10

Durham do the dishes and then take out the recycling

Bowled on 21st September, 2014 at 09:37 by
Category: Ben Stokes, County cricket news, Paul Collingwood

The final of the domestic 50-over competition is an odd thing. It took place yesterday, in late September – a fortnight after the semi-finals, three weeks after the quarter finals and a month after the main bit of the tournament. You can see why it works that way, but with the days shortening, it feels a bit like it fizzles out rather than building to a climax.

Durham won and for all the talk of modern scoring rates, it was another low-scoring affair. A party can’t always be dancing and laughter. Sometimes, if it’s your party, it’s more about doing an awful lot of laborious housework. Or, if it’s our party, it’s an oud bruin and a high quality motion picture starring Rowdy Roddy Piper. (Has he ever starred in a substandard film? Not to our knowledge.) Not sure what our parties translate to in this analogy. Probably something Duckworth-Lewis affected.

Yesterday, Ben Stokes drew most of the headlines for taking a couple of wickets and making 38 not out, but it’s been Paul Collingwood who’s been the star of Durham’s campaign. He finishes the competition among the top ten run-scorers and the top ten wicket-takers. He scored 427 runs at 53.37 at over a run-a-ball and took 14 wickets at 22.85 at less than four-an-over. We’ll resist the temptation to write another 5,000 words on him, but suffice to say he’s still underrated and always will be.

10 Appeals
10

The worst first-class county cricket team

Bowled on 19th September, 2014 at 09:53 by
Category: King Cricket

We rarely feel moved by events in the second division, but it’s hard not to feel a twinge of excitement at the prospect of Northamptonshire and Leicestershire playing out a draw next season to extend their respective winless streaks.

We’ve reported on both of these clubs in our latest Shire Horse column for All Out Cricket – plus some other stuff.

10 Appeals
14

Never call someone a Kolpak

Bowled on 18th September, 2014 at 07:37 by
Category: King Cricket

Bad news for Slovakian handball goalkeeper, Maros Kolpak, whose name has apparently morphed into a racist insult. Yorkshire’s Andrew Gale has been charged with a level three offence for firing the word at Lancashire’s Ashwell Prince.

A level three offence involves “using language or gestures that offends race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.”

We suppose Kolpak refers to non-British national origin so in that sense the charge fits.

We’ve written more for Cricinfo – although if you’re expecting a serious dissection of the issue, be warned that the article features Giles Clarke crouching behind a desk.

14 Appeals
20

Mop-up of the day – first-class status and second division performances

Bowled on 16th September, 2014 at 09:32 by
Category: County cricket news, Mop-up of the day

The Champions League is on. We managed to watch half of one innings, but it’s such a stupid, managed tournament, it isn’t really sport in any meaningful sense, so it’s back to county cricket.

First-class but second-rate

In these triple-format days, is first-class status as meaningful as it once was? We ask because Leicestershire have now gone two full years without winning a single match in the County Championship and it reminded us of something we read in WG Grace’s Classic Guide to Cricket.

Apparently, in 1890, it was suggested that county cricket be divided into first, second and third classes with eight teams in each. This struck us as being not at all a bad idea – an extension of the current league system, in effect. It would allow minor counties a route to progress and would also motivate those struggling in the second tier who at present basically find themselves playing for nothing.

At the minute, poorer counties seem aghast that they might lose their first-class status, but perhaps if it were a more fluid thing, it wouldn’t seem such a cataclysmic event. The blow would be further lessened if they were still involved in 20- and 50-over competitions, which could perhaps be expanded so that minor counties could also qualify for them.

If you’re wondering how things panned out in Grace’s day…

“The scheme of classification did not give general satisfaction, and a newspaper warfare was kept up for some time afterwards.”

We imagine it would be much the same outcome today.

Second division but Test class

How’s Cheteshwar Pujara getting on playing for Derbyshire, you ask? Not enormously well. In three innings, Pujara has made 7, 0 and 16.

You wonder how much he’ll really learn without spending meaningful time in the middle. Fortunately, he gets to bat against Leicestershire next week.

20 Appeals
14

England v Sri Lanka – throdkin report

Bowled on 15th September, 2014 at 09:47 by
Category: Match report

Throdkin fit for a lord and for Lord's

Ged writes:

“Am I to be the token Northerner?” asked the Lancastrian nephew-in-law, Escamillo Escapillo, viz our impending visit to the first Lord’s Test of the 2014 season. “Not at all”, I replied. “Big Al DeLarge is originally from Burnley”.

But that got me thinking, what with Big Al being so fond of fine food – by his own admission he can be “a bit cheffy” – I’d need some imaginative ideas for the picnic. And what better, with two of our party being big-eating Lancys than to try cooking King Cricket’s recommended dish – throdkin.

Now here’s the thing. Try finding an actual recipe for throdkin on the web. The Wikipedia entry for throdkin provides clues, but not a recipe. Indeed, I could find no actual recipe for the dish anywhere on the web. Some chat, but no recipe.  I decided, from the clues, that throdkin is a form of baked oatmeal with bacon, so found a recipe for that and adapted it a little. My first attempt was gloopy, salty, only slightly sweet and impractical for cricket match picnic purposes.

The next thing that happened was bizarre and coincidental. A client of Daisy’s recommended that she buy some Iberico streaky bacon from Lidgates for a posh carbonara pasta. Daisy went mad and ordered a kilo of the stuff. It made an amazing carbonara, by the way, but we needed no more than half a kilo for the pasta dish. “I’m having the rest of that bacon for the Lord’s throdkin,” I said, explaining my plan. Daisy thought I had taken leave of my senses, but a workable recipe for a throdkin-like delicacy was starting to form in my brain.

