Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another Country

"Before I crack on with my eulogy to Michael Vaughan, there is one thing I've got to get off my chest: he ain't a Yorkshire lad, he's from fricking Lancashire!"

- Matthew Hoggard, cricinfo.com

Days of Future Passed

Maybe the post below was ever so slightly churlish – possibly a reaction to the incessant speculation and media circus that has surrounded every Vaughan move since his resignation as England captain less than a year ago.

It's symptomatic of the fact that we’re still clinging to 2005 like an umbilical cord. The underlying implication from some seems to bw that if we can pick the 2005 side, we’d all live happily ever after. Hey, people get older, people lose form and never regain it to the same extent. Vaughan only went over 50 once in that series – in ten attempts - something that got lost in all the champagne bubbles and Alka Seltzer.

The players are exactly the same – Collingwood’s comments about wanting Vaughan in the squad of 16 for example – not exactly a vote of confidence in the current skipper, bearing in mind Vaughan could hardly buy a run, so presumably Colly was referring to Vaughan’s leadership skills.

Even in the cold light of day, it does seem odd that ‘the knee’ wasn’t an issue for Vaughan all the time there was a chance of a place in the squad, but now the door seems to be shut the knee is the excuse for a retirement. Presumably he’d have risked the knee?

His retirement, thus closing the door on any 'bring back vaughan' calls when we go a test down and Bopara is averaging 6.73 is a bit of a wrench, but as KP said - it will help this summer.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Mixed emotions here, as Michael Vaughan announces his retirement.

I've seen no one bat better for England that Vaughan did on the 2002/03 Ashes tour, except perhaps David Gower in 1985 - and his captaincy was at another level right up to The Oval four years ago.

But then there's the second paragraph confirming that the state of his right knee is behind the decision. So, he felt his right knee was ok all the time he was angling for a place in the England squad, but as soon as his was left out, suddenly the knee deteriorated and he's going to give up the game...

Someone is being very cynical here, and I'm not entirely sure it's me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

When the Levee Breaks

First day overcast, second day rain due in the afternoon,

Which, based on Cardiff's reputation means the ground won't dry out until after tea on Day 5.

A draw then!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Coming Struggle for Power (1)

The Old Batsman has a few pertinent thoughts about Ricky.

Well worth a read.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Black Propaganda

The ‘turd in the punchbowl’ award of this T20 World Cup goes to New Zealand for their crass accusation of ball tampering against Pakistan – soon after they’d been skittled by Umar Gul for 99 in a particularly inept batting display.

- Forget the fact that the umpire automatically gets to inspect the ball after each dismissal, plus is allowed to demand an inspection at any other time during the game if he feels there is a suspicion of foul play

- Forget the fact that there are at least fifteen cameras trained on the players during play, so a bowler could hardly pick his nose without images being thrown up on the big screen, let alone rough up the ball

- Forget that the ball had landed on concrete a couple of times earlier in the innings – something that tends to have a roughening effect to say the least

No, they’d been bowled out cheaply and got stuffed in a game that a lot of neutral observers (this one included) had tipped them to win – therefore Pakistan must have done it illegally.

The match officials promptly exonerated Pakistan, but it’s all now gone very quiet as we wait for anything approaching an apology from New Zealand. You’d like to think that they might end up on the end of a ‘bringing the game into disrepute’ charge after this sort of bullshit, but you’re not holding your breath. For a sporting nation who reacted like a maiden aunt accused of vivisection after the Brian O'Driscoll ‘spearing’ incident on the 2005 Lions Tour it’s all a bit rich.

In fact, it’s offensive and pathetic.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Yuvraj - st. Foster... awesome!

Begs the question, if spin is going to be a big weapon for England later this summer, who wears the gloves?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Marine Boy

When was the last time you heard the word 'flipper' used in relation to an English international bowler - as Chappelli did for Adil Rashid this evening?

Maybe if someone had an off the wall answer to the 'favourite TV programme' question in one of those Q&As that seem to be coming increasingly prevelent.


Increase in Chris Gayle's pulse rate during his batting assault on the Australians on Saturday at the Oval? Nil.

