29 May 2011

England miss Colly

I told you we'd miss Colly! Morgan a quality fielder so he seems the prime candidate to try to take up where Collingwood left off....

Bookmark and Share

Tresco so close to 1,000 runs in May

Sadly Marcus Trescothick fell just short of 1,000 runs in May - it's amazing he was remotely close after a patchy start to the season.

Bookmark and Share

Zimbabwe search for the answer to their captaincy question

This piece suggests that there are 4 candidates for the Zimbabwe captain - a role that is vital if Zimbabwe are to take the tough step to return to Test cricket. I don't think I agree - Masakadza isn't really a credible candidate and Ray Price is far too prickly to be a level-headed captain capable of dealing with all manner of problems effortlessly and calmly. So Taibu and Taylor it is then - whoever it is, good luck to them.

Bookmark and Share

The perfect school day?

All lessons relating to cricket....sounds as good as kids can get for a school day!

Bookmark and Share

IPL finally over

I'm told that the IPL is over. I can't really remember how long ago it began but it seems months ago. I doubt the BCCI will consider constructive feedback about the duration of the event, but what they might do is listen to the fact that even in cricket mad India the public have got a little bit fatigued by too much cricket. Pubs have reported much lower audiences for IPL matches and in some cases they've stopped showing the IPL. And the huge number of games means that the BCCI have made more money than last year from advertisers I hear, but is it significant that they've made less per advert?

Personally I'm just thankful it's all finally over...

Bookmark and Share

26 May 2011

1st Test of the summer

Typically after weeks of sunshine it looks like it might rain today in Cardiff, but if it doesn't I think it will be a good contest. England playing at home go into it as favourites, but I expect Sri Lanka to play well. Maharoof probably playing strengthens their team I reckon.

For England Morgan can now cement his place in the team and all credit to him for claiming the one chance he had to make the team in the Lions match. I'm sure Bopara was lined up prior to that innings and would have made the team more balanced, but Morgan took his chance superbly. Let's hope he can show the same kind of form in the Tests.

With a bit of cloud cover I'm also hoping that James Anderson is back to his lethal best...fingers crossed!

Bookmark and Share

Kohli ready to replace Dravid

Virat Kohli claims to be ready to replace Rahul Dravid in India's Test side....it will be interesting to see how Duncan Fletcher and MS Dhoni handle the retirements of some top players over the next few years.

Bookmark and Share

A club captain's woes

This piece about a club captain's availability problems reminded me of captaining OMTs! These days at Steyning the availability problems on a Saturday are less, but there's still the same issue about netting mid-week....even a club where many are a stone's throw from the ground struggles to get their 1st team to all train midweek these days for entirely justifiable reasons (sometimes!). On Tuesday I was stuck in London with work and following a couple of losses we've gone for an additional net tonight, which will be on the artificial surface as the under 13s are using the middle....if it doesn't rain.

Fingers crossed on the turnout....

Bookmark and Share

23 May 2011

Rossington makes Stanmore pay for failure in Sri Lanka match

Although Rossington failed against the Sri Lankan's for Middlesex, he helped Eastcote chase 350 against Stanmore in the Middlesex Premier League on Saturday with 120. Not a bad run chase!

Bookmark and Share

Joe Gatting for England?!?

I doubt it will happen sadly, but if Joe Gatting plays for England - as this piece speculates - then it will be great news for Sussex!

Bookmark and Share

Oram likes the quiet life

I'm not sure about Jacob Oram's background, but he comes across as a boy daunted by the big city with his comments about the IPL parties!

Bookmark and Share

Holding not holding back

Michael Holding seems to speak his mind and this brief interview about West Indian cricket gives his views there. It also has a negative reference to the IPL, which of course is what got it picked up in the Indian press....

Bookmark and Share

Does a Jayawardene masterclass await?

I've already burbled about how much I admire the Sri Lankan batsman and Mahela Jayawardene is the most stylish of them all. As this piece at The Telegraph speculates, the English public could be in for some awe-inspiring batting this summer. Sri Lanka mean business too, having not only won against England Lions, but having come back from a huge second innings defecit, so they'll go into the 1st Test in buoyant mood.

Bookmark and Share

21 May 2011

Greig not endearing himself to India

When I read Tony Greig's comments about how he'd change the ICC, it was no surprise that the headline referred to his comment that "the ICC is dominated by India" and indicating that he'd change that. That was always going to

stir up comment in India. And so it has....but surprisingly balanced.

Here's the argument against Greig. And the argument supporting some of his views.

Bookmark and Share

Stuart Clark in playing semi-retirement

Only a few months ago I was openly wondering why Australia persisted in playing seamers who couldn't land 2 balls in the same spot, while Stuart Clark wasn't even considered. But now he's chosen to move into the administrative side of the game...while I'm always critical of the number of ex-players in cricket administration because they've missed out on gaining the necessary business experience while playing, no one can argue that Clark isn't well qualified, even if he is a bit light on the experience front. Supposedly not part of the Ponting in-crowd because he was far more intelligent than the former Aussie-skipper, Clark has also shown Martin Crowe how to try to keep playing while putting his non-playing career first....

Bookmark and Share

Is Martin Crowe all there?

Martin Crowe is getting fit with a view to a first class comeback apparently. Either the story is inaccurate, or the guy has lost it. He compares himself to Adam Parore (40) and Mark Richardson (39). He's 49. His stature in New Zealand cricket is such that you couldn't rule out the chance of him getting a first class game, but a successful second career is simply not going to happen. You have to ask who benefits from any speculation about a comeback other than Mr M Crowe, and if he does play 3 more first class matches to reach his target of 250, the only beneficiary again will be Mr M Crowe....

