Tag Archives: ed cowan

Cowan’s 7.3 seconds of pain

In 7.3 seconds Ed Cowan went from intelligent cricketer and author to a cricketing dunce.

Cowan’s a man who can read, and understand books. He likes the West Wing. Quotes from Charles Darwin. And he pressed keys on a laptop to make an actual book appear.

That brain has served him well in cricket.

Cowan also works really hard. There are several more talented batsmen playing in Shield cricket who would be where Cowan is if they had his work ethic and desire.

This combination has been used to plan, implement and refine a career that really should have been over in his mid 20s. Anyone who bought his book will know the effort he puts into his cricket, whether in training and preparing, and just how much time he spends analysing himself. And over analysing. He wasn’t suddenly picked because of a mass of talent, but rather working hard, and thinking more critically about himself as a cricketer than most people can, or would feel comfortable doing.

Sometimes, by his own admission, his brain gets the best of him.

There are times during his more onerous innings when he almost stops batting. You can see it in his face, or, if you are at the ground, sense it via the scoreboard. He’ll bat himself into some depressing cave of doubt, and suddenly the smile happy Ed is replaced by a Cowan face of intense worry and too many thoughts. Instead of playing each ball as it comes, you can almost see him trying to second-guess what the bowler is thinking. He becomes Mr Theory, and his progress, and the team’s, slows down as he bats against himself.

You get the feeling on occasion that he actually has to tell himself to stop thinking too much. It’s why Brett Geeves once referred to him as the Woody Allen of cricket. Which is unfair, and untrue, he’s much more Jim Jarmusch.

At the moment he is using his brain to overcome his problem of slightly over balancing when playing the straightening ball. It’s a common flaw in even the best left-handers. He’s spent hours with coaches and analysts to make sure he isn’t an LBW candidate for a canny seamer.

Thinking and working, what has made an NSWales reject an Australian opener. It’s also those things that have made Cowan a hit with many fans and writers in spite of being a turgid plodder in these slap happy T20 times.

To win over any Australian fans the way Cowan plays is a big achievement. Australians don’t do defensive minded batsmen. I’ve never been at an Australian cricket game where someone didn’t shout “get on with it” at least once an hour with at least one expletive added in. And I’ve often felt a brain used outside of cricket is often a superfluous requirement in Australian cricket.

The reason Cowan is in the side is because he’s the opening batsman Australia need right now. The batting line up, even when it had six proper batsmen and legends in certain positions, has been misfiring since 2009. Batsmen who are prone to waft outside off stump or plant their foot in a macho style, were simply not getting the job done when it was needed.

In this current squad Phil Hughes is, according to the selectors, not mentally strong enough to take on the South Africans. Despite a decent current average, Dave Warner’s technique and temperament style will mean many cheap outs. Wade is an unpolished street fighter. Michael Clarke’s magic super voodoo form may not last forever. Mike Hussey is no more. It’s possible that Shane Watson’s Test career is over. And Usman Khawaja may not be a top order player, or even an Australian player.

So Cowan is needed.

But Australia don’t need a batsmen who is stuck averaging in the mid 30s. Not even ones who can bat on grassy knolls and survive cracked up 5th day wickets.

His sins, in what should have been two simple runs, include:

A yawn of a back up.
Running the first one at skipping pace.
A vision impaired turn treacle turn.
Hesitating like Satchel Paige.
Not screaming “no” like he saw a wolfman.

That is a lot of mistakes to cram into less than ten seconds. And every easy cover drive, or ball clipped off the pads from Hughes and Warner would make those seconds on rotation in Cowan’s head.

If Ed Cowan goes on to be the Test player he and the Australian team believe he can be, this is just a funny chapter in his unghosted autobiography “Op Ed – tales of a hirsute leaver”. If not. It’ll be a far darker introspective chapter full of self-loathing.

The selectors believe Ed Cowan is their man, and Cowan believes it too, but he is a man who has to be at the top of his game at all times just to survive at Test level. He can’t afford too many more 7.3 seconds of lazy stupidity.

Cowan knows that. And his batting diary probably says something similar.

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Eddie’s joyful loneliness

You make the hundred. You go crazy. The crowd roar. You celebrate with your batting partner. You acknowledge your family, team-mates and the crowd. The celebration is then replayed with the commentator explaining what it means. Usually that is it.

We’ve seen it so many times that sometimes we don’t even pay that much attention. If it’s someone’s first, you might watch just to see how they react. What sort of person are they. Did they kiss their badge? or the turf? Did they squeal uncontrollably? Were they almost crying. How did the non-striker react to it all? Then you go back to half-watching the cricket like you always do.

But Channel 9 caught something else on Ed Cowan.

