Thursday, 9 July 2009

Ponting batters balls

That's nothing. I've got a batting average of 100. We are talking in binary, right?

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Congrats to Um(a|e)r

Mr Gul, who can't seem to decide how to spell his name, just took 5 for 6 off of 3 overs, the first michelle in international T20s, and also the most economical figures in the format of the game (and probably ever, what with it being the shortest form too).

These figures are undeniably the best, I'm fairly sure no one would put anything else above those 3 overs, but at the same time, what really makes one set of figures better than another?

Classically I think that it's very rare that the more wickets the more valuable the performance when spread over a longer format, but not always, and even less so within the super mega short formats.

As a captain would you rather see wickets or maidens? Initially that's probably a reasonably equality to make, 1 wicket = 1 maiden. In T20, maidens are much rarer than wickets, but in terms of the impact, roughly the same maybe.

Of course, if the details outside of this go awry then either achievement is quickly forgotten... would a captain care about his favourite middle overs dobbler taking 3 wickets if he went at 16 an over? Or, to complete the analogy, bowled 2 maidens and then was slogged for 8 sixes and 3 fours in the other 2 overs?

So moving on from maidens, and dot balls along with them (as nice a stat as it can be in T20, props to Sky for adding them to the players summaries), the blindly obvious alternative is of course economy rate.

As it turns out, Um(a|e)r's economy was similarily amazing, going at 2rpo, BUT if he had also been slapped around, the "best ever" bowling analysis in T20i could well be 5-32, which compared to the newy relegated 4-7 (Mark Gillespire vs Keny, 2007 World T20) wouldn't be considered better. Yet there it would of been, sitting atop the table.

So using magic imaginary numbers, complete the equation -- 5 for 30 == 4 for X

20? 10? If there was an equation, I'm sure it'd be hated as much as D/L. If I crawled over statsguru long enough I could probably have a stab at a magic ratio, but that sounds like hard work for zero return.

The big arse pain about stats is always that they miss the realities of the match, who was the opposition, was it the openers falling, or a drab skittling of a sorry tail end? Those annoyances aside, there's surely a point, especially in the short game when all the commentators seem to talk about are dot balls being golddust, where "best" can't always mean "most wickets".

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Cactus time... ICC tournament structures

England lost to the Netherlands. Can't be arse to comment on that, as it's too interesting. Instead I was thinking about things which are dryer than a moisture lacking entity in an environment generally known for it's lack of water content.

This loss could cause a problem for the ICC, just like it did in the ODI World Cup when Ireland went through against all odds and ended up playing 7 more matches than they should. If England don't go through that will then be 7 matches with lower viewing figures, 7 matches with lower gate takings, 7 "worse" matches.

I can see the appeal of the league formats, from a cynical and genuine perspective, more matches, more money, more team exposure etc. But that leaves the problem of an exciting end. The IPL format seems odd with a big long hard fought league to ditch half the teams and then just 3 matches to sort out the top 4... weird, and unattractive.

Here in the World T20 this stupid "Super 8" thing is such a bad idea for the same reasons. In addition, going from 12 to 8 with just two matches per side clearly shows that those 4 getting the chop are not meant to make it in the first place. They are supposed to be token gestures, every one of them. If you look at how many matches are played by each level of progression we get:

4 teams play twice
4 teams play 9 times
2 teams play 10 times
2 teams play 11 times

Total matches - 86

Seems odd. The whole thing looks ugly and unbalanced. how about this...

Firstly, 16 teams instead of 12, and in that first group there are more games, meaning that the two teams going through from each group have more right to go through, so less shocks in theory.

Secondly any shocks that do happen are (probably) only going to last 3 more matches, not 7. After that round, you'd be really quite confident that normality should of been restored, and if not, then whoever it is clearly deserves to be there after all.

Thirdly there is a good balance between knock out and round robin leagues - it's a triangle. Everyone loves triangles accordingly to Dairylea.

