Tag Archives: MCC

The spirit of Tony Greig

Lord’s is named after Thomas Lord’s, an ok cricketer from way back when. At one stage in his life, Thomas Lord’s wasn’t getting the cash he wanted from cricket matches. So he thought about building some houses on the land to really cash in on his investment. Instead he sold the ground to someone else. Truly cricket’s first great administrator.

I should state my thoughts.

I think the spirit of cricket is bullshit.

I think the MCC claiming it as their mantra is odd considering their history.

I think Colin Cowdrey was a great cricketer.

And I think Tony Greig is a joke.

So this MCC spirit of cricket Cowdrey speech was ignored by me. I assumed it would be by most people.

But, it won’t go away, as I’ve always said, two things will survive a nuclear holocaust, cockroaches and Tony Greig.

We’ve all spent decades listening to Tony Greig. He is a man who once suggested West Indians would grovel, commented that a white man marrying an Asian woman was a mail order bride, sells over priced ceramic baggy greens and regularly refers to Sri Lankans as little Lankans.

Greig’s had 32 years of my time to say something intelligent about the way the game is run, why give him another speech? When Tony Greig spoke to us for Death of a Gentleman, it was because we knew exactly what he’d say, how he’d say it, and how easy it would be to cut it into the film. It was cheaper and easier than getting an animated character to say the same thing.

During the rest of the film we’ve heard from far more intelligent and less heard people. My favourite was Deryck Murray. The man is a cricket legend, cricket administrator, gentleman and former UN delegate for Trinidad and Tobago. The perfect person to talk about cricket, administration and politics. Even Haroon Lorgat, who could have been encouraged to speak candidly for the first time once he had stepped down from his position.

The basic premise of the speech about the self-interest of boards and not putting cricket first is exactly what a speech like this should be about right now. What it needed was someone who had been involved in cricket administration who could point out what all cricket boards, and the ICC, were doing wrong.

Ofcourse, Tony Greig was an executive board member of the ICL, which is why he was picked for this speech.

There are so many men in cricket who would have liked to be let off the chains and talk about the issues in our corrupt, selfish and flatulent cricket administration. Perhaps some of those people aren’t the brother in law of the MCC President, but still, they could speak. Instead it was a wasted opportunity.

Even if Greig made correct statements, his own past and obvious problem with the BCCI was never going to make this the sort of speech that it should have been.

Singling out India and barely mentioning any other country was lazy, easy and fucken idiotic.

Other than Australia, Greig’s main exposure is to cricket in Sri Lanka. So where is the large portion of his speech attacking the SLC and the Sri Lankan government for the way they have mugged cricket and cricketers in Sri Lanka? Because you can’t attack the BCCI for self-interest and then not attacking Sri Lanka because of your own interests.

The BCCI is a self-interested organization. But you know, so is CA, ECB, CSA, NZC, PCB, WICB and even the little SLC.

A speech about self-interest in every form of cricket would be better than an attack on the BCCI from someone with the sort of past that makes people either mock him or ignore him seems like a complete waste of time.

Hilariously, the MCC and BCCI are very similar to each other, just in reverse. The MCC ran the game like an arrogant dictator for years, have now lost that power and are desperate to look like the good guys. Whereas the BCCI were the lovely people no one gave a shit about for years and are now quite enjoying being the big boys in town and looking after their own.

The MCC have been desperate to shake their image as a dinosaur and stay relevant in world cricket. Sometimes this means that champion cricketers like Charlotte Edwards and Claire Taylor are given honorary life members, day night Tests are pushed and minnow players like Hamid Hasan are given state of the art training facilities. At other moments they go looking to solve cricket’s problems with hocus pocus solutions like lie detector tests or even worse they go back to their bad old days of incestuous cricket bullshit.

If the MCC really wants to be a relevant organization in the future, they’d do their best to distance themselves from comical troglodytes with personal vendettas. Otherwise, they might as well build houses on Lord’s and just keep the museum.

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The MCC suggest using Steve Waugh’s eyes to stop match fixing

You can beat a polygraph, trick a jury, be immune to truth syrum and even make sure the CSI bastards don’t find a thing, but you can’t beat Steve Waugh’s eyes.

They are double barrelled weapons of truth.

When not roaming the cricket world talking about the baggy green, Steve Waugh is used by various world governments to find double agents because it is impossible to lie to them man.

