Pietersen isn’t Hick

Vic Marks writes an interesting piece on the parallels, or lack of, between Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Hick.

Pietersen probably does not see it like that at the moment – he has the tattoo to prove otherwise. In any case, he barely has time to think in this helter-skelter summer. For the moment his accent, his haircut, his thoroughly unEnglish brashness don’t matter a jot – provided he can keep scoring runs against Australia.

England announce unchanged squad

UPDATE: August 1, Paul Collingwood has been called up.

Thank God. As Atherton says this morning, England must keep the faith, and by naming an unchanged squad they’re demonstrating that they’re not panicking (Mr Mannering). There really wasn’t much point in naming Collingwood (he would have been the only possible inclusion) over Giles, yet.

I refuse to be downbeat. A company phoned me (6 times) last week, and I eventually rang them back to tell them where to go, after they refused to leave a voicemail. The girl who answered was very chatty, and after establishing what the company wanted from me, our thoughts turned to cricket (as they do). She too was a fan, and her words are still echoing in my ears: “It’s one nil, not 3 nil. We can still win the Ashes”

As Atherton, again, says today:

Like Bull, I’m instinctively inclined to have more faith in this England team. Their achievements and recent record demand that – at least for a little while longer.

Cricinfo has some quotes and words.

Cricket in the Himalayas

Cricket in Himalaya

Photo taken by nord. @ Flickr.com.

Cricket in the Himalayas, found on Flickr. Shame it’s cropped so tight – would be great to see the batsman and stumps.

55 from one over

A 16 year-old, Alex Hales, has hit 55 from one over, to seal a win for his side. WG Grace XI needed 77 from two overs – and they succeeded! Astonishing. The destroyer is one of the sixteen chosen at the cricket idol competition earlier this year, which I wrote about.

[via Sporting Life]

Lancashire v Somerset, Twenty20 final 2005

Great day’s cricket – I’m liking Twenty20 more and more. The catching today has been outstanding – I can think of at least three very special catches, highlighting the quality of cricket on display. The gimmicks Twenty20 first provided have been lost to quality, high-class cricket – and who would have thought that? Having the semis and the final in one day is inspired – and I really think The Oval looks a spectacle tonight, with the new OCS stand and the lights. Twenty20 is a winner.

So Somerset dismissed Lancashire for just 114. Their big-guns, Flintoff and Symonds, both fell short – but Flintoff is steaming in now. Steaming. He looks as pumped-up and ferocious as he does in a Test – and has taken two of the three wickets to fall. Graeme Smith is still in for Somerset, who need 44 from 42. The cup is within their grasp.

Symonds coming on to bowl.

Update: all over, Somerset are the 2005 champions. Considering Lancs’ batting lineup, that is some effort. Twenty20 is here to stay, if you’ll pardon the tabloid-style pun!

Twenty20 Finals Day

I’m definately a Twenty20 convert. Even at the start of this season I was a fringe-fan, but now I’m definately enjoying it. Today has seen some brilliant Cricket. Flintoff and Symonds, for Lancashire, were typically awesome (Lancashire won to go through to the finals), and a few minutes ago David Masters pulled off the catch of the day/cup/summer to dismiss Graeme Smith. Smith chipped it to a deep long-on, and Masters dived backwards, clinging on one-handed…brilliant!

So, who will Lancashire play? Somerset and Leicestershire are in progress/action and the weather is holding. Great fun.

My bulletin on the Surrey / Lancs. game here, and a Gallery is being added to as the day goes on.

Hiatus explanation revelation exclamation

My blogging hiatus has lasted longer than I expected, and I haven’t been able to reveal why, either. Not that the reason is particularly fascinating to you all, but it’s a massive step and change for me, as I’m now working as an Editorial Assistant at Cricinfo. The whole “getting the job” was quite weird, and all happened very quickly, hence why I just haven’t had the time to blog. It’s bloody awesome – masses and masses to learn and, although it’s early days, it’s certainly going to be a fun ride.

But really, it was this humble blog which got me the job and, because of that, I felt I couldn’t just leave it and not contribute anything. It’s one of those bizarre circumstances that you read about – a blogger gets a job with a leading website, yet it’s actually happened…and to me! I’m still a bit in shock really. If this job isn’t my dream-job, it’s….ah, who am I kidding, it’s definately my dream job!

So that’s what’s been going on. I’ll hopefully be able to blog now and again in the daytime, once I’m better organised – but it’s unlikely I’ll be writing as frequently as before, for obvious reasons. Cricinfo comes first I’m afraid! The stats and hits on this blog are going up and up, and I’m enjoying reading everyone’s comments (and I do read them all). So, keep reading, and hang around, and bear with me…and thanks for reading this desperately dull post. For more dullness you can read my pieces on Ian Bell and a history of Lord’s

Durham part with A Pratt

Chuckled at this headline on the BBC today, reporting that Andrew Pratt had left Durham (to become a plumber):

A Pratt leaves Durham

I guess it’s inevitable, with a name like that, but it’s not very BBC to join in the mickey-taking-ness!

Shoaib Akhtar is in the Wharf

The titles of my posts are becoming increasingly corny and cheese-ridden; sorry for that. But Shoaib Akhtar is, indeed, in the Wharf tomorrow, Thursday July 28. As part of the ECB’s cricket roadshow.

If you want to pop along, Montgomery Square, outside Clifford Chance’s building is the place to be (Jubilee Line station), between 4.30-6.30pm.

Win a Kevin Pietersen cricket bat

I get a disconcerting number of emails from KP fans; mainly female, mainly in love with him, or so they think. So, for his fans, you can’t meet him or speak to him via me…but you can win yourself a signed bat! [via Guardian Unlimited]