28 June 2011

England's ODI team

Interesting to see that Mike Atherton has had a dig at Alastair Cook before the ODIs start. If Bresnan is fit I'd like to see him playing ahead of Bopara - with Bell at 6 Bresnan's bowling should be more important than his batting at 7.

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26 June 2011

Cricketer Cup quarter final

Not quite sure how we did it but OMTs managed to bowl a side out for miles under par for the second week running in The Cricketer Cup to go into the quarter finals where we'll play against Felsted. Oundle were 100 all out today with Ravi Patel taking 5 wickets for 1 run from 6 overs....not a bad return! OMTs got it 4 down....view the scorecard here. TFC for yours truly

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21 June 2011

One Stump Challenge

Do you reckon you could hit? The other day the local paper came to Steyning to see if any of us could hit one stump....the results weren't good!

Watch the "Pinnacle Sport and Leisure One Stump Challenge at Steyning Cricket Club" for yourself.

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14 June 2011

Good luck to Michael Carberry

I had no idea that Michael Carberry had been so ill....hope he makes it back.

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13 June 2011

Age as a selection criteria

I don't know why age is relevant to selection in professional or club cricket. At professional level, either a player is good enough to be in the XI or they aren't. In club cricket you might take into account a few other factors so it might be, for example, batting, bowling, fielding, availability, attitude. Whatever happens, age is irrelevant unless there is no splitting the players based on those criteria.

So Simon Katich being dropped from the Australian team is simply wrong, as a politician there has pointed out in strong terms. We already knew that the Aussie selectors were not up to the job by the fact they've selected 10+ spinners since Warne retired and the fact that Hilditch announced that they'd done a good job after the latest Ashes loss. Selectors can't play the match admittedly, but I don't think anyone would claim that Australia came into The Ashes with a settled side. Not so long ago, Greg Chappell announced that he'd rather give an aging champion one too many chances than one too few, when talking about Mike Hussey. Well he seems to have forgotten that advice now after not even selecting Katich for the top 25 Aussie cricketers. Not the top XI....he's somehow dropped from the top XI to outside the top 25.

It's with the 2013 Ashes in mind, when Katich will be the grand old age of 37. Some players do lose form in their 30s but many others don't. Look at Tendulkar and Laxman. If Australia had a player nipping at Katich's heels to get in then it would be more understandable but they don't. Phil Hughes has been, to date, average.

As an Englishman it's lovely to see Australia get it so wrong. They didn't select their best XI once during the Ashes and they don't look like doing it for the forseeable future. Long may it continue!

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10 June 2011

Another Aggers double entrendre

I was listening live to this double entendre from Jonathan Agnew and must admit I was sniggering along with Michael Vaughan....

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8 June 2011

Mohammad Amir caught playing village cricket

With the dust barely settled on his five-year suspension sentence on charges of match-fixing, talented young Pakistan pace bowler has got into trouble for playing a game of village cricket to keep his eye in.

Representing Addington 1743 CC, he opened the batting and bowling, scoring 60 and taking 4-9 off 7 overs, and helping his team to a comprehensive victory over St Luke's CC. And he didn't even have to pay his match fee.

The ICC are unlikely to be amused, however, and have already opened an investigation into the incident.

7 June 2011

Dangerous bad light yesterday?

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End of rotation for ICC Presidents?

While in general I'm in favour of selecting people on merit rather than a rotation basis, the timing of a potential change from the ICC's current rotation policy (although it wouldn't come into force until 2015) couldn't come at a worse time for those that think that India already effectively run the ICC. A change to voting for the ICC President will presumably mean a succession if Indian Presidents, and what are the chances of finding someone from India who isn't beholdent to the BCCI first and the ICC second? Zero sadly.

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6 June 2011

A balanced view on Pietersen would help England

I always read Stephen Brenkley's pieces for The Independent and he's a good writer but this one about Pietersen is just poor. It references a bloke in a pub, a cab driver and the unsubstantiated rumours that he might have wanted to retire from at least one form of cricket after the World Cup. Next he'll be quoting a "source" or a "close friend" tabloid style. It's a poor piece of writing.

