Cruel game for those on debut


How bad must Malinda Warnapura be feeling? To get a Test golden duck is bad enough, but a golden duck on deboo, as Richie would say, against Bangladesh on a featherbed when your partner gets a ton must be crushing. He’s unlikely to bat again in this match and may not get another innings if Upul Tharanga returns from injury.

The only other deboo goldie I can remember was Alan Wells in 1995, caught Sherwin Campbell, bowled Curtly Ambrose. Again, most other batsmen did well on that track, including two hundreds (Lara and Hooper) and six others who made it to 80 and didn’t convert (four were out in the nervous 90s). Wells did at least make an unbeaten 3 in the second innings, but that was his lot.

I’m sure there were others?

India commemorate 75 years of Test cricket

Today marks the 75th anniversary of India’s inaugural Test match against England at Lord’s in 1932. We’ve put up (or, rather, my boss probably did) an excellent review of the match from The Cricketer International which is well worth a read, if only for the following (at times hilarious) points:

1. The Indians fully deserved the honour of a Test match. Their bowling was definitely good and their fielding admirable, quick and very clean, but not so fine nor so good as England. Their wicketkeeper good, but not so good as he looks.

2. Their batting depends on too few men, but Amar Singh, a very fine all’ round cricketer, is a rare man on his form in this match at No. 10.

3. The experience of this tour will improve their cricket enormously and the English public will welcome them again, for they play the game in the most attractive manner.

4. They were very unlucky in the matter of accidents, Nazir Ali and Palia pulling muscles and, Nayudu, a fine allrounder, hurting his hand.

5. England showed exceptional grit. In the second innings their first four bats, men all failed, comparatively speaking, but Jardine pulled the side round. He is a great batsman and captained the side extremely well, and he made a superb catch in h second innings at short third man.

6. The partner for Sutcliffe is yet to be found, but we should make a lot of runs in Australia.

7. Fielding was splendid. Hammond, Robins, Paynter and Voce are quite exceptionally good. Not a single catch was missed and only one lost chance of stumping.

8. The bowling was remarkably good but it is certainly at present not good enough for Australia and this is a perplexing problem for M.C.C., Larwood’s strained leg making matters all the more difficult, but Voce, Robins and Brown arc most capable allrounders.

9. Paynter’s second innings may mean much to him. He has only to concentrate on watching the stump outside his off stump to be very good. He is a fine fielder.

10. Bowes must “go for” a length and forget, except occasionally, the short humping delivery.

Two points to be made. 1) Will we, in 75 years, be looking back at some of our (and I include myself in this group) questionable reports of Bangladeshi cricket since their inception? And 2), what is a “short humping delivery”? Nothing to do with midwifery I presume

Video of Iron Maiden at Brixton, June 24, 2007

Sorry for lack of posts lately. This is why:

It was rocktacular, epic and sweaty. The only possible link to cricket this post has is, after the gig, Miller and I decamped in the nearest pub and met a very old Jamaican and slightly younger Jamaican. Cricket was discussed, among other things…

Jim Barry’s Cover Drive

Don’t worry. I haven’t fallen victim to my own protestations about the overuse of capital letters (Have A Look At Cricket365 For An Example). In this instance, the Cover Drive is a bottle of wine my brother bought today on instinct. “15% so it’s a f****** good bottle”. Available from Morrisons, and all good chav supermarkets.

Ian Healy bowling as Merv Hughes (video)

Another superb video from Youtube. It’s Ian Healy bowling in the style of Merv Hughes (complete with tache and beer belly), Malcolm Marshall and Abdul Qadir.

If you can’t see the video above, click.

