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A cricket bat joke – is this funny or not?

We’ve been having a discussion with someone about whether this is funny or not. If you have to explain a joke, it generally isn’t funny. But surely not in this instance. Surely.

Bellingham and Smith is a cricket bat manufacturer. We’re of the belief that this is a new business partnership between Lynda Bellingham and Will Smith.

Lynda Bellingham and Will Smith!

They’ve gone into business together!

To make cricket bats!

No?

Nobody?

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Want to make a fortune in marketing?

Time to judge this year's gimboid contest

Then a chronic inability to spell people’s first names shouldn’t hold you back:

“England cricketers Andrew Strauss, Alistair Cook and Eion Morgan put the Jaguar XJ through its paces”

At least they got ‘Andrew’ right. One out of three isn’t too bad and the surnames are all spot-on. Good work. Were they joined by anyone else on this track day?

“They were joined by ex-Formula One driver Martin Bundle”

Dear Lord. Even we know that’s not his surname and the only thing we know about cars is that they’re bastards who let you down every now and again.

Maybe this is ultra-sophisticated marketing, targeted at pedants who run sports websites.

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Middlesex v Australians match report

Ged Ladd writes:

I had been invited to a 30th anniversary reunion at school for this day. The thought of a formal school reunion horrified me, so I arranged to be at cricket during the day and at the theatre in the evening, to ensure my unavailability.

I had met up with some of the old school crowd, informally, a few weeks before. They felt they needed a rehersal. I took a couple of mementoes with me that day – my slide rule and a pair of old sports socks, on the outside of which my mum had sewn a name tag. I also promised to digitise and submit the old black and white photos I used to take at school. Most of them on subsequent inspection were gash, but the following picture wasn’t bad, especially considering I took it with a Zenith B.

Quite some jumper

As the temperature forecast for the day deteriorated, I kept dropping hints to Daisy that she should make sure she had plenty of warm clothing with her. On the morning itself I packed my thermal vest and again implored Daisy to wrap up warm. Daisy has previous in this department, but she swore she had plenty of layers.

There was something appropriate about skiving off the old school reunion for the cricket. As we entered Lord’s I half expected one of the stewards to feel my collar and ask “why aren’t you in school, young man?”

We went up on the pavilion sun deck and in fact the morning, although chilly, was quite sunny and bearable. But when the sun went in, we were really cold and Daisy reported that, had she known it was going to be “this” cold, she’d have brought some socks. We agreed that I’d buy her some socks when we popped out to get our lunch during the innings break.

St John’s Wood High Street is not the ideal place to find a cheap pair of socks for the sole purpose of one afternoon’s cricket warmth. We tried several sock-free places before ending up in a boutique named Square One which only sold Emporio Armani socks and only in packs of three. £25.50 poorer, I realised that it would have been cheaper and quicker to have hired a taxi to take me home and get those old school numbers with me name tag in them. I also realised that the socks had cost me more than Daisy’s entry ticket for the match.

Still, we had three pairs, so Daisy was able to sport them on her feet and hands (she had also neglected to bring gloves). The photo below is Daisy sporting the resulting Emporio Armani fashion statement.

Fingerless mittens with heels

As the temperature dropped further, I went to the gents to don my thermal vest. Horror – I’d need to remove my jacket and tie in the pavilion. I took the risk, thinking that perhaps no-one would come in while I was temporarily breaking the golden rule. But of course one of the more senior gentlemen did enter and looked at me quizzically.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” I mumbled.

“Pardon”, he said.

“Thermal vest”, I said, digging myself into a deeper hole. “It’s freezing”.

“Don’t feel the cold”, he reported, “feel the heat”.

I half expected him to launch into “when I was in Poona…” and half expected him to say “shouldn’t you be at school, young man”, but he said neither.

Later in the day, when the Middlesex Chairman stopped by, I asked him whether there is a dress code rule prohibiting the wearing of socks as gloves on the pavilion sun deck. He replied: “I don’t think there is, but don’t worry, there soon will be”. I didn’t have the courage to mention the thermal vest donning incident and he was too polite to ask “why aren’t you in school, young man?”

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Find out whether you’ll one day captain Pakistan

Using a Venn diagram!

