Tag Archives: stuart clark

What a big day in cricket

There was a time when I tried to cover all the issues in cricket in my own way.

It’s good I don’t anymore as I think today would have killed me.

Warne being fined 50,000 benjamins for knocking an official who on his profile claims to have won a title on his own once is worth a post just so you can talk about how the lost 50Gs might mean some of his face goes back into a normal human facial structure. Although it could stop him from spending his spare 50 large on  cricket betting to make a few extra dollars on the way out, or, it could force his hand to make the money back.

Tony Greig has come out against India ruling the world.  Perhaps they didn’t grovel at his feet enough when he was involved in the rebel league and made out with some fat cash from the ICL.  Greig also called Lillee a bit of a fairy, which is rich from the guy who wore a postman helmet to face him.

Hansie Cronje is in the news again (I mean really, this guy gets more press than Princess Di or 2pac) now he’s winning the Siyabakhumbula Tribute Award.  This award means he’s changed the landscape of the country, I do hope that isn’t a meta joke about his plane crash. And if you’re disgusted by my behaviour on that last line, the devil made me do it, and now I’ve found God and shit.

Stuart Clark is retiring from cricket to become a cricket administrator, but still reserves the right to play if NSWales need him.  It’s a very similar situation to Michael Jordan’s role at the Washington BulletsWizards, except Stuart Clarke isn’t cool, and won’t sell many Sydney Sixers shirts. Clark also retired from international cricket in one of the least needed statements in human history.

Danish Kaneria can’t play for Pakistan because of being too close to the grift Mervyn Westfield is accused of. Zulqarnain Zully Q-Dawg Haider may also not be allowed to play for Pakistan because he didn’t want to be involved in a grift. “Wanna bet” is the most loaded innocent phrase you can say in the Pakistani changeroom right now. The PCB is like every coke addled bi-polar girlfriend you’ve ever been afraid of.  I expect my lawsuit is on the way, Ijaz?

Stuart Law called England the number 1 team in the world because Sri Lanka are playing them.  Managing expectations is only a press conference away.

Also, just for something different, some in the West Indies doesn’t like someone else in the West Indies.  It might not have been in the news, but I’m sure it’s accurate.

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The law firm of SRC

One day you are going to be in Sydney.

And for whatever reason you are going to need a lawyer.

When you arrive you’ll notice some cricket memorabilia in the foyer; you’ll spend a couple of minutes looking at it and wish that you were a rich lawyer who could afford signed cricket stuff.

While waiting in reception there will be plenty of sporting magazines and more memorabilia.

Eventually you will meet your lawyer, a young whippersnapper eager to please.

As she is attending to your business the senior partner will walk in and shake your hand and thank you for your business.

He will look familiar to you, but you won’t be able to work out who he is.

You’ll even ask, “Do I know you from somewhere?”

He’ll just laugh it off and say he has a familiar face.

When he leaves you’ll still be racking your brain when the lawyer helping you asks if you are a cricket fan, you nod offcourse, and she says, “Mr Clark played for Australia.”

It is only then that you realised you shook the hand of a test bowler who finished with a bowling average of 23.86.

You leave the law firm knowing your business is in safe hands.  The hands of a man who only got to play test cricket for less than four years but got every last wicket out of himself.

If Stuart Clark ever does end up as a Lawyer with a firm of his own, I would use his services.

The man has my respect, and now that he will never ever play for Australia again, I salute him for his career.

Well played, Mr Clark.

There is quite a bit of me talking about Stuart Clark’s “nip” in my new book.

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three from me

Rahul Dravid was so happy with my piece on him for cricinfo he cashed in again today.

Stuart Clark was so unhappy that i said his career was over on TWC, he has been telling everyone it isn’t since.

And in more important news, I am thinking of changing how I bowl legspin.

Oh, and while I am writing this link heavy post I might as well congratulate Tasmania’s Smooth Eddie Cowan for this double hundred today. Clearly he was inspired by Sehwag, even if he didn’t know it.

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Can a batsman lose his nip?

Australia have dropped Stuart Clark for the Dougie Bollinger.

Bollinger bowled very well in India, and Stuart Clark is 34 and out of fashion.

This year Clark has been selected for 2 of a possible 5 test matches.

In one of those matches he was a key figure, in the other one he struggled in the dust.

At 34 you can get dropped without too many questions being asked.

His two Ashes tests were obviously a golden handshake, and Hilditch is now shuffling Clark towards the door.

On his way out Clark has to go past where Mike Hussey’s desk is.

I wonder if Clark thinks he has more “nip” left than Hussey has runs?

