Caleb Martin knows his cricket. Why else would the NZC ask him to toss the coin in the second ODIbetween New Zealand and England? That’s why when Caleb, 11, said, “Ross should still be captain. They should bring Jesse Ryder back too,” you know it came from a learned mind.
Sadly for Caleb, and all right-thinking cricket fans, Jesse is not back, and fans of ODI series that have little meaning in life will have to just enjoy the fact that KP is around. Or you can just do what people do anytime England play an ODI series, blame Jonathan Trott for the losses, and abuse him during the wins.
Johnson Charles has recently been really really good. Charles has made actual international hundreds in his last two innings. Now, for a guy who used to professionally play and miss for a living, this is a huge thing. Charles bats as if he’s in the middle of a sizzurp high, but first Australia and now Zimbabwe have felt the wrath of the Johnson as he continually slapped them around the head.
Saeed Ajmal did roughly the same thing to South Africa, but as we all know, South African heads are solid things. Pakistan, well mostly Ajmal, with help from Richard Kiel lookalike Mohammad Irfan, tried to get their team over the line after the batting did what the batting does, fails against the new ball and constructs tedious partnerships of grittiness that also ultimately fall short.
Yet with only one bowler, a Tanvir Ahmed and a low-scoring batting line-up, Pakistan got within four wickets of beating the best team on earth in their home. What did they get for all their hardwork? People questioning how mentally tough they are. Now they have lost the series. And one day when archaeologists dig up this match in years to come, they will be just as confused as we are about Tanvir Ahmed.
Australia resumed cricket’s new money partnership in India this week. Moises Henriques made his debut and continued the fine cricketing tradition that Portugal has. R Ashwin tried to do an Ajmal, but without the cheeky look on his face. Harbhajan Singh looked lost in the first innings without Ricky Ponting to torture.
Punter and Bhajji (quick sitcom idea: Ponting and Harbhajan are mature students sharing a room together at a private business school but can’t stand each other) have been brought together. With Ricky Ponting as thenew captain of the Bhajji’s Mumbai Indians. Ricky Ponting is also playing for Surrey this season. And Ricky Ponting was fined 250 bucks for throwing his bat in a domestic one-day game. No one is sure where he will find the money.
According to a cricinfo commenter called feature writer, “I was one of about 800 people at the game. There was nothing in it. Ponting tossed his bat in the air…it even looked like he was trying to toss it up high and then catch it…but it landed too far in front of him.” Had Ponting done this in a nationally televised Big Bash game, Mike McKenna would have married him.
A former Mumbai Indian, Sanath Jayasuriya, has come out and said that young Sri Lanka players should be kept away from the IPL. That should be easy. If I was a young player who’d barely made any money from cricket, was worried about cashing any cheques from the SLC, and who knew that I could have a serious injury at any time that keeps me from playing, I know I’d listen to a player who happily accepted money from the IPL.
The other cool slogging portly opener of the 2000s, Virender Sehwag, has finally admitted that his eyesight was going and has decided to bat in glasses. It is quite a shock to think of Sehwag’s eyes. For much of his career it seems that he never really saw the ball, but merely felt it penetrate his aura and then swatted it away in as dramatic a way as he could without moving his feet. Sehwag, the founder of the religion Sehwagology, who is also known as Jatman, was not wearing glasses when he was shocked by a regulation edge from David Warner, that he then dropped.
Sehwag’s crime fighting friend, Batman, took on cricket and won this week. England-based company Adelphoi wanted to use the term ‘batsman’ for a bunch of cricket related products, but DC Comics and Commissioner Gordon, wouldn’t let them. The name was deemed too similar to the caped crusader and people (idiot people who are clearly too stupid to live and can’t tell a dude in a cape from a dude playing a cricket shot) might get the two confused. DC comics took them to court, and won. DC, who are like the Big Bash to Marvel’s IPL, obviously hate cricket and don’t realise that when Bob Kane killed Bruce Wayne’s parents, it was years after WG Grace had died.
Batsman isn’t really a new term.
If you need proof cricket is struggling for recognition in England, it can’t even beat an emo American superhero who needs eight years off. Hopefully something similar happens in India, and the BCCI have to take on DC Comics. Batman Vs Shroni is something I need to see happen, especially while TV’s batman Adam West is still alive. It turns out that Batman is the hero cricket deserves, but not the one it needs.
Those who hate David Cameron got their vengeance this week when he was bowled trying an on the up drive against an Indian kid. It was less cool than Bob Hawke hooking a ball with his jaw, and more cool than John Howard bowling an offspinner that dribbled in front of him like a dying slug. Progressives believe the shot was a visual representation of his big society rubbish. The anti-EU people believe that being part of the European Union affected Cameron’s footwork. Militant homophobic activists believe the shot would have been successful had the UK not passed its gay marriage law.
Cricket’s laws were changed this week when kicking the bails as you bowl became a no-ball. It seems like a staggering overreaction for a non-issue involving Steven Finn’s right knee. The knee that changed cricket. Look, if you care about this, you’ve probably read about it. But chances are you don’t care, and are probably baffled at how quickly this law changed compared with how long it took for the three men behind square law to come in after Bodyline. If you play club cricket and get no-balled for accidentally doing this as a one-off, and it costs your team a wicket, feel free to abuse Finn via twitter @finnysteve.
One club cricketer who made hay before the latest anti-bowler law came in was KG Colts player Vikas Dixit. Dixit, who is 16, took all ten wickets in the Delhi & District Cricket Association match against, well, I couldn’t find who it was against, and Vikas doesn’t care. “I got three of them bowled, two lbw and five caught,” said Vikas. It’s the details that count.
The England Lions could do with a Vikas or two. So far they have lost to Victoria, a Victorian 2nd XI and to Australia A. They also lost two of their players when Ben Stokes and Matt Coles were sent home for drinking. I half expect them to leave Australia without James Taylor at this rate.
Losing to Victoria these days is not hard to do, especially with Fawad Ahmed, the universe’s greatest-ever Pakistani Victorian legspinner on the scene. This week he played his first Shield game. This week he took his first five-wicket haul in Shield cricket. Then he won his first game of Shield cricket. Then he put his underwear on the outside and saved a baby from a drugged-up elephant. He’s that good. He’s Fawad Ahmed.
I bet Ahmed could beat batman.
If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl.There was also mention of a cricket bat from some bail hearing in South Africa this week. But it wasn’t reported enough to make the hurl.