Tag Archives: cricket news hurl

Cricket news hurl: Welcome back, Jesse

People smiled this week. They smiled as they went about the mundane regularity of this prison-like experience we all live in. And it wasn’t even about Sachin Tendulkar. Most of the people in the world who smiled this week did so because Jesse Ryder is back. And because he is Jesse Ryder, he didn’t just come back and say hello, he came back and said hundred. HUNDRED. That is how you come back from a life-threatening attack. That is how you spit in the eye of a coma. Take that, attackers. Every other comeback in history shall now be rated on the Jesse Ryder scale in my heart.

Dan Vettori’s 15-month break from first-class cricket was also ended in style when he took a five-wicket haul. That is a semi-Jesse on the scale.

Sadly for Darryn Randall, there will be no comebacks. Randall (who played four first-class matches for Border in South Africa) was playing club cricket, wearing a helmet and playing a pull shot – all things many cricketers around the world have done. Horrifically, the ball struck him on his head and he never recovered. He was pronounced dead in the hospital. Randall was only 32.

South Africa and Pakistan are 1-1 in their current series. Pakistan failed, by one run, to chase down South Africa’s total of 183. South Africa fell 66 runs short when chasing Pakistan’s monumental total of 209. Afridi took three wickets in that match, yet some seemed to talk about it like it was a 73-wicket haul.

Taking three wickets in the UAE at the moment might be easy enough, but taking a wicket in any of the seven ODIs between Australia and India was all but impossible. And even if you did get a wicket, the runs kept coming. Someone like James Faulkner would come in and smash the quickest hundred ever by an Australian male in an ODI (Meg Lanning did it from 45 balls, 12 quicker). Rohit Sharma finally won fans over with the third double-hundred in an ODI by an Indian, or any human male. Rohit had to make the runs, as he had run out Virat Kohli earlier and would have been abused otherwise. Despite those two amazing hundreds, the best moments had to be Shikhar Dhawan making fun of Shane Watson’s injury, or the back-foot drive by Clint McKay. In a series of hundreds of thousands of runs, it was McKay’s shot that will stay with people forever.

Those runs will not be in vain, though. As they have clearly inspired the Karnataka State Cricket Association into starting their Green Wicket project at the same Chinnaswamy Stadium that saw more sixes than any other ODI. Although sadly for one-day seam bowlers, and happily for the planet, the Green Wicket project is actually not about producing wickets that seam, and is actually about conserving water and being eco-friendly. They seem to be conserving water well by creating concrete wickets.

At Eden Gardens they are going red, in a green way, when they plan to drop 199 kilograms of rose petals for Sachin Tendulkar’s 199th Test. Which seems like a lot, but will actually be a lot to anyone whose job it is to clean them up. Makhaya Ntini was given a fridge with his face on it for his 100th Test. Hopefully Sachin has at least one of those by now and will get a deep fryer made in his image for his 200th.

The ICC announced their five nominations for the People’s Choice Award. MS Dhoni, Michael Clarke, Alastair Cook, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers were nominated. But it is a fan vote, so Sachin may still win it. The ICC press release really made the players sound special: “The nominees will have displayed some of the attributes regarded by LG that reflect their brand and their qualities. Such as innovation, dynamism, strength in decision-making, performing well under pressure and executing a plan to distinction.”

Clarke will probably not win the award, and his dynamism was called into question by Ricky Ponting’s book, but his reprimand by Cricket Australia this week was all his own making. Clarke ironically gestured a decision for a review while playing Shield cricket. The decision was for a low catch. Which you couldn’t actually review with DRS, anyway.

As it happened in a Shield game, few would have seen it. And now fewer people will be able to connect with Shield cricket altogether since the ABC was so annoyed by its treatment from Cricket Australia, it has decided to not broadcast any Shield or Big Bash games. Being that the new radio deal was Cricket Australia trying to broaden their audience, losing the national broadcaster for the Big Bash is a kick in the marketing department. Fairfax, the new broadcaster, doesn’t even have radio stations in Adelaide or Hobart. Mind you, if you are in Australia, the Big Bash is omnipresent during the summer, so it may not matter.

Almost as omnipresent is Lalit Modi, who despite living in England and being currently banned for life by the BCCI, is running for president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association. It will be a tough vote to win for Modi as he won’t be able to kiss any babies at the RCA to win votes.

The chairman position of the PCB has had its own drama this week when it lost its interim chairman for about two hours. The Islamabad High Court suspended Najam Sethi, before the same court granted a stay order on the ruling until November 4, because the PCB asked nicely. Sethi is the editor-in-chief of the Friday Times, and he allowed himself an editorial on the constant court battles that the PCB has had recently. He alleged that the court has cost the PCB billions, and if we’re talking Zimbabwean dollars, he has a point. Sethi titled his article “This is not cricket”, but hilarious administration and political interference is as cricket as a wrong’un. And I only mentioned the wrong ‘un because Abdul Qadir has said he will apply to be the PCB’s full-time chairman.

General Haroon is having a mid-series break, but Haroon Lorgat did say it was his choice to step aside / nick off / politically disappear to make sure India toured South Africa. The weirdest part of his statement had to be: “I know the truth always prevails.” You’d think someone who has worked in cricket this long would have learned that isn’t the case.

The truth is Monty Panesar is currently reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Quick pause. He told the Independent: “I’m reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand at the moment, which is about an architect trying to make it through the world.” That is exactly what it is about; it’s also about objectionism. The revealing interview with Monty also had this look into his soul: “I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Magic Kingdom.”

A statue that should be shown in the Magic Kingdom, but instead ended up in Barnsley, was one of Dickie Bird. It stood in his hometown, finger erect, as a proud memory of the world’s most famous umpire (he has met the Queen more times than anyone’s read The Fountainhead). But the statue had to be taken down this week. Because, as you may have assumed, people were hanging underwear and condoms on the finger. It is not believed that this has happened to the real Dickie. The council will elevate Dickie’s statue to make sure his wicket stays uncovered.

Fawad Ahmed, who is almost as popular as Dickie Bird despite the fact that no one hangs underwear on him, took 6 for 68 (a double Afridi) this week. They weren’t the best figures by an Australian legpinner this week, but they were the best figures by a Victorian legspinner.

If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com. Welcome back, Jesse, hopefully the world will shower you with 199 of whatever you’d like most.


Cricket news hurl: Zip-a-du-Pless-i

It’s not far from the M Chinnaswamy Stadium to the HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) Sports ground. But if you want to play for the Bangalore United Cricket Club, you’d have to make your way to the Old Airport Road for the game. It won’t be televised or tweeted about, and billions won’t live or die by the result. But there was Rahul Dravid, far from the Royal Rajasthan rampallions, just making a hundred in a Karnataka State Cricket Association Group 1, Division 2 match. Rumour has it, if you cut Rahul Dravid, he bleeds linseed oil.