Once his eyes have you locked in there is nothing you can do but tell the truth.

The MCC have thusly offered to rent out Steve Waugh, or even just his eyes, to the ICC to check when players are cheated.

Apparently Salman Butt walks around with his hands over his eyes when Waugh is around or looking at his compact mirror, much like Perseus did around Medusa.

A 30 second conversation with Steve Waugh will result in no less than 7 secrets coming out, cricket or otherwise.

His truth beacon eyes are like polygraph detecters, only not a bullshit pseudoscience, they actually work.

How he does it is by steeling his eyes up, making them tougher than a stone. Then he locks on your gaze with the sort of razor sharp eyes needed to cut Curtly Ambrose from a touch to close to off. Then he looks through your eyes, down past your brain, he finds your soul, and he mentally disintegrates your soul until it coughs up all your biggest secrets.

The Indians are still not 100% convinced with the system, they say that Steve Waugh’s eyes, while being far more efficient a system for telling match fixers than a polygraph, are still not a system that they really believe in.

That hasn’t stopped the MCC from suggesting that Steve Waugh’s eyes could solve match fixing in cricket.

It’s even rumoured to have already had an effect on cricket with Steve Waugh sat in a room with Daryl Harper and Harper admitted that he had never actually read the laws of cricket (which he called rules) and that he was generally incompetent as an umpire.

As if backing up the claims of Steve Waugh’s gaze of truth, there is a wikileaks document stating that Steve Waugh can’t be in a room with any American Peisdent, because even by accident he could find out the name of the remote control operator of the two 911 planes.

Fuck polygraphs, one quick bit of eye contact with Steve Waugh and you’ll be saying your a match fixer, admitting to licking a doberman’s ass for a dare and talking about how you like to Tarmac young boys.

There is truth, and then there is Steve Waugh truth.

I looked in Steve’s eyes today, so I need to tell you that I’ve met him last year and the year before that.

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Steve Waugh has never seen ‘Dude, where’s my car?’

Yet again I was invited to the MCC’s world committee (MCCWC from now on) meeting.

Last year I had a run in with Steve Waugh that resulted in me being mentally disintegrated.

This year I had no idea what would come of the whole trip, would Rahul Dravid bitch slap me, would Shaun Pollock and I get caught up in a coversaation about the Pixies, the possibilities were endless.

If you have never been to a cricket ground the day before an international match, I recommend you do. Lord’s is a great one, because much of it is so open and there is just heaps of shit going on. I saw KP giving batting tips, Derek Pringle ushering young kids around, Grand Master Mushtaq ushering kids around and Majid Khan helping Barry Richards opening a window.

Come on, that is a good afternoon.

Then for the press conference, which seemed drier than last year, perhaps because there was no Boycott.

It started with Zimbabwe, the MCCWC want a fact finding trip there, I almost suggested John Howard be sent there, but I held my tongue. The MCCWC – led by Shaun Pollock, Barry Richards and Andy Flower by the look of it – want test cricket back in Zimbabwe. I inquired if it was wise to give test cricket to a team with no fast bowlers, but the general consensus was to give them a go.

Then it was about pink balls. The MCC and the MCCWC love pink balls. John Stephenson loves pink balls more than any man alive. Pause. Well, he does. He also talked about Kookaburras new G3 ball which is a cricket ball that stays whiter for longer because it is dyed better. Maybe Stephenson doesn’t love pink balls as much as he likes balls that will last. Either way, there was plenty of talk about balls and day night tests.

Then there was Rahul and his talk about the IPL. Twice now I’ve seen him at the MCCWC pressers, and both times his performance has assured me that he will never be a regular on panels at comic cons. He just doesn’t seem to like doing it at all, his tie was all slanted, he was slumped over his notes for most of it and answered each question with a sombre nervousness of a geeky teen talking to a milf he is desperately trying not to look at the cleavage of. He said very little about anything.

The MCCWC’s world test championship was talked about again, I wondered if the viability of the championship game would really grab people’s imagination if it was just one test and the home ground produced a road, then Barry Richards suggested a 6 day test championship. Nice.

Then after a brief period of talking about boundary ropes and big bats (Courtney Walsh just wanted fast pitches to batsmen couldn’t carry heavy bats) they talked about how poorly test cricket is marketed compared to IPL and T20 cricket.

I suggested that the reason could be that T20 is a rather simple format to market and that marketing test cricket is harder because of the nuance.

