28 September 2009

Darren Pattinson - remember him ?

He finished bottom of the First Class bowling averages published in The Times today.

27 September 2009

Not so sporting Strauss

Much was made of Strauss recalling Angelo Matthews when England played Sri Lanka, but it seems he's less keen on sportsmanship against South Africa. Smith has cramp and, as it's an injury that he didn't bring into the game, the current laws suggest he should get a runner. I remember in the past Aussie Dave burbling about the fact that he didn't believe that runners should be allowed for cramp but, while there is a strong argument supporting that view, that isn't how most international teams play it.

So it was particularly stange to see Strauss decline the runner for Smith, and even more so when I understand (I'm not watching so relying on texts from those with Sky!!) Owais Shah, England's worst fielder, mysteriously left the field for a few overs as things got tight towards the end of the South Africa innings.

High fives, low standards?

Not content with the strange glove punching that England (and every other country) seem to think is important when batting, they now seem to have introduced high fives when any half decent piece of fielding happens. (Perhaps they've been doing this for a while, but without Sky I haven't seen any of the England/Australia series and a few overs of South Africa's chase today is the first time I've seen the ODI team field for a while).

When a fielder makes a decent stop the nearest couple of fielders seem to run over and high five him. What's the point of that? They are playing international cricket so if the ball is within reach it should be stopped - no need for massive congratulations there!

Having said that Shah (who batted brilliantly today) has just dropped a sitter, so perhaps England's standards are very low and they genuinely feel the need to high five fielders for relatively regulation stops?

26 September 2009

Don't blame the pitch, praise it

ODIs have gone down the route that more runs equals more enjoyment for fans. I disagree. Cricket in all forms should be about the contest between bat and ball. ODIs should be no different, but the rules are heavily biased against bowlers (free hits after no-balls, one bouncer per over, etc). So it was nice to see a pitch at the Champions Trophy that gave bowlers assistance rather than the usual pitches that have no life in them.

Bowlers still have to bowl well as England did initially, but when they don't batsmen can still get runs. So, can we have more pitches like this, please.

23 September 2009

Indian doc supports tilt for one-day title

The England rugby team famously created a book of "CNEs" (Critical Non-Essentials), prior to their win in the 2003 World Cup and sports teams all around the world now have these type of support documents as standard.

Interesting that the Indian version seems to focus on sex in part...

22 September 2009

An Addiction

My name is David..........and I'm addicted to online fantasy cricket games.

During Australia's tour of England, I played the Cricinfo fantasy game. I spent hours selecting, and then managing two teams. Trying to figure out who is due to fire, who is about to be dropped, who represents good value and who is not worth the money. Should I persist with Mitchell Johnson? Will Ravi Bopara turn it around? Is Andrew Strauss due a failure? Who is going to be rested from the next ODI? Hours spent agonising over these questions, all for rather dissapointing placings in the mid to low two thousands.
Still, this dissapointment has not stopped me from selecting no less than six teams on five different web sites for the champions trophy. As I write, Wayne Parnell, who has been selected in five of my teams, (I think he will be a very good ODI bowler - and he was cheap) is being hammered by Dilshan and Sangakarra who between them appear in just one.
Perhaps I should go easyon the Aussie selectors from now on!

The time for holidays

Interesting that Mr Davis and I seem to have holidayed at very similar times just after the end of the league cricket season. I wonder how many of us manage to avoid holidays during the main season (with the exception of cricket tours of course!) and then go away during September/October?!

I've still got some work to do - September is increasingly a prime cricketing month. Yes, it's not the league but the weather is often just as good as the main summer months, so I'll be looking to negotiate an October holiday next year....

England's next test side

This month's All Out Cricket magazine (essential reading for the rain-swept beach of Nice, I felt, last week) has a poll of 4 staff members for the next test side. 7 players (Strauss, Cook, KP, Trott, Prior, Broad and Anderson ) are common to all three, leaving 4 gaps.

Carberry, Collingwood, Harmison, Bell, Bopara, Blackwell, Saj Mahmood and Key get only one mention each between the 4 journos but Swann and Onions get more support.