Mark Nicholas was busy contextualising the event for us as quick as he could before the producer put a commercial on. As he was, Cowan came to a standstill and had a moment to himself.

It was during an ad break in Australia, but if you were watching internationally you would have seen the moment after the over was bowled. No commentary. No hype. Just the gentle background cricket crowd noise and a close up of a man who had just made his first Test hundred.

Cowan took a deep breath after completing a quick two, but it wasn’t the deep breath of someone who had run, but the deep breath of someone trying to get his thoughts in order. Quickly he took his helmet off and rubbed his eyes dry. Then he looked up above. Cowan said it was for his mentor Peter Roebuck, but it was quickly aborted due to the sweat that was in his eyes. That is assuming it was sweat and not something else. Cowan then looked up the pitch and smiled, smiled that nervous kind of smile that you do when you cannot believe how lucky you are.

The crowd then gave him a gentle applause. The sort of applause you give to a bowler as he walks down to the crowd after taking a wicket. He acknowledged them in an awkward way by barely raising his helmet, like he was embarrassed to continue to celebrate his hundred. Like an actor who feels comfortable with an encore. Cowan wandered down the pitch unsure of what to do, how to act, where to go.

Clarke had left to see the 12th man about a dog, no one seemed close enough to talk to Cowan. The South Africans had gone hard at him in the morning, and probably didn’t want to chat with him. The umpire was not around either. It was like everyone had left him alone so he could have a moment to himself, but all he wanted was someone to come over and talk to him.

The man had just made a Test hundred but he looked so alone. For a while he just stood at the non-striker’s end, waiting for everyone to get into their place for the next over.

Perhaps he knew the cameras were still on him and didn’t want to look smug, but I don’t think so. I think he genuinely couldn’t believe how lucky he was, and really had no idea what to do next. It was like he was waiting for Clarke or an umpire to give him instructions on how to act.

In a shield match he probably would have just made the century and relaxed, but this wasn’t a shield match, even if the crowd size hinted it was.

Everything has changed for Cowan now. In some eyes he was the walking dead. A middling middle-aged cricketer one bad shot from the end of his career. It looked like Test attacks had worked him out. There were articles suggesting he’d be first out of the team. Too defensive. Not enough runs. Rob Quiney and Shane Watson wanting his spot.

And then he makes that Test century, and has about 45 seconds to think about it.

Cowan has spent his whole life trying to make that century, he’s probably thought about how he would celebrate, which ground it would happen at, where his wife would be, maybe even how he’d raise his bat. No one teaches you what to do next. There was no Friday Night Lights swelling of the music; just crowd hum and Cowan standing on his own.

Eventually Cowan put his helmet on and tried to get back into the headspace you need to be in to face Morne Morkel. The only difference about the next ball was that he faced it having achieved something that no one would have believed possible a year before.

Ed Cowan is now a Test centurion.

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E Cowan 68

He’s hairy.

And can be a smart ass.

But he made 68.

During this innings i stopped breathing, shat myself repeatedly, cried, got angry, worried about everything and generally made an ass of myself.

While Eddie was patient, smart and played proper first day cricket at the pace he likes best.

This made me happy.

Actually, it made me miserable most of the time he batted, but now I’ve survived this innings, like a new born mother with a baby covered in crap, I am happy, tired, and my vagina is killing me, but very happy.

Eddie at the G, yes, a good fucken day.

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Wannabe writer gets Test nod: The Eddie Cowan story

There are several reasons you should be willing to sexually please John Inverarity for picking Smooth Eddie Cowan. These are mine.

like you

Eddie Cowan is just like you.

No, you’re probably not an overly hairy stoic opening batsman who plays the moving ball better than anyone else in your country while writing every detail of your life into a cricket diary.

But you read cricket with balls.

So does Eddie.

It goes further, because if you comment on cricket with balls, so has Eddie. He uses an equally stupid id that has nothing to do with his real name when he is annoyed with me, or has something that he thinks is humourous, he puts in in the comments.

It doesn’t stand out as brilliant or written in iambic pentameter, it’s just a decent comment.

cricket with balls’ own

We claimed Eddie Cowan before most cricket pundits had noticed he’d changed states.

There were many factors. One was Eddie seemed like a regular human being and not a cricketer, he had a sense of humour, could write a tweet (or comment) and could bat the shit out of the moving ball.

So we anointed him as the third ever cricket with balls’ own, the first being cricket with balls’ Bryce McGain, who we then got a Test cap for, and then cricket with balls’ Holly Colvin, who already had a test cap, but we once let her pick the chicken wing in a buffet we really wanted to eat.

Basically, being cricket with balls’ own is a good thing, and even though Eddie flatly refuses to refer to himself this way, although it’s never too late, Ed, we know it’s this early stamp of approval which has done wonders for this often insecure nerdy athlete.

writer

Lots of cricketers have books out.  Some of these cricketers have read their books, but precious few write them.  Eddie wrote his.

