Category Archives: county cricket

KP’s summer blockbuster bust

The announcer reads out the list of Surrey players. One name gets booed. He has played over 100 Tests. Won four Ashes. A World T20. Scored match-winning hundreds around the world. But if Surrey were going to have a player booed, it wasn’t going to be Gary Wilson, was it?

It’s KP’s first big day of the summer. He’s been floating around The Oval. He turned up at the IPL. And even made his way off to the CPL. That is 25 matches. Spread around England, St Kitts, Cardiff, Dubai and India. And one fifty.

A 58. In a losing cause. 14 innings ago. This from Mr Box Office. The man for the big stage. The man who saves his best work for when people are watching.

The only thing more horrible than KP’s treatment by the ECB has been his form.

So there he was on his first major stage of the UK summer. The ECB’s premier domestic cricket day. The cameras are here. The crowd is here. The press are here. And KP walks out on a pitch that Jason Roy has just used to hit Rikki Clarke into small pieces. The chase is big. A place in the final is there for Surrey. The whole thing might have scripted by his PR crew. Piers Morgan probably had his hands on his smart phone waiting to tweet “told ya so”.

KP makes 13. Off 16 balls.

He hits one six. It should have been caught. He doesn’t look in form. He doesn’t look in charge. He doesn’t really look that KP.

A full straight ball from Boyd Rankin is squeezed through his legs. His head is not balanced, he’s not immediately sure where it has gone. Boyd Rankin appeals like he hasn’t hit it. A couple of balls later he’s smashed on the pads as well. It’s not out, but he’s not near it. His loft towards long on looks forced. He watches the ball the whole way, and then nervously smiles and fist bumps Steve Davies as it just drops over the rope.

That drop is almost half his score.

There has clearly been some kind of conspiracy. The old, great, wonderful KP has nobbled. He’s been slipped some ketamine. He’s been handcuffed by invisible chains. The ECB have put a curse on him. Where is Big Time Kev. Where is the arrogance? Where is the swagger? Where are the runs?

He looks old, he looks tired, and he doesn’t look like he’s anywhere near the T20 batsman Jason Roy is.

While KP faces Jeetan Patel, Jimmy Anderson walks around the ground. The crowd rise for him. They cheer his name. They sing the “Oh, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy Anderson chant” as KP blocks the ball and gets no run. The crowd doesn’t chant for KP. He gives them no reason to.

Ateeq Javid takes KP caught and bowled. The crowd cheer, almost as loud as Javid screams. The mid-innings spoiler has defeated the international star. KP leaves the crease. He doesn’t speak to the incoming batsman. He doesn’t talk to anyone in the dug out. He sits down quietly on the front bench. Then he gets up and moves to the back corner. A long way from a starring role.

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talking shit with Jack Shantry

It’s what it says in the title.

 

We discuss underpants, jet from gladiator, frape, weird bowling actions and being abused by 15yos from Notts.

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Introducing Pakistan’s latest fast bowling golem: Junaid Khan

It’s two days since I saw Junaid Khan.

Since then I’ve had conversations with about 4 or 5 people where they have brought him up.

I expect more people to do so.

There is something that makes you want to tell everyone you know when you see a young Pakistani quick.

They get the heart started.

I can’t remember the last time one player got so many people talking in the UK since Amir played.

A Pakistani quick has the youth to make people interest, skill to make people talk,flair to get them to gush, and the sudden arrival to make it all feel like a dirty little secret that no one knows about but you.

There was no Junaid Khan for me before the other night, and bang, there he is, fully developed, bowling Yorkers out his asshole that seem to have some sort of artificial intelligence once they’ve left his hand.

It’s as if Pakistani quicks are created by some Muslim Cleric with ancient Hebrew texts.

“We need something to protect us, so I shall create another full bowling speed demon golem out of this magical clay that i found in Safraz Nawaz’s rose garden. He shall be fast like the wind, cocky like a Jagger, silky like a stallion and infectious like a STD. He shall roam the earth making people think of the Pakistani people as fast bowling lothario heroes, which will bring happiness to our people and carnage to the stumps of the world. Oh, yes, I like shaping the groin part, more clay please.”

