Ticket to nowhere

The Barmy Army can’t even give tickets away to Australia vs England at Sydney. Fortunately, England’s tour of duty is nearly over. And they are really treating it as a tour of duty.

Gary Hayes is one of South Australia’s most respected and sociable cricket coaches. He coaches Adelaide University’s first-grade side, a club where Liam Plunkett once passed a contented and productive season. His desire to wish Plunkett well at an England net session this week required a security officer to hover a yard from his shoulder, antennae twitching. Hayes is half-Malaysian – he recently coached the Malaysian team – and wonders if that explains it. “Goons,” he concluded, suitably unimpressed.

Had the security team investigated Hayes further they would have discovered that he had also contacted Plunkett during the second Test in Adelaide, the Test where England’s last-day capitulation sealed their Ashes defeat. Plunkett went out for dinner with his one-time coach and some former colleagues but had to eat at a restricted list of restaurants vetted by England. As he left the hotel his Durham colleague, Paul Collingwood, joked that he would not be having room service for the first time on tour. How can it be beneficial for an England cricketer to tour in such a reclusive manner?

This is kind of hilarious. Where do they think they are, Australia or Iraq? What on earth are they so frightened of? It’s hard to imagine anyone telling the likes of Steve Waugh or Matthew Hayden where they could or could not eat on tour. But as an Australian fan, I’m delighted to read this, because no England team is going to come here and win with this sort of mentality.

CB Series: 9th Match, England v New Zealand

Will seems to be getting the best of it. At least, given the choice of vaguely competitive matches in Kenya and, well, this… well I know where I’d be.

I’ve been listening to this on and off since the start. Thankfully, most of England’s fielding was ‘off’. As Arlo White has just said on TMS – ‘it must be boring, waiting for the inevitable’. I’d say more about our performance – but I’m a little too disgusted.

Will Luke in Kenya

Will’s not one to blow his own trumpet. Instead, he pays me to do it for him. Of course, he’s in Kenya.

Most people that go to Kenya seem to go there for big game hunting. Will is hunting for new cricket talent with the World Cricket League, and he’s blogging about it for Cricinfo.

In today’s game, the Atlantic Island of Bermuda is taking on the hosts. They didn’t make a great fist of their first innings, being bowled out for 133.  That they got that far was almost entirely due to their wicketkeeper, Dean Minors, who scored 52. Not the youngest of chaps, in fact he’s even older then I am, but the bright young stars of tomorrow sometimes need the wisdom of the elderly.

Anyhow Will’s over there reporting it for Cricinfo, so be sure to go check it out.

How low can England go?

The team is as low as Michael Vaughan has seen them. Meanwhile, as I write, New Zealand are making a good fist of chasing down 344, and even if they do not get there, New Zealand will take some heart from how well they are batting.

I do not think that England do themselves any favours by making it so plain that they do not like one-day cricket. Australia do not particularly like it either, but they really do like winning, and the best way to win is to keep winning. It becomes a habit.

I will take the positive view and say that England did have a plan entering the Commonwealth Bank Series, but either it was blown out of the water by Kevin Pieterson’s injury, or it has simply been blown off course by their total lack of confidence. Certainly there’s not been any backup plans.

Given England’s total disarray, they could do worse then to talk to the likes of Michael Atherton. I do not think Atherton’s plan is going to win the World Cup for England, but at least it is a plan. At the moment, England look like they are working out their plans with a dart board.

Off to Kenya

I’m away for the next three weeks covering the World Cricket League in Nairobi. Keep your eyes peeled on Cricinfo for my reports and interviews. Scott’ll be around to keep the blog fed and watered.

Australia Day massacre open thread

A space for England fans to vent their rage on their team and also for Australian fans to do some unseemly gloating.

What’s particularly bad about this performance was the nature of the dismissals- several exceptionally soft ones and only a couple of batsmen were simply outplayed by the bowlers.

See Adelaide and retire

I’m not sure what to make of this. But first it was Damien Martyn and now it is Nathan Astle who have responded to a great win by their teams in Adelaide by announcing it is time to retire.

It’s better then seeing Naples, I guess. But I am still offended.

Aye up and away

Yorkshire have been battling hard to match England’s dreary winter and, in some ways, they’ve bettered then. No coach, no captain, two overseas players (not sure they’ve been confirmed) and no less than three Kolpak registered players: Deon Kruis, Gerard Brophy and the latest, Jacques Rudolph. Eeeee, a reet mess.

Commiserate yourselves, then, with this witty non-cricket sardonic video:

If it’s outside Yerksha, it’s not worth bloooody visitin…

A view from the stumps

Super shot that; marvellous effort.

Strip cricket

Don’t even think of blaming me. I am your humble messenger. Via Youtube. It’s pretty dire and I think the loser on the left is trying to be Richie Benaud. Not so mmmmarvellous.