Australian press threaten boycott

Australia are gearing up to face Sri Lanka but a cloud is looming: the Aussie print media might boycott the Test because Cricket Australia have implemented a new policy in which they’re charging news organisations for permission to take photos.

How utterly blinkered Cricket Australia are. Any organisation that makes the ECB look vaguely competent is worthy of immediate ridicule. CA are renowned for major cock-ups. Remember the farce with the tickets for the last Ashes series? And of course the “fun police” inside the grounds. Cricinfo and other media companies also (if my memory serves me) had trouble at the grounds due to CA’s extortionate Wifi fees (all grounds in England are free, as well they should be). As if they don’t make enough money, they now want to risk their reputation and  for the sake of a few extra dollars.

I hope they boycott it. We do not want journalism following the same seedy, greedy path of television rights.

ICC release code of conduct for backyard cricket

The ICC have today released a code of conduct for backyard cricket…

1. GENERAL RULES

1a. Can’t Get Out First Ball: Curious rule introduced to give the token unco
dickhead a reprieve. Smart-ar*e batsmen use it to hone their reverse sweep;
which becomes interesting when smart-ar*e bowlers use it to hone their beamer.

1b. Caught Behind (auto wikky): Since no one has the desire or the reflexes to
stand in the slips cordon, an edge onto the back fence constitutes instant
dismissal. Has signalled the death of the late cut.

1c. One Hand, One Bounce: This popular innovation (When a fielder can dismiss a
batsman by catching the ball in one hand on the first bounce) is essential to
the very fabric of the sport. Importantly, it means a game can be organised
with a minimum of players. Note that this rule only applies when the fielder is
holding a beer in their other hand.

1d. No LBW: When no umpires are available (or trustworthy), the only option is
to can the LBW rule altogether, ensuring cagey batsmen shuffle across the
crease as is test driving a Zimmer frame.

1e. Six And Out (Then Fetch It): Introduced to combat space and energy
restrictions. It’s rumoured to have been initiated by a hapless bowler living
alongside a pack of Rottweilers.

1f. Standard Over: All veteran backyard bowlers know that the standard length
of an over in backyard cricket ranges from anything between 10-12 balls. You
only relinquish the bowling duties when questioned by any fielders or opposing
team members. But only after the standard response of “Two to go” or “Get
F*cked”.

2. ESSENTIAL ITEMS

2a. Esky: Strategically placed at the bowler’s end, the esky is the shrine, the
fuel, the Richie Benaud of backyard cricket – because it holds the beer.

2b. Balls: A minimum of 3 tennis balls is advised, as there’s always some
smart-ar*e who delights in tonking them over the fence (see rule 1e).

Advanced exponents use electrical tape around half the ball to give it more
swing than Austin Powers.

2c. Dog: Preferable of Kelpie or Heeler extraction, so it can field every ball,
including those that disappear under the house or thorny bushes. The downside is
that they produce more slobber than a 14 year old male Penthouse reader. The
upside is the dog will sleep for 3 days straight afterwards.

2d. Rubbish Bin: It would be nice to think you can clean up your own mess, but
in reality the bin makes a perfect set of stumps.

2e. Bat: Boasting multiple scratches and dents, and no grip left on the handle,
it’s usually of 1980′s vintage with a single scoop, with a fake signature of
Allan Border or Merv Hughes providing added backyard cult status.

3. CODE OF ETHICS

3a. Stumps: The game draws to a close when,

i) Your host finally cooks the snags after the barbie has run out of gas,

ii) Macca hits the last ball onto the road and it disappears down the drain
(not withstanding rules 1e and 2c),

iii) You can’t get that batsman out with any type of bowling pace or spin, or

iv) Your girlfriend cracks the sh*ts and wants to go home because you “become a
f*cking idiot” when you hang around with your mates.

3b. Flower Damage: Any respectful male will cringe and help hide the fact that
you have just topped your girlfriend’s petunias. Somehow, the universal threat
of a week-long drought bonds the male species.

3c. Spilt Beer: Ideally, the offending batsman should apologise profusely and
offer to replace the vanquished stubbie. Fat Chance. The feat prompts sh*tloads
of laughter, and the usually triumphant “Get me one while you’re at it you
f*cking retard!”

3d. No Running Between Wickets: Every backyard cricket specialist should know
this phrase, “The words fun and run don’t go together.” Just ask Arjuna
Ranatunga. Besides, how the hell are you supposed to run in thongs?

