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Shahid Afridi represents Pakistan

Shahid Afridi turns his arm overShahid Afridi embodies the reasons why cricket needs Pakistan.

Here’s a man who’s most famous for his ludicrously single-minded determination to hit every balll he faces into the moon, as if it’s somehow wronged him with its offensive nocturnal luminescence. That’s Shahid Afridi’s thing. That’s what he does.

Yet he’s also someone who can take 6-38 to beat Australia with his fast-medium leg-breaks, despite barely playing an international match of note for more than a year.

Where England lose matches by each player being a bit worse than his opposite number, Pakistan lose matches through breathtaking collective incompetence.

Where England win matches through each player being a bit better than his opposite number; Pakistan win matches through any one of their number defying probability and good sense to do something outrageous.

Mark Cosgrove flobs back into county cricket

Mark Cosgrove sitting there being fatSometimes it’s okay to make use of the verb ‘to flob’. This usage is entirely justified.

While the world trains its gaze on Fake IPL Player or the IPL itself – or Ian Bell or Michael Vaughan or Philip Hughes – while the world trains its gaze on those events, bigger things are happening. Much bigger things. Things so big that Gregg’s isn’t worth visiting after 2pm because they’ve been CLEANED OUT.

Yes, fat cricketer Mark Cosgrove is BACK. This time it’s about being fat and scoring hundreds. Much like last time.

Mark Cosgrove has wasted no time and scored 120 against Middlesex today. Rumours that the Middlesex bowlers were weak through lack of nourishment after being tardy in getting to the lunch buffet are entirely unsupported by facts, but nevertheless probably true.

Fake IPL Player latest

Kolkata Knight Riders have banned laptops apparently, so Fake IPL Player is having to update via SMS. As a result of this, the blog has become a nightmarish quagmire of abbreviations and acronyms – in short, just the sort of site we can’t bear to read.

There’s no excuse. We write things out in full even in text message format. We use semi-colons as well and not even as a component of something that’s supposed to depict a face.

Punctuation has no part within a face. Get a grip, Fake IPL Player.

A cricket ball in an unusual place

Ged writes:

“You might fancy the attached picture of Hippity (one of Middlesex’s most ardent fans and a well-known correspondent on Middlesex Till We Die) watching cricket while sitting on the bed with his lucky ball.

Hippity is well camouflaged for when he's in THE LAND OF TOO MANY E NUMBERS

“Given the particular controller he is using, he is clearly watching Ceefax, which is the ardent housebound county cricket fan’s font of knowledge, as you surely know.

Again the photo is mine and I can confirm that Hippity is a volunteer for the photograph.

“But perhaps a cricket ball on the bed with a green bunny is not unusual enough for you.”

Send your pictures of cricket bats and cricket stuff in unusual places to

The Fake IPL Player blog writer

The Fake IPL Player blog is the focus of some attention at the minute. Is it a fake IPL player or is it actually a real IPL player dishing the dirt on his Kolkata Knight Riders team mates?

The writer seems to know a bit about what’s going on and refers to people using transparent nicknames. One example is ‘Lord Almighty’ which you can fairly safely assume is Sourav Ganguly. The nicknaming is intended to make it a bit harder to know who Fake IPL Player is talking about, but if Ganguly doesn’t answer when someone says ‘Lord Almighty’, we’d be surprised.

The Kolkata Knight Riders people are aware of the blog, so if it is genuine it might come to an abrupt halt some time soon.

Fake IPL Player calls the franchise’s owner ‘Vinnie Dildo’. Make of that what you will.

Andrew Strauss loses the Ashes

Why, Andrew? Why? Why do you say these things? Have you never watched a film? You’ve just turned yourself into the character who overlooks a minor detail in the first scene, unaware of the DIRE CONSEQUENCES your seemingly minor oversight will have.

Strauss was speaking about how Australia’s Phillip Hughes will be playing for Middlesex alongside him going into the Ashes.

“It’s not a huge concern of mine – there are lots of things to worry about in the coming weeks, the fact he’s playing here’s not one of them. There’s no point losing sleep, it won’t win or lose us the Ashes.”

This absolutely will lose us the Ashes.

Andrew Strauss is neglecting to put the last bolt into the bit of submarine he’s working on because a shipmate has come into the room with some rum. The rum can wait, Andrew. The rum can wait. Put the bolt in. Put it in.

Do you not know that you’re messing with people’s lives here!

Andrew Flintoff v Kevin Pietersen in the IPL

Flintoff and Pietersen SQUARE UP

They hate each other. They just outright loathe each other. Everyone knows they never speak to each other EVER. Both players have been just busting for a chance to show that they’re the one that’s worth more millions than the other.

It’s about status. It’s about money. It’s about who’s all-time outright supreme number one top dog in the universe. Flintoff v Pietersen, mano-a-mano in the IPL. How did it go?

Well neither player did a right lot. Murali took 3-11 meaning Flintoff’s Chennai won and at the end, the pair of them just sort of good-naturedly shook hands and ambled off smiling.

Stay tuned for round two. It’s going to be the cricketing battle of… that particular afternoon.

The worst batsman in England

108? Minus 108 more likeThat Ian Bell, eh? Rubbish, isn’t he?

First he cashes in on a flat deck at Taunton and expects everybody to be all impressed. Then he follows it up with another hundred against the same opponents, as if that’s somehow proving something. You can’t play against Somerset every week, Ian.

This second hundred was in a one-day game as well. What’s that got to do with Test cricket? Rubbish. Absolute rubbish.

We’ve no particular love for Ian Bell, but we’re not about to start taking issue with someone who keeps cranking out hundreds. There are some who are so committed in their opposition to him that they discard his achievements on grounds that should only lead to reservations.

The campaign to not really have strong opinions about Ian Bell either way starts here!

IPL fantasy cricket team league

A whole host of sites offering free fantasy IPL cricket have sprung up. We’ve entered one and set up a league, which you can join if you want.

League members won’t be playing for a cup or even a plate. We’ll be playing for The King Cricket Takeaway Box. It’s okay, it’s clean. We gave it a right good wash. There’s a bit of a yellowy haze still where the turmeric’s stained it, but it is clean. We promise.

You’ve probably got a couple of questions about our expertly chosen team. We’ll endeavour to answer them.

Q: Did you accidentally pick a handful of Aussies, forgetting that they weren’t actually appearing for the first few weeks because they were playing Pakistan?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you pick Burt Cockley?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you regret the selection of Burt Cockley in light of the fact that he didn’t play the first match and probably won’t appear at all?

A: No. The selection of Burt Cockley is about so much more than points in a fantasy cricket game. It is also about supporting people with faintly amusing names.

If you do want to join our league, send your email address to and we’ll send you an invite tomorrow night.

We know it’s late and yes, we’ll already have established a lead in the league, but remember: we HAVE selected Burt Cockley and we aren’t going to be transferring him, even if he gets injured or banned or something. There is every chance that we will finish last.

James Hildreth hits a MASSIVE hundred

James Hildreth actually hit three hundreds in succession without being dismissed against the same set of irritated and increasingly despairing bowlers. This is our way of saying that he hit 303 not out against Warwickshire off 338 balls.

This time last year, we spent a long time deliberating over whether to make Joe Denly or James Hildreth one to watch for 2008. We went for Denly in the end, purely because his nickname is ‘No Pants’.

We’ve learnt from this. We no longer think that people who are partial to underwear are less likely to score runs in first-class cricket. You live and learn.

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