They obviously aren’t fighting for the same spot, but they are the same age, and I think Clark would happily stack his record over the last 18 months up against Hussey’s, even (as people keep reminding me) if Hussey did have a great one day series against India.

Clark wasn’t allowed to even be a back up and prove he had “nip” in India.

Hussey was.

That could piss Clark off.

If I was he, I may be pointing to the fact that Hussey has a tendency to make ducks and leave balls that bowl him, and that might be the equivalent of losing your “nip” for a batsman.

Both men came to test cricket late, one had lost test form for 18 months, the other had a couple of months of injuries slowing him down, but is now fit.

It pays to be a batsman.

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The Case for Clark

N Hauritz.

Unlike any other 4th bowling option he builds pressure not releases it.

Marcus North can bowl 12 overs a day without a problem, and Katich and Clarke have hardly bowled.

Andrew McDonald is not even in England.

Australia’s only chance of winning this test is with an all seam attack.

Ponting does not see Hauritz as a strike bowler, Australia need 4 strike bowlers to take 20 wickets on a flat wicket.

The pitch will bounce, Clark is good with bounce.

If he plays Watson is far less likely to bowl.

The other 3 quicks seemed more comfortable with him around.

This might be his last tour, of anywhere.

I like to watch him bat.

Taking Hauritz is the defensive option.

I like using the phrase Glenn McGrath lite.

Who would Paul Collingwood (England’s third best batsman in the current squad) prefer to play.

Hauritz has bowled as well as I have ever seen him bowl in this series, Clark took 3 for 18 last test.

Stuart Clark dies his hair, this amuses me.

I said Australia couldn’t win a test with Hauritz in the team, so far the only test they have won was when he did not play, regardless of the pitch, I see no reason to change a winning team.

If Hauritz plays, takes 12 wickets, and spins Australia to victory I might spontaneously combust.

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Nip

Every Australian in the know I talked to about Stuart Clark told me he had lost his nip.

Bumble and Beefy obviously had the same information.

It was a rumour based on VERY solid information I was always told.

The perception was he was not quite quick enough to make his good line and length count anymore.

It was in quite a few papers, and it was hard to overlook.

Even his wickets in the warm up game didn’t seem to convince anyone.

Today he bowled at pretty much the pace he always had at test cricket.

And he took 3 for.

I’d say that he had his nip.

So who has been releasing the nip rumour?

I honestly don’t know whom, but my theory involves well-known names.

But more importantly, why?

Was it something that was said so that the South African tamers could be picked first, and then it got away from the person who first released it?

The rumour might have cost Australia the Ashes, and also probably didn’t help Clark’s bank balance or future career.

Perception quite quickly becomes reality.

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16 Reasons Why Australia Won’t Win The Ashes

Ricky Ponting

 

Let’s start at the top. Ponting runs the risk of becoming the first captain to lose the Ashes twice, and it is a very real risk of that happening. History shows that Ponting’s Aussies do not take defeat likely – witness their thrashings of both England and South Africa after losing to them – but this also shows that they are intent on learning things the hard way. If you can only outsmart Graeme Smith by losing to him, there’s something wrong somewhere in your brain.

 

There’s no doubt that Ponting the Batsman has improved over the last four years, but Ponting the Captain does not seem to have moved on at all. He’s up against a leader more cerebral than either Smith* or Michael Vaughan and this time he doesn’t have a side full of experienced lieutenants to help him out. Moreover, he’s the only member of the Aussie top order who can be relied upon to make runs during this series; even for a scrapper like Ponting, that’s a heavy weight to bear on top of everything else.

 

Michael Clarke

 

Australia’s worst nightmare has to be that Ponting gets injured and Clarke takes over the captaincy. If ever a player failed to live up to his early promise, it’s this guy. The ‘Pup’ nickname hangs around his neck like a leaden dog tag and, no matter how many runs he scores, he never seems to be truly comfortable at the crease. His increasingly anodyne left arm spin means that he cannot truly be regarded as a bowling option in Test cricket. As the changing hairstyles show, he seems to be a man still trying to find his role within the side.

 

Phillip Hughes

 

Burst onto the scene against a South African side who had hardly seen any footage of him and scored plenty of runs against an attack somewhat lacking in either brains or guile. Even so, he showed some weakness against the rising ball bowled from around the wicket and moving into him. England’s attack might not be as pacy as the South Africans’, but Broad and Anderson certainly have more wit about their bowling than Steyn, Nel and Ntini and Flintoff specialises in the sort of ball Hughes has trouble with.