I switched my culinary thinking from “a variation on a theme of baked oatmeal” to “a variation on a theme of oatmeal cookies” and guessed, correctly, that I could find plenty of US recipes for bacon oatmeal cookies.  I experimented with some ordinary bacon and one of those recipes. Big tick in the box for simplicity, good texture and basic flavour, but the cookie was insanely sweet using the recommended quantities of brown sugar and white sugar in the cookie, plus icing sugar and maple syrup on top of the cookie. With that sort of sugar rush at breakfast each morning, no wonder American kids grab guns (readily accessible in all good US homes) and cause havoc with them on a regular basis.

But I had figured out the idea now.  Daisy tasted the sweet cookie and agreed that a poshed up, less sweet version of that recipe would work.  She just wanted nothing to do with it other than the eating.

Thus, “The Lord’s Throdkin” was fully formed. I saw everything that I had made, and, behold, it was very good. So here it is: Ged Ladd’s recipe for The Lord’s Throdkin.

14 Appeals
14

Yorkshire’s County Championship summed up in one line

Bowled on 13th September, 2014 at 10:52 by
Category: County cricket news

Not one of ours, unfortunately. It’s by Cricinfo’s David Hopps – a Yorkshireman hisself.

“Their first Championship win for 13 years is a lesson to English cricket, based as it is on a strong commitment to player development – among all ethnic groups, and extending beyond the privileged classes.”

Which is precisely why, even as a Lancashire supporter, we see it as a win to be celebrated rather than resented.

14 Appeals
29

Vent your feelings about Ravi Shastri

Bowled on 12th September, 2014 at 11:45 by
Category: Ravi Shastri

In a recent comment, Bert revealed that he had something of earth-shattering importance to say about Ravi Shastri arising from this week’s Cricket Badger (sign up here). Unfortunately, he didn’t have a place to say it.

Let this be that place.

It also occurred to us that many of you will have something you wish to express regarding the bombastic microphone holster cum BCCI mascot because – somewhat surprisingly – we’ve never actually written about him before.

We’re quite interested to hear what you all think…

29 Appeals
23

Mop-up of the day – spreading Roses

Bowled on 11th September, 2014 at 11:44 by
Category: County cricket news, Mop-up of the day

The Pennines have long separated good from bad, but there’s been an odd inversion in county cricket this year.

White Rose good

Nottinghamshire were the only team who could have prevented Yorkshire from winning the County Championship. Being as Yorkshire are positively monstering them with just one more game to go, the title is basically theirs. The flat-capped monophthong favourers made 532-9, which was already enough even before they reduced Notts to not-many-for-six.

Considering they’ve spent most of the summer without their two best batsmen, Yorkshire have batted well this year. Adam Lyth has scored way more runs than anyone else, continuing a rich tradition whereby players we suggest you watch finally come good many years after we’ve tipped them. His alphabet-straddling opening partner, AZ Lees has also averaged over 40, meaning Yorkshire have frequently benefited from strong starts.

Red Rose bad

Lancashire, however – their batting has not been so crash-hot. Here are Yorkshire’s batting averages for this season and here are Lancashire’s. Compare and contrast. Then weep softly for a bit. Then imagine what Lancashire’s would be like without the two overseas imports. Then bawl uncontrollably for a bit.

Lancashire’s 320 all out against Sussex in their current fixture doesn’t sound so bad until you realise that they were 192-8. Sussex should top 400 which should pretty much relegate Lancs. Frankly, they deserve it. They’ve batted badly for years now with few signs that anything might improve.

Kemar Roach then?

He took 4-64 as West Indies beat Bangladesh. He also said things on Twitter, which we’ve included in our latest Cricinfo round-up. Roach comes across as being… an interesting chap.

23 Appeals
30

Thank you to Childish Things

A quick thank you to Childish Things, the guys who make International Cricket Captain, for agreeing to sponsor the site for the next month (although the hours we’ve lost to the game over the years, frankly they owe us). If you’re not running ad-blocking software, you’ll see a big, long ad for the 2014 version of the game just to the right. If you are running ad-blocking software, you may not – but you will see this post.

We’ve not played this latest version yet. We’d expect it to be some way more sophisticated than the 2009 instalment, which is the last one we did a proper review of. They say the match engine’s been refined to ensure greater realism, although the below screenshot does feature an Alastair Cook hundred.

icc-pc-screenshot

You can buy the game from the Childish Things website.

Advertising on King Cricket

If anyone else wants to sponsor the site, get in touch. You can have an ad for a month and a thank you post as long as you’re a proper company with a proper product and not just some 19-year-old emailing people asking for links because you work in SEO.

30 Appeals
15

The ICC flexes its elbow muscles

Bowled on 9th September, 2014 at 09:39 by
Category: Saeed Ajmal

Saeed Ajmal - he's a straightener

Well this is news. Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal has been banned from bowling.

Ajmal was tested once before and had his action cleared. But not this time. This time he has been found guilty of the greatest crime in cricket.

People will whisper the word whenever he is near and he will have to use the special toilets reserved for his kind whenever he is at a cricket ground. Whenever his name appears in on-screen statistics, it will always be accompanied by an asterisk. This is not to indicate that he was captain. That asterisk says just one thing. People will hiss the words, rather than say them: “Saeed Ajmal was a straightener.”

A thousand parallel Ajmal-less universes have opened up to bitter fans of other nations. In ours, an entirely different Pakistan spinner keeps taking five-for-spit against England in the UAE in 2011. Probably a far less likeable one.

15 Appeals

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