Tag Archives: graeme swann

the last day

The last day of a Test Match is often like a town that has lost its main industry. The structure is still the same, but the town has that eerie walking-dead feel to it. There are many reasons why people don’t come, but they’re all nonsense. It’s massively underpopulated, better seats are available, you don’t have to line up for food as long, it’s cheaper and you’re guaranteed to see the end of the match. I’ve been lucky over the years, I’ve seen a Warne hat-trick, an incredible Kallis hundred, and Freddie Flintoff bowl Australia out in one match and throw them out in another.

The best part is often not even the cricket. The last day is your chance to see a carnival atmosphere at a Test match. Everyone from the players to the security guards are more relaxed. Things are being packed up, players mingle with fans and weirdness can happen.

On day five at Galle, I ended up being given a beer by the president of the SLC, was cheered on for my suits by the Sri Lankan support staff and walked past the trucks that were clearing out the toilets.

On day five at the P Sara, I listened to a conversation.

 

Now I’m well aware that this conversation may not have interested everyone, but when Suraj Randiv and Graeme Swann found each other out on the ground, I knew what they were talking about. You could tell by their hands that it was nerd spin talk.

To get close enough to hear I had to push through the crowd who were holding up English kit that had been thrown to them by the players, police officers who were standing there without really doing anything and the throng of people trying to take photos of Swann. I got as close to Randiv and Swann as the massive English security officer would let me. Then I had to block out the many fans who were planning to get something signed the minute the conversation ended.

The first bits I heard where Swann talking about wrist position. My persistence had paid off. For the next three minutes I was listening to a spin bowling masterclass. Randiv had clearly asked Swann about his action and whether he imparted too much over-spin on the ball. Swann explained his own action, and suggested that too much over-spin wasn’t a problem for Randiv as he still ragged it.

Wrists, fingers, arm height and follow through were all discussed as Randiv, and I, listened intently. Randiv, Swanny’s Padawan learner, and me, the lucky eavesdropper.

The conversation ended with Swanny being very complimentary to Randiv about his bowling. He never said ‘attaboy’, but it was one of those sorts of conversations. I assume it boosted Randiv; even I was ready to hit the nets and try a few offies to see if Swann’s words could help me. And I’m a leggie.

The last day of a Test, whether it be the third, fourth or fifth day, can contain a nugget or two of magic, on or off the pitch, during or after the game.

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India are world champions for eternity: even American Christians love India

The world will end tomorrow, or today, or a few days ago depending on when you read this (that’s a trick line, because you’ll already be dead).

It’s rapture time. Or as these particular weird fucked up group of bible masturbators say, “Blow the trumpet, warn the people!” Which sounds like you are warning people before you fellate them.

The nut in charge has predicted the coming of a second Jesus before, and got it wrong. So he’s due.

And what does this mean?

The Christian Fundamentalist God loves India.

Perhaps because of Sachin, or even Sehwagology. Perhaps God was holding off hoping Americans would stop fighting over birth certificates and creating laugh track TV shows long enough to become the best team in the world, and when he saw that wouldn’t happen, he merely picked the new America, India.

We’ll never know for sure, as we aint going upstairs to get a meeting with the Male Homophobic Christian Fundamentalist God. We’re all dirty sinners here; you’re probably masturbating right now, or applying peanut butter and calling your dog.

While you do that, God has chosen the first time in human history that India are the best side in cricket to end the world. Perhaps Sehwag’s batting really did cause the apocalypse?

After May 21 they may not be. Players retire, get injured, lose form or sleep with the coach’s wife, but right now India are the best, and they’re going out as number one.

Sure, we may be able to play cricket in hell, but you just know they’ll be nothing in the pitches for bowlers. And can cricket really survive with a fourth version of cricket, Dante cricket?

Ofcourse, cricket (and less so the world) ending now is not all good news.

We’ll never Simon Katich knife Michael Clarke after he runs him out.

The Hashim Amla sex tapes will remain unwatched.

Runako Morton will never scream can you dig it at a baying crowd of street thugs in matching outfits in his unofficial role as king of the gangs.

The leader of the UN will never be Kumar Sangakkara, and he’ll never be rich enough to own the rights to the back catalogue of Billy Ocean or Hank Williams.

The cyborg that Martin Crowe created (just because he had a spare Sunday afternoon) to hold his brain will never get a chance to take 5000 test wickets.

