29 May 2009

Aussie selectors

I think they got it wrong leaving out Symonds for the infinitely less talented Watson and MacDonald, but the Aussie selectors certainly can't come in for too much criticism over the last decade or more as Australia have dominated world cricket. Perhaps that's why they don't yet have a full time Chairman of Selectors, but that looks like it will be put right soon according to this Aussie article.

27 May 2009

View on the IPL from South Africa

I don't think it can be doubted that the IPL was a success, but there are the odd words of warning in articles like this one from South Africa.

I also saw another report that talked about "the odd bit of cricket in amongst the adverts" which doesn't bode well. If Modi doesn't listen and has his dollar sign blinkers on, the IPL will crash in the same way as the world economy. Perhaps not next year, or the year after, but eventually. It will be interesting to see if he's in it for short-term gain or is building something for the long-term.

12 man cricket...

...is never a good thing, but allowing Australia to play 12 men against Sussex seems fine to me. But when they play the Lions that needs to be a proper match.

Potential furore averted....

26 May 2009

May the best team win

I'm not the only one questioning whether the best team won the IPL it seems....

The impossible scheduling dream

Given that the best time to play cricket varies around the world, it's going to be very difficult to schedule a natural spot for the IPL. And the ICC don't want to be seen to concede to one request for the IPL, and then find they've set a precedent. So the England Players' Union are now worried about the potential problems.

Their best tactic would be to lobby the ECB to create the space for players to play IPL in May rather than Tests, and at the expense of County appearances, as was suggested on Cricket Burble some time ago. By not doing that, England have made the matter worse, with Modi now reportedly considering a 2nd tournament each year because he's now not worried about whether he clashes with international cricket or not.

Aussie WAG issue won't go away

It seems that the WAG issue rumbles on in Australia with Michael Slater the latest to question their policy of inviting WAGs to their pre-tour camp and for the start of the tour. The article suggests that only half of the WAGs were able to make the camp anyway and that's probably the biggest problem for administrators - players' other halves don't always have the same aspirations for their own career. Some may wish to support their husband on tour, but others may have their own career to worry about. And of course, some will have school age children, some won't.

So one rule for all is never going to work....

23 May 2009

Aussies worried about WAG issues

It seems the Aussies are still worrying about what impact WAGs will have on The Ashes tour. It's one of those issues that will never go away and seems to often get the blame when anything goes wrong. And it seems to be far more of an issue in Australia where it would appear that cricketing wives are celebrities after they get married, even if they weren't before.
It reminds me of the Ryder Cup golf and the parade of American models who seem to accompany the American golfers. Fortunately the Ashes can only be won in the pitch....
Oh, and the picture above is of Mitchell Johnson's girlfriend, Jessica Bratich, suffering her "wardrobe malfunction" at the windy Allan Border medal function.

22 May 2009

Gilchrist takes Deccan to the IPL final

Once again Adam Gilchrist has spoilt a game of cricket, much like he did in the 2007 World Cup final, and won it almost single-handedly! The fastest IPL 50, although he slowed down to only sit 6th in the strike rate list, and a total of 85 off 35 balls.

It's of course great to see such brilliant performances, but as a Delhi supporter I would feel short-changed. They've come top of the league stage and a freak performance sees them out of the tournament. That's the very thing that I (and I know there are a few others like me although we're the minority!) hate about football. The best team doesn't always win. I've Burbled before about wanting the best team to win every time and I still believe that's the ideal.

I'd like to see a best of 3 played in Twenty20 semi-finals and finals and 50 over finals of importance. I doubt many would agree, but it would see the best team win more often, and it would also see more money brought in. That normally is the clincher....

21 May 2009

Pakistan board give too much information...

I'm not sure I'd want my board announcing to the press that I had genital warts!

Why was he out ?

There was a famous incident in the MCC Bicentenary match described here:

But Gooch wasn't attempting a run so why was he given out ?
We all know that it FEELS as if he should be out but I'm not sure.