Tallying up matches again:

8 teams play 3 matches
4 teams play 6 matches
2 teams play 9 matches
2 teams play 10 matches

Total matches - 86. You could not make this stuff up! Well you could, as I did the maths in my head and i'm tired... was I right?

I reckon this looks much much nicer. Less matches per team at most stages, but for the better I think. How many matches in any of these groups is going to be pointless for a team that progresses to the next round? Depends on numerous things really, but ultimately there would be less than the super 8 matches for sure.

I reckon this is fair. Does anyone else?

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Mirror mirror on the wall...

...Who's the blandest of them all?

Which county side is the most drab and forgettable? Who's club mascot should be a glass of tap water or a bag of plain flour (non of that crazy self raising mumbo jumbo around here please)? Which opponents are you so utterly indifferent about that when your side plays them you find yourself thinking about interesting things like how many sheets of paper are actually in your printer at the moment, or if the levels of precipitation are indeed higher in the flatter areas of Spain as opposed to those with a more dynamic geography?

It's Derbyshire, isn't it? It is, right? Yeah?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The Chris Read New Hat Appeal - Success!!!

After literally no response whatsoever, least of all any donations towards it what posted last year, and the total lack of further thought on the subject until watching the FP match on Sky at the weekend, I'm thrilled to announce that the Chris Read Needs A New Hat appeal is a full and unqualified success.

Look at his semi-toothful grin. Doesn't he look both fully rejuvinated and more like Gollum at the same time, in his nice new headwear?

Maybe what we should all be really pleased about after the successful completion of the appeal is just that I've got a new LCD TV and Sky HD since then. Success for me at least.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

How rubbish do Sky think your county is?

In the time honoured tradition of throwing statistics at just about anything related to willow planks, when feeling annoyed how few Warwickshire games are being televised this year I thought I'd create a chart!

Why do Sky clearly hate Derb... Leices...Nort... Durham? No idea, nothing blidnly obvious as far as I know, unlike some. Maybe Murdoch had his money on Notts for the LVCC last year? it's not like we'll win anything this year, and probably not get to be written in the box currently containing "TBC" much either, so maybe we'd get one extra match televised? Meanwhile Notts counties like Lancs will probably pick up a sack load of extras...

I'm trying to see an anti-north thing here, Somerset get a truck full, including their recent humiliation by Durham over 4 days. but Lancs get loads, with Yorkiedoodles close behind, so sadly I don't think I can say that they're *that* racist. Does look like they're trying to get the moneys worth within the big city though, with Middlesex and Surrey coming up well. Are they officially prettier sides?

Does this mean that I actually have to go to Edgbaston in person?? Oh the humanity!

Anyway. Have a chart on a nice Sunday morning.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Warks vs Somerset, FP Trophy

Sooooo, I managed to make it to the first FP match at Edgbaston on the weekend. Beautiful lovely super mega awesome sunny day, so I took the boy along to watch T'Bears bat reasonably well and fail with the ball. He's not 4 yet, and not really interested in the game in the slightest, but on the way up the M6 he remembered that there were bears, and that one had a bow. Bless him. Plan was to take him and bring him back home when he got bored, and hopefully return alone later. Expecting this to be leaving after 10 overs, the dude managed 47 overs in the end. That's my guy.

Actual player reviewy bits...

Bell did well. His ton came at a rate around 90, but with plenty of signs that he was there to prove form for England rather than win the match. He perished for 108. I have to assume that once he did get the ton he immediately hit out and got caught. I have to assume this as the little man needed the loo, and whilst I managed to drag out the route to the toilets while Bell painfully slowly went from 96 to 100, I didn't dare delay him any longer..! More evidence of him trying to prove form was that when Bears were fielding he dissapeared a little over half way through, with Miller replacing him as a sub for the rest of the match.

Woakes also had a reasonable day. At least as reasonable as any bowler on the side which only took 2 wickets in 45 overs. He and Ant Botha responsible for converting a probably average 240ish score to 271, both of them going at over 150. Nice to see that after a slow middle due to a collapse containing a duck for Maddy and a single for Tiny Tim.

