31 October 2009


This week's Sport has the top 9 sporting moustaches (page 8) and it features 3 cricketers - David Boon, Merv Hughes and Richard Ellison.

Surely there's more cricketing challengers? Richard Hadlee springs to mind...

Just what you need...

...when you've changed clubs. My wife met someone who has suggested that "Steyning Cricket Club has been responsible for many a relationship breakdown"!! Having been there a year I can't see any evidence for that!

Moises Henriques

Moises Henriques stats for New South Wales in one day cricket:

20 Matches, 242 runs at 18.62, highest score 43*. 18 wickets at 39.22, economy rate 5.41.

Why is this man playing for Australia?? I know stats don't tell the whole story, but I've seen nothing to suggest he's ready for international crciket. Moises has been playing first class cricket for a few seasons now, and was given the "next big thing" tag very early. He may well turn out to be an excellent cricketer, but until he's proven himself at domestic level he shouldn't be selected to represent his country.

29 October 2009

Tendulkar's failing...

No, not on the cricket pitch and, yes, one of the grainiest pictures ever! It's from when we visited Tendulkar's back in 2007 during our time in India....it appears that Tendulkar's could be either shutting or reopening as a nightclub. Can't say I'm surprised - it seemed very average when we went!
Interesting to see that restaurants and bars seem to be all the rage with the Indian cricketers - Flintoff's bar anyone?

28 October 2009

Fiery Fred real ale on it's way

Skipton's Copper Dragon brewers will be creating a real ale in honour of Fred Trueman next year....the beer launches early next year alongside a bronze statue of Fiery Fred.

Sod the statue - having a beer brewed in your honour is of course the ultimate!

27 October 2009

Wisden Cricketer Test player of the year

It seemed that no-one agreed with me that Shakib Al-Hassan was going to be a world star....well not outside of Bangladesh anyway....so it's a vindication of sorts that he's won the Wisden Cricketer Test player of the year!

How he hasn't got an IPL contract still baffles me, given he does so well in a losing team, but I assume that will be put right prior to next year's tournament.

22 October 2009

Moles under pressure in NZ

Andy Moles is under a lot of pressure in New Zealand, despite the fact that they surprisingly made it through to the final of the recent Champions Trophy. It would seem that senior players think that Vettori is having to take on too much and isn't properly supported. I wonder what Shane Warne would think of that, given that he has always seemed to see coaches as bag carriers!

For me, it looks like a classic business mistake - don't set out roles/responsibilities and expectations in advance and hope that it all works out. It never does. That's why using ex-players has a limited advantage - the ideal would be to have someone who understands playing at the highest level, and has the business skills to make it work.

Given what's in the press now, surely it's only a matter of time before Moles has to resign....

21 October 2009

Hick and Hignell collect honours

Two ex-first class cricketers received honours from the Queen yesterday - an MBE for Graeme Hick and a CBE for Alastair Hignell. I hadn't appreciated that Hick had played the most games ever and, refreshingly, he's not trying to pretend that he'd be happy if anyone broke that record!

19 October 2009

Gayle hit for six by Usain Bolt

It seems that 100m world record holder and olympic champion Usain Bolt can hold a bat....and is even better with the ball.

It's always good seeing sporting celebs playing cricket as it pushes the sport to wider audiences, but I'm not sure how much club cricket a footballer (like Gary Lineker of old) or rugby player (like Rob Andrew did) might play these days in the UK. Presumably none given the risk of injury and the fact that their season lasts 10 months. A pity....

17 October 2009

Tresco issues

I haven't read Marcus Trescothick's autobiography, but I'm still struggling to understand what the issue is. Originally it seemed to be stress caused by being away from home away from loved ones. Then when Trescothick ruled himself out of playing for England at The Oval this summer, he suggested that he'd had nightmares about the prospect of playing.

This time a plan for him to stay in Dubai and commute in to India for each game (suggesting that it's not just being away from home, its the nature of the location) fell through, but the alternative plan of taking his wife was hatched. Unfortunately it didn't work.

Of course it's impossible to know what he's going through, but am I the only one who's wondering if he needs to push on through? India isn't everyone's cup of tea - it can be relentless and can best be described as "an assault on the senses", but at the end of the day you can retreat to a five star hotel with your wife. Is it really that bad?

I know, I know, I'm a heartless git.

The grass isn't always greener

Despite playing a vital role in keeping Yorkshire in the 1st Division, Matthew Hoggard seems to have found himself discarded. Just one month ago he was taking a crucial hatrick when Yorkshire could have gone down, and he was Yorkshire's leading wicket-taker. Talk about ungrateful.

Given that he's a quality bowler who doesn't seem to break down much, he's perfect for County cricket and Yorkshire's (and England's) loss will be someone elses gain. Once again, administrators thinking that the grass is always greener...

I'd be extremely happy if Yorkshire went down next season as a result!

Australia retain Hilditch

Despite the strange selections that many saw as contributing to Australia losing the Ashes, Andrew Hilditch seems to have retained his job. Hilditch wasn't the selector on duty for The Oval, but I'm still quite surprised he's survived....

