Sobers’s six sixes at Swansea

Super headline, that. 38 years ago to the day, Garry Sobers hit six sixes off Malcolm Nash, in one over, for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan. And as Cricinfo reminds us, “In 1977, Nash was hit for 34 off an over by Frank Hayes, also at Swansea”.

From All Today’s Yesterday’s.

Video of Fred Trueman bowling

A pretty rare video of Fred Trueman on YouTube. If you can’t see it below, click here. Such a fluid action – really terrific to watch, especially if (like me) you didn’t see him “live”.

His book is also well worth getting.

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.

Saved by the rain

I always feel a bit cheated when a game I’ve been watching is washed out. However, I think the Pakistan team are probably a little more upset than I am that their innings was lost to rain. Barring the slight stutter at the loss of Shoaib Malik in the second over, handing Stuart Broad his first ODI wicket, the touring side looked more than comfortable in their seven overs of reply.

Again, a mixture of excellent, accurate bowling and poor shots had England’s innings tottering to a barely credible score from their 49.2 overs. Ian Bell, continuing his good form this summer and against Pakistan with his highest ever score in ODIs, had the only innings of note. Extras came third in the home team’s attempt to set a total, and before Darren Gough’s 18 from 16 deliveries, a score above 200 seemed unlikely.

It’s hard to take anything from Pakistan’s innings, except the sheer difference in attitude from their upper order. The Pakistani’s more positive approach could be seen with the naked eye, but statistics are even more damning. All three players who faced England’s bowling had strike rates above 70. Of England’s top order, only Bell managed this, with 12 of England’s 20 boundaries to his name.

So what now for England? After being completely outplayed by Pakistan this match, they are lucky to have been given a life. I can only hope that this prompts a change in attitude from England’s batsmen. I’m not holding my breath.

Water bomb stops play

A caterpulted water bomb stopped play between Lancashire and Warwickshire this afternoon, at Stanley Park in Blackpool. Written up Cricinfo. Love stories like these!

Live discussion: England v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Cardiff

So then, the first one-day between England and Pakistan gets underway today. England began the second half of their one-day season in dispiriting style at Bristol on Tuesday, in a Twenty20. Pakistan ruthlessly brushed them aside. If the 5-0 drubbing Sri Lanka inflicted on them was painful, the next 10 days could be worse. Pakistan are an outstanding one-day side – and they know it.

What to do? Well we get the opportunity to watch Stuart Broad bowl ten overs, and that will be fascinating to see how he copes. Cue the “broad shoulders” pun come Thursday morning whether he does or not…

I’ll be on ball-by-ball for Cricinfo, so keep an eye on the scorecard, the bulletin and so forth…and leave your comments here as the game progresses.

Live Cricinfo scorecard

How to bowl on Australian pitches (video)

A lesson to England, Steve Harmison or indeed any fast bowler on Australia’s pitches. They’ve since changed, and aren’t quite as quick or bouncy, but length bowled here by Curtly Ambrose is just marrrrrvellous.

Who should replace Harmison (if anyone)?

I can’t help but feel relieved Steve Harmison is missing for the one-day series which begins tomorrow, at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff against Pakistan. He was about as worthless as is possible in the 5-0 blush-fest against Sri Lanka earlier in the summer. So who should replace him…if anyone?

Taunton the home of women’s cricket

Taunton was announced today as the new home of women’s cricket in England. I’m a newcomer to the women’s game and, while it (and my knowledge of it) is still in its infancy, watching a one-dayer at Lord’s the other day was a revelation.

There were a fair number of people, all cheering and whooping for the girls. Before play began (it was delayed due to the heavens chucking it down) several players jumped into the Grandstand to sign autographs and were quite literally mobbed. I hadn’t expected that.

So they now have a place to call home. This really should be the foundation the game needs in order to progress. I’m not qualified to comment any more really(!), so instead, read my colleague Jenny Thompson’s piece today, or Charlotte Edwards’s.

Warne survives the boot-camp (just)

Shane Warne has revealed what he and his team-mates have been up to at the boot camp – a John Buchanan concept – in the past week, including some tasks more associated with the military than sportsmen:

I was shattered. But just as the night went silent, voices screamed: “Go, go, go!”. What on earth was going on? A stun-bomb had gone off, and we were told the area wasn’t safe. We had to move. Now. There were no torches or directions.
All we had been given for dinner was half a can of chunky soup, so our energy reserves were low after pulling vans and carrying litres of water. But we had to go. It was time to prove our mental resolve and move to a different location.

Welcome to the Australian cricket squad’s boot camp in regional Queensland, a time where we had only been referred to as numbers, not names, and weren’t allowed to communicate with the outside world.

Despite voicing his indifference to the idea beforehand, Warne said “there’s no doubt it brought the group closer together.”