It’s a shame because the world would have loved Mushtafiqur Rahim’s novelty dub hit, “I should be so Lucky”.

Salman Butt doesn’t have the chance to find Jesus, become popular on a celebrity dancing show or rebuild his name by getting cancer.

England will never get a chance to see Graeme Swann hosting retro 1950s game shows.

It ends all hopes that Kevin O’Brien did of doing something that people remember him by without stupid hair.

And the UDRS will always remain shit.

What will happen is that India will remain the eternal champions of the world as we all burn in the Christian Fundamentalist Hell.

The real shame is not that we’ll miss the stuff above or that India are number 1 for ever (which isn’t a shame if you’re Indian, although you’ll be in hell, so hard to celebrate too much) it’s that we all know Tony Greig will be down there commenting on all our torture. Blow by blow. Getting the details wrong, calling Sri Lankans little, talking about the broad shoulders of some blonde 19 year old, and generally making hell, hell.

Sehwagology saves.

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The cricket film of the decade

Directed by Darren Aronofsky, edited by Ceci, starring Graeme Swann as Natalie Portman.

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balls profile: graeme swann

It is hard to believe that the coolest spinner in test cricket is an off spinner from England; we have clearly reached the end times. Swann is a lovable tosser, although not a fan of London accented Pakistanis. He has no magic tricks as a spinner; he doesn’t invent new deliveries or experiment too much. Although, if he did tricks, he could hide them behind his massive chin. Swann bowls a lot of good balls and works batsmen over using his brain even more than his fingers. Gets good spin, yet is not averse to bowling more full tosses than a club leg spinner on a bad day. Once travelled home drunk to save a pussy. Can bat, although not in the all rounder sense, more like a smashed cowboy riding a bull. Was once in a band. Got punched on his first test tour, by a teammate. I think he imagines that every time he goes out on the field women are throwing their underwear at him, this is yet to actually happen to him.

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Separated At Birth

There comes a time in every parent’s life when the realisation hits that – horror of horrors – your offspring has different tastes to you.

Specifically, they want to watch different things than you when the television is on. Which is particularly annoying when you are trying to concentrate upon England blowing yet another series lead with a batting display slightly less spineless than a jellyfish.

However, there are times when this can be enlightening. For example, the other day I was being forced to endure another half hour of the antics of an improbably concientious construction worker when I noticed something. Is that who I think it is? Could it really be? It certainly is. Graeme Swann’s long lost youngest brother!

Look – the same grin, the same arms-aloft appeal and, of course, the same chin.

Graeme Swann appeals for another LBW

Graeme Swann appeals for another LBW

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Twittering Tim loses it

@UKNOB I think he would look better with an afro

Have now added the image as a major English newspaper is going to show it tomorrow. But you must admit, that while making a photo of someone being fat and then sending it to them is stupid, the photo shop skills are there to see.

Recently Tim Bresnan started tweeting.

Realising that I know very little about the guy other than the fact he doesn’t tuck his shirt in when he comes in to bowl I decided to follow.

Mostly his tweets are part of a three way conversation with Swanny and Jimmy.

When I say conversation I mean a three way sniping session at each other.

I don’t follow Jimmy, but Swanny can’t go a tweet without bagging Bresnan’s curvy nature, poor Samit Patel.

Bresnan calls Swann and Jimmy the dipshit brothers, and referred to buying a joke book or personality for Jimmy.

It is just three mates taking the piss.

Then people started putting photoshop photos of Tim up.

His favourite was one by Mel who comments here. Tim loved it.

Another one drew this comment:

@DarranGoulder don’t mind my mates dishing it out but who the fuck are you.Crawl out off your mums basement U KNOB”

The photo in question was one of Tim Bresnan as a slightly larger than life character. It was excellent photoshop work, but Tim probably wasn’t expecting someone to send him a photo of him as a digitally altered fatty.

What I liked about the whole episode was the rage Bresnan showed.

There was no Phil Hughes’ manager and IT worker tweeting, this was Tim being pissed off.

The problem with opening yourself up to this public conversation is that if your mates call you fat, your twitter followers are going to do the same and there is a chance that people will question your overall fitness.

Sure it was an over the line photo, but when you see Swanny tweet after tweet say that Bresnan is fat, you get the feeling that he can handle it.

I’d suggest by the fact the tweet finished with a capitalisation of U KNOB, he can’t. Which is fair enough, but he has opened this up, not Darran Goulder who has too much time on his hands and a better than average grasp of photo shop.

