner even appears in a Test.

Sachin Tendulkar instantly decided that Shane Warne was going to go and in a warm-up match the leg-spinner went for 111 runs in just 16 overs. Before that, Navjot Sidhu systematically dismantled John Emburey’s confidence with a barrage of sixes.

Jason Krejza hasn’t really got a reputation worth savaging, but the Indian Board President’s XI have set about his bowling with contempt anyway. Krejza took 0-123 off 20 overs in the first innings of the tour match and in the second Yuvraj Singh set about him to give him figures of 0-76 off 11 overs.

Whether we were intending on adopting Krejza or not is looking moot at present.

3 Appeals

Laurence prepares for a nailbiter

Bowled on 3rd October, 2008 at 10:49 by
Category: Laurence Elderbrook

It is the final match of the season. We have to win and I have been entrusted with the pivotal number 11 slot. As the last batsman, all will hinge on my performance.

Our opponents bat first and I am permitted to field from the dressing room, where I can gather my thoughts and get myself prepared for the task in hand. I take a G&T to stimulate my mind and sharpen my reflexes.

Our reply gets off to a good start, but a flurry of late wickets leaves us needing five to win off the final ball with eight wickets down. In this most important of matches, Laurence Elderbrook is not going to grace his stage.

However, the final delivery is a massive front-foot no-ball. The batsmen attempt to take a single, but the non-striker is run-out before he can make his ground. I hear the crowd silently chant my name.

I take a moment to compose myself in the mirror. Resplendent in my cream flannels, I look immaculate. It is time.

Moments like this are decided in the mind. Fortunately, my mental strength is unsurpassed. As the bowler runs in, I already know that I, Laurence Elderbrook, will win this match. It is my stage. It is my moment. Four to win.

Like all great batsmen, I have always picked up length early. On this occasion, I am perhaps a little too early and am well into my follow-through before the bowler has released the ball. The delivery is fast and straight and it takes a bail off.

Foolishly the fielders celebrate. Maybe they know that I had a free-hit due to the front-foot no-ball, maybe they don’t. Whichever it is, they still think they have done enough.

But I know better.

As I played a shot, the ball is not dead. I watch it bounce over the rope and the umpire signals four byes. We have won the match.

I have won the match.

It is at this point that I take the only option available to me. I discard my bat, throw back my head and let fly a huge, bestial roar. It is a roar of superiority. It is a roar of victory. It is the roar of Laurence Elderbrook.

Later that night, as we celebrate, I suggest to the captain that I might bat at three next season, so that the team may make better use of my abilities. He concurs.

He admires my prowess. He admires me.

More Laurence Elderbrook

11 Appeals

Top ten Ashes players of all time

Bowled on 2nd October, 2008 at 20:04 by
Category: Ashes

Patrick Kidd’s already started his fiendishly exhaustive build-up to next year’s Ashes series at The Times’ Line and Length blog. He asked us to supply a top ten of influential Ashes characters, so we did.

Our top ten is a personal one really. We didn’t want to produce a boring composite of everyone else’s top tens, so it’s mostly recent players and the reasons are quite disparate.

Kidd deliberately put our top ten up on the same day as his Matthew Hayden: Ashes hero post, the malicious hound.

10 Appeals

Surrey v Northamptonshire match report

Bowled on 2nd October, 2008 at 11:10 by
Category: Match report

Marmazet writes:

When I arrived at Oval tube station, I had a sudden and horrible realisation that I had forgotten to buy my lunch at the local shop. Eating a BLT and crisps is the main reason for going to the cricket really, cos my mum would probably make some acerbic comment if I ate that at home.

So I was already feeling a tad grumpy when the woman by the turnstile got all uppity because I was trying to swipe my membership card the wrong way round. However, my mood improved when the guy guarding the pavilion entrance smiled at me, even though I thought his uniform was hideous.

After I settled down in my seat, I heard my name being called and looked round to see the whole of my best friend’s family, sans my best friend (apparently she was out “having coffee” with someone, but I’m not convinced) at the end of the row. A painful hour or two of conversation with her mum followed, where we talked about the weather, her son’s exam results and how difficult it is to take the rubbish out when you have a bad back, amongst other things.

I was beginning to dose off through boredom and hunger when there was a sudden standing ovation. I hadn’t missed anything. It was just Mark Ramprakash walking out to bat. Thankfully, my friend’s family invited me to have tea with them in the restaurant, so I didn’t have an embarrassing sugar-low faint.

There were lovely finger sandwiches and cakes that resembled Mr Blobby and scones and jam. The jam called itself Strawberry Extra Jam and we pondered how jam could make itself extra for at least five minutes. The actual tea, however, was served out of ghastly tin thermoses with dirty stickers scrawled with the word ‘TEA’ in capitals. We thought that the tea was sufficiently expensive that Mr Oval-Restaurant could invest in a proper china teapot.

