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Carlisle Best is Tino Best’s uncle

We’re not quite sure why we never put two and two together before, but it turns out that Tino Best is Carlisle Best’s nephew.

Now, why is this significant? Well, there’s a good chance you know about Tino Best. We have a regular feature in the Twitter round-up we do for Cricinfo called ‘Tino Best’s Modesty Corner’ because he generally makes at least one outlandish boast a week. He’s magic.

Carlisle Best might be less familiar to you. If you’ve checked Cricinfo, you’ll know that his first scoring shot in Test cricket was a six, but that’s not why he love him. There is one simple reason why we love Carlisle Best. He used to commentate on his own batting.

This gave rise to our favourite cricket quote of all time:

“You can’t bowl there to Carlisle Best” – Carlisle Best.

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Is Jonny Bairstow the next Ravi Bopara?

Ravi Bopara in an actual Test match

Regular readers will know we rather like Ravi Bopara. We don’t think he’s the next Bradman or owt, but we do think he’s probably England’s sixth best batsman.

People don’t like picking the sixth best batsman. They have it in their heads that there must be someone better out there to take the sixth batting slot. Maybe there is, but perhaps that person could make a better fist of highlighting their quality and make life easier for all of us.


Ravi’s at a good age for Test cricket now. He’s had his share of ups and downs and he knows a spangly Test career doesn’t come easily. That’s healthy. That’s the point at which Jonathan Trott arrived in Test cricket. That’s the point at which Matt Prior and Ian Bell started looking the part.

This is why we’re completely irritated that Ravi’s got himself injured. His winter was a complete pain in the arse, sitting and watching Eoin Morgan spazz around for a month before sitting and watching Samit Patel do little better. He was due a turn. He was due a few innings to make a case for himself. He’s only had two Test innings since the juvenile Ravi died in the 2009 Ashes and he was not out in the last of those.

But he’ll have to wait again

Jonny Bairstow’s been promoted to the Test team in Ravi’s place and we worry he too will slip into the no-man’s land just outside the Test side in years to come. He’s young enough that if he fails, he could find himself dragging ‘evidence’ of his shortcomings around for years to come, smiting county attacks all the while.

Hopefully it won’t come to that. Hopefully Bairstow will make 500 on his debut in an innings that will later be considered disappointing in light of his subsequent achievements. However, that would sentence Bopara to another spell of driftage and that would get on our nerves.

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Count Cricket’s county cricket round-up – May 14th

Good day to you all. I, Count Cricket, attended the Nottinghamshire v Middlesex match last week in my role as King Cricket’s county reporter.

Due to heavy rain, I was forced to seek refuge in the toilets. Fortunately, I discovered that I could emerge and check the scoreboard from time to time with very little chance of being seen. As a result of this, I know that a Nottinghamshire batsman called Michael John Lumb made 162 runs, helping his county acquire the bonus points needed to top the table. However, the match was drawn and Warwickshire, in second place, have two games in hand.

Last week’s other matches were also shortened by precipitation. Lancashire again failed to score runs, as did Surrey in their first innings, although they rectified this in the second when their imported middle order of Kevin Peter Pietersen, Rory James Hamilton-Brown and Thomas Lloyd Maynard all contributed runs. All matches were drawn.

A gentleman I met in the Trent Bridge facilities filled me in on these details. I attempted to thank him, but he refused the ecru-coloured potion which I had concocted.

Until next time,
Count Cricket

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Alan Mulally is CEO of Ford

We always wondered what happened to flaxen-haired wrong-handed Nineties seam bowlers when they retired. Turns out they go all corporate.

After retiring from cricket, Mullally spent quite some time working for Boeing, where he rose to become executive vice president despite his CV being stained by the fact that he only managed 1,615 runs in 230 first-class matches.

The aerospace giant clearly focused more on his nagging accuracy and surprise quicker ball in fast tracking him to a key decision-making position and that faith was rewarded in 2006 when Mullally was named ‘person of the year’ by Aviation Week & Space Technology. However, shortly afterwards, he accepted the job of CEO of Ford, perhaps seeking new challenges.

The cash-strapped car manufacturer had long coveted Mullally’s impressive one-day economy rate of 3.84 and was duly rewarded in 2011 when Mullally was named ‘person of the year’ by The Financial Times and also ‘CEO of the year’ by Chief Executive magazine.

Oh, wait – Mulally with one L? We’ve been had. Thanks for nothing, D Charlton. Send your misleading emails elsewhere next time, you manipulative hound.

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Yorkshire fast bowlers and competition for places

It’s popular these days to encourage ‘competition for places’. However, as a means of keeping players on their toes, it’s expensive and according to Yorkshire stereotype, that’s not an option.

The county has instead adopted a policy whereby it instils fear in its pace bowlers. Ajmal Shahzad was bundled across the Pennines in a Transit van and now they’ve gone even further by arranging to have Mitchell Starc deported. Yorkshire say the Starc thing wasn’t their fault, but they would say that, wouldn’t they?

Rumours that Ryan Sidebottom has been locked inside a shipping container are yet to be confirmed. This is largely because said rumour has only just been created, but still – those devious Tykes.

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