Monty Panesar DVD – Monty’s Cricket Madness

Dear, dear – oh dear oh dear. The premise behind this tacky-sounding DVD is either a stroke of ingenuity or a bear trap. The DVD promises “a bumper collection of cricket gaffes and goofs” which have been “proudly picked by the Barmy Army”.

In how many of the gaffes will the presenter be appearing, I wonder? Place your orders

Freddie Flintoff – the official DVD

Freddie Flintoff - The Official DVD

Not sure I’ve mentioned this, but Flintoff’s “official” DVD (would it be anything other than official?) is out, priced £14.99. Looks good.

Simon ‘Yozza’ Hughes on the BBC

Freddie

Bugger. Just missed Simon ‘Yozza’ Hughes on the BBC’s programme Loose Ends, who was speaking to promote his new book (which will be good). He also mentioned he’s been working on a DVD with, guess who, Andrew Flintoff. You can pre-order it at Amazon for about £15. Flintoff must surely now be the most marketable English cricketer, certainly since Botham but perhaps of all time.

Who’s tiring of it/him then?! I just hope he can continue his cricketing-brilliance this winter, next summer and beyond – I don’t give a shit about all the houses he buys or whatever advert/product he wants to promote.

Oh, Hughes’s thing on the radio should be up on the Beeb’s site tomorrow.

Ashes DVDs and a couple of books

My 3-set Ashes DVD (£14.99) has been dispatched by Amazon – a weekend of beer, pizza and cricket awaits some time in the next couple of weeks! Also, two other books of note:

1) Simon Hughes’ new book, Morning Everyone, is released on October 20 (Thursday). A lot to live up to after his previous two books.

2) Gideon Haigh’s Ashes 2005. One of the best writers around, this should be an excellent – and one of the better – accounts of this summer’s Ashes. Out, too, on October 20.

So rare to have a feast of cricket-DVD-and-book’age happening – and it’s far too long to wait for Christmas! – so get ‘em now like I have.

Bangladesh – Australia DVDs

OK – apologies to those who haven’t received an email from me about these DVDs. I’ve been up to my neck in things lately, and start a new job next week – so please be patient. It also won’t help your cause if you a) swear or b) email me every five minutes.

Part of the problem is with the DVD types (+/-/R/RW), and some of you won’t be able to view them. Hang in there, and I’ll be in touch as soon as my feet touch the ground.

England v Australia – 20/20 wicket updates

OK so the first mickey-mouse game of the summer, and the first game of this absurdly-exciting series, gets underway tomorrow, in 23 and a half hours time. 20/20 all but passed me by last season – but I did catch a glimpse of Surrey’s win (I think it was Surrey?), and I’m sure I’ll enjoy them this year. I’m still a purist (“Test Cricket is the only true test of a player’s ability” et al), but ODIs have brought great entertainment – and it’s been fascinating to see 20/20 take off.

Although, Australian coach John Buchanan has just stated his concerns over the 20/20 format: I wonder whether his opinion of it will change come September?

I’ll be providing wicket-alerts (and score updates) of this game by email – if you want to receive updates, just leave a comment below. Incidentally, I intend to offer DVD-recorded highlights of Ashes games this year, as I spoke about in February, starting from tomorrow.

A look back on Ben Hollioake

Most Brits will know the name Ben Hollioake, but he wasn’t famed for his cricket. Sadly it was death which really brought his name to the forefront of people’s minds, when he died aged just 24 in his birthplace Australia in 2002. There’s a marvellous obituary of him at Cricinfo, which I think highlights all you need to know about him, and in particular why his innings of 63 on debut against the Australians was so special to everyone who watched.

This bloke, who none of us knew of at all, strolled to the wicket and took apart their attack. 1997 was in the dark, gloomy days of English cricket – and suddenly we had a shining light to cheer. There was a freedom, simplicity and genuine class in his strokeplay; skipping down the wicket to McGrath, sweeping Warne for 6 and cheekily edging Kasper through vacant slip positions. All this promise cut short when he was 24 – it was a really bloody awful thing to have happened.

His older brother Adam (excellent, tough cricketer himself and England ODI captain) was naturally completely devastated, and setup the Ben Hollioake fund which is in association with CHASE Hospice Care. He does all kinds of charity events and marathon’s to support the fund.

So, I’ve come by this video of that very innings – and it’s really worth watching. It’s about 30MB, so not too bad, and I hope you enjoy it. Download here (make sure you right click and choose “Save as” or “Save to disk” – and not stream it…)

England v South Africa 2004/5 on DVD

England v South Africa

England’s victorious tour to South Africa will soon be available on DVD, either by Cricinfo’s shop or by getting it £2 cheaper directly from the excellent Green Umbrella.

Incidentally, I hope to provide my own DVDs this year – at little or no cost – of England v Australia. This is merely for my own, sad, tragic benefit since owning a DVD recorder – so I might aswell extend the offer to fellow cricket fans.

Eng v Windies 2000

I’m converting all my old VHS tapes onto DVD – a long and slow process, but it gives me a great chance to review all my old cricket tapes which I used to fastidiously record. And I’m watching the 2000 series where Eng did so well against the West Indies, and in partic I’m struck by Craig White and what a bloody good (and fast) bowler he was. Aggressive lines, and 92mph. Especially good to the lefties. Gough was of course outstanding, but Caddick too looked so, so good back then. Sometimes can’t beleive he a) isn’t still playing and b) has such a modest record. Should have taken 300 wickets for England. Then again, so should Angus Fraser and on that note I’ll shut up, else I’ll be trawling through every Middx player who “should” have got x runs/wickets for England…[1]

[1] OK, since you asked, Ramprakash should have made 7000+ Test runs, Weekes should have played ODI cricket, John Carr 4000+ Test runs

Cricket television coverage

It seems live cricket has died on terrestrial TV in Britain, or at least it has a “death date” starting 2006, as I mentioned back in November. Ofcom has agreed BSkyB a 4 year deal, isolating the British public from watching Cricket on the box. At least The Ashes will still be on C4 this year. On a similar note, what is happening about Australia’s coverage of the Ashes?

For those who want/need it, I’ll be providing DVD highlights of the Ashes after each Test (just need a blank DVD or 3 and for you to pay the postage). More on that later in the year.