Doors to manual…oh shut up Kevin

According to Liam Plunkett, the England team will be seated in alphabetical order on the plane to Australia on Friday. This throws up a delicious image of contrasting characters forced to sit next to eachother – despite their “we’re all best buddies in the team England bubble” rubbish. They can’t all get on, can they?

Plunkett, then, is next to Kevin Pietersen and Monty Panesar; you couldn’t have three more contrasting cricketers. One is a fitness fanatic; one a fashion floozy and Monty’s in love with cricket of all things. As for the others…


Strauss could have a bit of a task…

(Tangent) What music shall I get?

ACDC rocks my backside off

We spent a while talking about the Ashes today; the hours, the days, the Christmas, the New Year and all that kind of jazz. I’m going to be delighting the masses with my own brand of ball-by-balderdash but, during session-breaks and shift-breaks, I’ll need something to keep me awake during the small hours.

Music. Lately The Black Keys, Wolfmother, the Ramones, Undertones, Buzzcocks and Longpigs have been on a constant loop on my iPod. I need something new. Your suggestions please. It should ideally be loud and rocktastic but I’m open to suggestions.

Disclaimer: I can’t promise I won’t publicly humiliate you if your choice in music makes me laugh.

“Warney, put your wanga away”

Dunno why I’ve not heard or seen this before, but it’s a bit good. The limited lyrics are not Lennon-beating lines of genius, which is probably why I enjoy it so much. They include things like:

“So Warney…put your wanga away
That pecker’s gonna get you into trouble one day”

It’s basically an Australian Chas and Dave. And his name? Kevin Bloody Wilson. Click here if you can’t see/hear the video below.

91.3% of England fans rate Ashes over World Cup

Cricinfo has been running a survey to find out English fans opinion of the Ashes and the World Cup. That the Ashes is the more significant competition in the eyes of the English comes as no surprise, but the actual percentage – 91.3% – is quite amazing.

A survey conducted by Cricinfo has revealed that a massive 91.3% of English respondents would prefer their country to retain the Ashes than win the World Cup. Only 8.4% believed that the World Cup, which takes place in the Caribbean in March and April next year, was the more significant tournament.

For all their excitement about the Ashes, however, the respondents to the survey were a pretty pessimistic bunch. Only 28.6% believed that England would win the series outright, compared to 47.3% backing Australia to reclaim their crown. But, and it’s a big but, 24.1% favour the draw (something that hasn’t happened in an Ashes series since 1972) and that would be enough for England.

More at Cricinfo.

Sarwan and Gayle’s tour diary blog

Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle are blogging their Champions Trophy thoughts at Cricinfo, which is worth keeping an eye on. See here.

Quintessentially Indian

This is a really great shot, and well worth looking at the larger size. I’ll be in India this time next week and hope to grab some similar shots.

Local game of cricket

Hugh Gage.

“What did you read at Uni? Cricket?”

Students have an ever-growing and seemingly limitless number of degrees to choose from these days. Wallpaper-paste-management, how to design a video game and Toenail Clipping in 21st Century Politics are three which don’t yet exist. But then nor does a degree in cricket…or does it?

Read more here if you can stand it.

How ridiculous. Call me old-fashioned, call me a stick in the mud, but I cannot believe the number of degrees available is in any way beneficial to the future of our education system or in securing employment. It’s almost as though universities are challenging eachother in a Most Unlikely Courses competition each year. I didn’t go to uni – yes, I was going to and some say I should’ve gone – but I don’t feel I have missed out on anything other than the fun part, popping persil tablets and vomiting out of windows. Circumstances at the time dictated my decision.

Specific degrees tailored towards a particular profession are absolutely necessary, but there are too many spurious subjects on offer for there to be any benefit to the employer or employee. I think businesses are wising up to the university treadmill, too. Although I must admit, before joining Cricinfo I was massively handicapped by a lack of a degree. What angered me so much was the number of companies who didn’t specify a particular degree – anything would have done, which makes a total mockery of the whole system! If it was an IT job, a degree in biology would have been just fine. My experience in the field, running my own small business and with a list of clients as long as my arm counted for nothing apparently.

Anyway, waffling. Go and get a degree in cricket, see if I care.

Imran Khan’s blog

No, not that Imran – West Indies’ media manager Imran. He’s a bit of a photographer and is in India for the Champions Trophy, taking snaps on his time off.

Aus broadcasters court Mick Jagger for coverage

The Australian television company Channel 9 are in talks with Mick Jagger who, they hope, will make “cameo appearances” for their coverage of the forthcoming Ashes. Brilliant.

I am more a Beatles man than a Stoner – my mate is a huge Rolling Stones fan – so I’ve never been into his music much. But anyone who likes cricket as much as he does (apparently he requests live feeds of any cricket which is being played whenever he’s on tour) must be a damn fine fellow. Thinking of him commentating on the Ashes I’m reminded of that fabulous series Stella Street, a spoof show depicting a whole load of celebrities all living in the same street. These included Michael Caine, Des Lynam, Sting, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Jagger. And Phil Cornwell, one of the most underrated impersonators to have drawn breath, did a brilliant takeoff of Jagger. Get it, it’s superb.

I always enjoy hearing who will be commentating on the Ashes. It’s such a big deal for TV companies that they’re desperate to out-do eachother and steal a celebrity name. The only Australian I know of who Sky Sports have recruited is David Boon. Imagine Boon and Jagger…that could be fun. Boon, Jagger and Tony Greig would be even better!