 

Moreover, whilst he has been scoring a truckload of runs whilst playing for Middlesex, he will find an English Test attack in English conditions a very different proposition to a popgun Division Two one, especially as he will have provided hours of footage for England to analyse. Indeed, a conspiracy theorist might suggest that county attacks had been told to keep him at the crease for as long as possible.

 

Simon Katich

 

The most surprising survivor of the 2005 side, Katich reinvented himself as an attacking opening bat to win back his place in the side. The suspicion remains that the technical defects exploited by England four years ago remain and will be even more exposed against the new ball than the old one. The fact that his famously volcanic temper seems to have worsened over the intervening four years won’t have helped and the stress of an Ashes series is likely to provoke at least one flashpoint during the summer. That his left arm wrist spin is now an even more effective weapon could actually act against the Aussies, as the lack of other spin bowling options could force them to retain him even if he does hit a bad run of form.

 

Mike Hussey

 

Mr Cricket is in the worst run of form of his career. Whilst he could conceivably come out of it before the Ashes begin, it is hard to see how five months with no first class cricket at all will assist. His performances against South Africa this winter suggest that he may have lost his nerve against quality fast bowling.

 

Marcus North

 

As well as having to deal with the tensions of a first Ashes series, North now has to prove that he is worthy of the number six spot over and above the missing Andrew Symonds. Has plenty of experience of English conditions, but again has only played in the second division here. Another who will probably rely upon his bowling to retain his place.

 

Andrew McDonald

 

Probably the luckiest man to be on this tour. Has yet to convince anyone other than the Aussie selectors that he is Test class. As a rule, gingers aren’t.

 

Shane Watson

 

Has shown occasional flashes of being able to play at this level. Problem is that, any time he hits a good vein of form, he gets injured. It is as if there is some kind of horrendous curse on the man. When asked why he had been selected, Andrew Hilditch didn’t seem to know. Which doesn’t exactly bode well.

 

Brad Haddin

 

Iron gloves, dubious morals and has only had one decent run of scores at Test level. Basically, not Adam Gilchrist on so many levels. Even allowing for the fact that he had a hard act to follow, is not likely to frighten any international attack and batsmen will always feel comfortable with him standing up to the stumps.

 

Graham Manou

 

Not even Brad Haddin.

 

Mitchell Johnson

 

Frustratingly inconsistent, he has the ability to damage any batting order with the ball and demoralise bowling attacks with his late order hitting. However, still seems equally likely to get carted around the park with the ball and to be dismissed cheaply. The latter calls into question his credentials as a Test match number eight. Basically, until he learns some self control, he’s not going to be the threat he should be.

 

Brett Lee

 

Will the real Brett Lee please stand up. He seemed to be rising to the challenge of leading the attack in place of McGrath, even during the 2005 Ashes. But once Pigeon was gone for good, he lost form, got injured and the cycle just seemed to repeat itself. His overall statistics haven’t altered much, but it is hard to see how he is going to be the same player that he was four years ago after so much time away from the game.

 

Peter Siddle

 

His record against South Africa cannot be ignored, but neither the fact that the bulk of his Test wickets have come in hot, dry conditions. Will only be a serious contender on this tour if the summer is unusually warm, especially as he has never played in England before.

 

Stuart Clark

 

Like Lee, coming back from a serious injury. Hard, therefore, to see him starting in the Cardiff Test, which will then deprive Australia of their most potent bowling threat in English conditions.

 

Nathan Hauritz

 

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

 

 

 

In short. The Aussies aren’t going to win the Ashes, England are going to have to lose them.

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another one

Australia has had real trouble with filling the massive shoes of Brett Geeves.

Brett Lee was overlooked.

Stuart Clark couldn’t make it on time.

So now the angry man harwood is going over.

Will Australia ever recover from the hole Geeves has created.

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Brett’s plan fails

Australia had decided to overlook the man training with him, Brett Lee, and gone for Stuart Clark.

Someone who wasn’t even selected for the middle eastern jaunt against Pakistan.

I tried to think long and hard about what this means, but then i got a headache and gave up.

Stuart Clark was surprised too, he had to apply for a new passport, as his other one was in the hands of the british consulate waiting for his Visa to play for Kent.

Brett Lee always keeps his passport with him.

Always.

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Kent signs the proctologist

Stuart Clark is going to get eased back into competitive cricket with a stint down at Canterbury.

It was nice of Kent, the club who hates helping South Africa, has decided to help out Australia for its Ashes warm ups.

With no first class cricket in Australia, there would have been no way for Clark to get his groove on.

But a nice little trundle with a division 2 team is just the ticket.

Thanks Kent.

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