Also good to see was the new boy Keith Barker. On debut from the 2nd XI (with Carter being crook) he hit a nice 28 and then bowled a really tidy 1/47 off of his full 10 overs. Maybe we'll see more of him in the future. Nice one.

So outside of my attempt at being serious, how's this...

We're in the pavilion in the first innings, because the little man wanted to get inside and have a snack. He loves fiddling with things and kept asking to open the sliding doors there, to which I say no so he doesn't annoy people. Now after a bit a nice little old lady comes along the front and goes to open the door, and I suggest Jake might like to help her. He's a shy little dude, so politely declines. Meanwhile the lady has come in, and is aware that he didn't want to help her. With a really nice smile and a soft gentle voice she says:

"They never do want to help do they? Children these days, I don't know. Oh well. It's how you lot bring them up, you know."

Anyone else been the subject of such a massive sweeping insult but be so amazed at the time to even realise it until the moment's gone?

Oh and there's a lovely new hover cover there. Rock on.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Andy Foreigner FTW!!!!!11

Andy Flower is, as expected, the new England Coach. Seems that Strauss didn't want a Coach role at all, more a team manager, but daren't say so to the press. Either way, good luck to him. Please.

This appointment is important, right? It's a widely held belief that the coach is responsible for form and results to a level where he (or she, or it) is held more accountable for failures in a team than the goons holding the lumps of willow themselves.

So with that established, how is it logical that that person is allowed to not be of the nationality of the team? If it's so critical then that surely means that it is significantly representative of the country in question, so how can Johnny foreigner be allowed that job?

Seems to be even more so the case with Association Football, where out national team had a Swede, then a Brit (for national pride to be restored) and then when national pride was seen to be a sack of poop, he was given the elbow and replaced with an... Italian? Or is he Spanish? Not sure. When England failed to get in that Euro tournament the other year, the manager got the boot, not the players.

Anyway, seems I'm just saying the same thing again and again so I'll stop.. but isn't it just a little weird logically??

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Pink bobby gets ready for the new season

I was trying to work out how I ended up following one of the disputed greats of English cricket in Coventry last week.

Then I realised that he must have come up the M1, off at Junction 14 to the M45 and then along the A45, B4113, A429, A4053 and then 4th exit to Croft Road to get to the new IKEA there.

How anyone could not take advantage of the discounted Ringo barstools I have no idea. They'll look just great in the new Rob Key bar in the Rob Key pavilion, at the north end of the Rob Key ground in his back garden. He had to cut a hole in the side of the shed pavilion to fit the back of the ALBA TV through to get that "flat panel" look, and once he's covered the sticky out bit with a tarpaulin, jobs a good 'un.

Formal dedication next Tuesday, limit of 2 mini sausage rolls per person, BYOB.

Friday, 10 April 2009

I'm not playing

I'm sportin rings and things, that's what money brings
If you act like you know I'll put you under my wing
If you act otherwise, and try to demise me
Take me for granted, then try to surprise me
I'm not a dreg, I'll break your legs
Because you're yellow, just like the yolk of an egg
He's DJ Diamond D, and I'm the Master Rob
MC's bitin my rhymes like they were corn on the cob
Or should I say cake, from the bites you take
Know what I'm sayin? I'm not playin

Thanks for that, Ultimate Force. Whoever you are. Wise words I think you'll all agree.

But I'm not playing. Not this year. My kit bag with my 70% off helmet, 70% off pads and full price, mid range thigh pad aren't seeing the light of day until at least next year.

When I moved out of the middle of Limpsville [also known as Coventry] to a nice small villagey towny place I thought it'd be a great way to get involved with the community by tracking down the local cricket club and having a go. I went to net sessions at Edgbaston an the likes, spending many many days in considerable pain due to rock bottom fitness levels and the likes. But after a hell of a lot of good intentions and availability I've been asked to play one measley match in 2 years, successfully blocking out the last 3 overs of a dead match and standing at long leg the rest of the time.

I've got bitter, oh yeah you bet. I want to be up there painting the pavilion and shifting piles of loam, but if I'm not even wanted unless *ALL* the 12 year old kids are ill in bed then maybe I'll just take the hint, huh?

