West Indies v India, 5th ODI, Trinidad

The 5th one-dayer between West Indies and India at Trinidad. Posted in advance. Open thread – chat away…

England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Edgbaston, 4th day

Yesterday was one of those days where you wonder why you ever started to enjoy cricket. You sit there, all day, waiting for news and watching endless replays of Edgbaston 2005 (which is surely the new Headingley 81). Play finally got underway at 16.50, which was a damn good effort from Steve Rouse and the Edgbaston groundsmen. And Sri Lanka batted very resiliantly, as they have done in their second innings so far this tour. By no means are they out of it yet. Weather permitting, the fourth day promising to be fascinating.

The Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket 2007

News to me! I’ll have to ask Steven about this – sounds like a good idea, though. The synopsis reads as follows:

Cricinfo, the world’s biggest cricket website, enjoys an unrivalled global presence. And after launching its own magazine in January, Cricinfo now adds an exciting new annual, “The Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket”, which will be an essential annual handbook for all cricket-lovers. The Guide focuses exclusively on international cricket in all its guises – frenetic Twenty20s, one-day internationals and Test matches. These games captivate a television audience of tens of millions throughout the year and throughout the world. Published in November, at the beginning of international cricket’s busiest time of year, the Guide is the ideal complement to the long-standing Spring bestsellers “Wisden” and “Playfair”. In 2007, a busy cricket programme includes the ninth World Cup, held in the West Indies. “The Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket 2007″ fills a gap left by “Wisden” and “Playfair” by giving detailed profiles of every player expected to appear on the international stage during the year. Every one of almost 200 featured players gets full-page treatment, containing a photograph and a career summary in words and statistics. And to back up the profiles, there is also a quick-reference section of records compiled from Cricinfo’s inexhaustible StatsGuru service.

Penguins Stopped Play: Eleven Cricketers Take on the World

Has anyone read this? It sounds quite good, and is written by the late Harry Thompson who died last year. Thompson, whose obituary features in this year’s Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, was a cricket lover and comedian (comedic writer).

He either co-wrote, produced or directed a number of the UK’s comedy staple diet: Have I Got News For You, Newman and Baddiel in Pieces, They Think It’s All Over, Harry Enfield and Chums, The 11 O’Clock Show, Da Ali G Show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Monkey Dust. What a repetoire, and I happen to have loved every single one of those (apart from Monkey Dust).

Anyway, this book looks really good and worth buying.

Collingwood’s sandwich

Martin Johnson has long been one of my favourite writers. He has an eye for the game, an eye for the comical and is not only unfailingly funny in most pieces he writes, but usually deadly accurate.

I enjoyed this:

One thing you can say for certain about this England batting line-up is that it is packed with crowd pleasers. What’s more, in distinctly contrasting ways. There are some, like Kevin Pietersen, who send the spectators into a lather of excitement when they walk in to bat, and others, like Paul Collingwood, who induce the same effect when they’re walking back to the pavilion.

It’s not really Collingwood’s fault, but when you find yourself sandwiched in the batting order between Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, getting yourself out almost qualifies as an act of selfless patriotrism.

Also: spot the Telegraph typo…

England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Edgbaston, 3rd day

After Kevin Pietersen’s howitzer of an innings yesterday, not to mention fine bowling from Monty Panesar and England in the final session, the 3rd day could well be the last day. Sri Lanka have an awful lot to do, but they’ve shown they have immense pride hidden behind a shield of determination. And that, folks, is possibly the most sickening sentence wot I ever wrote, innit.

Goes without saying that I expect another torrent of intelligent discourse to appear here throughout the day; player dissections; why is Flintoff not posting a short-leg?; is Hoggard going to take 300 Test wickets or will the workload kill him?

Not that I’m teaching you to suck eggs or anything.

In other words, chat away.

links for 2006-05-27

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography – Crossing the Boundary

Crossing the Boundary: The Early Years in My Cricketing Life

Well I suppose it was inevitable! It’s not out until September 2006 but you can preorder it now. Synopsis reads:

Described by the media as ‘the David Beckham of cricket’ and regularly gracing the tabloids and broadsheets alike with his trademark hairstyle and vibrant personality, Kevin is fast becoming the poster boy for English cricket. But he is also in possession of a prodigious talent – fearless, bold and with unflappable nerves. His unique batting style has produced hundreds of runs and many outstanding innings for his county and country this summer, culminating in his extraordinary triumph at The Ashes. “Crossing the Boundary” will recount Kevin’s remarkable journey so far – from growing up in his native South Africa to the opposition he faced from his national cricket board, from his move to England and his career at Hampshire to winning a place on the England team. It will provide a rare insight into the mind of an international cricketer, on and off the pitch. Reflecting his youthful charisma and his bullish confidence, this will be a sporting memoir like no other. Told with wit, intelligence and attitude, “Crossing the Boundary” will reveal the riveting story of a young, hugely talented star who has helped England to win their 1st Ashes in 18 years.

Will they won’t they?

Incidentally, after Kevin Pietersen’s fourth Test century, it was made almost exactly 12 months after we were all wondering whether he would even play against Australia. A year is an impossibly long period of time in cricket…

Pietersen’s 142

A remarkable day’s cricket today, memorable in so many ways. To start with, I don’t think Kevin Pietersen has played a more attractive or extraordinary hundred for England. His 158 at the Oval last year was special, but today’s contained shots the calibre of which few can dream of. The outrageous flicks from off to leg (usually for four); the clever use of his crease, changing the bowlers’ lengths; and that reverse-swept six, off Muttiah Muralitharan of all people. It was an innings of impossible courage and rare skill, and a complete joy to watch.

I wrote some things about him and Murali’s battle, which is a certain highlight of the summer so far.