Waugh votes Australia. Lever votes England.

I find it amazing how The Ashes can stir up such debate. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen England win an Ashes series. I cannot even imagine the feeling of winning the Ashes – it would almost certainly be the highlight of my year, whenever that year happens to pass. And yet, every series – without exception – every cricketing pundit questions whether England are strong enough; whether Australia are too old; whether England might, just might, sneak this one. It’s testament to a truly great cricketing rivalry of one of the oldest sporting contests.

So – 150 days to go until it starts. That’s half a year, give or take 65 days. And Mark Waugh and Peter Lever are offering their (rather predictable) opinions on the possible outcome

From my perspective, I’m quite relaxed about England’s chances. We will not win unless Harmison is at his best. It’s that simple. Hoggard will have 2 good Tests, at most – he’s a workhorse, a fine bowler, but not a leader. Harmison has rare ability – no one in the world generates the bounce from a good length like he does – so it’s really all down to him. No pressure mate – and it’s not like he’s good at handling the pressure, is it? The key is in England’s bowling performances in Australia’s first innings – they need to take those 50 wickets (5 Tests x 10 wickets) cheaply and quickly.

And I promise not to post my predictions of the outcome each day here :) Boring, even for me…

RIP 50-over ODIs?

2020

I’ve read a lot of discussion and articles on 20/20 lately, some suggesting this be the end of the “traditional” 50 over ODI format. I can’t see this happening myself, but I’m sure the effects of the Twenty Twenty game will creep into ODIs and, eventually, Tests. We’ve already witnessed teams, led by Australia, score quite comfortably at 4/over in the past 3 or 4 years – is it too outlandish to suggest 3/over is sluggish, nowadays? – and I doubt this “average scoring” will increase much in the next 3.

  • England were bowled out for 190 in the first ever ODI, hitting only seven boundaries in 39.4 overs – with each over comprising eight deliveries
  • Australia won comfortably by five wickets, but their top scorer Ian Chappell took 103 balls to make 60

But…Twenty Twenty, for all its gimmicks and tackiness, does stretch players’ capabilities; they have to invent new shots, be more creative in shot-placements and the “drive” (pardon the pun) to hit boundaries is now even stronger. It is these “mentalities” that could creep into the other forms of cricket if 20/20 continues to be played. Having said all that, and if I’m still blogging in 5 years, I might well have to eat my hat as we watch England score 500 in a day v Australia on day 1 of an Ashes series :)

Much debate on Twenty Twenty here. Perhaps my biggest fear or annoyance is how Twenty Twenty makes Cricket even more of a batsman’s game than ever before….

Jonty supports Pietersen

This is old news but I forgot to post it. Jonty, in India doing promotional work (for what? Not SA Cricket, surely!), remarks on Pietersen and why he supports his decision to leave South Africa for England.

Let’s podcast – a cricket radio show

SkypeI had this idea a few weeks ago, but have only started writing it down today. Podcasting, as you’ll know, is really taking off – for those not familiar, Podcasting is basically amateur radio on the internet. (good article explaining it here). There are hundreds of topics, and people, Podcasting – but no one’s doing a cricket one. Yet.

So – how about this? Once a month (or more/less often) we (the global cricket-blogging-community, henceforth known as crogunity) could “meet up” via Skype and talk about the month’s events, or the recent matches or anything else “cricketly topical.” I, or someone else, could chair the “event” and fire questions to Australia, England, India – it would be a worldwide cricket radio show and would be fascinating (for us, if not anyone else!)

It wouldn’t be too similar to many of the Podcasts out there (a good thing) and could produce some lively and interesting debate. If anyone has any thoughts on this, then…chat away

The Kevin Pietersen bandwagon

This isn’t the “exciting” post I mentioned in my previous post, far from it in fact. But it’s interesting and noteworthy nonetheless. I stumbled across KevinPietersen.com, a site glittering with praise (unsuprisingly I suppose – it’s “his” site after all!). Get a load of this:

“Who needs James Bond when you can watch Kevin Pietersen” – The Times

“Extraordinary…..Exceptional” – The Daily Mail

“Fantastic to watch” – The Sun

Blimey. Interestingly, the company behind the site (Mission Sports Management) is chaired by a Mr Ian Botham. And another company involved (it’s hard to understand sports management and consultancy companies) is Woodworm, bat makers for Flintoff and others. I suspect Woodworm are chuffed to balls to have another big-hitter like Pietersen on their books. Their site has a couple of longish clips of Flintoff; one of the making of his bat and another a preview of his DVD.

New site design

OK – due to laziness, I’ve grabbed a theme from another site (link at bottom of page) so hopefully it’s compatible with IE users (grr) and Firefox users (hurrah). Promise I’ll get everyone’s links back soon, but in the meantime I have a very exciting idea which I’ll write about after a cuppa.

What is it about feuding cricket countries?

What is it about cricketing countries feuding and fighting in the stands? Ponting’s concerned about the lack of security following some near misses by some missiles thrown by Kiwi fans at his players. And this isn’t the first time either. I can’t remember it happening to England very often, apart from Ambrose and Walsh’s lethal missiles in That Test Which Was Abandoned.

Gratuitous request for presents

It’ll be my birthday on 28th of this month – my 23rd – so if any of you kind, generous, wonderful readers would like to buy me something, feel free :)

Upgrade complete

OK so the upgrade has completed, at long last (not nearly as pain free as I thought it’d be). As you can see, my old design has gone for the time being, as it won’t work with the new upgrade. I’ll get all the links back soon.

Lack of posts

Job hunting takes a lot of bloody time and effort – hence my lack of posts. I’ve also got to upgrade WordPress (new release) and somehow work out why this site doesn’t work in Internet Explorer. So it’ll be down for a while at the weekend