20 May 2009

England get good news on Symonds

Time will of course tell, and no doubt he'll win The Ashes single-handedly, but I've always felt than Shane Watson was in that group of cricketers that are not quite good enough at either batting or bowling for Test cricket (an average of under 20 with the bat and over 35 with the ball would tend to support that argument). And, of course, he's the one person in world sport who can give Jonny Wilkinson a run for his money for number of injuries.

So his reaction to being picked seems a little strange. First, how does he feel about being selected ahead of Symonds (who averages more than double with the bat, and just slightly less with the ball)? "Good" apparently. Don't they do media training in Australia? And just to ensure that there are hard feelings he continues, "...of recent times he hasn't helped himself in regards to what he's been doing and I've just got to make the most of the opportunity that's presented itself." All true but seeming to miss the point that Symonds hasn't been ruled out of playing again and the two of them need to get on as they may well play in the same side in the not so distant future.

I look forward to hearing Symonds' thoughts when Watson goes down injured in the first warm up game (which would be true to form) and he's called in. As you can tell, I think Australia have made a mistake with their selection and Symonds English experience would have come in very handy. Not to mention his world-class performances when he last had an extended run in the side. But that can only play into England's hands, so let's applaud the selection!

Although Watson's comments made me cringe Chairman of Selectors, Andrew Hilditch, made me almost fall off my chair. Apparently Watson "is capable of batting anywhere in the top six". In Twenty20 or ODIs perhaps. In a Test in England with the ball swinging around, higher than 6 is exceedingly risky (some would say 7 or 8) and as an England supporter I'd love to see it.

Canvassing the opinion of a cricket-mad Aussie in our office, she was of the opinion that Australia should play their best side and it was the job of Ponting and the management team to man-manage Symonds and get the most out of him and the team. It somehow seems a dereliction of duty to leave him behind under the pretence that he's not good enough to even get a place in the squad.

Aussie Dave - what do you lot that live upside down make of it?

Lewis gets a stinker of a delivery

This isn't meant to be a political blog, but surely 13 years for Chris Lewis and his partner in crime is too long? After all, murderers can get away with less than 10 years in practice, can't they? And leading judges often seem to call for shorter sentences. I'm not condoning Lewis' actions as he's clearly broken an important law, but 13 years? For this one-off offence 4-6 years seems more appropriate.

I await the barrage of abuse from conservatives out there who believe he should be locked up and the key thrown away!

18 May 2009

Slow bowling follow throughs

I've never really given much thought to my follow through except when I'm bowling rubbish, in which case I try and remind myself to follow through properly. Someone had a camera on Saturday it seems and I was struck by my follow through. It almost looks like I'm a pace bowler the way I follow through. Or so I thought anyway...

Note open mouth, ready to shout "catch it"!

....but that was before I saw this photo of our left-arm spinner's follow through. Blimey - foot above head and he bowls slow. What flexibility! I'm not sure I could have done that aged 10, let alone now. Perhaps if I did that I might turn the ball....

13 May 2009

The reverse reverse sweep

It seems that Eoin Morgan has caused a stir with the way he tried to revert back to a "normal" shot having set himself for a reverse sweep the other day - it's been termed a "reverse reverse sweep"! Anyone fancy trying it on Saturday?

Umpires in helmets?

It would seem that umpires have been giving helmets consideration given that the ball is being hit back at them so hard they are struggling to take evasive action in time.

I wonder which traditionalists would like worse - umpires in protective equipment or video umpiring to avoid the issue altogether? On that note it seems this Ashes series will not be subject to referrals. England should be happy with that - more wrong decisions gives the weaker team a greater chance of victory (dare I say, as in 2005).

11 May 2009

Painful catch creates "moob"

This week saw a rather rotund pinch-hitting opener hit his 3rd ball at me at mid-on. He had left his first ball and hit his second ball for 6 over my head, so I was expecting the ball to come my way. But a combination of strength and a bat that was the heaviest I've ever picked up meant that the ball came "at speed". I know I'm getting old but even at mid-on I couldn't get my hands up in time and the only way I could catch it was to clamp the ball to my chest after it hit me!

Immediate result: caught and out.