With a bit of luck by this time next year I'll be living in a different villagey town type thing as a home owner and I'll try again by golly gosh. Few years down the line my little boy will hopefully be interested in playing in the kids matches, and I'd like to think I'd happily be turning up to put out the pointy flags 20 metres inside the boundary line for them. We'll see.

Friday, 27 March 2009

More WTF happened?

Since the 51 all out I'm still lost as to how an entire team sucks bottom. A team which is, undeniably, good. Not excellent. Not remarkable. Possibly not even all that memorable. But still... good.

Now there was, as was demonstrated handsomely by the man Gayle, no nasties in the pitch, yet there are certain scorecards which would initially say otherwise.

Are there not questions to be asked about how, for example, Pietersen allowed himself to be so brash and bold and get out for 3 off of 15? There's always so much comment saying that that's the point of him. That's his genius, and if you try to contain him, you'll ruin him. That's surely just drivel. As a responsible player, one who was in that very squad getting the 51, he should have something in his mind to watch out for a potential collapse.

Dimi did well considered, 36 off of 76. Now that must have been reasonably painful for a dude with an ODI strike rate over 120. But he did it, whatever "it" was. Shouldn't these world class super hero mega god batsman be able to see what might happen if they were to end up with similar stats to those already departed?

More and more I'm inclined to think I'm missing something. That if I had my way my England squads would be drab, miserable and would lose. But then I'd tried to think that about Amjad Khan, and I'm more than convinced I was right all along.

[btw, please note Lemmings are, in honour of the occasion, resplendent in England replica kits]

Monday, 23 March 2009

IPL all over the place

Strange times for one of, if not THE, most respected and world renown sporting contests this plant has ever witnessed.

To move the IPL from India after it's legendary 6 week history, which is truly etched into the very bedrock of anyone who would describe themselves to be a member of the human race is truly shocking.

Or at least poor little Lalit mightn't make quite so much money if he has to take reasonable measures to actually address major safety concerns.

Up until about 30 minutes ago, I was assuming the chance of the IPL moving to England this year as opposed to letting the Saffers have it was just laughable. I don't know too much about domestic cricket down there, but the waves of apathy I'd expect to swamp an average IPL match between then Dehli Dongles and the Mumbai Mushrooms at Edgabaston on a cold Thursday mid-afternoon would really be quite sizeable. No one would be hanging from the scafolding, and playing the matches in full daylight also would take a massive amount of atmosphere away to boot. But now due to those pesky logistics, it seems that the South Africans powers that be seem to think even less of their "chances" of playing host than I do of ours.

At the current rate, will the IPL ever settle into a sane steady format? Or is it always going to be this bizarre pile of greed, legal action and bitter bitter resentment? Are other sporting tournaments this shambolic? I know that the Preiemer League, 6 Nations etc... certainly aren't, but is it common for other shabby tournaments to be as badly handled as, well, just about *EVERY* major event in world cricket?

Ixnay on the Straussay

Can we - by which I mean Bob "Looks like one of those Germans from Eurotrash who dress up as babies" Willis - please now stop slagging off Strauss in the short form for a while now? He's clearly not the future world saviour leader of men, but he's... OK. Or at least, he always was "OK" and so far as captain, he's been excellent, by way of responsible, with the bat. Who else has stats anything remotely resembling his? The Lord Megachief of Gold, of course. Judge a man by the company he keeps.

105 yesterday doesn't prove that much all on it's lonesone, but even the long view says he's fine, and no one need have replaced him personally. Of the currently feasible players, only KP, Fred, Bell, Shah and Colly have a better average. Yes, yes, I know that could basically say that everyone else in the squad is better than him, but well... Look, he has an average above 30. Prior hasn't, Mustard hasn't, Bopara hasn't, Wright hasn't. Bopara doesn't even have as good a strike rate.

As an aside, Cook also *statistically* fits in to everything said about Strauss there too... Please let me have statsguru. Right or wrong it's all I've got to base an opinion on most of the time.