Strauss dropped as Collingwood picks up captaincy

The one-day squad has just been announced, and features a couple of surprising new faces:

1. Paul Collingwood (Durham) (Captain)
2. James Anderson (Lancashire)
3. Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
4. Stuart Broad (Leicestershire)
5. Alastair Cook (Essex)
6. Dimitri Mascarenhas (Hampshire)
7. Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire)
8. Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
9. Liam Plunkett (Durham)
10. Matt Prior (Sussex)
11. Owais Shah (Middlesex)
12. Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire)
13. Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
14. Michael Yardy (Sussex)

Andrew McGlashan over at cricinfo predicted the potential place for Dimitri Mascarenhas, but what no one will have expected was the selection of Trott. A positive upper-order bat, he has followed Pietersen’s route from South Africa to English qualification, however his present season form ranges from successive ducks to unbeaten centuries. Both of these players are added to England’s Performance Squad, as is Ryan Sidebottom after his impressive performance since Headingley.

Cook’s recall, whilst predicted, poses questions – with no place for Loye, is there really any member of this squad who can force the pace at the beginning of the innings? Who, indeed, is likely to open? The only opener to have survived the World Cup is Bell, who is more naturally a number 3. If Cook make the final XI, he will almost certainly take his place at the top of the order, but is there an opening for Prior to repeat his attempt as a pinch-hitter?

As always, leave your thoughts below.

The war of bling tossers

From Lawrence Booth’s Spin:

But the Spin is concerned that cricket-lovers the world over are about to be deprived of the richest chapter yet in the – for some reason – unwritten history of tossing. Because if England plump for Paul Collingwood ahead of Kevin Pietersen to lead their one-day side, it means we will have to foresake the dream pairing of Pietersen and Chris Gayle. Imagine the fun. The toss would never take place on time, the coin would get lost in all the bling, and the polite handshake would degenerate into an orgy of fist-pumping and high-fives. It’s high time the England and Wales Cricket Board saw sense.

Phrases and cliches to be banned (along with smoking)

It’s D-day for me and millions of other happy smokers on July 1. Yet while we wheeze our way to a healthier lifestyle at the behest of our loving, caring, huggable government, there is one burning issue in the ashtray of politics which has yet to be doused: clichés. They are absolutely everywhere, and the disease is spreading thick and fast.

Lawrence Booth wrote a piece on it for 2006′s Wisden Cricketers Almanack (absolutely required reading), but still nothing has been done. And I’ve just read one of the worst – one of my most hated expressions – from Paul Nixon, regarding tomorrow’s Twenty20 kick-off: express yourself. “Just go out there and express yourself”. It provokes in me a boiling rage, and makes me want to eat my feet.

Talking of such things, Mr Booth scribbled this in his column a couple of weeks ago which caught my eye:

Moments before Monty entered the Lancashire library to share his
thoughts on his four-wicket haul in West Indies’s first innings with
the press, a member of the fourth estate decided to get to work on
the pad of A4 placed on the table in front of Monty’s seat
(presumably in case he felt the need at any stage to jot down a few
thoughts). “REMEMBER TO SAY,” wrote the journalist “HIT THE RIGHT

Enter Monty to stifled titters. He sits down, spots the advice and
chuckles out loud (the Spin has the chuckle on tape and will happily
place an audio version of it on-line if challenged). He points it out
to England’s media-relations officer, James Avery, who chuckles too,
and then scans the beaming faces before him in search of the culprit.

Superb. Lawrence’s The Spin is emailed to just about everyone who knows or cares about cricket, and journalism, every Thursday. Get it now.

And your favourite clichés? Come on; put your hands up and come to the party. Express yourselves…

Sporting success and failure mirroring society?

I’m about to sit down and watch Nation in Film, that BBC programme of West Indies’ tour in 1976. And the following teaser was uttered by Darcus Howe, one of the contributors.

I don’t think West Indian cricket ever had such an intense reflection of what was taking place in society

Viv Richards is bowled

Is the same true of West Indies now? Does the success of a national sporting team reflect the successes or failures, depressions and moods of society? If it did back then (Howe says that Tony Greig’s “grovelling” comment was, in West Indians’ view, distinctly racist: white versus black), the effect is certainly less so nowadays.

I like stuff like this. Thoughts welcome.

Vaughan all mouth and no trousers

What a winner. Michael Vaughan loses his trousers, and could there anyone better than David Lloyd to commentate on it?