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There’s a lot of joshing around. We’re now going to try and help you stay on top of it all.


Josh Tongue will play for England against Ireland this week. ‘Tongue lashing’ headlines await (although we’ve been quite disappointed how infrequently he’s been described as ‘slippery’ as this does seem to be an appropriate word for the pace at which he bowls).

We have learned that Tongue’s nickname is “Tonguey,” which feels like a colossal missed opportunity. We were also greatly disappointed to hear Ben Stokes bring back ‘X-factor’ – which is one of our all-time least favourite cricket terms – when talking about him. We are however very excited to see whether ‘X-factor’ now means ‘right-arm seamer bowling at about 85mph’ which must be about as un-X-factor as Test cricket can possibly get.


Very little, unfortunately. In fact none. Ireland’s left-arm quick Josh Little is being rested after the IPL final and before next month’s World Cup qualifiers which are seen as a bigger deal than the Test match. Little hasn’t yet played a Test and given Ireland’s fixture list and the way things are heading, quite possibly never will.


Josh Hazlewood arrived at the IPL late due to an Achilles issue and left it early because his side “just got jammed up a little bit”. He’s back bowling now and reckons he has a decent chance of making the World Test Championship final against India.


Australia’s reserve wicketkeeper wouldn’t ordinarily warrant coverage on this website, but sometimes you start with a headline and just see where it takes you. Josh Inglis – who, just to reiterate, is in fact Australian – will be replaced in Australia’s squad by Jimmy Peirson for the second Ashes Test because he’s going home for the birth of his first child.

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  1. Insert here your own Joshua wisecracks about walls tumbling down and a multitude of horns.

    As for “Tonguey”, that is a truly awful nickname. Hardly “trips off”, does it? Still, as long as the lad bowls at a fair lick, he’ll probably do well this week.

    1. When Josh Little took his T20 World Cup hat trick, we hope at least one Irish newspaper headline read “Joshua three”.

      1. ‘All out for spit’. ‘Taste of their own medicine’. ‘Saliva and kicking’. Etc and so on.

      2. We’ve relied on veteran bowlers for too long now. I wanna see people who are tongue and alive.

  2. My attention wavered about 5 or 6 words into this article, although that is no judgement on it’s quality. The fact is, I am almost completely incapable of hearing or reading the term ‘joshing’ without thinking of “People Who Act Like Their Name Would Imply They Would” and then going off to YouTube to find a clip from Time Trumpet (

    1. I was so distracted by the thought of that, evidently, that I added an apostrophe where there was no need for one.

  3. Tonguey perfectly fulfills the rule of modern cricket nicknames. One syllable? Add “y”.

  4. 12 overs lost out of 96 and it’s June, light basically all night. Unacceptable.

    1. Test match days are based on 90 overs, not 96, but point taken.

      Intriguingly, when the Ireland innings ended, the England over rate on the scoreboard was showing +2 – ie ahead of the rate, despite the fact that only 56+ overs had been bowled just before 16:30. At 15 overs-per-hour that should have been close to 66 overs.

      Plenty of spin but one quite lengthy injury stoppage and several referrals to the third umpire, not least a Stuart Broad special that looked as though it was going down the leg side, even when watching in real time from square leg.

      Personally I can live with this rate of play if it is the price we pay for injury stoppages and decision reviews by third umpires. I do think that some of those reviews could be done a bit quicker though, now the technology and the understanding thereof is well embedded in the professional game.

      The alternative would be to allow more “overtime” to get the overs done. That idea is unpopular with the players and, more importantly, with the broadcasters who want something a bit closer to certainty for their broadcasting schedules. I know, I know, but thems-what pays the piper call the tune and all that.

      1. Is it not 98 overs for a four-day Test? We definitely remember writing that they don’t actually equate to four days overs-wise.

        Reviews are the real time suck, aren’t they? It even extends to short highlights packages sometimes where they for some reason devote minutes to the “drama” of a fella asking for snicko on a ball that missed the bat by eight inches.

  5. Yes it’s 98! I undercooked my estimate due to being somewhat refreshed. I don’t think time is going to be an issue in this test, however.
    Bizarrely they didn’t even feature the 2-in-2 wicket-that-wasn’t for Broad yesterday.

  6. 90 overs a day for this test. Not sure where the 98 overs a day comes from, but not this test.

    Meanwhile, in other news, KC’s favourite potential headline, “The Joshua Three” actually occurred this afternoon, which was most satisfying…

    …satisfying at least for headline writers, lovers of yucca brevifolia, U2 enthusiasts and fans of young Mr Tongue, of course. Less satisfying for Irish cricketers.

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