With the amount of rain following Indian matches at the moment, Dravid’s next match might be a sellout. Despite the last match being washed out, Dhoni’s house was still stoned. Perhaps because throwing the stones at the clouds would have required an arm like Tom Moody. Australia lead 2-1 in that series, which should be cricket’s dullest scoreline, but Bangladesh and New Zealand’s 0-0 Test series was pretty dull. Especially when you include the fact that New Zealand’s warm-up match was also abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Luckily, and always, Pakistan saved the day. It was enough that they rode the Misbah to the top of the mountain to cut the head off the lion in the first Test. Beating South Africa once should have been enough to at least get the Misbah haters and fickle Pakistan fans to shut up for a minute, but instead they played the next Test. That turned out to be a big mistake. Misbah failed once in the whole series (no, two Tests is not really a series), and Pakistan gave up any chance of winning the series with a total of 99 runs. In the end, they lost by an innings and 92 runs, despite Misbah and Asad Shafiq trying to save their team in the second innings.

But even Misbah couldn’t steal the headlines in that innings (he became Dean Elgar’s first, and probably only, Test wicket). But Faf du Plessis’ zipper was the real star of the show. That is where du Plessis decided to “shine” the ball. The ball changed appearance, the umpires noticed, they replaced the ball, and a five-run penalty was imposed on South Africa, who were only a kabillion runs in front at that stage. Du Plessis has since pleaded guilty. GUILTY. And yet, all he received was a 50% fine of his match fee. That’s all. He was not beaten with copies of Wisden, not sacrificed on the altar of Lord’s, or even made to explain the spirit of cricket. He was given a 50% fine. The same fine Virat Kohli got for flipping the bird, Tamim Iqbal got for pushing Brendon McCullum, Stuart Broad got for showing dissent, and in the first Test of the series, Adnan Akmal and Robin Peterson got for gentle tussling.

Forget that, though, Harbhajan Singh was fined 15% (35% less, if that helps) by the ICC for having the wrong colour shoelaces. Other players have been suspended and vilified for tampering with a ball (despite the fact that every team in the world has done it one way or another). Du Plessis, GUILTY, received no ban, only a 50% fine, and a five-run penalty. He is being vilified on Youtube by the many videos of him “shining” the ball that the umpires had to replace. So far, no players have been suspended for having the wrong colour shoelaces.

If anyone was to be suspended for the wrong colour shoelaces, it would be Haroon Lorgat. General Haroon ended its current series with a bang when Cricket South Africa stood down/suspended/threw of a bridge (pick the one you prefer; CSA may not pick one) Haroon Lorgat at the wishes of the BCCI. Lorgat will not be representing CSA at the next ICC CEO meeting (the meeting where they suggest how to improve cricket before the chairmen disagree and do whatever they want anyway) and duties involving India’s tour. The series was also shortened/slashed/tightened to have only two tests. Lorgat will also be the subject of an ethics inquiry into his behaviour.

Hopefully, for his sake, the ethics committee looks into his recent behaviour as thoroughly as it did when the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations asked why their players had to vote more than once to get their representative on the board. Which was when BCCI-contracted commentator and close personal acquaintance of BCCI president Mr N Srinivasan, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, was voted into that position. You probably already knew that, but it’s fun to remember things like that in times like this.

Australian chairman Wally Edwards said this week that Australia made a mistake to discard Simon Katich. Edwards has said it just late enough for there to be nothing that can be done to save Katich’s career. Edwards has been chairman since 2011. Katich played his last Test in 2010. Edwards also said that even if Australia lost 5-0 in the next Ashes, James Sutherland would not lose his job. Australia lost their first home series since Justin Bieber was alive in 2008-09, when they were the No. 1 ranked Test team on earth. Since then, they have won one Champions Trophy, lost three straight Ashes, have had no major Test series wins, exited the World Cup in the quarter-finals, failed to defend the Champions Trophy, or win any World Twenty20 titles, and have dropped to five in the Test rankings. Of course, if Australia do lose 5-0, and West Indies draw or win in a Test against India, Australia will be ranked sixth in the world in Tests. But, to repeat, Sutherland’s position is safe. Katichaveraged nearly 50 in his last three years in Test cricket. His position was not safe.

Part of Sutherland’s success, and apparently bullet- and failure-proof exterior, is making Cricket Australia a lot of money, and that he takes big calls. For instance, when Cricket Australia decided not to run a slogan that the sponsor of the Western Australian Warriors wanted. The ad was to say, “Alcohol and sport don’t mix”, but Cricket Australia worried about other sponsors and made them pick another slogan. Brilliantly, when Queensland played Western Australia in the Ryobi Cup, it was officially a match between XXXX GOLD Queensland Bulls v Alcohol. Think again, Western Warriors.

Someone whose position was never safe was former Sri Lanka team manager Charith Senanayake, who this week decided to show just how unprofessional Sri Lankan cricket was, if there was anyone left who didn’t believe it was the case. On the Sri Lanka Cricket elections he was lovely and clear: “It’s not free and fair, and it’s politically influenced and manipulated. How can such a key position like the secretary’s post go uncontested?” The whole interview, onIsland Cricket, is nice. Nishantha Ranatunga, the man Senanayake believes had him fired, is the current secretary of SLC and the brother of World cup-winning Arjuna. He was also the secretary of the board at the same time he was CEO of the company Sri Lanka Cricket sold the TV rights too. I hope he didn’t drive too hard a bargain with himself.

If you’re too depressed to keep reading, watch the video of perhaps the most entertaining innings in the history of cricket . And the other where Queensland batsman Chris Lynn points out Yvonne Sampson, a TV host, behind him at a Ryobi Cup game   The camera finds her and then shows her simulating a sex act (the actual sex act described was actually a form of Dendrophilia, look it up). It was Cricket Australia who spent 800,000AUD on paying Channel 9 to broadcast this series, money well spent.

According to this article, Che Pujara is the eighth-best sporting stock on earth. “The man who took Rahul Dravid’s number three spot in the Indian order has already surpassed 200 runs in a single at-bat eight times in top-flight play, and soared over 300 thrice, an extraordinary feat (even if you don’t know test cricket from Jiminy Cricket)”. Don’t read that twice. Somehow this piece made news in India, but the best part is that there are four comments on the piece, (weirdly, two from the same guy). Two saying Kohli should have got picked. It proves one thing, forget cricket, what India really dominate is the comments sections of websites.

Not that all Indians are doing well. Ishant Sharma was embarrassed by James Faulkner for 30 match-losing runs in an over. Then an Indian dairy company, I’m not going to name them because they seem like ambulance-chasing meanies, released an ad that said, “Ishant, sharm hai kya?”, or for us English-only people, “Ishant, aren’t you ashamed?” No, he feels fine. He just lost a game against one of his country’s most hated rivals, live on TV, against a down-the-order slogger, where he was dacked (undies and all), in the cricket sense. No, he’s fine. He wants to reinterpret the entirety of Rogers and Hammerstein for a kids audience and broadcast it to the world. I hope they sold a lot of their dairy products.