I can’t believe that Pakistan just developed another fast bowling machine, one who might be fairly untested at the top level, but could be ripping it to pieces shortly.

Although, if my golem theory is correct, and let’s face it, it is, these golems are not made for our voyeuristic pleasure, they’ve been made because Pakistani cricket needs a saviour, to save it from itself, and Ijazz Butt.

And if ancient Jewish mysticism and Frankenstein has taught us anything, it’s that you might build a golem with the best of intentions, but things can go to shit after that.

The good news is that in Pakistan, there is a lot of clay.

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Surrey pays women to come to the cricket

Surrey has cracked the code, they’ve come up with a way to get more women come to cricket.

They’ve gone and got walk on girls from the sexy world of darts to usher the batsmen to the crease.

I talked to Surrey, or I think it was someone from Surrey, about their cunning plan.

“We want more women at cricket, an this is one way to guarantee it. Some may see it as a cheap poorly thought out publicity stunt made to give our middle aged fans a boner at the game, but this is about the women, not the men who ogle them.

Another upside to getting more women in the ground, we’ll also have a situation where young girls in the crowd will have someone to look up to. So far the only job in cricket for women as that of a cheerleader or WAG, both of which you need specialized skillsets for, but any middling to attractive woman can be a walk on girl. We need to create more positions for these kind of women.

Imagine going to the cricket with your six your old daughter, she looks around and there is no positive role models inside the rope, now she can see a job she can hope to achieve, walking the batsman out to bat, standing fairly close to the pitch itself, and ensuring that the batsman doesn’t get timed out.

It might come across as sexist, but our research shows us that young girls love tits and are mostly bi at that age. Breasts sell cricket tickets, everyone knows this.

Sure, we haven’t really thought through all the details, we do have a gay on our team. But where thinking of two sexy looking trannies, but it’s ultimately Steve Dave’s decision. We just hope he doesn’t want half naked bears.

I mean if we had a women’s team, we’d get men in tight bike shorts taking them out.”

The problem is that like most soft porn, walk out girls don’t really sell any extra tickets and are kind of shit.

I mean they’ll be clothed and not performing sex acts.

What a waste of time.

Surrey should be forgetting about the cricket and having a full oval orgy.

Hundreds of women and a few strapping young lads to perform 3 hour long sessions (any longer and new comers will be bored) of hardcore erotica.

I’m sure there is market research to back this up.

Sure there will far more mess to clean up in the stands than usual, but that’s the price of running a massively successful live sex show.

Cricket has been crying out for more useless sexism that doesn’t help it at all, I’m glad Surrey have stepped up to fill the breach.

Cricket and sex never really go together, but only because cricket will never fully commit, put the gimp mask on and face it’s naked ass to the sky. Maybe this could be Surrey’s role?

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Why Adil Rashid’s 11 wickets prove he is not ready for International cricket

Before last week there were people lining up on every street corner in the UK explaining why Adil wasn’t ready for International cricket.

They generally pointed to the fact he was a roller not a spinner, that his consistency was poor, that he had a bad attitude and that he just needed to grow up a bit before he was considered a real international player.

Then he took 11 wickets, and some people saw this as proof he was now ready for international cricket.

They are wrong.

Here are the main reasons he is still not ready.

  • The England team wants a back up to Swanny, not a star. Taking 11 wickets over qualifies him for that position.
  • 11 wickets just proves that Adil is all about personal achievements and not team goals. Kent still won with Tredwell only taking 2/52, you don’t have to steal the headlines.
  • Sure he took 11 wickets, but he only made four, he just doesn’t bring enough facets of variety to the side. James Middlebrook might have only taken 3/138 in the match, but he made a hundred, Adil should look into that.
  • 11 wickets, means 11 wicket celebrations, which means 11 ways to show what a bad attitude he has.
  • Danny Briggs’ 5 wicket haul was for well over a hundred runs, showing that he had the fortitude to really ride out a long innings in a patient way. Unlike Adil who showed no patience at all and tried to get through the opposition as quick as possible.
  • Adil doesn’t show the innate class of a Batty or Dalrymple.
  • There was a real lack of maturity in his appealing, it lacked respect for the batsmen he had bamboozled.
  • Monty would have made his 11 wickets feel less obtrusive.
  • Clearly Adil is still a roller of the ball with little control, if the ball fizzed more he wouldn’t need 11 wicket hauls to get noticed.
  • Worcestershire are one of the weaker top Division teams, their batting is made of green jelly, and they all expected to collapse to pace and not spin. Confusing them when Adil came on.
  • Azeem Rafiq would have pushed his case on twitter.