I don't know quite what has happened to Bob recently, but it's pretty pathetic. Did it start with those pathetic Bobby's Dazzlers links on Cricket AM? That was fscking awful, and I think some scroat of a producer (does Adam Mountfield moonlight for Sky?) decided to bring more personality into his pundit persona. Certainly no one else there capable of having a controversial opinion. Rather him say that that Colville I guess. Makes my skin crawl.

Am I unwittingly advocating a team which is exactly what's been wrong with ODI for the last however many years? I'd have thought starting with good batsman and just encouraging them to be a little more positive would be better than continually telling a bunch of sloggers to stop getting out. Might be duller to watch, but more chance of a respectable defeat at least.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Windies make mockery of cricket. Yet again.

England seemed to be heading in the right direction, by the very reason that pushed D/L in our favour once Ramdin was out, so it wasn't too unreasonable to think that they were going to win. As such I won't say that John Dyson's screw up with primary school mathematics changed much. It's such a shame to see the rules being so selfishly applied though.

In a similar way to the groundsman blatant preparing dead pitches during the test series to ensure draws, this is a horrible way to twist things to your advantage. As has already been pointed out in so many places, they are by no means the first to do this, and technically they are entitled to do so, but what happens to the Spirit of the Game in situations like this?

Whilst he seldom seems to know what day it is Bumble was right with his continual chanting of "Play the game! Play the game!" and maybe this will teach the Windies, and indeed, other teams, a thing about sportsmanship. Unfortunately it'll probably just teach them not to let a pensioner read a newfangled spreadsheet.

Is there nothing that can be done about this sort of behaviour? Obviously with something as basic as a shitty pitch nothing realistically can be done to save the match at the time, but when a team is just being a big old spoil sport can the umpires (oh shit, dodgy ground already) not have the final say? I don't think there are many people who wouldn't, if they were put into a darkened room and told to think carefully at the risk of unleashing the badgers, confess they'd rather see a good fair match than their own team win by default.

Letting umpires use their own version of common sense was shown to be a very dubious thing with the referral trials, but surely letting them say "Look, there are a floodlights... just turn them on." can't be a bad thing, with only tired stuffiness getting in the way of simple logic like this happening.

Either way, let's not think about poaching Dyson any more, huh?

Sunday, 15 March 2009

I hate him, I hate him, I hate him

How chuffed was I to see Amjad Bloody Khan in the T20 XI??




For when it mattered a toss, he bowled shit, and dropped a painfully easy catch off of Dimi. He picked up 2 wickets when it couldn't matter less, with Sarwan fancying finishing it off in glory and coming up short to no real concenquence, and just about the same rationale for Bravo's catch.

So now after sucking TWICE, can we please please put this sorry little waste of space back where be belongs in the KCCC 2nd XI?

And elsewhere... Why wasn't Rashid playing?? Why bother with Batty as the solo spinner when everyone expects Rashid to be the incumbent spinner in all forms of the game within 3 years.

And finally... Why all the grief to Strauss? He tonked the ball during the tests as if he was playing ODI, why was there so little faith in him? I said out loud to my assembled audience (wife, cat, dog) that he wouldn't be the worst performing batsman, and by buggery he wasn't. He wasn't great, sure, but then no one was, and whilst *he* wasn't setting the world on fire, there was no one else waiting for their chance to sort it out.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Clarkes Casualty Cwiz 5!

HAHA! I ESCAPED! I'm back baby! Who's the daddy?! They said I should have quit, but I'm still standing. Who ever so dare stand against me in the ECB elections would have got one serious kicking. But no one did, did they? Isn't that strange? Maybe it's something to do with a friend I introduced them to. I made, erm... met, this charming fellow the other day around the back of the offices, in amongst the rusty filing cabinets and burnt out Merlin machines. Looks a bit like Danny Dyer I think, and he sure takes a punch to the gut like the host of Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men, Danny Dyer. You oppose me? You end up like him. Or at least 1/5 of him...