Dan Christian, who may or may not be a fan of dairy, made 117 off 90 balls for Victoria. It was his highest List A score of his career. In 56 matches for South Australia and New South Wales, Christian never scored more than 100. He took six matches to do so for Victoria.

If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com. Dendrophilia is a special love of trees. A special love of Christmas trees is probably X-Dendrophilia, or some other latin.   


cricket news hurl: special Sachin supplement

Every now and then an event happens that is so momentous that the normal news hurl is almost forced to be about just that issue. But the thing is, when everyone in the world is writing about it, it seems silly to focus on it as well. Plus, it wouldn’t be honouring cricket properly if we just focused on one man, so instead we will not focus too much on perhaps one of the biggest things to ever happen to cricket. We will just say this: Steve Harmison, you will be missed.

Australia scored lots of runs against India in the only T20 of the series. India scored more. There are now seven ODIs to come. You know what they say about a seven-match ODI series: “make it stop, make it stop, MAKE IT STOP”.

Bangladesh are currently hosting New Zealand in a run fest. Both teams put on huge first-innings totals. To make the tedium even thicker it then started to rain. Late on the fifth day many alternative folk female singers sing with quirky voices about funny things that happened to them that weren’t that funny.

Bangladesh and New Zealand should ditch Test cricket and get with the future, the Vatican T20 league. Always ahead of the curve, the Catholic Church (our style guide says we can’t make religious jokes, so make up your own) have their own cricket teams, the Pontifical Urbaniana (could be made up, can’t be sure) won by a run. Now they want an entire league. Father Theordore Mascarenhas is the chair of their cricket board (the (BCCV, I hope) has described the whole venture as “a kind of inter-cultural dialogue”. They are already talking like cricket administrators. Hopefully they’ll have a logo and stop accrediting websites real soon.

The ICC has a new logo for its Test championship. You remember the Test Championship, the mystical creature that was crushed by the corporate Champions Trophy, which had been crushed by the lack of interest it had always created. The Test Championship logo looks like an apple being attacked by a sci-fi worm. If you don’t like it, it’s okay. Chances aren’t the Test Championship won’t happen anyway.

Something far more likely to happen was Kane Richardson running out a batsman from six inches away from the stumps. Instead he gave YouTube cricket fans something special. With six balls to go, seven runs needed, and only two wickets in hand, he performed the worst underarm throw anyone over the age of two has ever tried as the ball was passed straight back to him and the non-striker had over-committed and given up. The best part is his hand going one way, and the ball going another. The worst part was when South Australia lost.

It’s the sort of mistake you won’t see at the two-day National Cricket Fighting Championships in Beijing. This 1000-year old sport involves cock-fighting, but with crickets. It is also broadcast, so Cricket Australia, ECB and BCCI are probably working out a way they can claim ownership of it. Man Zhiguo, a truck driver who has been involved in the sport for more than 40 years said, “They never admit defeat, they have a fighting spirit, so we all like them.”

Irfan Pathan is not a cricket, but he also refuses to believe his best days are behind him, and as a sign of the new professionalism and money in cricket, he has hired a personal physio to follow him around. “Of course, having a personal physio will help me stay fit and strong. I know I will be the first cricketer to do so,” said the man who once sconned Mark Vermeulen and opened the batting at the WACA. I admire his professionalism and attention to his moneymaker, but it’s not true. Shane Watson owns a private hospital, physio clinic and hyperbaric chamber.

Another man involved with the medical community this week was KP, who sued and won substantial damages against Specsavers, an English glasses maker who designed an ad concept so simple and annoying it entered the modern vernacular. KP’s views on their tag line is unknown, but he didn’t like his picture appearing in this ads alongside the words “‘Bat tampering’ in the #Ashes? Apparently Hot Spot should have gone to Specsavers.”

In more bad news for Hotspot, it has been dropped for Ashes. It’s official, Hotspot is the most unloved thing in cricket since Rohit Sharma. Imagine a world where a sports body decided that TV technology was so good that they would use it to decide on key decisions in their sport. They didn’t test it for years, or even try it at the lower levels, and more importantly they wouldn’t pay for it either. We’re in beta for a system that is even unloved by the people who believe in it, and now key parts of the system are disappearing because the TV companies, who have already been fleeced until they are almost penniless, are being asked to pay for it. DRS needs the same marketing team who made the Champions Trophy less of a terrible mess to help them out.

Something else that people love or hate is quotas. And in South African domestic cricket that is what we now have. And not just quotas, but incentives for teams to play black African players. England had similar incentive schemes for counties to play young players. According to Haroon Lorgat (this does not count as General Haroon news), “These new requirements are incentive-based, not quota-based”. When the ECB tried its incentive-based schemes, Adrian Shankar faked his age and played for two counties despite a severe lack of talent.

Dilshan, a player who actually played in Sri Lanka, and didn’t fake it like Shankar, retired from Test cricket. Dilshan was a flop as a middle-order batsman but remade himself into a vicious opening batsman. My favourite memory was when his thumb was removed from its socket at Lord’s and he just kept batting. His retirement was so big it was covered by LA Times and New York Times, and Vinod Kamlbi said, “In my opinion, this means the end of Test cricket.” Or Kambli said that about Harmison, or someone else.

Another opening batsman who likes to biff the ball made the news when he was forced to attend club cricket games after missing one to go to the races. True or false, David Warner could get into trouble locked in a cube devised by a Canadian sci-fi director who had no access to the outside world. Rhetorical. Well done to Cricket Australia for their anti-suspension. This time, I am sure, David Warner truly learnt his lesson.

While Warner was forced to play cricket, Christchurch Metropolitan Cricket had to call off most of its midweek competition, according to stuff.co.nz. “There was a lot of rain and the grounds are very wet,” operations manager Mike Fisher said. You cannot argue with that logic.

Cricket Australia has been quick to respond to rumours that the Ryobi Cup will be played in Cameron White’s backyard. A statement that it released on Bebo, Orkut and MySpace said, “From the performance of the pitches, and the way Cameron is batting, it is clear that this tournament is already being played in Cameron’s backyard”. Cameron White was born and raised in Victoria.

If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com. Sachin Tendulkar has retired from Test cricket.

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cricket news hurl: the ICC fail to beat Afghanistan

Pravin Tambe is the sort of spinner Australia would pick, except he’s good. A 41-year-old not good enough for regional cricket sends his team into the final of a tournament we may forget in three years’ time, but for now is important enough to have Dwayne Bravo and Suresh Raina in it. Tambe has no written bio on ESPNcricinfo, but I’m working on his. So far all I have is “superawesomeolddude”. Tambe is the perfect start to a news hurl.