We used the 1992 World Cup winning green

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The Indian bowling defence

Well it isn’t a bowling attack, is it? India have got a medium-pacer called Abhimanyu Mithun opening the bowling against Sri Lanka. We hadn’t even heard of him until this morning.

Muralitharan said this week that Harbhajan Singh was the only person who could challenge his Test wickets record. At the time this seemed ludicrous, being as Harbhajan’s over 400 wickets adrift, but judging by India’s bowlers in this Test, Harbhajan’s going to need a bigger belt if he’s going to get all the overs he’s going to have to bowl under it.

Three years ago, we wrote about how India were blessed with young fast bowlers. Through inconsistent selection, fitness problems, complacency and a build ’em up-knock ’em down media, they’ve all fallen away.

The one bowler who does look determined and who has been given selectorial support is Ishant Sharma who’s currently wicketless and going at nearly six an over in a Test where the medium-pace debutant is conceding three an over.

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Shahid Afridi should only play Test cricket

Only four days after returning to Test cricket, Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi, has again announced his retirement with the typically odd yet straightforward statement:

“My temperament is not good enough for Test cricket and we need a proper batsman or a proper bowler.”

Only yesterday we were remarking how Test cricket shows Shahid Afridi at his best; at his most Afridi-ish. You don’t want to see Shahid Afridi batting in a Twenty20 match or in the powerplay overs of a one-day match, you want to see him when he has to bat out time on the final day of a Test match on a wearing pitch.

That’s when Shahid Afridi’s exceptional. That’s when he stands out.

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Steven Smith’s bowling action

You can waste a hell of a lot of time deconstructing Steven Smith’s double-elbowed chicken dance bowling action.

We mentioned this to a friend of ours and he said, quite simply:

“I want to deconstruct Steven Smith’s face.”

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Leg stump – the third of the wicket that you wouldn’t invite round for dinner

The leg stump is the poor man’s stump. We think it’s time it got equal rights.

How often have you heard the following, or similar, after an LBW appeal:

“Hawk-Eye shows that would have just clipped leg, so that’s probably a fair decision.”

Not outNo it isn’t. If it’s hitting the stumps, it should have been given out. If it was just clipping the off stump, you’d say the batsman had got away with it.

It seems like Hawk-Eye needs to show the ball twatting right into leg stump, clipping middle, before a batsman’s really out. Bullshit.

We’ve heard that they keep leg stumps in a separate place in the groundsman’s shed; leg stump ghettoes where the roof leaks and it’s draughty.

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Danish Kaneria outwits Mitchell Johnson

WaftOne thing we don’t like about modern cricket is the long batting order. We want to see the best batsmen against the best bowlers and then we want the lower order to just fold so that we can get on to the next innings.

In truth, these long batting orders are no such thing. Test pitches are more forgiving these days, so mediocre batsmen can score well. Yesterday, Mitchell Johnson – a reasonable batsman with a Test hundred – was asked a couple of questions by the man who sounds like he should be a Nordic aviary, Danish Kaneria. Mitchell Johnson did not have the answers.

If it were a French test, Johnson would have said ‘boeuf?’ in the vain hope that might have made sense. It didn’t.

A couple of wide deliveries were left alone. Johnson looked like he knew what he was doing, but they were wide enough he could leave them without needing to know which they were spinning.

A straighter ball then had to be played at because if it were a leg break, it would have hit the stumps. Was it a leg break? No, it was a googly. Johnson’s defensive push missed it by about a foot. “Boeuf?”

Next ball was fractionally wider and maybe a bit fuller. Is it the googly again, Mitchell? Kaneria’s leg break splattered the stumps.

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Cricket Venn diagrams

VennCricket.jpg

Is there enough interest in cricket Venn diagrams to warrant making it into a regular feature? After literally more than one person complained after we didn’t provide one, we feel there is.

The above is by prbass and is an excellent Venn diagram with which to kick off. The people in that orange section should be quite pleased now.

If you’ve got something cricket-related you want to express in Venn diagram form, send a Jpeg to king@kingcricket.co.uk and we’ll upload it onto the site the next time we decide we’d rather go to the pub than write something ourself.

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