Most of the other people in the restaurant were only there so that they could watch the Man Utd v Newcastle game on TV, although two of the waitresses were watching the Olympic gymnastics on the other screen.

I went home, made some rice pudding and sat on the sofa in my pyjamas watching two episodes of Lewis back to back.

13 Appeals

Rob Key making the diving stop of his life

Bowled on 1st October, 2008 at 11:15 by
Category: Rob Key

Vin sent us this. It is too exquisite for words.

Look at his face!

Officially we should admonish Vin for the use of the pie, because Rob doesn’t like fat jokes. Unofficially, we think that if someone’s going to take the time to do a Rob Key picture of this standard, they can do whatever they bloody well want.

Sorry it’s not Isa Guha and her cat pointing at a sign that says ‘moron centre’, but we think you’ll agree, this is still pretty damn good.

22 Appeals

Kent’s relegation to division two of the County Championship

Bowled on 30th September, 2008 at 11:17 by
Category: County cricket news

Rob Key giving about six percent effort - good man!

Kent don’t look like a second division side to us. Quite apart from the Rob Key factor – which decides the matter and draws a line under it in itself – there are so many other decent players and so few poor performances.

Kent won four matches this season – one more than Somerset who came fourth. A combination of draws and bonus points has dispatched them to the near-worthless second tier. It doesn’t seem right.

The championship format is toss

We have two issues. The first is bonus points. You get 14 points for a win and you can pick up eight bonus points in a match. Eight bonus points is too many. It wields too great an influence. It’s also ridiculous that you can get five bonus points for batting, but only three for bowling. It encourages conservatism.

The second issue that we have is with the two-up, two-down nature of promotion and relegation between the two divisions. Two teams changing places is okay some years, but not every year. Look at it this way: are Worcestershire better than Kent? We might be wrong, but we suspect not.

It would be better if there were a play-off between the runners-up in division two and the second from bottom side in division one. That would be fair and it would also be quite an intriguing occasion at the end of the season.

Division two is toss

As for Kent specifically, we now have to consider Joe Denly achievements with the sneeringly aloof tone that we reserve for division two and we’re not happy about that. We much prefer to get carried away about things.

We can also reveal why Kent got relegated, by the way. It’s because of coach Graham Ford’s sub-moronic maths. He’s been keeping this flaw concealed, the devious little innumerate, but we can finally out him after this quote about how his players will respond next season:

“I know they’ll be giving 120% to get back to First Division status.”

They haven’t a chance. They’ll be declaring for seven and thinking they’re top when they’ve got no points if this is how the man deals with numbers.

8 Appeals

Coming soon on King Cricket

Bowled on 29th September, 2008 at 20:32 by
Category: King Cricket

Laurence Elderbrook has one more match left this season. We were quite pleased when his reports were met with initial apathy, because the man’s a bell-end and we wanted to get rid of him. Unfortunately, some of you seem to have warmed to him, so we’re having to find a way of keeping him on.

After having the idea appear in front of us without our having to do any actual thinking, we’ve decided to do an ‘Ask Laurence’ feature, where you can question the great man and get him to solve all your problems. Try and make a few of the questions about cricket because that’s his area of expertise.

You can leave comments, but it might be better if you email us so that we don’t lose them. Depending how many questions we get, this feature will probably start next week.

On a less irritating note, we’ve got something of rare beauty appearing on Wednesday, so make sure you visit then. We can assure you that, for once, something will be appearing on this site that isn’t rubbish.

18 Appeals

Durham’s championship winning batting

Durham’s bowling attack is getting all the attention, but don’t forget that they’ve prepared pitches to suit it and their batsmen have had to bat on those very same tracks.

Not many of Durham’s batsmen have prospered. Most of their 2008 averages aspire to mediocrity. Of Durham players who’ve played more than a couple of games, only four average over 30.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul – 411 runs at 37.36

Shiv’s currently ranked as the best Test batsman in the world. You would hope for runs from him. As Lord Megachief of Gold, you would positively demand them.

Dale Benkenstein – 783 runs at 43.50

Players hit more runs at better averages for other counties, but these runs were more valuable. We move that Dale Benkenstein be nicknamed ‘Benkensteino’ from now on.

Michael Di Venuto – 1,058 runs at 46

No-one else made more than 1,000 runs for Durham. Australian batsmen who aren’t quite good enough for the Test side are so important in county cricket, it’s obscene. We move that Michael Di Venuto be nicknamed ‘Dio Venuto-o’ from now, on the grounds that it’s so catchy and easy to say.

Will Smith – 925 runs at 51.38

Will Smith is perhaps of most interest. He’s scored half of his first-class hundreds (three) this season and we’re not giving much away if we say he’ll be one to watch next season.

8 Appeals

What we mostly seem to write about


Cricket history