The one thing that everyone in the know is unanimous on is that no-one works harder on their game than Kevin Pietersen, so any suggestion that his heart isn't in it should be ridiculed. Pietersen is this generation's Ramprakash so, while his place shouldn't be taken foregranted, he should be given every opportunity to succeed. Those that know him suggest that far from not caring, he almost wants it too much.

While his dismissals are often cause for annoyance from those willing him to succeed (because more often than not they're of his own making rather than the bowler's) Pietersen still averages late 40s in Test cricket after a relatively prolonged slump. And remember that's a slump which includes a double hundred. Andy Flower isn't a fool - if he didn't think Pietersen was the right man he'd move on, but he knows that Pietersen is key to reaching the stated target of world number 1.

I know there are many who read this blog who have taken against Pietersen, but for me baseless articles like Brenkley's this weekend have a lot to answer for. Few facts, mostly gossip. Journalists agree that there is no England player more polite and helpful to them, but they also confirm he reads everything and tackles them about perceived untruths. On Sky yesterday the Cricket Writers on TV all agreed they wouldn't drop Pietersen this summer if it was their decision, so suggestions that he may be dropped can wait until he's not scored a 50 and we're into August to have any credibility. He's only batted twice for England this summer after all. Sigh...

Hopefully Brenkley will quickly return to writing properly.

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5 June 2011

Humourous quotes...

A couple of things I was listening to lately made me chuckle....

The TV advert for Fire In Babylon, the tale of West Indies cricket's rise to the top of world cricket, makes big play of the fact that it is "One of the most acclaimed cricket films of all time". Exactly how many cricket films have their been exactly?

Also, listening to TMS yesterday, Jonathan Agnew commented on Stuart Broad pulling away as the bowler ran in, swishing an insect away with his hand, "That's the last thing you want as a batsman, a wasp stuck in your helmet". Agnew appeared oblivious to the alternative meaning for "helmet" but there was a snigger from the back of the TMS box....as Tuffers was on air shortly afterwards, I suspect it was him....

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3 June 2011

Would you have fielded?

From what I've heard about the wicket, it seems a strange move to field first from Dilshan. Time will tell, but England will kick themselves if they don't score 400+ from what I hear of the wicket....cue an England collapse!

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IPL backlash?

Is it just me or is there a current feeling of negativity towards the IPL and the BCCI? I mentioned that the IPL hadn't been a total success this year and also that some, like Tony Greig, have started to question the BCCI's seemingly self-centred objectives given that the IPL over-runs the international season.

Now Arjuna Ranatunga has waded in with similar comments and a FICA survey highlights concerns about the BCCI's control of the game. It will be interesting to see if the BCCI listen to any of this negative feedback and adjust, or just keep marching forward in the pursuit of more rupees at the possible expense of the interntional game. What most worries me is the comparison Ranatunga gives with football, where club dominates country. That's not a model for the BCCI to admire, that's a model that it must do it's utmost to steer cricket away from.

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Sri Lanka observe Vaas heroics

In the lead up to the 1st Test, I said that Sri Lanka should be a tough test given that they have a class batting line up. I can't see players like Sangakkara and Jayawardene missing out again at Lords and Jayawardene especially has a great record there. So England can expect to have to work much harder in the field than in Cardiff. When batting they'll be up against a similar low profile Sri Lankan bowling attack and Sri Lankan's must have had a rueful smile on their faces when they saw Chaminda Vaas' heroics earlier in the week for Northants.

Apparently Finn has been bowling well for Middlesex according to John Emburey, but I find it hard to look past the time I watched Luke Wright take him apart at Hove on a bowler-friendly wicket earlier in the year - I worried for his international future that day, and 3 back of a length-bowlers with no Bopara/Collingwood style back up worries me. It'll be interesting to see how England go if, as expected, they play the tallest ever Test bowling line up.

The great news is that the weather looks set fair and spectators shouldn't have to put up with the usual bad light issues....looking forward to it. Without having seen the wicket, I predict a draw!

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