Month: January 2009 (page 1 of 4)

Always watch the ball

On no account stand six feet away from the stumps and watch the blimp instead.

Ooh - look at that

Canny bowlers will take advantage.

Andrew Strauss miscomprehends Law 41.3

The batting side only gets five penalty runs added to their total when the ball hits a helmet belonging to the fielding side.

There is, quite simply, NO WAY that this is a bad idea

You can’t just repeatedly play the ball into your own face and hope to win a match.

Stanford Twenty20 match report

We probably should have published this nearer the time when the whole undercutting of the PR hoopla via profound disinterest made more sense. Never mind. Just imagine that it’s Stanford week and you’re sick of it.

Miriam writes:

The big day started in a bit of a rush as we were leaving the holiday cottage in Cornwall we’d been in for a week, so I ate leftover potato gratin for breakfast and packed. We then spent a few minutes dodging dog poo at spooky Roche Rock before popping into the Jamaica Inn gift shop. Here is a picture of their resident cat.

Unarguably a cat at Jamaica Inn

We then drove through Bodmin to try to avoid the worst of the traffic on the A30. Here is a sign we passed on the way.

Higher Bore Street is gay

We also drove through a place called Lanivet which we had passed several times during the week and which had temptingly advertised a “men’s breakfast” (except without the possessive apostrophe). Here is the sign.

Imaginary o'clock

By this time it was about 10.30am and we saw some happily-breakfasted men rolling out of the church. We did ask the Men in our party if they wanted to stop for breakfast while we went away and did our nails or something, but they didn’t.

We stopped at a petrol station for lunch (sandwiches and sausage rolls) and petrol. We also pumped up the tyres, which cost 50p. 50p! I remember when that used to be free, or 10p MAX.

We stopped at my mum’s house on the way for a cup of tea. Then, on the way to my flat, I made a bit of an error at Victoria by getting my 2s and 3s mixed up and got the wrong bus home, so we had to walk in the rain for a little bit.

Once we finally arrived home, I ordered pizza, which arrived in time for the cricket. I had: chicken, salami, aubergine and feta cheese. Actually, writing this has made me want that pizza again. I may order it tonight. The Man had mushrooms, ham, bacon and prawns.

After the cricket, I went to bed.

Another account of a cricket fan going WILD for the Stanford match
Our own Stanford Twenty20 experience

Ricky Ponting’s match-fixing shame

“So one thing I always do is I gotta run myself out early on – it’s much more fun being an Andrew Symonds or someone.”

Don’t fear, people. Ponting is talking about playing Ricky Ponting Pressure Play on the PSP, which is known as Brian Lara Pressure Play in the civilised world.

He also says: “The likenesses are quite remarkable.”

Australia three wickets down for zip, like usual

We can only presume he’s not talking about the PSP version.

New logo for the Gloucestershire Gladiators

Gloucestershire, you will got on my first hhhwhistleGloucestershire’s players are ACTUAL GLADIATORS. Who knew? We always thought Jon Lewis looked more like a musketeer, but what do we know?

Gloucestershire’s PR bod, Stephanie Keene, said:

“We recognised that our nickname provided the club with a fantastic opportunity to link with the powerful images synonymous with the historic Roman gladiators.”

You’d think they might have realised the link with Roman gladiators sooner, what with it being a totally made up nickname and therefore the only reason they’re called that.

Or maybe it didn’t derive from the Romans. Maybe Gloucestershire’s pyjama sides are named after the TV programme.

Whichever meaning, a less Gladiatorial-looking side you’d be hard-pressed to find.

Cricket news can live without us

We’re going away for a week.

We’ve written stuff to appear while we’re away, like usual. You can insult us in our absence, like usual. An occasional visitor can point out some major cricket news that we haven’t covered, like usual. And one of you can leave an insulting comment about our missing some major cricket news knowing full well that we’re away, like usual.

Go on. Do it. We’d be disappointed if you didn’t.

Shakib al Hasan is the best all-rounder in one-day internationals

Shakib al Hasan - friend of King CricketShakib al Hasan is the best one-day international all-rounder in the world. It’s official. According to who, you ask? According to maths. You can’t argue with maths.

Well, you can argue with maths, but it takes ages and you’ll get confused and bored, so why bother? Just take it on trust. Shakib al Hasan is effing mint.

We said Shakib al Hasan would be great six months before he played an international. We’re not quite sure who, but somebody, somewhere, owes us a quid.

IPL window for England players

KP or Flintoff? KP or Flintoff? Let's use FlintoffA group of guys who aren’t you have got an opportunity to earn a lot of money.

The situation is that any England players who might actually be wanted by an IPL franchise will play Twenty20 in India for three weeks and then their next match after that will be a Test match. Anyone see any issues there?

We’ve never played international cricket, we don’t know how much preparation you need for a match and we don’t know how easy it is to switch from Twenty20 to Test cricket.

However, we do read a lot of newspapers and we’ve got a pretty good idea how they work. If Andrew Flintoff is given out lbw playing across the line in the first Test against the West Indies, the British press is going to skewer him, baste him and put him in a massive great oven at 200 degrees until his juices run clear. Then they’re going to slice him up. Then they’re going to eat him for breakfast, lunch and tea.

The media like clear-cut cause and effect and we’re pretty sure they won’t accept any explanation for a poor shot other than the one they choose to apply: ‘he was still in Twenty20 mode’.

It’s an unendurable tidal wave of bickering and recriminations just waiting to happen and it’s utterly, utterly inevitable. It feels like we’ve already fallen out of a plane and for some reason we’ve got a telescope. With the telescope we can look downwards and see a chalk outline on the pavement and it’s got our name written underneath it.

Just like that, only less macabre and much more irritating.

Tests at neutral venues

Zapp Brannigan says:

“What makes a good man go neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?”

Neutrality sickens us, just as it sickens him. Picturing a neutral crowd at a neutral Test venue sends us into a blind fury at all they stand for and all they don’t stand for.

Okay, so it’s clearly not that bad, but we’ve still got mixed feelings. Playing matches at home or away has far greater significance in Test cricket than in any other format. Not only that, but it has far greater significance than in any other sport. It’s one of cricket’s selling points.

A cricket tour is still an ‘event’ in our eyes. It’s a long, drawn-out test of cricketers’ abilities. Being at home should be an advantage and being away should be a huge disadvantage. It gives the game colour. Conditions are different in the various cricketing nations and the way of playing the game is different too.

Test matches need good crowds, but something important will be lost if they’re played at neutral venues. We should resist this, but as Zapp says:

“With enemies you know where they stand. But with neutrals – who knows?”

Shoaib Akhtar is a ‘what’

Shoaib Akhtar - a hunk o' burnin' lovePakistan captain, Shoaib Malik, is fed up with waddly, disinterested purveyor of two-over spells, Shoaib Akhtar. “Everyone can see what is out there,” he said about everyone’s favourite one-time fast bowler.

Rumour has it that Malik has asked the selectors to replace Akhtar with a patch of slightly longer grass at fine leg in order to improve Pakistan’s performance in the field.

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