Gotta stop typing now, the blisters on my fingers are killing me. Typing 9,000 emails (with a little help from Mummsy) really takes its toll on the hands... Just remember. Right?

So. 5 delightful players of the game, but one doesn't belong... Who and why?

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Amjad? Who the f*** is Amjad?

So this dude I've never heard of is Fedexed overnight from New Zealand to Barbados to possibly cover for Freddie, saviour of the human race. Who's he then? According to Google Images, he looks like this...

I'm first to admit that I'm not infallable in my knowledge of crap county players, but I'd honestly never heard of this guy ever ever ever. But now he's called up for a possible test cap. Another Pattinson? Well, not really as he's been carrying drinks and playing 2nd XI's for Kent for ages.

Last year he played 3 - THREE - county matches for kent. He returned figures of 14-28-2, 5-13-0, 14-27-3, 8-27-0, 9-10-3 (oooh!) and 12-53-3. He provided 4 runs with the bat.

What am I not seeing that makes this guy even remotely worth thinking about? Why pick him?


What about Tremlett, Plunket, Onions, Mahmood even!

In addition to this guy being nothing, he's also almost as old as me. What is the point in trying yet another guy that's almost over the hill? Sure he's younger than Sidebottom and Harmison, but he's clearly not going to be around in 5 years, let alone 10.

Who would be around in 10 years? Chris Woakes would, for example.

With a purely impartial hat on, my cute little bear cub returned figures of ooh loads better than Khan:

10 Haul10

With FIFTY less matches to his name, Woakes is surely a better option right here right now. in 5 years, no idea. But right now...

Now I'd not want him to play yet, he's too busy with the Lions kicking royal ass, and developing properly, but it just goes to put Amjad Khan into perspective.

So I guess I need to ask what his this guy done that I'm utterly ignorant to? There *MUST* be something!

And anyway, he won't play. I reckon Bell will oddly get the nod back in in the gap, Bopara coming a close second but not being proven with either bat or ball to be called on as a test all rounder yet.

Monday, 23 February 2009

More wicketkeeper drivel

So from the current tour match against the BCA XI...

TR Ambrose c Yearwood b Chase 74 0 109 13 0 67.88

MJ Prior c Brathwaite b Stoute 0 0 3 0 0 0.00

Hmm, and Priors came back in to get runs... I know, I know it's just one match and statistically means just about nothing, but after nutmeg deductions Prior contributed 16 runs in the 3rd test, 54 before. Fool him one time shame on the pitch, fool him twice or more shame on that bald muppet who should be replaced with a REAL keeper like Read or Foster. I'm happy for Tiny Tim to come back to Warks for a while, now Frost is just batting next season, and little dudes like Broad can usually help out with a couple of runs, let the keeper keep!

"Bopara relieved after marathon flight journey"

They shouldn't have served the fish. If it's not done right, it goes straight through you and if you're not first in the queue for the loo...

Additionally in the cricinfo article there's a great insight into how and why an entire team can collapse on it's arse without the right person to guide them...

"I got a bit sleepy at the start of the game, but the physio told me to stay awake and sleep later tonight."

Yes Ravi. Sleeping in the outfield is BAD. I would have thought you'd know this for yourself without having to receive these nuggets of wisdom from the massage table.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Stanford. A complete history. Abridged.

Please leave a comment... this took me FAR too long to not have a single one...

Friday, 13 February 2009

Vaughan Free, Part 3

Our chief scientist, Ronan Keating (no relation), has posted back exciting developments about our much acclaimed release of a test tube Vaughan back in to the wild. Word appears to have reached the rolling plains of Clapham that there may be an opening for someone able to not edge to slip 10 innings in a row. With the ability to only do this *half* the time, and gracefully lose off stump instead to fill the rest of the quota, our little hero seems to think there might be a chance for him.

Defend Vaughan specimen 23.1b, Defend!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

What the hell happened??

Seriously... what?

Whilst Taylor and co. did indeed bowl their socks off, how does an entire team just not turn up with the bat.

Did their periods all suddenly start at the same time?

