Shane Warne’s new TV advert

Apparently,

He was an expert at bamboozling England’s batsmen, but now Shane Warne is set to leave viewers flummoxed in a new TV advert.

The spin legend spent hours in make-up to appear as a baby and also as his own mum and dad.

Warne said: “It was a hoot. I absolutely loved doing the ads.”

Do leave a comment if you’ve seen it or, better, have a link to it.

Notes from the pavilion for October 27th

The secret of Australian success

Robert “Crash” Craddock writes about Shane Warne’s list, and about Warne’s animosity towards Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist.

But underneath it all there is a fascinating, essentially untold story about how two superstars of the modern game somehow managed to survive and thrive year after year in the same side despite a fallout which left each man cold.

Waugh will never expand on the details because he could not be bothered starting a bushfire from which no one could win.

Warne’s definition of Gilchrist as “still a batsman-keeper rather than the other way around” is not flattering (even given Gilchrist’s freakish batting skills) and one which Gilchrist would not enjoy.

You can call Gilchrist a madhouse slogger and he will laugh along with you but dismissiveness of his keeping skills hurts him because he sees himself as a keeper first.

…..In a perverse sort of way, Warne’s modest rating of Steve Waugh and Gilchrist gives us a hint of why Australian teams have been so successful over the past decade – they simply put the personal stuff to one side and go out and play for the team.

It sounds easy to do but it has been beyond many fragmented England, West Indian, Indian and Pakistan teams of the same era.

Warne and Waugh might not have been each other’s cup of tea but you would never have known it on the field.

The ability of Australia’s players to put their personal stuff to one side and play for the team is undoubtedly a big part of Australia’s success. I don’t know, but I suspect that New Zealand are also good at doing this, which is why they are able to punch above their weight in international cricket.

Warne’s 50 greatest cricketers

Shane Warne has run out of ideas for his Times column and, like a Channel 4 producer bereft of inspiration, is producing a list. But it ought to be far more entertaining than those interminable countdowns (“100 greatest romantic moments” etc), so take a look. In today’s (50-41) are Mike Atherton (43) and Alec Stewart (44)

700 down, 300 to go

It required a spectacular effort, a mere 12 wickets in the match, but yesterday Muttiah Muralitharan became only the second bowler to reach 700 Test wickets. Yet, at his home ground in Kandy, to the man himself this appeared to be insufficient:

“It is a big achievement, but I anyway knew I was going to get 700 wickets. The challenge now is whether I can get 1000 test wickets before I retire.”

First, of course, lies Warne’s record tally of 708 – I’d like to know the odds on that taking more than one match to overcome.

Positive spin

Only yesterday, at Sky’s only televised County Championship match of the season, David Lloyd was to be found grumbling at the lack of positivity in modern English first-class cricket. Although the Roses match is normally a lure, I’m afraid, Bumble, you were just at the wrong game.

For most teams in the County Championship, it would be fair to say that the days of the sporting declaration have, for the most part, disappeared. This is especially so when the first 5 teams in the top division are within elbows distance of each other. The bonus system, which rewards first innings performances with bat and ball, boosts the meagre four points handed to teams who draw without an over bowled. As such, when Yorkshire were all out this morning for 320, Lancashire merely began their first innings as if there were still days to play.

Shane Warne has brough many things to the County Championship. Yet high on this list must be his forthright version of captaincy. Hampshire are not a team to draw many games, and today was no exception. In a deal that must be applauded, Warne, and Warwickshire counterpart Darren Maddy, arranged a declaration and forfeiture to set up a run chase, which was so closely contested that it took a career best 192* from Michael Carberry to secure the game in the final over for Hampshire.

Does it seem right the Warwickshire are in a worse position for playing a competitive match than either of the Roses teams are after a draw in which the only tension rested in whether Lancashire could make it to their second bowling point before they ran out of overs? Yorkshire’s former captain, Darren Lehmann, was rather vehement on the subject and but two years ago, Warne himself accused David Fulton, then captain of Kent, of handing Nottinghamshire the Championship by refusing to accept such a deal on the last day of the season.

Certainly, the Australian system is far more rewarding of results over ‘score draws’, and the whole point of the extention to four day cricket was to avoid games without victors. However impressive the scorecard of Essex’s game against Nottingham these last four days, neither team showed any hunger for the win over inflated career averages and record breaking. Unfortunately for Chris Read, the two overs he bowled in a final session dedicated to over-rate improvement did not yield him his first wicket in all competitions. That, at least, might have been vaguely entertaining.

Too highly rated?

I see Kevin Pietersen has been knocked off the top spot in the ODIs by Ricky Ponting. Very difficult to argue with that – Ponting is surely the stand out batsman in both forms of the game. Looking at the other batting rankings, it is difficult to find fault, although on current form, Shiv Chanderpaul ought to be in the test top three at least. Also, I struggle to understand how Mahela Jayawardene doesn’t break into either top ten, while Hussey retains a top five place in both. He’s very good, granted, but is he top five?

Jason Gillespie

The bowlers are altogether more perplexing. For one, how can Shoaib Akhtar still be at number 10 in tests? He’s played four tests since the start of 2006 and taken only a handful of wickets. Maybe in the current game, not playing is the way to climb the rankings. Likewise, Jason Gillespie (22) is still deemed a better Test bowler than Lasith Malinga (28)!

Agreed, it must be difficult to devise a workable system. Also, stats don’t tell the full story. But things start to look decidedly suspect when you inspect the Best Ever Ratings, which is a list of players at their peak. Ponting at four is just about fair enough, given his recent dominance. However, Peter May above Viv Richards shows a flaw, while Matthew Hayden in the top ten is just crazy. KP (21) is one place higher than Sachin and two places higher than Wally Hammond. Enough said.

For the bowlers, I half expected to see the list packed high with bowlers of yesteryear, given how modern bowlers are meant to have struggled, but it does put Murali, McGrath, Pollock, Waqar and Warne in the top 15. Of course, Warne should be in the top three, if not top of the pile. Wasim Akram limps in at number 57 behind the likes of Ntini, Shoaib and Harmison, which doesn’t seem right.

That said, like most critics, I can’t think of a better way. There must be some bright spark at Cricinfo with a formula….?

Ooh, ahh, Glenn McGrath. Spoofish video

Best watched at about 10am, in your office, and ideally when you’re boss / team-leader / line-manager or someone else is giving a speech. Shortly afterwards, and for the remainder of the day, you’ll be unable to say anything other than Ooh, ahh, Glenn McGrath…

If you can’t see it above, click here.

[via CI]

Parkinson: The Shane Warne interview

Michael Parkinson, the renowned television interviewer, will talk with Shane Warne this Monday at 7.30pm on Australia’s UK TV. If anyone watches it, do leave a comment afterwards for those of us who won’t be able to see it.

[tags]shane warne, michael parkinson, tv, interview[/tags]

Eleven cricketing sex scandals

There’s a great piece from this month’s South Africa Wisden Cricketer which we’ve put up as a special on Cricinfo: Eleven cricketing sex scandals.

Shane Warne owns the list, of course, but Pietersen, Akram, Mushtaq, and the entire West Indies team all receive worthy mention. Well done them.

It’s just an excuse to put up this photo of Coralie Eichholtz…so go and read.

[tags]sex scandal, shane warne, Coralie Eichholtz[/tags]