13 October 2009

I don't half miss Bumble

I think I've burbled before about how I find it difficult to get excited about T20 unless I care about the result so I've adopted both Somerset and Sussex over the last few days. Judging by the crowds, however, it seems that the locals haven't and what a miserable competition it looks and, judging by their expressions, the players aren't enjoying it either - too much money at stake, I guess.
But the worst thing is the commentary, based as it is on stating the bl**ding obvious and constant repetitions and embarrassing conversations with 'miked-up' players and umpires.
'Great shot!!!!!' 'Oh! He's out' - says it all really.

12 October 2009

Wow ! Six initials.

Uda Walawwe Mahim Bandaralage Chanaka Asanka Welegedara - makes Chaminda Vaas look anonymous.

Oram to quit Tests?

Get ready for lots of articles about how all-rounders can't cope given the current cricketing schedule, after Jacob Oram looks set to follow Andrew Flintoff into Test retirement.

Some people will always be more unlucky with injuries than others, and it's difficult to say whether the lure of IPL money is impacting on Oram of Flintoff's decision. I await Geoff Boycott, or someone similar, coming out and telling international cricketers that these days they are a bunch of jessies....

10 October 2009

Worst feeling in cricket?

Aussie Dave suggests in his comment about Younis Khan's drop that dropping a simple catch is the worst feeling in cricket. For me, anything that happens when fielding, generally, doesn't worry me as much as batting because you get another chance. My top 3 worst feelings in cricket:

Worst: Playing a stupid shot when chasing a total, getting yourself out unnecessarily so that you put a potential win at risk. It's all the worse because the ball the bowler bowled is not a good one - you've got yourself out. (I did this at Ifield this year - fortunately we won anyway.)

2. Getting given out caught behind when you haven't hit it (and if you're a walker).

3. Not being able to persuade the person you need to bowl to bowl at the death in a crucial relegation game, and losing by one wicket, possibly as a result.

Champions League viewing figures

It seems that viewing figures for the Champions League are a little down on expectations. It's early days and viewing figures can be expected to go up, but the money men will be watching closely with their fingers crossed....

9 October 2009

Luke Wright

I know I'm meant to be a fan of his these days, as Luke Wright comes from my home county of Sussex. But I find myself struggling with England's selection of Wright in the Test squad - I hope (and trust!) that he proves me wrong.

If you were picking a top 7 batsmen in Test cricket would he be in with even a tiny shout? No.

If you were looking for a bowler who plays an equal part in a 5 man bowling attack, would you consider picking him? No.

So the sum of two ordinary parts, don't equal a very satisfactory whole I reckon. And if you need some relatively ropey bowling to give the main four bowlers a rest, you already have Collingwood or, when Pietersen plays, Pietersen. Give him a chance by all means against Bangladesh, but not when it matters....please?

8 October 2009

White Coats

The ICC have certainly copped their fair share of criticism over the years, some warranted, some not. But who on earth thought the white jackets for the Champions Trophy winners was a good idea........seriously, they looked rediculous.

7 October 2009

A bad drop

Imagine dropping a catch so simple that everyone simply assumes you MUST have done it deliberately! That seems to be the fate of poor Younis Khan in Pakistan, with rumours circulating that he must have been match fixing.

If you haven't seen it, you can see the video here. He just got his hands the wrong way round basically.

6 October 2009

Mitchell Johnson - not that good

Having seen him spray the ball around Steve Harmison style during The Ashes, England supporters, as a general rule, were non-plussed by the fact that Mitchell Johnson won the ICC Player of the year award. It seems that it isn't just Englishmen though, judging from the latest numbers on Cricinfo's poll at the bottom of their homepage. I also voted for the bottom of the three options.

Russian cricket

It seems that a small cricket league is gathering pace in Russia, led by an Indian local. Good to see the game making tentative steps forward in even the most unlikely of places....

5 October 2009


The references to "going solo" in India's pre-tournament document continue to cause a stir in India....and it's now been given the catchy name "masturgate"!

3 October 2009

What use is saliva on hands?

If you watch Andrew Strauss in the field then you'll see that he spits on his hands every other ball and rubs his hands together as he prepares for the next ball. He's not the first and he certainly won't be the last but, apart from making your hands smell(!), what effect does the saliva theoreticallyhave anyway?

2 October 2009

England's batting approach

England's cavalier batting approach in the Champions Trophy got them further than most people would ever have imagined, but it does make me wonder if they are quite the right tactics. Personally I'm in the camp of play the situation, and would prefer to see them consolidating after losing a couple of wickets rather than continuing to attack quite so fearlessly. But beggars can't be choosers I suppose!

Perhaps it's because I've always batted in the middle/lower order I've always applied differing tactics based on the situation because that's what I think gives the greatest chance of team success. But there's probably also a selfish thing there because I find that getting yourself out (rather than the bowler bowling a ball that was too good for you) is so immensely frustrating that I am determined to try to avoid it.

England's batsmen can't have the same fear given the way they bat. So England supporters can expect a bit of a roller coaster ride as the side swings between brilliant and catastrophic....

1 October 2009

Run out attitutudes change

I've just remembered, whilst reading more about the Collingwood/Eliott and Strauss/Matthews incidents, seeing Aussie keeper Wally Grout with ball in hand declining to run out Freddie Titmus (then with 10 toes) because he'd slipped mid-pitch.
Extraordinary, and this in a Test Match too !