Mop-up of the day – the blurred art of cricket

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Providing Ballance to the composition

That’s Joe Root’s work above. It’s one of a number of portraits produced by players and commentators which are being auctioned off to raise awareness of Cricket United Day. Cricket United Day is on Saturday and will see funds raised for a handful of cricket-themed charities. You can donate here.

We’re not quite sure why, but it’s interesting to see which England players possess even a slight bit of artistic ability. Here’s the full range. It’s particularly interesting to see Michael Vaughan’s pathetic effort in light of the fact that he is one of the few cricketers to have claimed to be an artist. Joe Root is definitely the best. Here’s his Monty Panesar from last year.

Blurred Lions

What you really want from fixtures played by England’s second string are clear-cut conclusions. We remember England A playing India A and a few state sides back in 2004. Hardly anyone made a run, but Matt Prior got a few fifties while Kevin Pietersen made three hundreds. It was pretty clear that they were better than the others.

England Lions’ tri-series against Sri Lanka A and New Zealand A has been less conclusive (except insofar as New Zealand A were unbeaten). Several players have performed well, but none has really stood out.

James Taylor has been the Lions king in recent times. He made one hundred in three matches, but so did Alex Hales, Ravi Bopara and Jonny Bairstow. If you had to choose based on this little tournament alone, Bairstow’s 250 runs in three innings puts him a little ahead.

Bowling-wise, Steven Finn took one four-for and generally went for a few. David Willey took a five-for and went for even more.


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  1. The truly impressive thing about Joe Root’s art work is that it was, apparently, created three days hence.

    Time travel is truly impressive. As indeed is changing any of the laws of physics.

  2. Robson’s are good, I like the one of Ballance having just ripped his shirt off like the Hulk

  3. Okay, I’m struggling here. Help me out:


    Anything close to the truth? And I’m a little curious about Ali and Jordan being coloured in with the same pen…

    1. We’d presume Cook is front-middle. Jimmy might be the big beardy one in light of his recent facial furniture.

    2. Plunkers is the mildly beardy one at the back. Jimmy is front left with the big eyebrows (look at the signatures)


      afaic. Buttler/Woakes hard to spot

  4. If you check closely you’ll see he has helpfully added their badge numbers, which gives rise to another fun game (you may need to follow the link to zoom in sufficiently)!

    1. Aha. That answers my question above – got Cook and Woakes the wrong way around. Shows how nondescript Alastair is without his gleaming array of pearly whites.

      Plunkett isn’t that beardy, though. I agree with KC that they’ve got his and Jimmy’s facial hair the wrong way around.

  5. Indian women putting their male counterparts to shame, just like England in Australia. England are 86/8 at time of typing.

    1. And considering their performance relative to that of England’s ladies, they’re still putting their male counterparts to shame.

  6. I think some appreciation needs to be expressed for Sam Robson’s pictures. He manages to capture the plastic artificiality of Shane Warne’s face. A remarkable effort. I would make some joke about his art being unrelated to his inability not to prod at balls outside his off stump ( colouring within the lines maybe?) but am at the Edinburgh festival and a bit pissed so I can’t.

  7. “Mahela an unbelievable team man” – Mathews.

    But if you cannot believe someone……

    Sorry for distracting from an artsy post, KC.

  8. Jimmy doesn’t look right. He’s not calling anyone a fucking cunt or trying to push them down some stairs.

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