Depending on pitch conditions and assuming KP is fit I'd expect to go with Bell, Key, Swann and Onions and also take Collingwood,Carberry, Swann, Rashid and Foster.

21 September 2009

Looks odd

Maybe I'm more suspicious than most ( I'm usually in William Hills before any 'dead' matches like yesterday's, betting on the lesser side) but did anybody else think that The Aussies, particularly the bowlers, looked, well, like any other touring side at the end of a long tour as if they might have celebrated very well the night before?

13 September 2009

Ashes marks from The Wisden Cricketer

Cricket Burble took a look at who the Ashes MVP was and looked at the impact the players had each had on the series. It was of course totally subjective, but it's interesting to see how that list compares to the one in the Wisden Cricketer.

While they don't mark those who played one game only, the rest are as follows:

Joint MVP: Michael Clarke and Ben Hilfenhaus

3= Andrew Strauss and Ricky Ponting
5 Andrew Flintoff
6 Matt Prior
7 Brad Haddin
8 Peter Siddle
9 Shane Watson
10 Marcus North
11 Stuart Broad
12= Simon Katich and Graeme Swann
14 Mitchell Johnson
15 Nathan Hauritz
16= Stuart Clark, Mike Hussey, James Anderson, Graham Onions and Kevin Pietersen
21 Ian Bell
22 Paul Collingwood
23 Steve Harmison
24 Alastair Cook
25 Philip Hughes
26 Ravi Bopara

12 September 2009

Gus Fraser after dinner speaking

The OMTCC end of season dinner took place last night and Gus Fraser was the main speaker, watched by several Cricket Burblers. As you can see above, Burbler Dave McCabe even managed to pick up the Sunday player of the season prize.

Despite being introduced as Andrew(!!), Fraser managed to get into his stride once he began telling stories about his playing career. Changing between Gatting and Tufnell, there were of course a few. While he liked to poke fun at Tufnell, it was his England colleague Darren Gough's concern about the speed he was bowling above his desire for wickets that he really ridiculed. And the fact that Gough told the England players to meet after an Edgbaston Test in a new bar on Broad Street called Al-ba-roan-ie. The players arrived to realise it was called All Bar One.

Years of after dinner speaking haven't made him the slick type that can sometimes give the impression of being out of touch with club cricketers - in fact quite the opposite. He wasn't brilliantly fluent, he related self-depricating stories as they came to him - correcting his own mistakes as he went - and it felt like he was a Stanmore club cricketer who rose to international prominence, rather than someone who was always destined to play for England and who'd forgotten his club cricket days.

Nice when international players who've made a career out of cricket retain that sense of reality...

11 September 2009

Nice touch from Durham

With Durham coasting to the County Championship, it's nice to see that they'll be letting supporters in for free over the next 2 days. A nice touch...

7 September 2009

Foster hits 5 consecutive sixes

For those that haven't seen it, James Foster of "he doesn't have the power to bat in the middle order for England in Twenty20" fame, hit five consecutive sixes against Durham on Saturday.

I really hope we atleast pick our best keeper as back up for Prior on the winter tour for all forms of cricket.

Cricketing dilemma

A well set middle order batsman and a number 11 need 6 to win from the final over, middle order batsman facing on 50 not out. The number 11 has 4 runs to his name. 5 players around the boundary. First ball hit to deep midwicket and the batsmen scamper 2, getting home easily in the end as the throw is off target but it would have been tight with a better throw. The second ball is blocked into the covers and one is on offer as the in-field is deep.

Should the batsmen take the single on offer?

6 September 2009

50 Over Cricket Scrapped?!?

I realise this is slightly old news, but I still can't understand the ECB's decision to scrap 50 over cricket from its domestic season. If they are serious about producing quality 50 over players at inernational level, then surely they must mirror the format in county cricket. Are they banking on the demise of the 50 over game at international level? Surely not considering World Cups are already locked in for 2011 and 2015 with massive TV deals and sponsorships already signed. I suppose time will tell, but its hard not to see a slide down the ODI rankings for England in years to come.

2 September 2009

A fair deal for Colly

Couldn't agree more with this post about Collingwood on King Cricket - I needn't say any more....