26 September 2011

"Horror show" is about right

Before Sunday's Twenty20 against West Indies I read this piece on King Cricket that rang true - it was all about how some of England's youngsters were being rated very highly with little proof of their credentials. I have to say that I agreed with the sentiment.

So it really grated when the commentators just assumed England would chase 114 yesterday - I certainly didn't feel the same given England had no experience in their batting line up. To lose though they did have to put in a terrible batting performance, which is what they duly did - rightly termed a "horror show" by Swann.

It's never nice to watch England lose but I think it will help in the long run - Swann only bowling 2 overs and Bresnan not coming back for the last over instead of Bopara gave the impression of a little bit of arrogance. 4 run outs is clearly disasterous. And the shots from Stokes and Bairstow were ill judged. Not to mention Bresnan seemingly picking out the fielder at long-off to give catching practice too. So just the 3 wickets that were the result of good bowling (and I'm being charitable to Kieswetter)....

Perhaps England still have a bit of work to do. Hopefully the loss will help in the mid and long-term.

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16 September 2011

New ritual

Watch James Taylor and Jacques du Toit celebrate a boundary. Fist bump, bat tap, fist bump. They'll all be doing it soon !


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12 September 2011

Strange behaviour

Apparently when you bat you're supposed to make mental notes of the abilities of the fielders around you as part of the planning process for a long innings ( I say apparently, for obvious reasons).
Well a batsman we met last week took this aspect of his game very seriously - I think he might have been traumatised by a run out in his early career - he called out the information as he went from end to end. So we'd hear 'left handed throw' or 'underarm throw' as he went. Curious and surely an opportunity to fox him with a couple of misfields.

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8 September 2011

If you buy a house next to a cricket pitch...

....you have to expect balls in your back garden. So while I might agree with the overall point of this piece about a woman being arrested for her complaints after one too many cricket balls landed in her back garden, it's actually great to see an over-reaction on this issue as it may mean that others desist!!

You need your head read if you buy a house next to a cricket pitch and then complain about balls being hit into your garden or house - even a 5 year-old can work out that there is an inherent danger in the local geography. In this case, judging from her gated huge house entrance, it seems Maria Chaippini really does have more money than sense.

At Durrants (the old home of OMTs), as many readers of this blog will testify, local residents complained about balls being hit into their back gardens until they realised the alternative was loads of houses and no nice green field backing on to their garden. Amazing how their views changed so quickly when they realised that.

So tough luck Maria - get used to the cricket balls in your back garden or sell up. If only every cricket match involved a couple of off-duty police officers to arrest people like Maria, the world would be a better place.

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6 September 2011

Anderson under bowled?

Is there any reason why Anderson isn't getting his full quota of overs these days? I noticed that he looked unlucky not to have bowled 10 overs in the match on Saturday when more expensive bowlers bowled their full quota, but it's always dangerous looking at the stats like that because you don't know who bowled the powerplay overs. I know Dernbach and, to a lesser extent, Bresnan have been identified as England's death bowlers but if that's the case I'd like to see Anderson bowl all his overs at the start of the innings unless he's having an off-day.

In the first match, Trott bowled overs 32 and 34 when England desperately needed a wicket and Anderson was left with an over of his quota left. Today Anderson bowled just 3 overs for 11 as Dernbach and Bresnan bowled 5 and 4 respectively, and went for 1o an over. I wasn't watching or listening but any clues as to why Anderson didn't bowl at least 4 overs, if not 5?

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4 September 2011

BCCI thwart Indian minister on transparency....for now

While I've been otherwise engaged, the Indian minister Ajay Maken has had his Sports Bill voted out that would have enforced a certain level of transparency amongst Indian sporting bodies including the BCCI. It of course created quite a few headlines in India and it now seems that the bill will be amended in an attempt to push it through.

Overall, it seems a good thing to expect greater transparency (and therefore increase the likelihood of good practice) by sporting bodies. But I can't help feeling that there are a few specifics that seem very strange. If it is correct that the government want to enforce retirements at 70 and stipulate a percentage of ex-players, or even allow themselves a say in selection(!!!) as I saw in one report, then this is clearly going way too far.

One of my pet hates (as readers of Cricket Burble probably know) is the emphasis on giving ex-cricketers jobs instead of running Counties and National Cricket Boards like the businesses they are. So any attempt to have more or less ex-players seems crazy to me - why not interview people on their suitability for the business-based role? If you're going to stipulate anything in terms of experience (which I wouldn't) then ten years+ of business experience wouldn't go amiss. An understanding of sport (ideally cricket) is of course required, but that is very much secondary to the business expertise required.

The business focus can be taken too far as Alan Hamer has shown in his mis-handling of Glamorgan. The assumption when Alviro Petersen was signed was that there was a long-term strategy in place but it appears not as Glamorgan are now trying to work out who their captain will be next year - either home grown pros or Marcus North of Australia it seems. Hamer's actions have actually left Glamorgan in a worse place than they were a year ago and shows what happens when business people push for unrealistic instant success football-style. They've fared badly in 40 and 20 over cricket and are in the bottom half of division 2 rather than being promoted which looked likely at the end of last season. Whatever amount of money Glamorgan make this year (or loss), it would have been better had there been a more gradual change to playing staff, captain and coach with a long-term vision in mind.

It will be interesting to see whether an amended Sports Bill makes it through India's parliament, but whether in India, England or anywhere else, the less the better in terms of enforced percentages of ex-players, enforced retirement ages, etc - just assess people on merit against each other and may the best man or woman win and take the sport forwards.

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3 September 2011

Two new arrivals

You might have noticed a distinct lack of posts just recently and there is a pretty good reason - I've become a dad. You might think this is not a cricket related post, but I'll refer back to this when the girls are teaming up in an England Women's cricket team in years to come! (They were born 1st September so they'll be the very oldest in their year.)

The girls came extremely early but they're getting the very best of care at the Trevor Mann High Dependency Unit in Brighton. They've done well in the first 48 hours so fingers crossed that continues. Michelle is up and about and recovering pretty well.

Abbie Sarah

Tia Charlotte

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2 September 2011

Dubious Decisions

Did anyone notice that Dhoni took the ball in front of the stumps when he stumped Pietersen the other night in the T20 game?

On dubious decisions, it seems to me that the position over LBW decisions is getting more bizarre. Not for the first time this season a batsman was given not out for one that would have missed off and leg and hit middle about half way up. Also, there have been several occasions when Sky commentators complain that a batsman was given not out because it would have clipped the stumps, or so hawkeye tells us. I am not a good enough mathematician to work out how many fractions of one degree this is but it is an incredibly small margin.

My plea is that either the technology should be used to the full or not at all. If none is used then Sky should only be able to show the game in real time, a bit like it used to be all those years ago.