Pakistan tour diary

Much as Gideon Haigh’s Ashes diary was such a success in the summer for Cricinfo, Andrew Miller is doing the same and it promises to be equally as entertaining, or perhaps more so considering I know and work with him at Cricinfo Towers. It’ll be linked to on the homepage at Cricinfo, midway down under Regulars. His latest entry is here, which includes this gem:

On neither occasion, however, was there the slightest altercation between the concerned parties. It struck me that road rage is a curiously Anglo-Saxon phenomenon, borne of an over-reliance on rules and an unwillingness to accept responsibility for your actions. Here, you embark on a journey on a wing and a prayer, and keep your wits about you, lest others whip them away for you. As my airline pilot might have put it: “In’shallah”.

I’ve yet to go to Pakistan or India – I’m absolutely dying to go – so do keep your eye on his diary over the next few weeks for some..interesting insights among other stuff.

Yet Another Ashes Book (YAAB): Is It Cowardly to Pray for Rain?

Is It Cowardly to Pray for Rain?: The Online Ashes Chronicle of a Nation\'s Office-Bound Nervousness

Yet Another Ashes Book (YAAB) – Is It Cowardly to Pray for Rain?. Published by The Guardian, its subtitle reads: “The Online Ashes Chronicle of a Nation’s Office-Bound Nervousness.”

Ah, nerves: tickles down to fine-leg, dropped-catches (hello Geraint, good evening KP), McGrath the bunny, Kasper the ghost with an airy flick over his shoulder and “JONES! BOWDEN!” Oh, sorry – where was I?

Yes, this book looks quite fun and is only about £6. The Guardian did over-by-over commentary all summer, most of which I missed to be honest – and the best bits have been summarised in this book. A reviewer at Amazon provides the best synopsis:

I don’t know what I’d have done without Guardian Unlimited this summer. Their over by over coverage of the game pioneered a format that all the papers seem to be nicking now, but the original remains by far the best. Office workers all over the land, shackled to their desks and far from the nearest tv screen, relied on their updates to see them through the day. Some of them nearly got fired for it. And more than just bringing the wickets and the sledging as it happened, the commentary is a work of genius in itself. Other sites might have told you it was overcast but no sign of rain, but where else would you read that skies were “John Major grey and about as threatening as meeting the former PM in a dark alley?” (Sean Ingle).

Hilarious even months after the events it describes.

Sounds good, eh?

Duncan Fletcher’s book – Ashes Regained: The Coach’s Story

Ashes Regained: The Coach\'s Story

Duncan Fletcher’s book, Ashes Regained: The Coach’s Story, was released last week which I forgot to mention, to add to my cricket books tag. I’ve had my fill of Ashes fever until Christmas, although will be intrigued to read this one in particular. He’s not a talker is Fletcher. Available at Amazon for under a tenner, which can’t be bad.

This blog’s new name is…

OK, cheers for all your (60 ish) suggestions. Some excellent ones, and some truly terrible ones! I’ve picked my favourites and put them up as a poll on the right-hand-side. So it’s now up to you. Vote away.

What Rick says…

Michael Vaughan and others yesterday visited an area devastated by Pakistan’s earthquake. And the other day, Rick asked: What is cricket doing for the earthquake victims?

I suppose I’d like to ask: what can anyone really do for the victims? Does the sight of wealthy western people who play a sport for a living, travelling to an earthquake-devastated region make your blood boil? It’s something I’ve never quite grasped, nor worked out whether I feel angry or bitter about. Yes, it’s a nice gesture for Vaughan to go and say hello – but what can he, or any of his team-mates, actually do?

Bob Woolmer speaks about the use of technology

We initially were wary that a certain Bob Woolmer had emailed in – but sure enough, it was he, and he wrote a very interesting response on our new blog, Wicket to Wicket, about the use of technology in aiding umpiring. Check it out.

Aye up, and “Shot, boy”

Two abiding memories of this summer’s Ashes, for me, are from Geoff Boycott. “Shot, boy, shot,” to Andrew Flintoff’s straight-drive. And “Out. Out. No-ball, No-ball! Oooh, bad luck you Aussies!” when Glenn McGrath (yes – him) non-bowled Michael Vaughan.

So it’s excellent news to hear the miserable git par excellence has joined the BBC’s commentary team on Test Match Special, for England’s tour of Pakistan. Hurrah. Go for it, Boycs!

Hansie Cronje: The Movie

Franz Cronje, Hansie’s elder brother, has said a film is to be made of the former South African captain:

“We started on the script more than a year ago and a lot of work has been put into it…”

His book has been flying off the shelves in South Africa.

The Corridor’s doors are closing

Unfortunately I’m going to have to change the name of the blog quite soon, for I am infringing a registered trademark (“The Corridor of Uncertainty,” obviously). So – add your thoughts as to what I should rename it and, in a few days, I’ll pick the top 5 and run a poll. I’m not suggesting I’ll choose any of your suggestions, but it ought to keep you busy for a few minutes.

Get creative!

Hoggard’s Pot Noodles and recipe for a successful marriage

Also put this on Cricinfo’s Surfer, a particularly good article from Matthew Hoggard ahead of his trip to Pakistan:

The main downside to touring is two months spent away from my wife, family and dogs. Our wives tend to decide among themselves whether or not to accompany us on tour and they are not coming this time, but will probably come to India with us after Christmas. It’s never easy to spend so long away from your family, although if you ask Sarah, my wife, she might tell you that having a husband who goes away for weeks at a time is the recipe for a happy marriage.

Full article at The Times.