End result: much pain and a "moob" as the swelling around my left nipple where the ball hit me is huge! For the moment I could really do with a one cup bra for my moob but I'm going without in the hope that it reduces in size soon! No, photos won't be uploaded....

Match result: a draw as we couldn't get the last batsman out and they held out 9 wickets down....very frustrating. You can see the scorecard here (for some reason the number of balls I faced isn't shown, but it was 14 for 24 runs as we pushed towards a declaration - had to get that in!).

England go for a brace of gingers....

Yes, England have gone for the ginger twosome of Ian Bell and Ryan Sidebottom to bolster their squad for the next test at seam-friendly Chester-le-Street. Not sure if they are really ginger? It's a fact. Or at least it's been researched on Cricket Burble before and we found that the majority thought Bell was a ginge.

It seems that Paul Collingwood doesn't quite have enough ginge in there for the team quota. It occurs to me that England could do worse than bring in Glenn Chapple at some point too....or even Steve Kirby, and if one of the openers goes down then Joe Gatting has emerged down at Sussex and not only has a hint of ginge (I think - you decide), but also has a famous relative and averages 152 in first-class cricket. Now we need Flintoff to get fit and for Gareth Batty to be chosen as England's number 2 spinner rather than Panesar....

On our day we could have 4 ginger's minimum. Somehow I don't think it will win us The Ashes but if a ginger bias is what it takes to stop Harmison and Mahmood from getting recalls, then all's well that ends well.

IPL argument leads to tragic death

It seems that the IPL is not only the cause of prison hunger strikes in India, but sadly an argument between a father and son over watching the IPL on television has led to a death. It appears that the father stabbed his son to death for wanting to watch the IPL late at night, rather than letting his father sleep.

If only the IPL hadn't had to be moved from India to South Africa....

Panama Women's Cricket Team

The Panama women's cricket team have been receiving some unwanted attention on the internet recently according to this article.

I'll leave you to decide if the pictures have been doctored!

8 May 2009

England's best seam bowlers

Although Graham Onions has burst onto the scene in this Test, poor old Bresnan only got a handful of overs and couldn't make an impression. I'm not sure he's quite up to the job, as I mentioned pre-Test, but I still feel sorry for him that he didn't get more of a chance against a weak batting line up.

But if you start to consider who should replace Bresnan if you wanted to play England's best seamers, the choice is immense...something that was pointed out in this post on King Cricket. I have to say, I totally agree with them.

6 May 2009

Serendipity on the internet

You know how it is- you're working away and suddenly remember that the first ball is due at Lord's in half an hour. So you have a quick look on cricinfo to get you in the mood and you find there's a small piece about when Roger Harper ran out Graham Gooch (was it really 22 years ago ?), so you look at the scorecard and note that the England wicket keeper was Bruce French and that he had a TFC game - down to bat 11, didn't get in and got no stumpings or catches. So you look up his stats and see that he's in an article about unusual injuries, which gets you to Chris Old.

And then it gets interesting - he's got a blog site which appears to be in Latin but this A level student reckons it's a bluff just using random words but I'd love to know and that he's got a restaurant near Falmouth which is where I'm going on holiday next week - I'll have to take my dictionary and look him up !

5 May 2009

China aim to play Tests by 2020

Good to see some ambition from China. After Afghanistan's move up the rankings, I suppose nothing is impossible!

Pet Hate

Why do international cricketers insist on shying at the stumps when the batsman is comfortably in his ground. They then stand around looking hard done by when the ball ricochets of the stumps and goes for four overthrows. DON'T THROW IT!!! Good fielding involves many aspects - reflexes, athleticism, agility, balance, good hands, accurate throwing. Having a sense of where the batsmen are is a very under-rated skill. This involves having an idea which end to throw, but also when to throw, and when to hang on to the bloody ball. I have to say Michael Clarke is a prime offender here, but there are many others. I just don't understand it! The worst possible outcome is that you hit your target and risk giving away runs!End rant.

1 May 2009

James Foster gets Twenty20 keeper place

Very pleased to see Foster make it. I think he's worth a wicket per innings standing up to the stumps for all 20 overs.