Although this column may have to change its name as cricket is no longer news if an interim order from the Indian Supreme Court becomes more than interim. The ongoing argument between Star India, backed up in court by the BCCI, and mobile cricket score providers and the website cricbuzz, is about Star India believing the exclusive rights it bought off the BCCI mean that no one else can make money from live cricket scores. If the Supreme Court upholds this decision, then cricket takes one major leap towards becoming something cricket boards can own. One day, if we are lucky, cricket will be an upsizable commodity we can get a groupon for.

Cricket did feel like news when millions watched, tweeted, called their friends, and even stopped strangers on the bus, thrusting their mobile devices with live cricket “product” on them, to say Afghanistan would be in the World Cup. Yes, that country with the fast bowlers, sloggers and the world’s best Hamid Hassan. It “truly proves the power of sport” and this win is “more than just sport” and also that “cricket is the only game where Afghanistan are any good, so if not this, they’d be useless at everything”.

Even the ICC was impressed, excited and sharing the Afghanistan love. John Harnden, the World Cup 2015 chief executive, said: “This is a major achievement for Afghanistan and we look forward to welcoming it to Australia and New Zealand in 2015.” But maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. Perhaps the years of cut-price bourbon and playing Galaga have taken a toll. Wasn’t it the ICC who didn’t want Associate nations in the World Cup in the first place? Didn’t it vote that only the ten Full Members (conveniently the ten who also vote) could play in the World Cup, before it was shamed into letting other countries in? Yes, that is exactly what happened. So Afghanistan has overcome a dreadful government and an invasion by the world’s superpower, and beaten a semi-finalist of the 2003 World Cup, but by far their most unlikely victory was the one over the meanest men (almost exclusively) on the planet – cricket administrators.

Not that they overcame people like Harden, or the underpaid, overworked soul who sent out the email. Those people get paid to work on the sport they love. Many of them have to work at the ICC headquarters in Dubai. And if that sounds glamorous, then you haven’t visited Sports City, the sort of place that wouldn’t change much if an apocalypse hit it. At night I’m sure vagabond demons stroll around their car park to feast on the late-shift workers.

The decision to oust Afghanistan would never be from those men and women, who love the game enough to risk life and limb in cricket’s headquarter-graveyard. No, the decision was made by the unpaid chairmen of the ten cricket boards. The real ICC. It’s as important as the distinction between the BCCI and India, or legspin and offspin. The real ICC makes those sort of decisions. If it were up to the real ICC, Afghanistan would not be in the World Cup. One day, if we are lucky, cricket will finally stop being a sport of Gentlemen v Players.

For now that seems unlikely, and the spat between Cricket South Africa’s CEO, Haroon Lorgat, and the BCCI continues with gusto. It’s now officially a soap opera. I have decided to call it General Haroon. This week on General Haroon, the BCCI wants to know who at the BCCI didn’t think it would be a problem if Haroon Lorgat was hired. That person is now in more trouble than Haroon is, if the Indian Express is to be trusted. According to the report, CSA can get back the Indian tour by selling that person out. The BCCI traitor is more important than Lorgat. Also on General Haroon, the BCCI secretary has said the BCCI is “waiting” to talk about whether India will travel to South Africa or not. Waiting on chairman Mr N Srinivasan’s Supreme Court (What percentage of Indian Supreme Court hearings are on cricket right now?) hearing on whether he can stay in the job, or just until Miley Cyrus’ next music video, we don’t know.

Former BCCI president Shashank Manohar said Srinivasan should not have run for the top job, and that other board members suggested to Manohar that he should run. He didn’t, so now he is lazily slagging off Srinivasan instead. These are the days of our BCCI.

With @altcricket back online, the BCCI should be more concerned with ridding the internet of costly copyright infractions. On Youtube, you can even watch an entire innings of the Champions League commentated on in Russian.

That should be the weirdest cricket story this week. But it turns out Samuel Beckett and Andre the Giant bonded over cricket, in France. King Cricket explains it well. “What do an Irish Nobel Prize winner and an oversized French 12-year-old of Bulgarian ancestry talk to each other about? Well, apparently they would spend all of their commutes talking about cricket.”

Saeed Ajmal and Dav Whatmore had an equally weird relationship when quotes from Ajmal seemed to suggest in pretty clear terms that Whatmore was overpaid and wasn’t much use as a coach due to the fact he couldn’t speak Urdu. Dav took to Twitter to say how disappointed he was. A short while later he tweeted that Ajmal had clarified and apologised. Whatmore accepted the apology and clarification but still doesn’t speak Urdu.

Shane Watson was much more direct when he ran through Brad Hodge’s knee with his head. Hodge will miss the final of the Champions League. Watson was also fined US$750 for swearing in that match. The two incidents were unrelated.

It certainly wasn’t as good a match as Sarfaraz Khan had for India Under-19s. At 15 years and 300 odd days, Sarfaraz is literally (not literally) 1/8th as old as Pravin Tambe. In that match against South Africa U-19, he made 67 off 58 balls and took 2 for 9. He is the new Sachin Tendulkar.

The old Sachin Tendulkar brought up his 50,009th run in List A, first-class and domestic T20 cricket. Most of them made in pads that looked like they had already seen 50,000 runs. It was a milestone that no one in the entire world had ever thought about before Sachin got to it. Sachin is one of the greats of cricket, the Godzilla of cricket. We should all really bow down to him. Hopefully one day he will score more runs than the great Graeme Hick, who, at 64,372 runs, is miles ahead of Sachin. Hick is the King Ghidorah of cricket. Don’t bother looking King Ghidorah up – he isn’t as good as his stats suggest.

“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’ I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.” This is probably what went through the minds of the ABC when they heard the new Cricket Australia radio deals. Waiting until after their season had begun, Cricket Australia is making the ABC share the Test rights, giving the Big Bash away 100% to another station, and asking the ABC to pay for Sheffield Shield rights. The first two must have hurt, but the third was a massive slap in the face for the broadcaster who has been commentating on cricket roughly 80 years, longer than twerking was a craze.

Perhaps Cricket Australia is just trying to bring in the billion-dollar radio deal for Sheffield Shield radio rights. The ABC might be upset by the fact that Cricket Australia is willing to pay Channel Nine A$800,000 to broadcast the Ryobi Cup while still trying to charge for the Shield radio rights.

This season Victoria is undefeated in the Champions League, Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup.

If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com. Unlike most soap stars, Lorgat has never been in a coma or slept with a sibling. But Lorgat has come back from the dead. Well, almost.


Cricket news hurl: cricket fixes it’s twitter problem

There should be a TV channel devoted to Jesse Ryder, Gary Wilson, Andre Russell and legspin. There isn’t. Cricket on TV is very limited. It’s actual cricket (which there is a lot of), the odd themed cricket show, and cricket on the news when it is seen as worthy. But this week there was no election coverage for the most important cricket event of the year.