11 wickets is ok, Adil, but there is no need to show off.

This is cricket, show a bit of respect for your elders, the opposition and the spirit of cricket.

No one likes a show off.

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The first day of summer

The first day of county season is the opposite of the IPL in so many ways, but the amount of straw hats and the colour of the spectators as you walk in is your first two hints that it isn’t going to be an IPL experience.

County cricket truly is one of the whitest events in human history, if the BNP really wanted to cleanse the UK of dark skinned people, they should stage county matches on every corner.

Racists are just never clever enough to use tactics like this.

Ofcourse, at the end of the day the colour does come in when the palest men in the world turn slightly red after a day of topless wrinkly sun bathing.

I’ve never truly understood men who take their top off when surrounded by other men, who are all together watching men play.

The only way people know you’re pale on your chest in the first place is by taking your top off.

County cricket is a bit like the men with their tops off, it doesn’t really need to be an event, but even a bare chested 73 year old white man is something for you and your friends to bond over.

In Australia there is no first day of the summer, there is no one day that true cricket sadists plan for.  I never went to a Vic match and knew 30 people in the crowd. Especially not the first day.

In England that is exactly what happens.

It’s a reunion, it’s the start of summer, it’s cricket coming back to town, and old men rejoice all this half naked.

It’s real cricket too, after weeks of world cup, with weeks more of the IPL, it’s good to see fat man play in front of a ground with no music, crowd or atmosphere.

It feels right.

You can put your feet up on chairs , argue about the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and be amazed that Rory Hamilton-Brown can captain a first class cricket team without knowing how to run between the wickets.

It’s not perfect, they have no crisps at the ground, you can only get pimm’s from one bar, and they have no jugs for the Pimm’s.

Everyone comes together though, and this is never more evident than the home made hot dogs they have.

Any day that starts with Gary Wilson, has Andrew Hall’s bowling action and various large unemployed looking men yelling incomprehensible rubbish is a good day at the cricket.

In Australia I’d feel like a sad loner at the G watching the Vics, in England, County cricket unites all these sad loners into one place, and then denies them access to jugs of Pimm’s.

If that isn’t cricket, nothing is.

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Save IOB

So I wrote this at cricinfo, and IOB is still not saved.  I’ve always assumed my fans are rabid revolutionaries that are just waiting for a cause to bite the ass of the establishment, maybe this is the cause.

There once was a cricketer more romantic than you, who decided to make his career by bowling into the wind. He had an extra “I” in his name for no reason, liked taking pictures of his own feet, and became Test cricket’s greatest blogger along the way.

He is Iain Edward O’Brien, enemy to ghostwriters, saviour of into-the-wind bowling and hero to those he tweets to. While most of us would never have noticed this hardworking Kiwi quick had he not talked about being called rude things by the Gabba crowd, we now know him, and we await his every tweet, blog and commentary stint with the hunger of Bon Jovi fans.

When he left international cricket to be with his wife, international cricket sobbed a big wet soppy tear at losing a true romantic.

Luckily for those who live in the British Isles, it was the cultural hotbed of Matlock that Iain chose to live in with his wife. This meant that while some cricket fans would miss out on him, British fans would get to see him up close and personal when he signed for Middlesex.

It is true that while playing for Middlesex, Iain spent most of his time with his butt in the air (not an Ijaz joke) with physios and doctors manipulating his injured posterior. When he was fit, he would pop in with a seven-wicket haul, but such is the class of this man that even injured he could keep county cricket fans happy with endless jokes about his injury.

Iain is truly a man of the cyber people and also the darling of Lord’s. Chatting to po-faced Middlesex fans for hours on end about the team they love, while looking resplendent in their pink colours. He even took to the microphone in between extensive rear-end medical work, working his magic for the BBC London, Five Live Sports Extra and Test Match Sofa.

You might be thinking, is there nothing this man can’t do?

