Remember Top Trumps? Course you do.
Picking a category and hoping that the number on your card’s higher than the number on your opponent’s card. What could be more thrilling?
We’ve got cricket Top Trumps on the site now. Repetitive and totally unsociable – it’s the perfect King Cricket game.
It’s called Bat For The Draw. Tell us what you think of it in the comments.
Rumours that we kidnapped Geoff Miller’s family and told him we were going to force them to watch Eastenders constantly until he picked Tim Bresnan for England are well wide of the mark. Clearly we told him to pick Rob Key and clearly he ignored us.
We released the Miller family after ice cream and a couple of games of Frustration, because we’re not really evil.
Tim Bresnan might have been picked for England on the basis that he was the only up and coming bowler who was more familiar with a cricket bat than a pipistrelle, but still it’s a good indication that he’s there or thereabouts.
Tim Bresnan has justified being one to watch.
Graham Onions was called into the England squad today and he’s celebrated in fine style.
It’s been debated whether runs scored at Taunton count as much, being as the pitch is famously so generous to batsmen. If that’s the case, what are wickets worth? Presumably more.
We’ve also argued that Taunton could be perceived as a good ground on which to rate potential Test players as Test pitches are generally more batsman-friendly than county ones. This applies to bowlers even more than batsmen. Get wickets here and you can get wickets on most pitches.
Durham made 543 in their current match against Somerset, so it’s reasonable to assume that the pitch is typically Tauntonian. In reply, Somerset were absolutely levelled by Graham Onions. All out for 69 with Onions dismissing five of the top seven on the way to 6-31.
There is no way that is a bad bowling performance. We’re not fully convinced that Onions is the best Durham bowler, but this kind of thing definitely helps.
We’re not going to let ourself get drawn into any Onions jokes, but we will ask this: has anyone ever met another Onions?
Whilst on a recent jaunt to Australia to a wedding that didn’t happen, I decided to go watch some kind of Australian cricket, which was fraught with difficulty:
Having researched that there was cricket on my first day in Perth, I duly jetlagged my way through the alarm to discover that the game was already over.
I then went on a tour of the WACA the day after and saw this quite ridiculous motivation nonsense in the home dressing room:
There being no more cricket in Perth for the season, I read that there was some kind of Weetabix (Weetbix in Australia) match happening at the MCG. I checked flight prices and my funds only to then be told that there was some bush fire appeal concert being headlined by Coldplay happening on one of the days. I am ashamed to have attended the same university as Coldplay, but proud to have attended the same institution as David Gower.
I waited as the prices of flights increased until they announced the game was to be at some kind of Oval at some kind of Junction in Melbourne. I arrived on the first morning to this:
I sat under cover from the deluge and talked to a man called Len. He had travelled since 7am to get there and he told me about his Filipino wife and his daughter who didn’t like cricket. He offered me a minty which I declined. Then play was abandoned.
I returned on the second day (entry was free with a travelcard) and wished I’d brought more clothing with me to Australia. I tried to find Len, but disappointingly he wasn’t there. I was also disappointed to discover that Darren Pattinson wasn’t playing. It disappointingly started to rain at 1pm. As I sat there, disappointed and cold, I realised that it sure as hell beat being at work.
Send your match reports that on no account mention the cricket to email@example.com
After scores of 118, 65 not out and 74 last week, today’s 99 not out marks the moment when we move away from admiring an exceptional young Antipodean talent and towards being sick to the back teeth, the front teeth and tonsils of a winnetty-faced, cork-hatted bastard.
Phillip Hughes is getting on our wick and he’s only been in the country for a week.
Pakistan v Australia? The England Test squad? The IPL?
No, we’re going to cover an early season one-day match between Lancashire and Northamptonshire that happened at the weekend and we’re going to cover it by saying ‘Paul Horton hit a hundred’ and nothing more.
Paul Horton hit a hundred.
Join us tomorrow to hear how Mike Gatting hit 15 not out in a second eleven game back in 1984 when he was coming back from injury.
You’ll have heard of Michael Vaughan’s ‘artballing’ by now. He throws, hits and bowls paint-covered cricket balls against a canvas and what results is branded ‘art’.
Vaughan took this up as part of his winter getting away from cricket. We’re not entirely sure whether this really counts as ‘getting away from cricket’. If Vaughan thinks it does, he’s rather lacking in imagination.
If you do something for a living, doing the exact same thing only with the odd implement dipped in paint isn’t ‘getting away from it’.
If you were a mechanic and at the end of the day you were sick of work, would you spend eight hours working on a car using a spanner that had been dunked in red Dulux?
No. Chances are that might seem just a bit too similar to work.
We did a rare half-decent post about this artballing lark, so we gave it to The Wisden Cricketer where it would be more at home.
Over the years, we’ve often asked ourself: ‘Could Rob Key actually be any more awesome?’
Always the answer has been the same: ‘Not really. Only if he managed to clean bowl Northamptonshire’s David Willey.’
Finally, after years of waiting, David Willey actually started playing first-class cricket this season. Kent faced Northamptonshire this week and Rob Key took the chance to complete himself and become 100% awesome.
Rob had never taken a first-class wicket before, because he didn’t need to prove ANYTHING to ANYONE. But with Willey at the crease, he had a task to carry out.
Here is the completion of that task.
Here is Rob celebrating the completion of that task.
Here’s what happend to the stumps. They have been DECIMATED.
Now here’s Rob doing a bit of pointing, because pointing is what you do when you have attained the status of being the world’s first 100% awesome individual.
Monumental thanks to Sarah, Canterbury for capturing history on her camera.
What county cricketers are worth watching in 2009?
You can watch other cricketers bat and bowl if you want, but you’d be far better off watching Mark Davies do his rehab or Paul Horton have a swift pint with one of his mates.
Latest on the 2009 ones to watch
Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire. It’s Chris Read v Steve Davies in a battle for third or fourth place in the England wicketkeeping hierarchy. Game on!
Steve Davies clearly said to himself: ‘Whatever Chris Read can do, I can go one better.’
Fortunately for Steve Davies, Chris Read hit 125, so ‘one better’ was quite impressive. If Read had missed a straight one first-up, all Davies would have had to do was edge a single down to third man.
Instead he had to edge a single down to third man 126 times. At least we assume that’s what happened and we’re not going to let ‘facts’ or ‘the truth’ dissuade us from thinking that.