The day of Jermaine Blackwood and James Tredwell

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James Tredwell playing sport professionally

We feel moderately confident naming it this, because it doesn’t seem so likely that there’ll be another such day when not just one, but both of these players have a sizeable impact on a Test match.

James Tredwell, for one, might never play another Test. This is sad and if you think that’s hypocritical being as we were calling for the inclusion of Adil Rashid in his stead, remember that hypocrisy is built into our England support mechanisms. If you’re playing, we’re behind you. You’re our guy.

Tredders is a man who plays both second XI cricket and also for England. As he whangs in his round-arm slattery, he seems more like the former. He looks less like an elite athlete and more like an electrician or a maths teacher. This is, unquestionably, a good thing and only makes his wickets (winkled, cajoled or stolen – never taken) all the more pleasing.

As for Jermaine Blackwood, the mania side of his bipolar batting approach encourages the notion that he might not have a long career, but the gleeful hitting might actually be less relevant than the depression that generally engulfed it.

If the kind of man who carts his second ball for six can smother the impetuous part of his brain to such an extent that his 112 not out takes 220 balls, he has some kind of willpower. There were quite a few where-did-that-come-from larrups but he was skilled enough to get away with most and may need less luck in the future when further synapse smotheration has taken place.

Hindsight is everything. Maybe in years to come we’ll look back on the lows of this innings as being indicators that Blackwood wasn’t cut out for Test cricket, or perhaps we’ll simply see them as rough edges. Who knows, maybe he’ll find himself up against wily old James Tredwell again in 2019, two careworn masters carrying underperforming sides, engaging in one more epic individual battle.


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


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  1. Both those players’ names are on the borders of nominative determinism, without quite being aptronyms.

    I rather like that.

    The rest is detail.

  2. It’s like Ashley Giles vs Monty Panesar all over again.

    Also “careworn master carrying underperforming side” has basically been the better part of Chanderpaul’s career, hasn’t it? Are we saying Blackwood could be the new Shiv?

    1. Shiv can’t perform this role forever, although at times it does feel like he has.

      Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Debut 1994, alongside Desmond Haynes and prior to Lara’s 375.

      Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

    2. Shiv’s longevity really is extraordinary. I can’t get my head around it. I’m not sure what we’ll do when he retires. Make slightly sad comments on a website, probably. Anyway, his son’s coming through isn’t he? What’s his name, Satsuma?

      PS, love Tredders. He’s seen as a figure of fun, but he’s a high class international bowler. It’s a bit rich to point and laugh at him for only playing Second XI county cricket. How many Test wickets have you taken? Eh?

    3. In fairness to Tredwell, he was on loan to Sussex in division 1 last summer.

      Maybe he and Chanderpaul should go on tour together with other test players whom people assume to be over the hill and years beyond their best performances. Sort of like the tennis seniors tour.

    4. I’d love to see a seniors cricket competition. But only if Mike Gatting gets to open the bowling.

    5. G Clarke c & b Pietersen 1
      P Downton c Thorpe b DeFreitas 4
      A Stanford c Prior b Caddick 6

    6. I assume Tagenarine Chanderpaul is a cunning ruse to allow Shiv to surreptitiously play well into his 60s. Therre will be a series for which they are both be selected, Shiv will retire citing playing and test cricket with his son as his greatest moment of his career… but then…

      “Old head on young shoulders that Tagenarine… actually the shoulders look quite old too.”

  3. What an England team with a big enough total to attack would’ve done for an over the hill, too-injured Swann in this test…

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