It made the news and was talked about on the cricket-themed shows, although weirdly, not as much on the cricket itself. But what I’d have liked were hours of panel shows talking about Mr N Srinivasan’s history, potential spoilers to run for the top job, what the exit polls are saying, spirited discussions between Harsha Bhogle and Gideon Haigh with graphs and logos behind them. How, or if, @altcricket’s banning from Twitter was BCCI-related. And pictures of what exactly a third of the BCCI officials were wearing when Srinivasan took them to Mahabalipuram for their beach holiday.

That is how important I think the president of the BCCI is. But not everyone thinks like me. Jagmohan Dalmiya, Niranjan Shah, Arun Jaitley, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Anil Kumble did not turn up to the AGM. The person in charge of the BCCI is in charge of, in one way or another, at least 70% of the game’s wealth. The people are voting on who is the most powerful person in our sport, and some of them didn’t turn up. And unopposed, the king bullied his way back to the throne. Now he’ll fight a potentially bloodier battle with the Supreme Court to keep his seat.

But cricket administrators have more important things to do. It seems they are cleaning up Twitter, one rogue user at a time. When the popular account @altcricket was banned, people smelled a rat. And there still might be a rat, but there is more to the story as well. The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse is a website that collects legal complaints from the online world. @altcricket has had three warnings on his Twitter account for posting links to illegal streaming sites, the last one over a year ago. The three organisations to claim the copyright breaches are the BCCI, ECB and ICC. But digging deeper, even Cricket Australia has claimed breaches for similar offences.

A Durham-obsessed mum, a soprano and cricket nut, and people trying to help international cricketers have been reported. Every time Shane Warne tweets for a link to watch a cricket match, or that he can’t see a match, many more people get reported. One Twitter cricket lover even tweeted an illegal link directly to @bcci and @cricketicc.

All of these cricket lovers have tried to spread the game to their friends or people they like on Twitter, and have been caught up in million- and billion-dollar TV deals at the same time. The blog Deep Backward Point tried to explain the DMCA American law that allows rights holders to make these copyright claims. What the tweeters have done is no doubt dubious and obviously not legal (they don’t call it illegal streaming for ironic purposes), but they are trying to spread the game to people who often can’t watch it. Perhaps if cricket officials did more of that, and less of protecting what they already had, they wouldn’t need to worry as much about illegal streams.

Maybe they could spend less time checking Twitter and more time and money on independent enquiries into corrupt practices from the people who run the game. The DMCA law keeps fans in check, the ASCU looks for corruption in cricket, but the man in charge of the entire game can take people on a holiday before an important vote and blatantly lie about who owns an IPL franchise and still run for the job.

Ravi Bopara (no breaches on his record) recently tweeted Owais Shah’s retirement before it was announced. In fact, for a few days, it was the only announcement, “Congrats to Owais Shah on a GREAT first class career. Finished with a fine century today. 45 first class 100s & a great man. Will be missed.” It’s even possible that Shah wasn’t going to retire and Ravi pressured him into it. Neither men, nor two of Essex’s best bowlers played in their last game of the year when they still technically had a chance of promotion. While it was only a slim chance, it seemed an odd choice for a club that not that long ago had a young player sent to prison for fixing and another banned by the ECB. Instead came the news that Monty Panesar (no illegal links from him either) had been fined for “threatening behaviour”.

Navjot Sidhu threatened his own well-being when he said he was going fast until he died for the stalling of disbursement of development funds for his Amritsar constituency. The overly dramatic statement from the overly dramatic former Indian opener never eventuated, and he never even missed a meal as his political plea was heard.

Another former player who likes to talk a lot is Darren Lehmann. This time Lehmann turned on up on BBC radio to tell the world that England play dour cricket. Thank you, Boof, the rest of us had our eyes and ears removed when we were born and had no idea. Australia play far more attacking cricket than England, yet their collapse-to-win strategy somehow lost the Ashes series 3-0.

According to his Twitter account, you can now call Shahid Afridi. “Over now the surprise was that I have got a special no to interact with my fans for the first time. 03245100100.” I tried to call it, but it didn’t work. I was just going to ask if he had Misbah-ul-Haq’s phone number. Which could have gotten odd.

Not as odd as the 150-year-old Manningham Mills Cricket Club being expelled from the JCT600 Bradford Cricket League because it refused to pay a 75 quid fine for the late return of score sheets. There is also mention of a lack of a groundsman. But luckily, full-time celebrity and part-time politician George Galloway is on the case. “I don’t pretend to know all of the facts of this matter…” – when has that stopped a politician – “…nor am I saying the club has been blameless. There have been problems, particularly over the payment of fines, but as I understand it all of the money owed has been paid to the league.”

The club could also change their name and re-enter the league. Although they can’t use the name Young Boys Drugmulla as that is being used in the Drugmulla premier league cricket tournament in Kashmir. There are 22 sides registered to play, but only one is called the Young Boys Drugmulla if this report is to be trusted, and I really hope it is.

It was sadder news when after only two short years in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Eight West, the Haverhill IIIs have left the league. The club’s commercial director (I know), Greg Street, told the Havervill Echo: “I think it’s a bit of a shame, because it’s a good vehicle and platform for some of the younger players to play their cricket.” The good news is that the team will be running two teams in the Adams Harrison Midweek League.

Two players who have (probably) never heard of the Adams Harrison Midweek League are Andrew Strauss and Mike Hussey. Both these lovely men spoke out regarding their major recent controversies. Mike Hussey went out of his way to blame the Simon Katich choking incident on himself, which was odd. “He [Clarke] eventually got back and said it wasn’t my fault, don’t worry, he’d sort out his differences with Kato.” Wonder how Katich feels those differences were worked out. Hussey also doused the claims that he and Clarke had a falling-out on the night of his last Test. Yet the email about the incident seems stunningly accurate for large parts of it.

Strauss’ comments were about himself and KP from the South Africa series. They were not exactly sexy. He was disappointed, fair enough. KP got on his nerves. But I did like this bit, “He was alleged to have referred to me as a ‘doos’ — an Afrikaans word which means a ‘box’ but which in slang can have another more insulting meaning.” I was told once doos meant matchbox. Maybe KP meant that.

The extracts were part of marketing campaigns for upcoming books. Strauss’ appeared in the Daily Mail as a taster for his book, Driving Ambition. I’d say he was a better cutter than driver but Cutting Ambition might have put people off. Hussey has already used “driving” in the title of his book from six years ago, so this time his book, extracted in the Murdoch press, is called Underneath the Southern Cross. This is probably a reference to his love of amateur astrological studies.

Hussey played for Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League this week. The Victorian Bushrangers, Melbourne Green and Melbourne Red are still unbeaten in this year’s Champion’s League.

If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s cricket news hurl, emailcricketnewshurlatgmail.com. We claim copyright on every word used in this piece, but if something is factually inaccurate, it was added by the major cricket boards and their legal teams.


cricket news hurl – Enthusiastic crocodile pus ambassadors

Andre Russell took four wickets in four balls for West Indies A against India A. That is a double hat-trick, yet everyone calls it four wickets in four balls. It takes the magic away from it. Andre Russell does not have magic in his fingers; his fingers, hands, wrists and forearms are made of pure magic.