Now here is my mistake, or not, no one jumped in to answer it straight away, so I continued, I then said that T20 is like ‘Dude, where’s my car’, whereas test matches are more like art films. I framed the question to Shaun Pollock, but Sam Stow, of all out cricket, was watching Steve Waugh whose face drew a complete blank. I’m sure Tony Lewis’ did as well.

After the press conference finished I went up to the front to pick up my phone and Steve Waugh had questions for me.

“Dude, Where’s my car, never seen that film, mate, what’s it like anyway?”

This time I didn’t freeze like I did a year earlier. I wasn’t going to be intimidated by him twice in a row, so I fired back.

“It’s a good one, I’d think you’d like it”.

He laughed and said.

“You guys must be young, I’ve never heard of it.”

Never heard of ‘Dude, where’s my car’, how is that possible?

So this is for Steve and all you who have never seen the film that is allegedly one of Kim Jong-Il’s favourites.

Just some quick things I forgot to mention, check out the next podcast and you can hear Steve ask about the film, Barry Richards and Majid Khan opened the window without grace or style and would you let KP coach your kids?

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Pink Balls

A bunch of Britons went to Abu Dhabi to test out pink balls for day night first class and test cricket.  It probably cost a few thousand dollars, and there were more English writers there than there were fans.  It seems like a long way to go. I don’t like going anywhere further than my local cafe.

I could have helped shorten their travel time, I have pink balls (insert laugh track) in my home.  The could have caught the tube to my place and then we could have walked to my local nets.

Plus, I’ve already tested them.

About 12 months ago I started teaching cricket to a bunch of women who loved the game but had never played it.

Being that these were women coming to the game very late I got some training balls, pink and orange. They are those softish plastic balls that still roughly imitate what a cricket ball does.

The orange balls, as found out by shield cricketers in the 90s when they tried day night shield games (sorry, MCC, but it has been done before), are useless.

They look good, but once the light gets bad, or the dusk settles in they might as well be bowling tiny little ball bearings at you.

I lost both of the orange balls, and I cared little.

The pink balls I still have, and if I lost them I would be sad.

They are the easiest colour to pick up out of the hand of any cricket ball I have ever used, without the benefit of a sight screen.

Obviously I haven’t just used pink and orange, in the past I have used red, white, and yellow.

Pink just seemed the best to see.

None of these tests were scientific; they involved different bowlers, difference actions, different clothing, different nets and much different form when I was batting.

I also haven’t been to Abu Dhabi to test them.  So they may melt in the desert, plus they are plastic, and generally cricket balls are made of leather.

The basic problem with the pink balls is that anything that is not white is hard to see at dusk, and anything white gets dirty and doesn’t last.

I’ve never used the pink balls at night, my local parks have never provided floodlights for their nets, but it looks like they were pretty easy to see at night in Abu Dhabi, but not always as easy at dusk.  Especially when Durham’s big fast men were let off the leash.

It seems that the pink ball trials well be continued, the Aussies are going to use them next summer

But if the ICC needs any more help in the testing stage, I am more than happy to take them down the nets, for a consulting fee, but I think it will be cheaper than going to Abu Dhabi, probably.

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Fix the pitches

Hey,  MCC World Cricket Committee, I have some issues with you.

I saw your press conference.

I received your press release.

I agreed with your take on cricket.

But now I feel conned.

How can you talk about improving test cricket and then produce this lifeless Keira Knightley strip of turf.

Don’t preach to us about how much you love the game and produce a wicket that has little pace or bounce.

We are not idiots.

This is a tedious strip; all of the English wickets came through lapses of concentration or technical flaws.

There was no assistance for them in this track.

Test cricket is dying, and your plan is nice, but as Homer has put it so well, “if the Boards unanimously decide that all wickets, the world over, are roads, then pink balls or not, we can kiss Test Cricket good bye.”

What pisses me off is I was there, and when I asked Lewis, Waugh, and Boycott the question, you all talked about how you knew slow flat generic pitches were going to be the death knell.

Then fix your surface.

You have control over that, no committee of ex champions is needed, you just make the wicket better.

If the MCC wants to tell people what to do, I suggest they get their own backyard right.

Don’t spend an hour pouring Vodka in my ear only to give me a pitch that makes me want to chew glass.

You can’t sex up a 200-foot stack of shit by putting a bag of tinsel on it.

Put up, or shut up.

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