Bookmark and Share

20 May 2011

Different styles

Basic instructions to young cricketers include using only three words for deciding whether to run -'yes', 'no' and 'wait'. Earlier this sesason we met a number 9 batsman (who scored 75 against us, about which there should be some Law) whose calls included 'easy' for no or wait and for 'yes' he called 'twotwotwotwotwo'. Yesterday against a West Indian side we met an umpire who instead of 'play', which he seemed to think needed to be called at the beginning of each over, called 'let's get it on!'. Brilliant !
Incidentally has anyone else wondered why Puma or Craig Kieswetter think that a photograph in an advert apparently showing him pouring tea down himself will sell bats ( particularly Kieswetter himself) ?
Bookmark and Share

18 May 2011

Backing your verbal-sparring mates

As a skipper it's always tricky to keep players (a) from doing something that will mean an umpire reporting them, and (b) saying things that create unnecessary animosity with the opposition. When I say unnecessary, I'm working on the assumption that anything said on the field should be said with the intention of increasing your chances of winning. If it doesn't increase your chances of winning why say it?

I've failed on both counts this season so far with a player reported for questioning a caught behind when he was convinced it came off his elbow, opposition spectators complaining to me about the loud swearing coming from the Steyning changing room after a dismissal, and unnecessary animosity created by comments made to the batsmen while we're fielding. But I don't think the captain has any chance at all of stopping these type of things, because they're all done in the spur of the moment....there's no chance for the captain to do anything apart from stop it escalating.

It has got me thinking about how players back, or don't back, their team mates when it comes to heated verbal exchanges. In Duncan Fletcher's book he talks about his concerns about Chris Read in terms of being combative with the opposition, and mentions the example of Paul Collingwood's verbal assault on Shane Warne from slip in the 2006/07 Ashes, where Read remained silent throughout rather than chirping support for his mate. Fletcher saw this as a weakness in Read but elsewhere in his book, Fletcher explains that different approaches are needed for different batsmen and Collingwood's verbal assault was probably ill-advised as Warne is the type of player who is spurred on by sledging.

Last Saturday we were very much on the back foot as Bognor Regis coasted to a 7 wicket win. Our (Aussie - not really relevant but just thought I'd mention it!) keeper shouted out encouragement and after a few dot balls shouted that they couldn't afford too many dot balls as there was under 10 overs left. I glanced at the scoreboard from next to him at slip and could see there were 11 overs to go but didn't correct him. A couple more dot balls and he repeated the comment, only for the batsman to turn around and correct him.

The reply from our keeper was something like "Don't you ****ing talk to me you ****. **** off and concentrate on your own ****ing game". There definitely would have been more said, but I stepped in as soon as I could. My gut feel was that the comments made it less likely we'd win as the batsman would knuckle down to ensure he was there right to the end rather than potentially play a loose shot as victory was close.

The question is, should you back your verbal-sparring mates even when you don't agree with their comments? Fletcher would seem to suggest you should, and I'm sure our keeper would argue that we had nothing to lose and his comments could have induced an adrenaline-filled false stroke. But it's still something that I feel incredibly uncomfortable with....perhaps I need to field somewhere other than slip so that I can't hear it all!

Bookmark and Share

Indian deaths over cricket...

You'd be amazed how many stories emerge from India about a murder or assault off the back of a disputed cricket decision or match....here's the latest.

Bookmark and Share

Sri Lankan cricket history

Interesting background to the Sri Lanka Tests, explaining how they made their move to Test status nearly 30 years ago....

Bookmark and Share

17 May 2011

Sri Lanka will offer a stiff test...won't they?

Irrespective of their win against Middlesex, I've always thought that Sri Lanka will be a good test for England this summer. If the weather stays good the ball is unlikely to be swinging around corners, so England's seamers won't find life as easy as last summer against Pakistan. The ball will be doing less and they will find the Sri Lankan batsmen a little bit more if a test than Pakistan - I noticed yesterday King Cricket described Pakistan's batsmen as the "players who don't bowl" after their defeat to Pakistan! To me Sri Lanka's batting line up looks superior to England's on paper.

Interesting to see that Adam Rossington struggled. He was only 18 two weeks ago but rumour has it he's a top talent, so initial single-figure scores in first class cricket might make it a good time to make a bet on him playing for England!

Bookmark and Share

12 May 2011

Number of teams in the World Cup

It's always going to be a talking point....the number of teams that get to play at the World Cup. I'd encourage you to scroll down to the comments on this article and read the exchange between the author and "Russ". I found it pretty interesting.....and I started to wonder if my view that 10 teams was the right number, but the bottom 2 or 4 should play in the qualifiers for the right to reach the final 10, was right for the future growth of the game.

What are your views?

Bookmark and Share

9 May 2011

Still no sign of him

Anybody else notice how quiet it's been from a certain part of Yorkshire since my burble on 26 March ?

Bookmark and Share

New fashion trends

You wait 50 years to see someone bat with their box outside their trousers held on by elastic straps and then you see half a team doing it, some with and some without external thigh pads. The most noticeable box on display was black.
And we still lost!

Bookmark and Share

8 May 2011

Abject Middlesex

I got to watch the Sussex v Middlesex match at Hove today and Middlesex really were terrible. The wicket wasn't fantastic but they really did give their wickets away in ways that a club team would have felt embarrassed about. David Malan chipping it straight to short cover and Neil Dexter clipping the ball straight to deep square leg were perhaps the two worst, and only Berg emerged with any credit at all.

The game was over at the half way point really, but Middlesex weren't great in the field either with Joyce and Luke Wright making the chase look absurdly easy....which it was!

I find it hard to believe that Middlesex could play worse than that, but a good day to be a Sussex supporter...

Bookmark and Share