Not long to go

Eeh by gum, it’s not long ’til the first Test. Just having an interlude from the drinking and merriment to put up a post which should appear about 3am, if any of you lot wish to chat among yourselves. I’ll try to catch the highlights…

Preview over at the other blog.

“Great shot – MIND THE SHEEP!”

I’m away back in Devon, hence mass-blogging and general frolicking around the coast and pubs and what have you. In the pub yesterday, or the day before, we met the village’s cricket captain – or someone of the team, anyway. He was quite excited to have met “someone from Wisden,” clearly not really au fait with Cricinfo (which I find quite a lot; people related to the “Wisden brand” more than Cricinfo, certainly in the UK. This isn’t the case in India, incidentally, hence the launch of Cricinfo Magazine in January).

Anyway, long story short, apparently they play in a field which is occupied by sheep in the winter months. Indeed, walking past it on the way to the beach yesterday, the sheep were merrily munching away at the green stuff, which made me wonder whether they’d act as fielders once the season gets underway. With all the wool on them, they’d be pretty reasonably insulated were they to be struck by a savage drive or pull. And the slope, well…it makes Lord’s incline look rather pathetic; you’d only have to nudge it through the covers (or tickle it down to fine leg) for a four…

It got me thinking about “odd places” people play cricket. Heard of any funny places people play? What’s your club like?

Ye olde lime tree of Kent

Kent CCC Tree, originally uploaded by jb83cfc.

This blew down last year, but has been replaced.

It’s my birthday. Buy me things

Now I really ought to have given my faithful readership more notice, but such is my near-total lack of organisation that I’ve utterly forgotten. Tomorrow, I reach the heady heights of 24 years. The quarter-century is rapidly approaching, and I’m distinctly concerned. To make me feel better, and to ease the monstrous hangover which will befall over the next few days, you are very welcome to buy me many gifts and presents. Amazon is a good place – if you want to know my address, let me know.

Insufferably yours…


Disaster turns to farce

England’s disasterous preparations for the first Test is rapidly turning into a farce. First it was Michael Vaughan’s knee. Then Baroda-belly hit the spinners. Then Simon Jones had a wobbly stomach. Then Marcus Trescothick flew home. Now Simon Jones has recovered from his gut-ache and has twisted his knee. No, not his dodgy right knee (which he injured/snapped in Australia a few years ago) – his left knee! It’s all going horribly wrong.

The good news, though, is Andrew Flintoff has decided not to go home on or around the second Test, if / when his wife goes into labour for their second child. Flintoff is England’s captain for the remainder of the tour. (thoughts on this yesterday)

It’s almost funny…

Pommy bastards

This has just a tenuous link to cricket (the mentioning of ‘pommy’); it’s the headline of the week:

Truth about Pommy bastards: most births will soon be out of wedlock

HALF of all babies in Britain will be born to unmarried mothers by 2012 if present trends continue, new research says.


Flintoff to captain England

According to reports, Andrew Flintoff is in line to captain England in the first Test at Nagpur on Wednesday, assuming both Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick are unable to attend to their usual duties. I find this quite surprising, not to mention a great shame.

Flintoff has a good cricket brain. I don’t think anyone can doubt that someone who bowls as cleverly as he does, and who bats (now) so sensibly, doesn’t understand the game very well. However, Flintoff isn’t simply another member of the team; he is the team. The addition of captaincy will, like it has affected most English captains in recent years, ruin one or both of his skills. I’m certain it’s not a long-term plan, but given his importance to the side as a bowler and batsman, why burden him now? Why not Andrew Strauss?

Confused from Devon

Owais Shah added to squad

So then, Owais Shah has joined an ever-increasing list of “cover” players to join England’s squad in India. He acts as cover for Marcus Trescothick, who’s flown home citing personal reasons. Alastair Cook has also been called upon; in fact, he was called up for England’s tour of Pakistan, too, when Michael Vaughan’s knee played up. Cook smashed a double hundred against Australia in the summer (for Essex) and is a fabulous talent. More thoughts at The Googly.

Trescothick goes home

Update November 14 2006
He’s left the Ashes

As if England’s situation couldn’t be worse, Marcus Trescothick has flown home for family reasons and might miss the Test series.

Also see: media blackout on Trescothick a welcome relief