Welcome to Scott

I’m delighted to announce Scott, from Ubersportingpundit, will be posting his thoughts on this great game here at the CoU. Scott’s been blogging a lot longer than most, and I’m sure everyone here will enjoy hearing his insightful views – with an Australian twang, too, which ought to balance things a little here!

Go for it Scott – knock ‘em flying!

Upcoming hiatus

Far, far too much going on at the moment to spend any time here I’m afraid. The next few weeks are going to be hectic beyond belief as I’m moving house (twice, in effect) so stick around – should have some excitingish news for you quite soon.

And as ever, if anyone here has a “spare” flat in London – preferably a nice one / two-bed place with a sitting room, kitchen, bathroom and a loo seat which *hasn’t* cracked, with lights that *do* work and with floors which don’t have evidence of fresh rat’s shit on them – don’t hesitate to contact me. (I’m serious!)

Much obliged, ta cheers and t’ra for now

Bravo, Dwayne. Bravo

I’ve not seen much of Dwayne Bravo’s feats against Australia – missed his hundred, for starters – but I did catch his wickets in this Test, in particular his outstanding catch, off his own bowling, to dismiss Shane Warne (think it was Warne anyway). Catching is one of those rare moments of individualism in cricket; no one else can help or hinder your effort, so perhaps that’s why a stunning catch is, well, so stunning. Bravo’s was nothing short of brilliant: diving full length to his left (off his own bowling, I reiterate!) – ah, it was a thing of great beauty and he deservedly celebrated like a clown.

I first saw Bravo when he played against England last year, and his potential was obvious – perhaps now he’s realising that. More brilliance on Monday, please, Dwayne – and bravo to that catch

Brian Lara breaks Allan Border’s record

As expected, Brian Lara moved past Allan Border’s record aggregate of Test runs, and is now the leading scorer in Test history. Legend. Cricinfo have a few things on him, including Vaneisa Baksh on his odyssey; George’s list of his greatest moments and my gallery of his life.

Beach cricket in Sri Lanka

Another great photo – this is a fabulous “beach cricket” shot in Sri Lanka

Beach Cricket in Sri Lanka

Chinnaswamy stadium

A nice shot of the Chinnaswamy stadium in India on Flickr:

Australia v West Indies, 3rd Test, 2nd day

Brian’s on 202, and is 12 short of beating Allan Border’s record number of runs. A momentus event – assuming he gets it. We ought to have a few things at CI to celebrate this (again, assuming he gets the 12 needed) including a rather splendid gallery.

Chat away

B.C. Special

BC is unbeaten on 190………

MOD defend mass widescreen TV purchases

The Ministry of Defence have defended the mass purchase of widescreen TVs in recent years, after claims they were used for viewing Test match cricket. Norman Lamb, Lib Dem MP for Norfolk, got things going on November 21:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many widescreen televisions have been purchased by his Department for use in Whitehall Headquarters in each of the last five years; and at what cost in each year. [21097]

Adam Ingram (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence) responded:

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, as part of the Ministry of Defence Head Office building refurbishment, five widescreen televisions were purchased in financial year 2001–02 at a total cost of £12,500, and 134 at a total cost of £348,000 in financial year 2003–04.

£348,000 for a bunch of massive TVs in which to watch 11 England cricketers muck around on a pitch for a few days? Brilliant – at least it’s not football…good to see our taxes are being well spent. The BBC has more on this:

Mr Lamb told the BBC: “I was attending a meeting at the Ministry of Defence and I was walking through their open plan offices.

“I was completely gobsmacked by the number of televisions all around, in every work space.

“And they weren’t modest little things like we have here in the Houses of Parliament, with small screens. They were whopping great flat screen, wide screen sets.

Homeless Andy and his can of Fosters

Rather tenuous link to cricket this, but bear with me (and the original writer). It raised a smile:

“No we don’t open until 11:30 I’m afraid,” the doorman said. “As far as I know there are no plans to open any earlier – just as well, really, I can only drink so much!”, he joked.

If upmarket was the wrong direction, maybe downmarket was the answer. Just a short walk from the Ritz I finally found a place to catch the game with a beer.

Andy, a homeless man in his 40s, was enjoying the match on the widescreen TV in the window of the Trocadero, Shaftesbury Avenue.

His can of Fosters, he explained kindly, came from the local Spar store on Haymarket – open from 8am every morning.

So, stood in the drizzle, one can for me and one for Andy as a thank you for the tip, we caught the highlights of the day on Sky.

“I think we got best seat in house”, Andy said.

I’ll drink to that.

I’ve watched cricket, and attempted to, in some funny ways – (lugging ancient LW radio up hills, waving mobile phones desperately in the air to find reception) – but never this. Yet!