30 January 2013

Pubs at cricket grounds


The lovely picture we all have in our heads of a cricket green next to a pub is rarer than you'd think. The famous one is at Tilford - the Barley Mow and if you see a picture in a paper or magazine it's usually that one. Most burblers know the Red Lion at Woodcote and, stretching visibility a little the Bell at Aldworth.Several also know the Six Bells at Warborough and The Case is Altered at Eastcote.
In fact Eastcote is special ( in addition to its excellent teas - worth it for the stuffing we always seem to get on the pitch) in that it has two pubs. the other is the recently re-opened Woodman. But you can't see both pubs from any position on the ground, nor either from the other.

Yesterday I found the best option. Meopham in Kent has two inter-visible pubs, both good too. The Cricketers and The King's Arms.

Is Meopham unique ?

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24 January 2013

Something Completely Different at Twenty20 this year


Perhaps "Something Completely Different" will mean something completely different to last year - i.e. no scantilly clad 16 year-old girls (who look under 16) dancing between me and the pitch, no idiot trying to generate enthusiasm over the loud speaker, and no blaring music every time a boundary is hit!
Somehow I doubt it.   Something Completely Different will mean exactly the same over-sensationalism best watched from home on mute.

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23 January 2013

Will England finally drop Jade Dernbach?

 Sounds like it wasn't a great toss to lose, but England were never quite in the 4th ODI out in India.   I couldn't hear the commentary but Sharma looked unlucky to be given out so the margin could have been far greater, even though many will (wrongly) point to the fact that Raina was caught at slip and then recalled when Finn knocked the stumps over at the bowler's end in his delivery stride (again) as crucial.   [Clearly it's a nonsense to recall a batsman, or to chalk off their four, if the bails come off at the bowler's end - no player ever notices it until the umpire tells them it's happened, but that's been covered at length here and elsewhere before].

I've got one plea for the England management, which is consistent with all supporters and journalists from what I can gather.   Please drop Jade Dernbach.   Once again he was expensive - don't be fooled by the fact he got Dhoni out....it was a long hop which Dhoni kindly placed into the hands of backward point.   As I mentioned in the comments on King Cricket, why does Dernbach have to bowl so much (or at all) at the start of the innings if he does play?   His only skill is death bowling, so why use him early on?   He bowled 7 of his 10 overs before the powerplay came in over 36, so why have him in the side?

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21 January 2013

Record beer snake!


Sri Lanka might have been peeved that they didn't get to complete a series victory in Sydney yesterday, as were many of the fans I'm sure, but some seemed to find a way of entertaining themselves.   By creating a properly huge beer snake!

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4 January 2013

Mixed feelings watching Australia bat

It's confusing watching Australia bat with book-hero Ed Cowan opening with  Middlesex-heroes Hughes and Warner but there wil be no second thoughts when it comes to the summer and The Ashes. Can Australia find another opener begining with Co..... to make a complete set with Cook and Compton, assuming that Cowan's running between the wickets hasn't cost him his place? Would he be the first batsman dropped from a Test side for that failing?
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2 January 2013

Wade at 6 and Johnson at 7 for Australia

Should there be 4 seamers in Australia's best team?   Interesting to see that Australia will go with Matthew Wade at 6 and Mitchell Johnson at 7 versus Sri Lanka tomorrow.   With a tour to India coming up, it's an interesting tactic and one that suggests more than half a thought towards the summer's Ashes.   This piece was interesting on the Australian site The Roar, suggesting that Maxwell should be considered ahead of Lyon long-term, so I'm surprised that Australia haven't used the dead 3rd Sri Lanka Test to try out either Kawaja or Maxwell in their top 7.
As I noted two days ago, from an Australian point of view I fear for them trying to find the right team in time for The Ashes without Mike Hussey, especially if Michael Clarke struggles with fitness.

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I'm never going to do justice to CMJ's life in cricket but fortunately he's written his memoirs that will allow you to catch up on all that.   But his passing away is very sad for any cricket lover in the UK, and when listening to TMS pre-Xmas I frequently wondered how he was doing and whether he'd be back on TMS again....sadly not.
He'll be greatly missed - I can't say I agree with all his thinking because he was (softly) anti-technology, and when I asked him about his thoughts on the 50 over game being marginalised by Twenty20 and potentially ending as a format at some point, he didn't think that would be the case.   I remain convinced 50 over cricket will die at some point, but time will tell.   That opinion was given by CMJ when he came to Steyning to promote his book "Top 100 Cricketers of All Time" - again, promote would be too strong a word for it...he simply came to talk about the book and sign copies for anyone that wanted him to.

With Tony Greig also passing away over Xmas, that's two big names in cricket commentary gone for 2013 and cricket will be far worse off for that.   CMJ had strong well thought out views, but was also capable of getting along with people with diametrically opposed views, and as such emitted a real sense of calm on the radio, and authority in writing.   He'll be much missed by many.

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