It is roughly 1000 hours until Jesse Ryder comes back from his ban. You probably didn’t know how many hours it was, but you felt him getting closer to your life. Jesse Ryder is like baby mugging; only good can come from him.
A win for Zimbabwe in a Test is the same. It’s pure goodness. When factoring in the troublesome government, the laughable administration and the fact that the players were boycotting training only a few weeks ago, this is the sort of sporting miracle that Americans would make into a Movie of the Week. There are lots of heroes from the game. Masakadza’s knock in the first innings, Brian Vittori’s five-wicket haul, Richmond Mutumbami’s runs at nine, and Tendai Larry Chatara’s second-innings haul.
But the reason Zimbabwe won is all over Twitter, it was Misbah-ul-Haq’s fault. According to @AmberHMK “Dear #Misbah, Go home. Please. We are not consistent. Its not us. Your fifties don’t make us win. Sincerely, #PakistanCricketFan.”
@AmberHMK wasn’t the only one. @mfaysaljamal said, “Only person is responsible and that is skipper misbah PCB must change test captain asap.” That makes it official, it is #misbahsfault. He was one of two batsmen who made over 30. One of two batsmen to average over 50 in the series. One of three current Pakistan batsmen to average over 40 in Test cricket. And the only batsman to not go out in this chase. It is obviously his fault. Had he batted for his team-mates, they probably would have won the series instead of ending with a 1-1 draw.
England have survived #trottsfault and their own weather to tie up the ODI series one-all. They have been helped by Ravi Bopara, who has averaged four with the bat and taken three wickets.
But more importantly he was on the BBC quiz show Pointless. On the show, Ravi only had to answer two questions. He got both wrong. In one he incorrectly assumed that Margaret Thatcher was the first female speaker of the house, while overlooking easier Ronald Reagan and Harrison Ford answers. In his second question, all Ravi had to do was name one Brad Pitt film since 2000.
Ravi said, “Brad Pitt does Halloween.”
Getting a political question wrong is one thing. But not being able to name a Brad Pitt film? He answered it like he’d been asked to make a cronut live on air.
Ravi also said he was a World Cup winner. I thought he was a World Twenty20 winner.
Within a year of taking over the job Graham Ford had taken Sri Lanka to the final of the World Twenty20. Now he is not renewing his contract. I got John the intern to look this up for me. When Sri Lanka hire their new coach, they will have had hired their 37th coach in the last five years. Charlie Austin, Arthur C Clarke and noted fashion photographer Mr Nigel Barker have all coached Sri Lanka in that time. Haroon Lorgat even had the job for a while.
Now Haroon Lorgat has a new job, CEO of Cricket South Africa, an appointment that seems to have no impact at all. On anything.
On a non-related note, India may not be touring South Africa after already downgrading their tour. Instead India will play Pakistan and Sri Lanka in some ODIs. People are claiming that Lorgat’s hiring, and how certain BCCI officials hate him, has had something to do with the talk of these ODIs taking over the South African tour. But the truth is, and you know it’s true, Sri Lanka are always playing India. Even right now, as Haroon Lorgat perpetually apologises.
A father of a cricketer was doing more than apologising this week. When a favourable piece was written by ESPNcricinfo’s professional Yorkshire parody, David Hopps, on Nick Compton, some commenters disagreed. Richard Compton disagreed with the disagreers. He also commented, having registered with his Facebook account: “Sorry my friend he played on to dernbach. As for temperament, perhaps you need to know a few things about him before you smart off. Look at the stats my mate.” Internet cricket trolls beware, there is a new sheriff in town, and he won’t take any guff about his son.
The New York police are also cleaning up their town, and they are putting together a secret dossier on where to watch cricket in New York, according to Gawker. The aim of this is apparently to flush out possible cricket extremists, and probably lock up some offspinners with dodgy actions. Now that it has been leaked, what it actually does is give cricket fans an amazing amount of information about cricket in New York. Singh Sporting Goods on 101st Avenue is a Guyanese store you can buy cricket gear from. Aladdin Sweets and Restaurant is owned by Bangladeshis and has a big-screen TV that shows the cricket. With this information and the fact that the New York cops already run their own T20 league, you could argue that they are doing more for cricket than the USACA.
The Champions League is marginally more popular than the NYPD Twenty20 Cricket Cup. If the IPL is Cary Grant, then the Champions League is Harry Dean Stanton after 12 hours in a vat of acid. But if you’re a domestic cricketer, you still want to be there. So when the visas for the Faisalabad Wolves didn’t turn up, people were worried that the Pakistan players would miss out on the tournament. I was also worried, as I was afraid my Faisalabad Wolves t-shirt would have to be shelved for the year. The visas have now turned up, and I’m wearing my t-shirt.
Unfortunately, the WACA has been shelved. Australian cricket’s unkempt child who refuses to wear new clothes has missed out on a Test for the first summer since 1976. With the World Cup being played in Australia for the 2014-15 summer, there are only four Tests scheduled against India. Some are saying that the WACA is missing out because India didn’t want to play at the WACA after what happened last time. I assume they don’t mean when writer Ashish Shukla had a weird substance leak on him in the WACA’s gym/press conference hovel. Although perhaps the fact that the facilities and crowd capacity aren’t as good as at the other four Test grounds played more of a part than a pitch that India have won 50% of their last two Tests at.
A ground that is doing better than the WACA is the Minamisoma Baseball Park. Last Saturday it hosted a cricket game between the British Embassy and a Tohoku team formed of local players. Minamisoma is in Fukushima, and the game was to show that the radiation was not that bad there now, since the earthquakes that affected the Daiichi nuclear plant. Tim Hitchens, the British ambassador to Japan, said, “The place where we have played today is perfectly safe.” The radiation level was similar to that in places in England, the pitch played better than The Oval when Ollie Rayner took 15 wickets. The British embassy lost by 34 runs.
Like a giant Toho fire-breathing hero, Clint McKay took a ODI hat-trick against England. It was a proper hat-trick, as it had three top-order batsmen batting properly. Clint McKay has continued the tradition of Victoria and hat-tricks. The first international hat-trick was taken at the MCG. So was the second. Hugh Trumble took two. Lindsay Kline one. Then, in recent years, Merv Hughes, Shane Warne, Damien Fleming and Peter Siddle have taken them. When a Victorian takes a hat-trick, which seems to be about once a week, it should be referred to as a Vic trick.
If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s Cricket News Hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com. Any errors in this piece were added by Misbah-ul-Haq.