3e. Courtesy Call: Always invite the chicks to have a bat. They usually say no,
but on the odd occasion, they do take a grip of the willow. You can bowl a
couple of dollies to her so she can hit before ending this freakish sideshow
with a yorker. Most chicks hold a bat as if they’re chopping wood, and they
bowl as if throwing left-handed. And they can’t handle yorkers.

Still, someone has to make the salad.

Thanks to Tim for the email

Have you bought Ashes tickets on eBay?

Thought this would be interesting to hear who have bought Ashes tickets on eBay, following the news that Cricket Australia have cancelled 1300 such tickets.

So, have you bought any from eBay? Has Cricket Australia contacted you yet? Are you going to re-flog them back on eBay and try to get your money back?(!)

Ashes tickets cancelled

It seems that Cricket Australia has taken a step of voiding some 1300 Ashes tickets today, in an attempt to curtail the internet auction trend.

It’s a risk you take if you buy from sites like eBay. What is slightly odd is the Board’s decision to not announce which tickets have been cancelled. Without this, eBay cannot help push for compensation and even the most informed fans will make unnecessary journeys and clog up stadium traffic and entrances.

Many of those with eBay tickets will be English fans. A long way to go to be turned away at the ground. Hopefully, this is just a delay on the Board’s part. Otherwise the people losing out the most will be fans, not touts.

A farce waiting to happen

Just a quick post from the Antipodes to put in my two cents on the Great Australian Ticketing Fiasco. Needless to say, Cricket Australia won’t accept a bar of responsibility for this; just as needless to say that they won’t learn from this if it happens in the future.

What I would have done is copied the system used by England; for all the faults of the ballot system, the UK ground authorities are well experienced in dealing with demand for tickets that well outweighs capacity. Cricket Australia has this ‘we know better’ notion when it comes to England and English cricket, which may have had some relevance in the 1990′s but certainly isn’t the right mindset in 2006.
I’m not concerned in the slightest that Australian grounds will be full of visiting Englishmen this summer; the tourist boom to the economy will be well worth it, and it will teach the good for nothing, fat, lazy, whining Australian public to appreciate Test cricket more. I’m fed up to the back teeth of going to half-empty Test grounds. And, yes, I do have my tickets, if not for my home Adelaide Test, but I did get tickets for Boxing Day. 100,000 fans on the MCG for an Ashes Test; a dream come true for someone like me that cares far more for Test Cricket, and Ashes Cricket as the pinnacle of Australian Test Cricket.

Stuart MacGill keeps upbeat

Stuart MacGill is still in a bullish mood, suggesting that Australia can still win despite Bangladesh now having a lead of 282, with five wickets in hand.

“The game is not finished. The game is far from finished. Although Bangladesh is in a very strong position, I know that Australia will fight very hard to firstly get another bowl and then see what happens,” MacGill said.

“We certainly haven’t given up at this stage … the talk in the rooms is certainly still about how we would go about winning the game. That’s what’s being talked about.”

I’m glad to see that the players are keeping positive. No point running up the white flag! Meanwhile, Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore is unsurprisingly up-beat.

I think coming from South Africa and Australia in the last six months, it [the conditions] probably needed a bit of adjusting,” Whatmore said of Australia. “We’re really enjoying the situation at the moment. It [the bowling] puts Bangladesh very much on top in this game and barring any mishaps in the second innings, we’re in the driving seat.

It’s a hard ask to adjust to totally different conditions without a warm-up game, and I would guess that is Cricket Australia’s doing, trying to do the right thing by the players in not working them too hard. But there IS something to be said for proper preparation. It is very hard to escape the conclusion that Australia has taken Bangladesh far too lightly and may pay a heavy price for their arrogance.

Lillee quitting Cricket Australia (and “Pace Australia”)

Forgot to post this last night. Lillee is probably the foremost authority on pace bowling – and, importantly, in pace-bowling coaching – but he’s not being paid enough, apparently, and is stepping away from Cricket Australia. More hereand here

Great shame for Australia, and I wonder who will get him? Not England – no money, and we already have Lillee’s understudy Troy Cooley [see previous blog]. I think he’d be most tempted with India or Pakistan – but West Indies is where he should go! Start to find some new Ambroses, Marshalls, Garners & Holdings…put West Indies cricket back on the map with some terrifying fast bowlers (oh – and ban Basketball whilst you’re at it, Dennis…)