Will Luke in Kenya

Will’s not one to blow his own trumpet. Instead, he pays me to do it for him. Of course, he’s in Kenya.

Most people that go to Kenya seem to go there for big game hunting. Will is hunting for new cricket talent with the World Cricket League, and he’s blogging about it for Cricinfo.

In today’s game, the Atlantic Island of Bermuda is taking on the hosts. They didn’t make a great fist of their first innings, being bowled out for 133.  That they got that far was almost entirely due to their wicketkeeper, Dean Minors, who scored 52. Not the youngest of chaps, in fact he’s even older then I am, but the bright young stars of tomorrow sometimes need the wisdom of the elderly.

Anyhow Will’s over there reporting it for Cricinfo, so be sure to go check it out.

Off to Kenya

I’m away for the next three weeks covering the World Cricket League in Nairobi. Keep your eyes peeled on Cricinfo for my reports and interviews. Scott’ll be around to keep the blog fed and watered.

Technology of covering and following cricket

Technology has moved on massively even in the short time I’ve followed the game. Back then, in the familiar gloom of the 1990s, few people bothered with Sky. It required a “dish” which implied a small and unobtrusive space-age work of genius. In fact, they were the size of a small car and were concreted onto the sides of flats which almost collapsed under the weight. They were also bright white, or they were until the pigeons took aim.

All change. The dishes are now properly unobtrusive – digital, even – and are sucked onto the walls of every estate in Britain. And here is the BBC’s Test Match Special producer, Caroline, with their own version.

Caroline from the BBC with a satellite dish

I miss the old days sometimes. Ceefax, waiting for the colours to change (not out batsmen were in white, I think, and those dismissed turned green. Appropriately.) Can’t remember what blue meant. But there was a thrill in watching the screen, if the radio was knackered, waiting for it to change. And there was usually (but not always) a delay in updates if a wicket had fallen…so you’d sit there, sweaty palmed, and wait for the batsman to turn green.

This was all before Cricinfo came along. Now that we’re doing ball-by-ball commentary editorially – with more of a voice, colour, interesting facts etc – the response has been incredible. We even get emails from fishermen at sea…in the middle of the bloody sea, reading our website and following commentary. It’s ridiculous.

So I don’t miss the old days that much. There is too much cricket being played; the game is played at a new, frenetic pace (except when Collingwood’s batting); Zimbabwe are, well, whatever. But the coverage, and access of cricket news for the fans, is unprecedentedly broad. It’s pretty damn good.

What do you miss from the dark old black-and-white (or white and green) days and what modern marvels do you like the most?

The modern cricket journalist

It’s no longer all about words, clusters, headlines, subbing and nailing the point of your piece in the second paragraph. The modern journalist needs to cook, too, especially when covering the Ashes.

Making fish pie

Chez Cricinfo will be serving fish pie this evening. What five-star winners we are.

Where to watch the Ashes…in London

A plea for help from Srivaths who writes:

I saw your “Where to watch the Ashes in Hong Kong” post. I have a better
question for you. Where do I watch the Ashes in London? I’m a student from
India and moved in just recently and the sky box(or whatever it is called) is
broken in our student dig. I don’t think the pubs will be open in the mdiddle
of the night. Any ideas?

Damn good question, and I have no idea. Londonshire closes at 11 and woe betide anyone who walks within three feet of the bar. There must be somewhere, though, that can cater for the fans. Naturally you should all buy a crate of beer or decent malt, go home, get to bed, open the laptop and read the marvel that is Cricinfo dot com. But I appreciate you’re not all as sad and tragic as us.

Cricinfo’s conference in Goa

It doesn’t work very well, no idea why. Erm…I’ll try it again in the week. If you’re a Cricinfo person email me if you want the JPEGs.

If you’re reading via a feed, click here.

I’m in Goa

I’m in Goa. Goa is good. Not yet hippyfied but certainly hungover. Photos on Saturday.

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.

Bob Woolmer’s blog

Bob Woolmer is blogging for us (or for him, I should say) at Cricinfo. Visit Bob’s World.

Cricket is a great game to play and a fun one to comment on. I would like my blog to reflect the views of the playing and coaching fraternity and I will try and cover as many topics as possible. Including Pakistan, drugs in sport, modern training methods for cricketers, the itineraries that put players in the red zone as far as injuries are concerned and to explain the many myths that surround cricketing technique.

Those of you who wish to know more about this game and want to voice their opinion are most welcome to let me know what you are thinking. I will try and address these issues as well as others that occur.

Let’s get “stuck” into the first one!