Will be interesting to see if the three are allowed to continue their banter* by the ECB especially if they react badly to criticism of their performance.

Having dealt with the ECB I’d say they frown on the phrase U KNOB, capitalised or not.

*By banter I mean Swanny calling Bresnan a fat cunt, saying he eats a 100 sausages or a whole cake, and that he gets violent when the donuts are all gone.

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Gonna Be A Big Day

OK, so today might just be the day that decides the Ashes. It’s a bit unlikely with two matches still to go, but an England win would make it very hard for Australia to retain the urn, an Australian win pretty hard for England to win it back.

The whole boring ‘team’ thing aside, though, there are some fascinating individuals for whom today could be a Very Big Day indeed.

Shane Watson – I’m bored of writing about him now, but an early dismissal this morning and he’s going to have to do some good work with the ball to avoid the experiment of opening with him coming to an end after one Test. He’s scored runs, but he’s looked like an ODI opener trying to play the same way in the longer game. And his pie-chucking yesterday doesn’t inspire confidence as a bowler, either. Needs both runs and wickets today.

Michael Hussey – Almost had the same brainstorm yesterday evening that he had in the first innings. Must know that he is one more lapse of concentration away from losing his place.

Mitchell Johnson – Brett’s fit again. Need I say more?

Nathan Hauritz – Assuming the Aussies have to bowl again, can he turn it like Swanny was yesterday, or will he again look like a nervously excited schoolboy who’s been inexplicably invited to play with the grownups?

Stuart Broad – One good bowling spell does not make a summer. His 50 yesterday could not have been more timely, but he needs wickets and lots of them today, because his bowling so far in this series has been as short of Test class as my writing is of Gideon Haigh’s.

Graeme Swann – On a pitch turning square, he should by rights run through Australia. Of the 8 remaining wickets, 3 are left handers, one a debutant and one Ben Hospitalpass. Time for him to show that he’s as good as he thinks he is.

And yes, I could’ve mentioned Bell, Cook, Bopara and even Collingwood, but when England bat it is going to be a run chase and some of the England side are actually quite good at that sort of thing. In a slogathon, I don’t think you can judge anyone’s suitability as a Test batsman.

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Swannie on top form

Not his bowling, that is rubbish.

RUBBISH.

I mean with this interview.

It should be shown to all professional atheletes, although if Montybot tried to to this his head would explode.

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Nathan; a sword, a mop

The English commentators were excited every time the ball spun on day one.

All three balls that did elicited yelps of orgasmic delight.

At other times they were happy enough to just say the ball was spinning when it wasn’t.

They were talking up Swann and Monty and talking about how they would be hard to play on the last day.

That might still be true, but today, only one spinner got scary spin, and that was Australia’s twelfth man for the rest of the series.

He got serious turn like turn to Graeme Swann.

Swann and Anderson still batted against him like you would against the slowest bowler in your class. 

Jimmy Anderson even shipped out an awful attempt at a reverse sweep (similar to the one I tried off Suave in the charity game).

When Hauritz cleaned up the tail (well they cleaned themselves up, yesterday he was the sword, today he was mop) it was only about 25 minutes later that Graeme Swann was on.

Swann did out bowl Hauritz in almost every sense of the word, but there was no spin and no batsman treating him like a net bowler.

Montybot was much the same.

They might still end the game well, but right now they seem amazingly playable.

Hauritz has bowled 24 overs, for 3 wickets.

Swann and Montybot have toiled for 31 overs for no joy.

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Mass Deaths at Lord’s

Breaking News

465 Lord’s members have just died.

465 simultaneous heart attacks.

The event that triggered this was Graeme Swann opening the bowling.

A move so shocking, and ill conceived that the old grey army in the Long Room just started dropping like flies.

Lord Bubblefardt, Lords’ chief head wobbler, had this to say:

“We have no problem with revolutionary captaincy, as long as it is tabled, a committee has passed it, and all of our members have received written conformation of said action. This sort of ‘on the fly twaddle’ is just not cricket. People have died. Important people. These weren’t football yobs slammed into a fence; these were pillars of the community, every one of them resplendent in jacket and tie. This is just not cricket.”

The ECB has already formed a taskforce to look into this massive tragedy.

The new team of Flower and Strauss will have a lot of questions to answer.

Moments before the deaths happened, Sky received several phone calls complaining of a “tut tut” sound in the effects mics.

As of yet, they two incidences have not been linked.

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