Mumbai Indians made even more magic this week when they unveiled their new hashtag for the Champions League. #ThisTimeFor10dulkar. They replaced “ten”, with 10, which shortened it by a character, and made it 104 times more annoying. It’s also unnecessarily didactic. As we are already doing everything for Sachin. Rock Hudson dedicated his performance in Seconds to Sachin. The ghost of a mischievous girl put a post box on the side of a bridge for Sachin. And I personally brush my teeth for Sachin every day, just in case I meet him.

The hashtag isn’t the only exciting thing from the IPL. Former ICC elite panel umpire Asad Rauf and current son-in-law and former Chennai Super Kings enthusiast Gurunath Meiyappan have both been charged in the IPL fixing case. It’s not great timing for Mr N Srinivasan as he tries to seek re-election as the chairman of the BCCI. There was also a court order restraining their special general meeting. There will be no cheerleaders in the CLT20 due to corruption (?) and morality concerns, unless the multi-year contracts cause trouble. And also an entire case coming back to life about IPL 2 and foreign-exchange regulations I wouldn’t pretend to understand. It’s all crumbling, and there may be no one to dance 25-second boring routines to cheer Srinivasan up.

There is also good news as Nike showed their new Indian shirts this week via a twitter campaign. Umesh Yadav and Ravi Ashwin both tweeted about it. Virat Kohli did not. It was only recently that Kohli and Nike were in the courts disagreeing over a contract. It was then that a Nike company statement said “The civil court had failed to appreciate that the company paid Mr. Kohli exorbitant sums of money under the contract, and has supported and nurtured him during his early days as a cricketer”. For some reason, the word nurtured makes me think of a young Kohli sucking at a sweatshop manufactured leather teat with a swoosh on it.

Virat Kohli is now the brand ambassador of India’s central paramilitary agency, the Border Security Force (BSF). He is their first brand ambassador. A better choice might have been Eileen Ash, who made the news this week because she is a 101 years old and still does yoga. She was also a former spy and Test cricketer. What a brand ambassador she could be. For pretty much anything. She can play a Test-quality cover drive and end a dissident’s life with a paperclip.

At the very least she could have been a brand ambassador for the Under-19 women of Kashmir who played in their first cricket tournament this week. The report talks of a keeper wearing hijab, and others wearing Australian cricket shirts. It doesn’t mention how good the keeper’s footwork was, or if the woman in the Australian shirt went out cheaply. It sounds pretty amazing and should have got more press.

Unfortunately it happened in the same week as the one when former Zimbabwe allrounder Guy Whittall slept in a bed with an eight-foot crocodile beneath him. Crocodiles beat hijab-wearing keepers. For most people, that would the toughest thing in their career. But Whittall played 46 Tests in a golden age of cricket with a batting average of 29 and a bowling average of 40. So a crocodile under the bed is probably better than facing Curtly Ambrose on any pitch ever. Being that Whittall has survived a crocodile and an Ambrose, he might qualify as the toughest guy on earth.

The players in Glasgow are getting a bit too tough, however. Glasgow cricket leagues are strengthening their dissent regulations as players have repeatedly given expletive-laden (the best kind of laden) rants to umpires. They are thinking of penalising teams for offences by taking runs off, or even yellow or red cards for the players involved. The third, and more expensive, option is to bring in DRS so players are far too confused to complain about anything.

At the SLC awards the hired entertainment did a satire skit to keep the audience amused through what would have otherwise been cricketers and cricket administrators giving dull speeches. They suggested using ARS (Audience Review System) to rig games and bring in money through SMS. They also made fun of Sanath Jayasuriya for, well, many things, but partially for when he was commentating and he said, “You can see the pus coming out”, when he meant soil. The audience laughed often. Jayasuriya did not, and has sent a letter to the SLC about how unhappy he is. You’d think he’d have more important things to worry about, being a politician and selector. Compared to Mahela Jayawardene, who was on a plane that was diverted due to a potential hijacking, being mocked seems kind of nothing. Jayasuriya’s character in the satire is a hapless politician who wore sneakers, and danced significantly better than Jayasuriya did on Indian TV. Jayasuriya would have been better off clapping politely and fake-laughing. When someone parodies you, you don’t make the news and become a bigger story. Because if you squeeze a parody, the soil comes out.

Jayasuriya’s old sparring partner Shane Warne made other headlines this weekend for this Twitter usage. Warne tweeted: “@ZodiacFacts Seriously,where do u get this crap from.Sum up a Virgo properly please & FYI also give us some interesting stuff, thankyou…” It was his most interesting tweet of the week.

Fellow Victorian David Hussey won the YB40 for Nottingamshire at Lord’s. Other non-Victorian Bushranger players were involved.

If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com. Always check under your bed for crocodiles or Gurunath Meiyappan.


cricket news hurl: Misbah does Halloween

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.

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Cricket news hurl: the honorary son in law

Jesse Ryder has knocked back money from women’s magazines to tell his story of the attack on him.

That’s nice, isn’t it?

I like to start with something nice, something upbeat and cheery.

Now that I’ve done that, let’s look at the IPL.

If royalty and small businesses have taught us anything, it’s that giving your family important jobs can be embarrassing.

Kim Il-sung ran the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 1948 until 1994. He was replaced by his son, Kim Jong-il, who lied about his golf game. He was then replaced by the grandson, Kim Jong-un, who is a fan of Keanu Reeves. Sometimes picking people because they are related to you by birth or marriage is not the best thing.

The other problem with having people who are related to you is that you can’t really deny being involved with them. Sure, you can suggest that a person is just an honorary part of management and not really involved with your team. You can change their Twitter profile so that they no longer have the title of “Team Principal” or are linked to your website. You can edit your website so that his name doesn’t appear anywhere. But you can’t edit out the link between a son and a father-in-law. It’s there, written on a marriage certificate.

You can’t even call him an honorary son-in-law.

When I clicked on the NDTV video, they had a pre-roll ad for the KFC family feast. Even the pre-rolls were mocking N Srinivasan.

According to Srinivasan, this is orchestrated pressure, and he has done nothing wrong. “I have done nothing wrong. If I have done something wrong that’s a different matter.” He will not be bulldozed, railroaded or cold-cocked into submission.

His son-in-law is a fully functioning human being, capable of doing his own thing, like holding the paddle up at IPL auctions. Srinivasan should not be blamed for any alleged crime his son-in-law may have committed.

But there will be a probe into this mess. And the probe will be run by the BCCI. Which Srinivasan runs. Into the Chennai Super Kings, which Srinivasan owns. Because of the former team principal, whom Srinivasan’s daughter is married to.

“I’m too straight, I follow the rules.” Srinivasan is being honest when he says this. Of course, he’s happy to change those rules to better suit himself. Until 2008 the BCCI had a constitution that said players, administrators, managers and team officials could not have direct or indirect commercial interests in any BCCI event or product.

