England float the idea of picking Haseeb Hameed to see what happens

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This is what they do nowadays. They say they’re thinking of picking someone as a means of increasing the scrutiny on them and then they see how the player reacts.

Earlier in the season, word got out that England were almost certainly going to pick Scott Borthwick. He reacted by briefly forgetting how to bat. England didn’t pick him.

Haseeb Hameed is not exactly in the spotlight now, as he would be in a Test match. He’s more under a large fluorescent strip light. This is not quite the same, but it’s  a great deal harsher than the Toc H lamp light he’ll have experienced thus far in county cricket – where fans outnumbers reporters only because they actually warrant a plural.

Some sort of gauntlet of lumens has been thrown down to Ian Bell too. He’s capable of withstanding the glare, obviously – we already know that. It’s more a case of establishing whether he can be bothered to do so any more.


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  1. Ian Bell is a hardened drama school attendee. He’s utterly unfazed by the fluorescent strip light and smell of greasepaint – in fact they help him perform at his best. But put him on at the Old Vic and there’s a 9/10 chance he’ll get a case of the jitters midway through the first act and have to leave the stage in tears.

  2. Ooh hierarchies. I do like a hierarchy. So what have we got?

    Toc H Lamp
    Strip Light

    Continuing upwards gives:

    A supernova
    Sunlight at 9am in winter on a damp road while driving east
    The amount of light umpire Neil Mallender seems to require for play
    Shane Warne’s teeth

    Not sure how these relate to the attention given to a young cricketer, except that the last one is being given a debut in place of a dropped Joe Root in a deciding Ashes test.

  3. I’ve seen a bit of Haseeb for Lancs, most recently in the Roses match at Old Trafford, which started on a Saturday and had some actual people watching in the stands. My two main observations are:

    (1) He looks like a child
    (2) He looks like a child that can bat very well

  4. @PhilWalkerAOC
    “Just spoke to Haseeb Hameed. Proper diamond. Talks like Gary Neville, bats like Joe Root. Get him on the plane. He’s ready, and he knows it.”


    So much of that tweet doesn’t make sense, I don’t even know where to start.

    1. All seems perfectly sensical to us. This is the second time in recent weeks you seem to have been left confused by something fairly straightforward. What’s going on?

    2. Well indeed. Perhaps I can break it down for you, Sam:

      Just spoke to Haseeb Hameed
      Only a small part of a bicycle wheel is to be given to HH

      Proper diamond
      Albeit an expensive part of a bicycle wheel

      Talks like Gary Neville
      Sadly, he can’t speak properly

      bats like Joe Root
      And he’s crazy just like Joe Root

      Get him on the plane
      Lie him down on the floor

      He’s ready, and he knows it
      He is no longer wearing his pyjammas, and he knows it

      1. It just seems a lot of cricket journalists base their opinions on who should be in the side on whether the character involved is a “nice lad”.

        Same happened with Mark Wood. He’s zany! He’s got an imaginary horse!

      2. You went with Bert’s interpretation of ‘bats like Joe Root’ then.

        There is something in how a person comes across. A 19-year-old is likely to be pretty immature in broad terms. After speaking to him, Phil might have concluded that he was mature as a cricketer.

      3. The imaginary horse, I should clarify. A player could be a total Brad Haddin and I’d still warm to him if he had an imaginary animal. But somehow I don’t think Brad Haddin ever did.

      4. Speaking like Gary Neville is preferable to speaking like Phil Neville, or so I am told. Incidentally, the Neville brothers were also good cricketers prior to picking up the soccer ball and running with it, so maybe if he batted like either of them that would be OK too.

      5. Wow, look at that young “Haydo’s”. What a chump he was even at 21, overshadowing Galley Nerillve’s ‘ton’ so much it had to be placed in inverted commas. Might the 90s have turned out differently had this tool not put off all the juniors (of any age) with his pearls of coaching wisdom, no doubt driving them to switch to other sports?

      6. KC have you noticed that in the photo of Hayden and Neville Haydos appears to be right handed. Did he switch age 21 when he wasn’t making it as a right handed player?

  5. I’m way more interested in Ben Duckett, granted we have to get past the second division thing for a minute, but he has been smashing it in all formats even when there is no such distinction. Gels with the idea that he has come into his own as a cricketer as oppose to having a good average this season.

      1. Go on then.

        There once was a fellow called Duckett,
        Who carried his balls in a bucket.
        One day they fell out
        He gave a great shout
        And exclaimed with a mighty roar: “Oh dear, I must be more careful.”

  6. I see that Tom Westley’s name has also been floated, which seems a bit of an odd one. Second division runs and has played for the Lions a bit. All seems a bit James Vince to me.

    On a separate note: Yorkshire have been told to rest Joe Root and Johnny Bairstow for their remaining two fixtures. Do the ECB actually want anyone to watch/care about County Cricket? I know that the fixture schedule is insane and players need downtime but there’s a title at stake: and the ECB are essentially devaluing their own competition. Could you imagine the same scenario happening in any other sport but cricket?

      1. To be fair, I’d imagine dick snooker would require a fair bit of rest between rounds, for the sake of the, ah, implements.

      2. Ergo, you are my new avatar stripped of its comedy brain wig and lobster claws and having had its excess eyes rolled into one massive eye. And feeling rather sheepish about the whole experience to boot.

        We only know of one Dick Snooker exponent (baldy) and he’s reportedly had to retire due to a loss of ‘form’.

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