Bye-bye to the Adelaide-born New York pitch, a craptain’s view of Jos Buttler, accidental manipulation + more in our latest T20 World Cup round-up

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Many things have happened since our last round-up, but the most significant development is that Nassau County International Cricket Stadium is already on its way back to being a public park. “The light that burns twice as bright, burns half as long,” as Tyrell says to Roy in Bladerunner. No, not that Roy. Nor that one.

Lights out

The 34,000 seater Nassau stadium was only inaugurated by world famous cricketer, Usain Bolt, on May 15, but by the end of July, this modular beast, with its dogshit pitch, will alas be no more.

It’s been a blast. Well, no – it’s been more of a nurdle really. Unarguably colourful though.

What better way to wave goodbye to this bizarre arena than by twatting a rarely-seen six into the thorax of a police officer, as the USA’s Steven Taylor managed to do against India yesterday.

Here’s the moment. Elite obliviousness, as Justin Langer might say.

Are you a cop? Too bad. It’s god damn tough being a cop.”

The odds of hitting one were actually surprisingly high if you managed to clear the ropes, what with all the police snipers and all.

“Deliberate” manipulation

With England at real risk of being nrrdled out of the tournament, much has been made of Josh Hazlewood seemingly entertaining the possibility of Australia manipulating their match against Scotland to ensure that happens.

Watching the interview, Hazlewood strikes us as a man who hasn’t felt the need to devote great thought to the matter. We also got the sense he doesn’t massively care which team goes through alongside Australia, nor how his words might be (deliberately mis)construed by the press.

Kudos really on a shruggingly casual, nowt-to-do-with-me interview in which he didn’t go out of his way to avoid needling England.

Rather less ambivalent and rather more attention-seeking was the one-time Mr Nice of Australian cricket, Tim Paine, who nowadays seems to have a bit of a backlog of shithousery to get out of his system after suppressing all of that stuff for much of his long stint as temporary, stand-in Test captain.

“What Australia should do is to send its players on holiday for the last game and let Scotland win it and England can pack their bags,” suggested Paine. “They can field George Bailey, Andrew McDonald and Brad Hogg.”

Two problems with this:

  1. Bailey, McDonald and Hogg are in form, having played in one of the warm-ups and are sufficiently good and motivated that there’s a good chance they’d end up nrrdling in England’s favour.
  2. According to ICC rules, if a team is found guilty of deliberate manipulation of the contest or net run rate, the captain can be charged, which could mean Mitch Marsh missing two matches in the Super 8 stage.

As a footnote to that second one, why is it termed “deliberate” manipulation? Surely manipulation is by definition a conscious act? Maybe accidental manipulation is the kind that landed India in the same group as Pakistan.

Craptain’s eye view

There’s been a significant vote of confidence in Jos Buttler. Quite how you perceive the value of it perhaps depends on your view of the person who expressed that confidence: Joe Root.

Asked if Buttler should continue as England white ball captain, Root said: “I think he’s a brilliant captain so I don’t think there’s any question.”

Now Joe Root has a great many attributes, but history suggests that captaincy is not among them. History in fact suggests that Root possesses an almost supernatural instinct to go for the incorrect decision in almost any captaincy scenario.

Root was an extraordinarily diligent and resilient England captain imbued with an almost freakish sense of duty. But he was also profoundly terrible at the job. This is not news. Pretty much everyone agrees on this – including his team-mates and friends. In fact being as Root’s attributes include self-awareness and a lack of ego, he’s kind of said as much himself.

So what exactly does it mean when Joe Root thinks you’re making the right calls as captain?

“When it’s all laid out and they’ve got their backs to the wall – which they have in this situation now – is when they play their best cricket,” he concluded – his memory apparently not stretching as far back as November.

New Zealand are pretty much definitely out

Played two, lost two. New Zealand will head home if Afghanistan beat Papua New Guinea tomorrow.

Being as PNG managed to lose to Uganda – whose highest team total in three games is 78 – that surely means New Zealand are going home.

Without wishing to go all Columbo: just one more thing…

Actually two:

  1. You can receive our T20 World Cup round-ups by signing up for our email
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