All three Pakistan v England Tests are expected to be sell-outs

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England’s last Test tour of Pakistan finished in December 2005. We launched King Cricket in January 2006. We are about to complete our first lap of Test cricket.

That 2005 series finished 2-0 to Pakistan. Shoaib Akhtar and the not-especially-Danish Danish Kaneria skittled England on the fifth day of the first Test; the second Test was a draw; and then the perpetually-under-talked-about Mohammad Yousuf built up a sufficient amount of ‘scoreboard pressure’ with 223 in the third Test, Kamran Akmal also chipping in with 154 after coming in at eight. (Steve Harmison bowled 43 overs in that innings.)

Does this tell us much? Not really. England’s current coach, Brendon McCullum, isn’t even keen to pay much attention to Australia’s tour in March. He wants England to “play what’s in front of them” instead – a somewhat self-defeating strategy surely, given that cricket is famously a side-on game.

McCullum means the pitches really; trying not to preconceive what they’ll be like. There is one thing that should be a bit more predictable within the grounds though: crowds. All three Tests are said to be sell-outs, which is a very good thing.

The first Test is in Rawalpindi. It begins on Thursday at 5am UK time.

Taylor Swift says…

Does anyone know if the highlights are on terrestrial TV? I don’t think they are, but with all the different broadcasters these days, it’s hard to keep track of who has the rights to what. I had a quick look, but I couldn’t see anything anywhere.

I think I’ll probably get a Now TV subscription for the month so that I can watch it on Sky Sports. It’s £33.99, which is pretty steep during a cost of living crisis, but they’re doing two months for the price of one. That’ll get me the South Africa one-dayers in January as well – although to be honest I’m not too interested in them. Still, the option’s there.

Come on The England! Come on The Pakistan too, for that matter. I’m American. I’ve no preference who wins. I just want to see some high quality Test cricket.

If you’re wondering whether to do the same as Taylor for this series, we’ve got an article outlining the pros and cons of using Now TV to watch Sky Sports Cricket that might be of use to you. The gist is that you don’t need any special gear and it can work out well if you’re just dipping in for a month and remember to cancel your subscription before it automatically renews.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. 14 years
      23 years
      10 years

      Those are the gaps between successive six-sixes in top-level cricket. Actually, after the 23 year wait there were two in 2007, before a decade-long wait for another. Now there’ve been five in five years. But it’s not devalued, no no no. Not devalued at all.

      1. If something can be devalued, it must have value. And if something has value, why not have more of it?

        A basic principle by which cricket is run.

  1. Intriguing first name, Taylor. I don’t think I ever came across it as a first name until the last decade – now I don’t seem able to shake it off. (Did you see what I did there?) Used as a first name for men and women alike, Taylor is (to my eyes and ears) a surname, making “Taylor Swift” an incongruous “two surname name”.

    KC has railed against two forename names in his time, Mickey Arthur getting the brunt of it: on one occasion:

    There is a fast-improving tennis player (modern variety, not real) named Taylor Fritz, which seems to me to be a forename/surname reversal play, which is totally unacceptable. Mind you, the current World Champion at real tennis is named Camden Riviere, which is easily as two-surname-ish as Taylor Swift.

    Meanwhile, I shall be preparing to watch the eagerly-awaited Pakistan test series by having a net at Lord’s tomorrow. I haven’t so much as picked up a bat since before the pandemic, which simply doesn’t seem right. It won’t be pretty, but hopefully it will be fun.

    1. There was a singer called Taylor Dayne (again, not Danish) who was responsible for the unspeakably awful Tell It To My Heart in 1988. Apparently she was born Leslie Wunderman, which seems an even more unlikely moniker.

      Camden Riviere sounds like a minor character from Toast of London.

      1. I’ve oft thought that Camden Rivière would be an excellent (if perhaps overly-optimistic) name for a few deckchairs and a coffee stall on the side of the Regent’s Canal in the London Borough of that forename.

        There are some highlights of the great man at tennis in my latest Ogblog piece as it happens:

        The vid entitled “Epic Rests”, not the six hour borethon that is the MCC v MURTC match.

    2. This reminds me of a stand-up show by Yakov Smirnoff. When their daughter was born, his wife wanted to give her an American name, like ‘Brandy”‘ “Imagine a Brandy Smirnoff!”, Yakov went, “She can go to a rehab daycare!”

      1. Or Peppa, like the pig.

        I would get my daughter started on this if I didn’t live in a dry state.

  2. ‘If Pakistan are good enough to beat us, that’s cool.’ – B McCullum.

    Cool, guys. It’s all cool.

  3. Congratulations KC on your first lap of test cricket 16 (17?) years on and thanks for not organising a fundraiser for Taylor, I am sure she will find that £33.99 in loose change down the back of her private jet in which, according to reports, she appears to spend a lot of time in between guest appearances on this site.

    1. She should spend more time fixing the knackered-up page formatting she created which we’ve since had to unsatisfactorily bodge.

      1. If the game is cancelled, is there a clause which permits the ticket holder to a full or partial refund depending on the wildness of the shits?

      2. Islamabad case of the wild shits.

        Personally I would prefer my tailor to take a little more time – there’s no rush (except for England players visiting the bathroom currently).

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