At one stage I got the impression that if he hadn't had a bat to lean on he'd have descended into a narcoleptic coma.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Tears of a clown

There's plenty of entertainment in a T20 match - the daredevil running between the wickets, balls flying into different postal districts, fielders throwing themselves around like excitable puppies - not to mention the earsplitting PA and the bizarre gyrations of three escapees from a lunatic asylum.

So I can't quite get my head around why Stuart Broad unilaterally decided to introduce an element of slapstick farce into the proceedings during the last over of Friday night's game.

Not once, but four times!

Friday, June 05, 2009

"Wrong" said Fred

There's a bit of a kerfuffle going on over some comments Andrew Flintoff has made in an interview with GQ magazine about immigration, multi-culturalism, and the state of Britain today.

The Daily Liar have, predictably, picked up the story and are running with it under an equally predictable headline - Link
"I have no problems with a multicultural society, I think that is to the benefit of the country. But you have to be careful what levels you take it to. 'It annoys me when I phone a hotel receptionist in my own country and they don't understand what I am saying because they don't speak English."
Well, the fact you've got people who can't understand what you're saying isn't a result of multi-culturalism. If you want to blame anyone for your room service problems, blame the hotel manager who is paying East Europeans the minimum wage (or less) and is happy to put them, and you, in that position.
"I see Manchester on a Friday night and I would be horrified seeing my daughter going to the bars.

'There are places I wouldn't go to now. You see these reports of stabbings, bottlings, shootings, and you think, "What is happening to this country?"

'I think rap music has a lot to do with it. It makes it sound cool not to conform, and to be violent. That's why I think sport plays such an important role. Cricket kept me away from trouble."

Well - yes I can see why you wouldn't want your daughter seeing what goes on in Manchester town centre. Pissed up people on 24 hour benders making an arse of themselves are never a pretty sight are they? (See the picture the Liar use to illustrate their story to see what that sort of person looks like) They end up doing silly things like putting their lives in danger on a pedalo, or turning up to nets/work drunk after a night on the lash when they are the team captain and supposed to be setting an example - I can see why you'd want to shield her from that sort of thing.

As for the 'rap music' criticism - in case you hadn't noticed, people have been running scared of one sort of musical genre or another since around the time Bill Haley shaking was his quiff.
'There's knife crime, gun crime, homelessness, the financial crisis. So many things need fixing. But when you go to somewhere like India you realiise we're not in that bad a shape. We have a tendency in Britain to talk ourselves down."

Wow - India sounds really awful doesn't it, but not quite awful enough to make you turn down the opportunity of going there and earning half a million quid eh?

As for talking the country down - why not leave that to the Daily Mail and it's friends, and stick to your day job. As you say yourself, cricket keeps you out of trouble.

Silence is Golden

When Paul Ince was playing in the Premiership, it was pretty common knowledge that his nickname was the 'Guvnor'. What's not so widely known is that he actually bestowed said moniker on himself - even going so far as having a car numberplate made up and, presumably, christianing his house 'Chez Guv'.

You wonder how he sold his team mates on such arrogance - in particular Roy Keane during his time at Man Utd.

'Hey Incey, pass me a drink'

'It's Guvnor'


'It's Guvnor - everyone calls me Guvnor'

'Do they?'

'Yes. It's Guvnor.'

'Well I'll fecking well call you what I fecking want. Now pass me a fecking drink.'

'Er, OK'.

I was reminded of Incey's chutzpah by the recent comments from Peter Siddle when he said that he wanted to take over the mantle previously held by Merv Hughes and Shane Warne of being the butt of English crowd abuse.

The kneejerk reaction to that is 'Ok mate - no problem. You asked for it'. But you'd like to think that there could be a bit more subtlty built into the response. After all, if Siddle uses such abuse to motivate himself, why give him the pleasure?

My suggestion is to therefore greet him with absolute silence when he arrives down on the boundary. No jeers, no waving, no middle-fingers, no nothing. If there has to be a song (and we know how the Barmy Army love a good song - even if it's the same one all bloody day long!!) then how about a quick rendition of Bjork's "Shhhh, Shhhh".

Or even John Cale's 4' 33''.