I know this, because I offered to write it for him, but he said he could do a better job.

Now, obviously he couldn’t, but that sort of confidence is why he is playing for his country on boxing day.

Eddie’s book is pretty fucken good, but he can and will do better.  Eddie will read this last line as me putting down his book.

podcasts

When I asked Eddie to do my podcast he said sure, but make sure I don’t get myself in trouble.

I then set him up to get in trouble.

It’s a sordid tale that involves a former NSP employee who often walks into changeroom giving unsolicited advice, who at that time was just a weirdo with no real job and bizarre theories about how he could make Sachin Tendulkar better.

I left it in the podcast because it was funny, and made this other man look like a buffoon.

Although Eddie and I weren’t laughing when this guy was given a made up job and a position on the NSP, which directly correlated with Eddie not being selected for an A tour.

I deleted that podcast, perhaps the only post of any kind ever deleted for editorial content on this site.

I did it because I wanted him to play for Australia, and a podcast of him mocking a selector may not help that.

batting

For every Virender Sehwag, there has to be an Ed Cowan.

Virender Sehwag bats the way gods should do it.

Ed Cowan bats the mortals do on their best days.

He’s not often pretty, and his back lift is probably an obscene gesture in some cultures. But he really tries.

On and off the field. His book is an insight of just how mental he is about batting and getting the most out of himself.

People like this are great drinking partners, in a whiskey on the balcony at midnight kind of way, but they often get in their own wy when it matters most.

Eddie, did not.

His batting was on top form when there was a spot on offer, and with Australia treating the moving ball like that beach ball from Dark Star, they needed him now more than ever.

fitting in

Cricketers are supposed to play call of duty and like Bon Jovi.

They aren’t supposed to study fianance, sit in the coern and write diaries and appear on extremely non-approved cricket sites.

If Eddie were in a war film, he’d be the one who doesn’t just jump over the hill, but who wears a peace symbol on his helmet while jumping over the hill and giving an inner monologue about the exact nature of war and men.

He’s not a cookie cutter guy, he’s not the normal athlete, he’s something else, and that should be applauded because if those of us on this site can’t appreciate Eddie Cowan for being an intense intelligent blocking machine, who can?

Celebrate this decision because someone like us, but with actual hand eye co-ordination and decent knowledge of nutritional requirements, made it to the place we all want to be.

Even if I didn’t know Eddie at all, I’d feel a kind of 5% of fucked up weird shit bond with him.  I don’t think I’m the only one, either.  He’s a cunt and good bloke, a smart ass and an asshole, a thinker and a wanker, the sort of cricketer you take home to mum and get drunk with while arguining and politics and the matrix.

As Hank once said “animals never worry about Heaven or Hell. neither do I. maybe that’s why we get along”.

Eddie, you hairy little fucker, I salute you.

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buy eddie’s book, dammit

Cricket has jut lost an obdurate literate first class work horse top order batsman with an alternate take on cricket, but there is another one.

I’ve never read Peter Roebuck’s book, but I have read similar efforts from ‘Norman Mailer from a posh school’ Ed Smith and ‘Dileep Premachandran without the western pop culture influences’ Aakash Chopra.

Chopra and Smith right some clever words, but they aren’t really one of us.

Cricket with balls’ Eddie Cowan is one of us.

He’s got that natural funny piss takey delivery, he’s not afraid to say something that might land him in trouble, and he is just the right kind of narcissist for this sort of book.

The other 3 are intelligent earnest individuals trying to unravel cricket through their writing, Eddie is trying to do that, but without disappearing up the giant anus of id.

If you go to buy this book on kindle, it comes up with “customers who bought this item also bought” Australian Autopsy, as the first result.

That’s pretty strong evidence that readers of here will like Eddie’s book.

Now I’m not a fan of the cover, or title, and I think Eddie will become a 10 times better writer than this book shows, but this is a quality book about a dude trying to play for his country while trapped in his own head.

If you want to know something about shield cricket, or are a tasmanian fan, there is something in here for you, it also has the best bromance since S Collins and j kimber.  Ed’s relationship with George Bailey is something special, and could have only been ruined by Ed detailing the moment when they truly embraced their feelings.

So, take a look and buy it if you think it’s your bag.

Think of it as a book written by that friend of yours who you first drank absinthe with, who’s just a little too picky with women and puts you down so well you have to like him. But you know, about cricket.

If you want to amazon or kindle with it.

Aussies can find it closer to home.

Or if you can’t find it, go into a bookstore and give them the ISBN 9781742233154.

But you should get it, because it’s Eddie fucken Cowan’s book.