Clearly there is the issue of having no coach, something that Strauss approved of. And in a similar vein there was the comments from Strauss about how he wanted to make all the players take more personal responsibility for their own preparation. What happened to that?

I can't put forward much of a theory myself, but it does seem similar to what I heard happening to Totnes Hot Tubs in the association football. They were sucking with one manager, so they got someone else to shout at their overpaid pansies and somehow it worked...

Ultimately though one has to take the longview, it's just one match, just one and a half fscking sessions... life goes on, and there are still 3 tests. Having said that though, I'm looking forward to my Ashes tickets a little less than I was this morning.

One thing that did change during that humiliating time was that whilst when Bell went for 4 he looked totally finally doomed in favour of Shah, by the end of the match, his figures were technically above average, so no longer expect Shah next time!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Referral ballsups already

Three england referrals in the 2nd innings of the first test of the new Windies series. One went well, one was stupid, one went bad. Two made Tony Hill look like a prat, one did so for Strauss

So the first one - Smith goes LBW after Hill says not out. Hawkeye replays confirm facts that the ball pitched inline, and hit him inline, very low. I'm not sure why it wasn't given out in the first place. To me I think it looked like due to the way Smith hopped back, that the ball appeared to be going down leg. Back on hawkeye this was blatantly not the case. So after following some clear evidence, there was the need to over rule a *BAD* call by the umpire. Strike one for the referral system.

Middle one - Strauss, don't be a fool.

Third one - So here's the real contention. Sarwan given out with the ball appearing to be clipping top of middle and leg. The Windies referral shows that the ball is completely legit, and is going reasonably high. Without the predicted part of Hawkeye, who knows where it's going. But Harper decided that if he was standing at the non-strikers end, he would probably have had enough doubt to say not out. And that's where the system fell apart. It's not his place to say there was enough doubt. It's his job to over ride *blatant* errors. Whilst the ball may not have hit, it was a reasonable decision from the on-field umpire, correct or not. Harper should have upheld the decision based on how both me and Nasser have read the system. Even if the ball was going over by half an inch, it still should have been upheld on principle. And even more galling was that Hawkeye said it WOULD have hit anyway, so the overrule was probably wrong anyway. What a shambles!

So first off the system worked because of FACTS. LOVELY BEAUTIFUL FACTS. in the second time there was F.U.D! Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt!

Shouldn't the system only deal with undeniable truths? If so, that also means there's surely no need to actually have a third umpire watching it.

Give the on-field umpire some sort of audio feed from Hawkeye...

Bowler runs up and... Bowls.
BEEP! - No front foot no ball.
LAAA! - Ball pitched in line.
BONG! - Ball hit in line.
PING! - Microwave popcorn is ready.

Give the umpire instantly processed audible facts about what has definitlely happened direct form hawkeye. With the right noises within a second or so, the first referral would have never happened, as Hill would have KNOWN what happened for sure. And the third would also never have happened as you'd have not been allowed to refer it as it was a fair decision.

Sorted. Respect due.

Monday, 2 February 2009


So who exactly is Pontings new hair muse?

a) Jimmy Neutron
b) Pikmin
c) Pointy McPointPoint from Pointland

Friday, 30 January 2009

Bearded Wonder, RIP

Bill Frindall died today after a short battle with Legionnaires disease, leaving TMS and the rest of Cricket the worse for it. I'm pretty late to this whole cricket game, I'll happily admit, but the TMS old boys are certainly one of the things that has really made be a real enthusiast for the whole culture rather than just a fan of the game. I would give, well not "anything", but a certain small quantity of it to know what TMS really was like in the days of fruitcake, or even chocolate cake, and with Bill's death that part of TMS goes even further back into history, with Adam Chuffing Mountfield cheapening the show month by month.

Listening to Aggers on 5Live on the drive home talk about him, he was naturally full of praise, but did seem to slip a little, stating that Bill was named the Bearded Wonder by Johnners due to his ability to recall and derive any cricket statistics on demand whilst keeping score near flawlessly. Technically, at 7 letters to 6, it's more because he had a beard. Never mind, ehh?

