Jesse Ryder did not make the news this week. I can’t shoehorn him into my piece just for the sake of it based on something he has done on the field.
But off the field, Ryder is a perfect example of a player being suspended and working out that what he was doing was not getting the most out of himself as a cricketer. I am not in any way using this as an analogy for any other cricket controversy at the moment.
Ryder’s former team started well against England, so well, that when it turned dark on them it turned very dark. But even though at times in this Test, and the last, it looked entirely possible that England could score over 500 against New Zealand even if they reversed their order. That is now the case. England could not suspend four players from their team and still beat the Kiwis easily.
Zimbabwe are playing Test cricket this week, against West Indies. Everyone’s favourite leather-faced hitman, Ray Price, is still bowling his gentle left-arm spin and acting as if he’s bowled the most brutal bouncer ever seen. They may not have won, but they had a good first innings, which is more than Shane Watson can say this week.
Mushfiqur Rahim is still batting in Galle as I type. The Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh ended in a draw, but with all the bowlers slaughtered, Mushfiqur decided he might as well continue to bat on the pitch that gave Bangladesh their first ever Test double-hundred. Ex players condemned the pitch, stating in unison seconds after the Test that in their day Test pitches were never that bad and that it was like a schoolboy game.
Inspired by Gary Wilson, Ireland made a record score of 589 for 7 against UAE in their ICC Intercontinental Cup game. Scotland, who have no Gary Wilson, lost by an innings and five runs to Afghanistan, inspired by the 21-year-old quick Izatullah Dawlatzai‘s 11 for 94. That was exactly 11 more wickets than James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson will combine for this week.
Star in India won their case to own cricket scores on mobile devices. That means that cricket is no longer news for India, but purely a product. Unless they pay Star for the rights, mobile companies can put up scores 15 minutes after they happen when the news is no longer hot. Now people will just have to disconnect from these mobile providers and log onto websites, Twitter, Facebook or just text their friends who are watching on illegal streams.
India’s biggest product, Sachin Tendulkar, was shunned this week while no one noticed. Brendon McCullum said Alastair Cook was the second best batsman ever. Amazingly he didn’t pick Brad Hodge or Tendulkar as the best. I am telling you this only if you are one of those Sachin Tendulkar fans who loves to complain about any slight the great man has received, but perhaps this week you were too busy laughing at the Aussies to notice these comments. All complaints can be sent directly to the Black Caps. Or Pat Howard.
South African cricket administrators are being praised this week from Farhaan Behardien. Behardien claims that the help they gave him has made him a better finisher. Presumably what he means is they didn’t ask him to wear the correct uniform, never checked his skin folds and never asked him to write anything down. Or maybe they did, and he did what they asked and he produced.
Andy Bull asks whether cricket writers are producing a golden era of cricket writing. Bull mentions this very site, but somehow fails to overlook the “Dual Warrnambool and District Cricket Association’s division two winners face off in grand final” piece written by the Standard‘s Justine McCullagh-Beasy. My favourite line (incase you are too lazy to click on a link about Victorian country cricket) is “Grand finals are always close”. Cricket writing might be doing okay, but cricketers speaking before a match are still as bad as ever. The coach would expect better than that.
Okay, fine, I’ve hinted at it, so here it is, the entire (not really) short history of #homeworkgate.
This is it in a chronological based-on-a-true story sort of way.
Several Australian cricketers improve their skills on Call of Duty.
Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson are suspended for failing to do their homework.
Many, many, many ex-players say that is ridiculous. They blame Mickey Arthur and almost ignore Michael Clarke altogether.
It turns out the homework could have been sent by a text, and they had six days to come up with something to help the Australian cricket team win the next Test.
Watson leaves for Australia. Some say he is sooking, some say he is travelling home to be there for the birth of his first child.
Cricket makes the front page during football season.
Clarke gives a press conference, well, no, he talks to Cricket Australia in a KP-style video explaining what has gone down and that there is history of bad things that he never quite articulates.
Howard says Clarke and Watson are not besties, that he knows Watson well, and that Watson sometimes puts the team first.
Watson’s dad has not spoken to his son, but still says something to the press.
Watson then says Howard doesn’t know the real him. He resists the temptation to break into a country song.
Wally Edwards releases a statement that is about the length of a tweet.
The Aussies fly in a psychologist to help them, perhaps a week or so late.
Brad Haddin becomes a batsman.
Shane Warne says, “As a leader I always thought if the boys weren’t getting along or we weren’t performing then the best thing to do was to lock everyone into a room with some music (and) alcohol”. Usman Khawaja is probably not a big drinker. Although he does play the guitar.
Glenn Maxwell still somehow gets dropped from a team with only 12 fit players to pick from.
Ricky Ponting makes another hundred in the Sheffield Shield, keeping him as the top scoring player this year.
The first day at Mohali is washed out.
KP, Mike Hesson, Ryder and Sri Lanka Cricket must be glad to not be involved in any of this.
For an animated version of events, including a recreation of David Boon drinking and Mickey Arthur imitating one of Disney’s most loved products go here.
There are some who believe this was all a big conspiracy to confuse Victoria into bowling first at Bellerive Oval and possibly giving up any hope they had of winning the Shield this year. Victoria, who have been awesome (outside of finals) for most of the year, now look like missing out on the Shield Final. But they will be the moral winners, I am sure you agree.
If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s Cricket News Hurl, email email@example.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. For research, Jarrod visited his high school this week, they gave him a free pen after he was dragged to the headmaster’s office by a man who looked alarmingly like Mickey Arthur.