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Australia A gets all wristy and smooth

Usman Khawaja, the stylishly dogged Hashim Amla wannabe from NSWales, has been selected for the New Australia A squad to take on Sri Lanka A.

I know this because of all the information on the Australia A squad I have heard is about his inclusion. Which means that John Wayne Hastings and Ben Cutting’s ridiculous omissions have gone without comment.

According to reports Usman is vying with a spot as back up top order batsman with George Bailey and Michael Klinger.

If Khawaja were to play for Australia he would be the first Asian born player since Dav Whatmore to play for Australia.

That is pretty cool.

But it isn’t just Khawaja, Bailey and Klinger who are in the running for the spot, the second leading run scorer in last year’s shield, Smooth Eddie Cowan, is also in contention.

Well he better be.

Because he is one of us. And there are very few of us represented at international level.

I mean someone who gets a joke, can be a cynical fucker, reads things that don’t have pictures in them and can form an opinion without a focus group meeting held by Cricket Australia.

Sure Ed is more talented than us, fitter than us and he knows the cock size of several international cricketers, but he is certainly one of the 5% of fucked up weird shit that congregates here, and for that alone he deserves out support.

Usman has the romantic side, so the press will push him, plus he plays for NSWales, George Bailey will be the first new Tasmanian test batsmen since David Boon (pause for laugh) so the Tassie press are on his side, and Michael Klinger has the entire Jewish Mafia and World media helping him out (I read that on a white power site so it must be true).

Smooth Eddie just has us.

A bunch of angry cricket sadists who want just one representative that we can support.

It is sad for him that it is just us he has, but we should put our support behind him.

He isn’t some bum of the month, once he got away from the claws of NSWales he has become a proper batsmen like batsmen, just one that you can talk to about books and Canadian Indie Folk acts.  I couldn’t possibly list all the reasons I think you’d like him, but at least one would have to be his curly hair.

I’ve been the sole voice on the campaign for Smooth Eddie up until now, but I think all of you should get behind him as well.

Just to make sure you all known how much I am willing to get behind him I am going to give him a seal of approval that only 2 have received before.

Arise, Cricket With Balls’ Own Smooth Eddie Cowan.

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John Wayne Hastings – the hype starts here

Batting average of 51 this year.

Bowling average of 22 in his career.

3rd leading wicket taker in shield cricket this year.

Can legitimately claim he is from NSWales.

Built like Jesse Ventura’s brick shithouse.

Is called the duke.

He is no Steven Seagal, but other than that what’s not to like?

Where is the hype though? Do I have to everything myself.

Surely Hastings has done enough this year to get a few people singing from his hymn sheet.

I saw him play a couple of 2020 games a few years back and I thought he looked like a player, I didn’t really expect a season like this.

So I am starting the hype, the boy can play, his stats are pretty, and if he keeps taking wickets he should be pressing for a spot in some team in the future.

Although he still couldn’t get Smooth Eddie Cowan out, but few can, as he is still the leading shield run scorer of the year.

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Pick Ed Cowan

With Ricky Ponting possibly missing the boxing day test, Australia need a replacement.

A few names have been chucked around.

George Bailey. Smiles alot, finally having his break out season.

Shaun Marsh. Used to drink alot, finally making regular runs this season.

Michael Klinger. Makes alot of runs, usually by putting attacks to sleep.

Phil Hughes. Made a hundred recently, against an attack with Andrew McDonald opening the bowling.

Any random NSWales player. Due a cap, Usman to debut against Pakistanis could be tough.

Mark Cosgrove. Is making lots of runs, is eating lots of pizzas.

Mitchell Marsh. Is the talk of the town, has made no FC hundreds.

Adam Voges.  Has no weddings planned, is missing a few runs.

David Hussey. Imagine that, no I can’t.

I am sure all of these players will get someone tooting their horn if Ponting’s arm doesn’t come good.

But fuck them all (sorry FPM).

I think Australia should go in a completely different direction altogether.

They need a cricketer who doesn’t take himself too seriously, one who has made over 500 runs in 6 games this year, one without corporate ambitions, and one who likes You Am I.

The choice is simple.

Smooth Eddie Cowan.

He is now officially sanctioned by cricket with balls.

Mr Hilditch, you may select him, smooth Eddie for Boxing day.

And he isn’t even Victorian.

The ashes book.

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three from me

Rahul Dravid was so happy with my piece on him for cricinfo he cashed in again today.

Stuart Clark was so unhappy that i said his career was over on TWC, he has been telling everyone it isn’t since.

And in more important news, I am thinking of changing how I bowl legspin.

Oh, and while I am writing this link heavy post I might as well congratulate Tasmania’s Smooth Eddie Cowan for this double hundred today. Clearly he was inspired by Sehwag, even if he didn’t know it.

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