Impartiality is a worthy quality, but as of this minute our love-hate relationship with many of Australia’s players has clarified into a hate relationship.
There might be a World Cup before the first Test, but let’s be honest, this Ashes series has started. It began the minute our pensioner-skinned cousins landed in the UK last week, feeble eyes squinting to make anything out in the understated British light and whinging about the cold like the climatically-pampered pansies they are.
With that in mind, we’re renouncing level-headed analysis in favour of mindless defence of the England team, no matter what they do. It’s our frigging website; we can do what we want with it. If we want to be unjustifiably biased in our reporting, that’s our prerogrative.
Still, it’s worth remembering that this stance isn’t particularly heartfelt when Australians are getting unbelievably hot under the collar and making death threats in a fortnight’s time because we’ve branded Mitchell Johnson’s bowling ‘workmanlike’.
Please find attached a picture of a cricket bat in an unusual place, namely being used as a cue in a game of pool.
In an attempt to educate our co-worker Vita in the ways of King Cricket, we equipped her with said blade and sent her in to ‘bat’ as closing time approached at an overcast Surbiton watering hole.
Please note the Collingwood-esque short backlift, Daniel Vettori spectacles and half-full (or half-empty) pint of real ale perched on the table in homage to the great Freddie Flintoff.
If memory serves, the cue ball went straight into the bottom right pocket.
Vita departed with a pained Ian Bell-style ‘why, God?’ grimace, and we advised her to take the positives and put them under pressure early doors.
Send your pictures of cricket bats and other cricket stuff in unusual places to firstname.lastname@example.org
Specifically, it intends to attend meetings and conferences, do Powerpoint presentations and take care of ‘the bottom line’. Whatever that might mean.
The Mongoose is a cricket bat that looks like it’s got a ridiculously long handle, but actually it’s just that the main bit’s shorter.
The thinking is that batsmen don’t really use the top of the bat for runs, so why not remove it and stick it on the back to give greater leverage and more power.
The inventor, the improbably named Marcus Codrington Fernandez, says:
“From the moment I first imagined this game-changing weapon, ensuring the bat was within both the spirit and laws of the game has been amongst our top priorities.”
Stuart Law’s going to give the Mongoose its first official test. He doesn’t at all go over the top in describing the bat as “a weapon of mass destruction”.
You have to write in some detail when you do a book review, but in our eyes there are two main types of books. There are books that you enjoy and there are books that you have to force yourself to read.
We enjoyed What I Love About Cricket and as long as we don’t feel like we’ve wasted time on a book, we’re happy with it. Now for more detail. Some of the following may seem negative, but bear in mind that these criticisms are from a perspective of having liked the book.
See our latest cricket T-shirts here
They do one with a picture of the owner, Shah Rukh Khan, on:
We’re waiting for Lancashire to start selling Jim Cumbes T-shirts, but he’s retiring soon, so it’ll probably never happen.
This is very much a red-letter day. England pass 300 in one-day internationals very rarely.
Where other nations are forever launching sixes and sailing past 300, England are usually batting quite sensibly for a bit before thinking ‘OH MY GOD! WHAT ABOUT THE RUN RATE? WE’VE TOTALLY FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE RUN RATE’.
The run rate’s rarely that bad, but the minute one of the batsmen thinks this, the rest of his team mates all take their cue to start spooning catches to mid-on. It rarely has anything to do with the bowling and usually has everything to do with batsmen thinking ‘OH MY GOD! WHAT ABOUT THE RUN RATE?’
There was some proper slogging in there too. In one-day cricket, this is very much a good thing.
Have you ever wished that there was an online resource where you could submit an encounter with a well-known sports star and peruse other people’s similar brushes with fame?
Do you wish that the recording of such information could be done in New Zealand, perhaps for legal reasons?
Well then, it’s definitely worth taking a look at Sports Review’s exceptionally titled Stalkipedia.
We quite simply couldn’t ignore a feature with the tagline: “Let’s build New Zealand’s most comprehensive database of sporting stalking.”
You would have to say that cricket speed guns aren’t hugely accurate. They seem okay most of the time, then every now and again you get a wonky match where everbody’s bowling at 93mph.
This is what happened at Lord’s a week or so ago when England’s bowling attack suddenly turned into Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, Michael Holding and Jeff Thomson. Tim Bresnan is sharp, but he’s no Malcolm Marshall. Graham Onions hits the bat hard, but he’s no Waqar Younis.
In one-day internationals speed guns often seem to be 3-4mph more generous. Bowlers only get a maximum of ten overs, so they can give it a bit more oomph, but you’d think they’d bowl maybe just the odd effort ball in a Test match.
Yesterday, we noted that Stuart Broad bowled a ball at 92mph. We’re going to take that with a pinch of salt, but being as James Anderson was bowling at around 87mph – which is pretty much his normal Test speed – maybe the speed guns weren’t miles out. At the very least, it’s an indication that Broad is quicker than he used to be.
Pace isn’t everything, but it is something.
Apparently it’s the Deccan Chargers. They won the IPL, therefore they’re the best.
The format of the IPL is brilliant. It revolves solely around identifying the best team over a period of time to show which team is best. It’s totally fair and it lets supporters know which team should be considered the champions.
Having done this, they then go through a half-arsed knock-out bit at the end, which is all about manufacturing ‘big games’ and little to do with finding the best team.
Deccan Chargers won the IPL in 2009, despite losing half of their league games and finishing fifth from bottom. Not fourth. Fifth from bottom.
Deccan Chargers’ 50/50 win-loss ratio is awe inspiring.
My guest for the day was Charley “The Gent” Malloy. My last visit of 2008 saw Charley walk off with my tie.
When I reported the loss to my mum, she informed me that the correct etiquette in such circumstances would be for me to inform Charley that the tie was to be considered a gift.
Charley, being a gent, sent me a splendid silk tie as a reciprocal gift last autumn when I told him that the tie I had lent him was his to keep. After a certain amount of searching, I found that very tie to wear.
Perambulating at lunch, Charley and I played catch to stretch our legs. I felt my fielding form was restored more readily than his.
We returned to the pavilion after lunch, but the sun moved round and Charley was after more. We relocated to the Mound Stand.
I spotted Gareth Berg’s tattoo and guessed that it was Hindi. Charley, always contrary, thought it was Chinese. I asked Gareth and he said that actually it was Hindi – his name in Hindi in fact.
Charley and I returned to the pavilion for a final drink before ambling off, ties resplendent, east and west respectively along the St John’s Wood Road.