Well, he can’t bat, and thanks to a scandalous group that also reside at Lord’s, he can no longer play county cricket for Middlesex. The ECB (or friends of Allen Stanford as some call them) has decided that even though Iain O’Brien has qualified as an English player through his romantic intentions, and that he could legally work for the ECB, he cannot play cricket in England.

I tried to contact a few other county players to see what they thought about Iain O’Brien’s case, but most of them were in South Africa. On holiday, I guess.

Thanks to the ECB’s wacky decision, Iain will probably have to play for some side in Matlock. You know what this means: Iain bouncing young villagers due to still being angry at the ECB. Is that what you want? Surely not.

In Ricky Ponting’s latest book he takes precious time out of talking about how the media abuse him, just to have a go at Iain O’Brien for an incident at the Adelaide Oval. I think you will agree with me that any man who annoys Ricky that much needs our support.

Let us help keep the most romantic cricketer in the world stay at Middlesex, join the Facebook group.

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The County Season is over

And all I could find is this stamp.

This stamp does say a lot about the County schedule.

Bloated.

I’ll miss it in a month, but for now I am glad it is gone.

Victoria wins the County Championship

It has been a up and down year for the Victorian Outlaws of Nottinghamshire.

Running to the front of the class when David Hussey and Darren Eyelids Pattinson were playing as they were completely inspired by the fact Dirty Dirk Nannes had decided to play for them in the T20 tournament.

Then trouble started. And by trouble, I mean a complete lack of cricket motor skills.  It was as if the whole team was on absinthe.

It is now clear that when David Hussey left the county to represent the real Victoria, the outlaws faltered.

Left with only Eyelids Pattinson people thought the Outlaws would not be able to get across the line.

They were wrong.

After Adam Voges and Samit Patel had given away their wickets carelessly, it was up to Eyelids and some other scruffy to chap to get them the 400th run of the innings ensuring a batting point.

I would explain batting points in county cricket now, but it would be a shame for you all to fall asleep now.

So after Eyelids gets his four runs, ensuring that Notts are only one point behind Somerset, he then goes out to bowl perhaps the most important over in cricket history in which two runs were scored and no wickets were taken. The three wickets were taken by other bowlers who were inspired by his efforts.

Three wickets was all the Vic Outlaws needed and the title was theirs due to bowling points.

Somerset, who only signed one Victorian for the season (and never used him), gave up their chase early when it all got too hard. Not even staying out on the ground at the end, just leaving it with a very non-Victorian whimper.

Obviously one Victorian playing for them would have ensured at least one more point during the season, but they never had the Outlaws foresight.

Sure, you could argue that technically all Eyelids did was score 1% of the total and take no wickets as the Vic Outlaws won the championship, but it is that sort of small mindedness that stops you from ever truly being Victorian.

Well played, Eyelids, you were the glue, the spine and the intestional fortitude of this side.

I am sure everyone agrees.

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Nice Bryce takes 5 for Essex

I actually wrote this last night, which is tonight for me.  Or to be technical I wrote it after midnight, so earlier this morning.

I tell you that because the headline says that Bryce McGain took 5 wickets.

Now he may not have.

There is a chance, however slim, that Bryce, in his first game for Essex, did not take 5 wickets.

Life is unpredictable, years ago I kicked random cats, now i kick my own.

So while Bryce is probably going to take a five for in his first bowl ever in county cricket, he may not.

Regardless, I will back him to do this. Sure I didn’t see how he bowled in the match like Sarah did.

But I feel like Bryce and I have an unspoken, unnatural and unreal bond. He probably feels it too.

Bryce has overcome so much in his life, that all he needs is one wicket to complete a well earned (read exxpensive) 5 wicket haul, so he will do it.

Obviously there are some things beyond his control like a declaration, flash flood, or some nasty type digging up the pitch, but other than something like that, Bryce will prevail.

It won’t be a glorious five for.

They won’t talk about it for the ages.

Like most things for Bryce, he will work hard for it, it won’t be given to him, and it will take longer than most, but at 38, he will have his first five wicket haul in county cricket.

Or he won’t, and I’ll delete this post and you’ll never know about it.

Or I’ll leave it up, as a tribute to Bryce, the man who took 4 wickets in his first county match, but bloody well earned them.

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