If that rule was still enforced, Srinivasan wouldn’t be getting bulldozed right now, as he wouldn’t own an IPL team or have a son-in-law who was some part of its management.

And whether it was official (a Twitter bio is not official, I assume) or just a vague understanding, Gurunath believed he was part of CSK’s management. On Twitter he would tweet: “CSK team n management wishes Mike Hussey(mr Cricket) a very happy B day”, or talk about updates to the website: “We are updating the web site with latest pictures everyday. Hope all the CSK fans are liking it. Any special request can be sent to us.” Do honorary members of management really get involved with putting pictures on websites?

Gurunath also tweeted, “CSK wishes Mr and Mrs MS Dhoni a very happy anniversary. Have a great day and all the very best.” That is the same wife of MS Dhoni who was sitting in the CSK box next to the arrested Vindoo Dara Singh.

There are no photos of Srinivasan sharing his own box with Vindoo Dara Singh. As he says, “Everyone knows I do not, in fact, go to the CSK games.”

This all matters greatly because N Srinivasan is the most powerful man in cricket. This is not a bit of random boring cricket news. If Srinivasan falls (it’s a shame that 100-foot-high gold statue of him was never made), it will change the face of modern cricket.

Cricket politics can hit any level of cricket. Just this morning the Thorner Mexborough club of West Yorkshire was in a political crisis based on selection. NDTV has not yet interviewed former first-team captain David Hopps, but everyone knows he does not go to games.

Asad Rauf is also not going to games at the moment, after the ICC saw reports that the Mumbai police were conducting an investigation into Rauf’s activities. Rauf’s last claim to fame was having an attractive woman’s leg draped around him in an oft-googled image. Rauf has picked a good week to be mentioned in this scandal as he is not Srinivasan’s son-in-law.

Ireland picked a terrible week to snatch a last-ball tie with Pakistan. Kevin O’Brien smashed 84 off 47 and flicked the last ball of the game to the fence to tie the match. It was a tie, and not a draw, no matter what the Cricket Ireland social-media streams have told you. O’Brien seems to arrive out of nowhere every couple of years, smash a big nation everywhere, and then disappear again.

Despite innings like this, O’Brien has never got a call-up for an IPL franchise. And now it seems there is one less for him to play for, as Pune have said “BCCI as a sports body should have sportsmanship spirit” and “considering all the disgusted fact mentioned above now we would not keep the IPL franchisee even if the entire franchisee fee is waved off. It is firm and final decision of Sahara to withdraw from IPL.” Essentially it is about the franchise fee, and the egos of certain men, but what it means is that no matter how much the IPL wants to grow, its own infighting and nonsense don’t allow it to.

The women’s game is growing, however, and now Cricket Australia has taken the step to turn star players like Victoria’s Jess Cameron and other non-Victorian players into paid professional cricketers. It is a massive step forward in the game, and was probably inspired by how awesome Cameron was in the World Cup final.

If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. This article has less words in it than an average Lalit Modi tweet.


cricket news hurl: fixing old farts

There are some things a Jesse Ryder comeback can fix, and some he can’t. Jesse can fill your heart with butterflies and lollipops, but he can’t stop spot-fixing.

Neither can the ICC, nor the BCCI. Bruce Wayne and Frank Castle couldn’t stop it.

The BCCI and ICC aren’t police agencies. They don’t have a legal right to hack players’ phones. They can’t shout, “You’re under arrest, sugar” or break down a door. They are governing bodies who regulate which umpires stand in which match, and tell batsmen off for the size of their stickers.

The ICC is not Jimmy McNulty and Lester Freamon from The Wire. It writes press releases, organises tournaments and helps umpires with their mobile phone problems. The chances are its officials don’t know how to clone a pager, will never feel comfortable bugging an office, and would not handle being undercover all that well.

The only way to really find match-fixing is with stupid players. It’s the biggest chance cricket authorities have of finding fixers. Everything else is massively out of their world.

Unless you give the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit photos of text messages between a bookie and a player that included comments like, “Yes, I will spot-fix the 37th over, the go-ahead sign will be me wearing a bow tie and doing a cartwheel in my run, please have the war bonds in my safety deposit box by Tuesday”, it’s hard for the ASCU to be anything more than a blind hall monitor.

People are, at their core, inherently evil. You don’t have to see Andre Nel’s follow-through to understand this. And people like things.

So fixing will happen.

The IPL doesn’t need to be shut down, any more than Test or county cricket did when they were involved. Cricket just needs to keep accidentally uncovering fixing through third parties or general incompetence. We can all be suspicious at times, but unless they accidentally tweet their fixing, we probably won’t have much evidence.

Of course it isn’t just the fans who lose out. What about the poor advertisers who have placed their precious brand recognition in the hands of these players? Kent R-O Systems has withdrawn its ads featuring Sreesanth.

Shiv Sena, cricket’s favourite political party, has made statements about the IPL fixing case. Now, you could say, “Why?” But don’t, just read this.

“T20 may have given fame and money to many new players but it has also opened a new window of gambling and sex racket in the country. The Kauravas in the cricket are destroying an entire generation”. That was written an editorial in Saamna, a newspaper owned by the Sena. It added, “Cricket is no longer a gentleman’s game and has no connect with patriotism.”

Cricket is no longer a gentleman’s game, although, considering the laws were formed on betting, it would be safe to say the gentlemen loved a flutter themselves. Ted Pooley missed out on being England’s first wicketkeeper because he was in jail in Christchurch after being involved in a fight over a match he was betting on, and umpiring in. Although there is no evidence to say that Pooley was involved in opening a new window of a sex racket.

The PCB, probably not Shiv Sena’s favourite team, is doing what it can to stop the players from getting in a fix by employing a vigilance officer for the Champions Trophy. A vigilance officer will say things like, “Don’t put that jacket on”, “That man doesn’t need to know the weather conditions” and “All no-balls should be punished by jail time”. There is no human being who couldn’t do with a vigilance officer.

The umpires in the IPL were certainly vigilant when Yusuf Pathan was batting, and kicking. Pathan, who had dug out a yorker, was called through for a run and as the ball went straight towards the bowler, he decided to kick it away from Wayne Parnell. “I don’t think it was intentional,” is what the commentator said while Pathan’s foot opened up and dribbled the ball forward, away from the bowler to save himself. Only briefly, because shortly after, Pathan was given out obstructing the field.

Less vigilant, or maybe, who the hell can tell, was the person who needed to get the paperwork done for the new stands at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The Chennai Corporation sealed three stands in the stadium, saying the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association was yet to get planning permission and building approval. The stands were reopened for a sellout game but are now closed again. Being that Chennai is Mr Srinivasan’s personal playground, and his job is construction, it seems like someone is trying to embarrass or bother him.

I’m pleased to announce that Enville Cricket Club’s renovations will be going ahead, although club secretary Dave Thomas said, “It has been designed so the lounge can be built at a later date.”

A club cricket incident happened in the Bangladesh-Zimbabwe T20 this week. Zimbabwe won the match and their interim coach, Stephen Mangongo, pushed Natsai Mushangwe. Mangongo had asked Mushangwe to give a message to a batsman, but instead found Mushangwe having a meal. Mushwange, who was not eating Nandos, and Mangongo have known each other for years. But there must be a part of Mushwange, a young leggie, who is happy that Mangongo has not been given the role of head coach.

Another person who may not get a role in leadership anytime soon (sorry, David, please don’t abuse me) is David Warner. Tweeting from India well after a sensible time of night, Warner attacked cricket writer Robert Crash Craddock for being a jealous p****, talking shit and sucking up asses. Then when Malcolm Conn stepped in, Warner, much like his early innings against Dale Steyn, just kept swinging, telling Conn that no one buys his shit and described him as an old fart and a goose. It seems the one thing the IPL can’t fix is an old fart.

Cricket Australia says it is aware of comments made on Warner’s Twitter account overnight. “Cricket Australia is attempting to contact Warner and will continue to investigate the matter.” I’d hope they are aware, as the comments are still on Warner’s Twitter page.

It is not yet known if Warner’s nephew has access to his Twitter account.

Warner could have used his time more effectively by listening to the Caribbean Premier League’s anthem called “How We Play”. According to the official Youtube page, “The innovative mix is sure to spawn a new genre [writer Marlon] Chen calls ‘Caribbean Dance’ – a mix of Soca, dancehall and techno music.” I hope it does, because since “C’mon Aussie C’mon”, cricket anthems have been a bit uninspiring.

Someone who is never uninspiring is Victorian Glenn Maxwell. His brilliant late run of form for Mumbai Indians has been as inspiring as any anthem. In one over against Rajasthan Royals he scored over 15 runs on his own. The over was so good, news stations around the world have picked it up and continue to show it.

If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. Kimber combines the best elements of each genre and the result will inevitably make you want to get up and dance.


cricket news hurl: fast hair

There are people who think I just start each edition of the news hurl with Jesse Ryder in it for fun. They don’t see it as a public service announcement like I do. This week it is clearly a public service announcement, as I am telling you that if you bid on the “NEW ZEALAND Cricket JESSE RYDER Signed Bat Frame” on eBay, you will get a fake. It is not Jesse’s autograph, and the metal information plate says West Ham, and is upside down.

It’s this sort of exploiting of cricketers that cannot go on.

That is where the ECB is stepping in. This summer in the UK they have trademarked terms like “Ashes”, “Ashes Cricket 2013”, “Australian batting collapse” and “Stuart Broad’s tight groin”. The idea is to stop ambush marketing and protect the ECB’s IP. Much like they in the Olympics. Of course, ambush marketing is impossible to stop. If someone wants Michael Vaughan to be the face of a men’s nail polish line this summer, as long as the trademarked words aren’t used and the nail polish can find enough money to tempt Vaughan, they can exploit the Ashes fever even without the magic words.

Wasim Akram might be a better choice for a men’s beauty product. It was Akram who suggested Pakistani stylist Nabila Ahmed give a lecture to young fast bowlers about the importance of good hair. According to Akram, “a good hairstyle and good dress add to your confidence and it can play a very good role in giving someone much-needed confidence.” It would be easy to mock this, but as Michael Holding, Dennis Lillee, Kapil Dev and Keith Miller have shown us, good hair can make the fast bowler. But Glenn McGrath had a nerdy kindergarten haircut for most of his career, and even mulleted up un-ironically at times. So sometimes talent is also important.

Even with rubbish hair, McGrath was also “cool” enough to inspire SAFM radio host Michael Beveridge to get a tattoo in his honour.

It's not about the hair, it's abut the length.

It’s not about the hair, it’s about the length.

It’s fair to say that Michael Mason never had great confidence from an Akhtar-like flowing mane. But this week he had amazing news when a story of him being picked up by Kings XI Punjab as a replacement for Ryan Harris made headlines. Despite the phone calls Mason received, the tweets shocked at the news, and even reports that appeared everywhere, Mason was not picked. The player Kings XI actually signed was Michael Neser, a Queensland allrounder. Mason is still retired, even though he has played as many IPL matches this season as Glenn Maxwell.

The MCC announced plans this week for global domination by talking of pimping out their lair, Lord’s, into the world’s greatest everything. They have a 200-million quid plan, and a 36-minute Youtube video explaining it all. The only problem being that most of their members had not heard of Youtube, or the internet, and those who did find the video fell asleep a few minutes in. Lord’s will have an updated food area and robot stewards who will obliterate anyone caught on their mobile phone during a Test. A member suggestion to clone 200 Glenn Maxwells was voted down when no one knew what they would do with 200 Glenn Maxwells.

Maxwell’s Mumbai Indians, which they are never known as, will now not have to play their playoffs in Chennai and lose use of Lasith Malinga, after a stunning decision from the BCCI. All recent evidence suggested that the entire cricket world was to be moved to Chennai so that Mr N Srinivasan (his 100-foot-high gold statue is still under construction) wouldn’t have to leave his favourite city. The madness of an obviously unfair playing condition had gone on long enough, but if it had continued during the playoffs, any pretence of the IPL being a serious and fair tournament could be completely flushed down the toilet. The matches have been moved to Delhi.

Even with the unfair playing field, some people still take the IPL very seriously. One man took it far too seriously. During a particularly close match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils, an Englishman of 72 left the room, only to return to the room to see his wife had changed the channel. Rather than acting rationally and asking for the channel to be changed, he grabbed his wife and repeatedly told her he was going to kill her. The man was found guilty this week, made to pay a 100-quid fine and given a three-year good behaviour bond. Royal Challengers won the game in a Super Over.

This year is the 150th birth anniversary of the Diss Cricket Club (not made up). According to edp24.co.uk, this weekend, past members will all turn up to pose for an aerial photo. The playing group that Diss has constructed is also very impressive. “What really struck me last weekend was that we’ve got 11 players in the team who can bat very well and the majority of them can also bowl very well. It’s a remarkable set-up because we have all bases covered,” said club chairman Martin Fairweather. No wicketkeepers, though.

Rubel Hossain has the chicken pox. If he had better hair, he would not have got sick.

Another bowler with very stylish hair is Ryan Sidebottom. But there are two Ryan Sidebottoms. One from Yorkshire who is remembered for the natural perm and for yelling at his team-mates when they dropped a catch off him. And one who has a brother named Steele, and has just been awarded a contract with Victoria.

I hope future generations will inherit a world with more Ryan Sidebottoms and less fake Jesse Ryder merchandise.

If you’ve got anything you think should be in next week’s cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. This week we celebrate fifty years of One Day cricket, that’s a whole lot of boring middle overs.