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Monty and Modi sitting in a tree...

So... This whole IPL thing is finally going to happen to the brits. Well, actually to the English and theoretically to the Welsh, and who cares about the others?

Anywho, Pietersen is gonna go for a cool gazillion kerjiggers and Stuart Broad has already run off home crying. Both make sense, but in case no one else has noticed, Monty's keys are still very much in the bowl.

That's just daft.

Everyone has seen how great test players can make seriously shitty T20 players... Dravid, Ponting etc. Yet their names were so big, no one cared in the first year of IPL, and no one put enough gravity on the T20 internationals for them to be sidelined.


Really?? Last year I saw Warwickshire host a T20 against North Hants. The Steelbacks wouldn't even pick Monty despite him being available. No wonder really. Who seriously thinks that Monty, who is a distant memory from the England ODI squad, and Only played 11 T20 matches ever (of which one international, in Ozzville), is a going concern for the IPL?

This isn't even a case of lining up against the wall in P.E. and getting picked last... No one is there to make up the numbers... Poor sod.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The St Kitts 1st Warmup aftermath

So what have we learnt from the cutesy novelty 3 day warmup match against St Kitts?

Firstly, neither side could count to XI. During the match England grew to a XIII and St Kitts a bloated XIV.

As for the players de jour....

Shah vs Bell. Not Roe v Wade, but a heated contest nonetheless. Bell seems to have lost a chunk of ground here with the bat. Not only to Shah but to Harmy Warmy too... Seeing the way the match went even if Shah had laid off the eye gravel he'd not have batted again, having done all that was asked of him for the no. 3 spot.

Adil Rashid. Presumably his only glimpse of an outing... Not bad stats for an international debut, but then this wasn't an international debut, just a shitty little match against an outlying island. No sign of any real batting form and average with the bat, especially compared to Monty, and as we all know what he's been providing recently, says more to me about St. Kitts than Monty himself. Does Swanny get trotted out for the next one?

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Shahly you can't be serious

In what outwardly seems a pretty logical and reasonable move, England are playing practise matches with a proper 11 man line-up. Whilst there's obviously less practise across the board, playing a warm up as close to the real thing as possible.

Goodo. That's that sorted then.

Well, two largely unexpected changes - Shah in for Collywobbles and Rashid in for well... whoever really. It would certainly seem that Shah is ultimately there to knock on Bell's door. Poor old Ian (who, after all these years, I am *still* older than - who'd have thought it??) has had no form for ages, but then as it only takes one bad ball per innings (every chuffing time recently) it looks very much that the two of them are just being straight squared off against one another here. Best performance takes #3 methinks.

Looks again like a real similar situation for Adil, but quite who they think he's being paired off against I dunno. I'd say Swanny but then it's Monty who's been so doubtful in India. If only I had a clue what I was talking about.

This is a pretty bittersweet story for me. It gives me the chance to finally post my Shah Wars picture outside of Facebook, but also be shown up by just how out of date the picture already is since I did it a month back. Bugger.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Tradition for traditions sake

One thing that's long frustrated me is the concept of tradition. So many people live their lives without necessarily questioning why they are doing what they are, instead just accepting because it's traditional.

Non-religious couples marrying in churches with the flouncy white wedding dress because it's traditional. Personally I got married at a theme park, but I still wore the white dress.

Mourning the death of the "traditional" steam railway, which itself put a huge nail in the coffin of the previously "traditional" canal network of Britain, which itself was controversial enough in many ways.

Tutting at the demise of the "traditional" high street stores like Woolworths, which was a large chain in it's hayday, happily putting many local stores out of business.

One of the best examples of all though has to be that of the Test series. This months Wisden Cricketer has two references to its demise. Not the Test match in itself but the constructs of the Future Tours program and such.

We can't get rid of the Future Tours program, and surely not tours in themselves? It's so traditional!!!

Doesn't take a genius to know that tours exist as, believe it or not, it used to be chuffing hard work getting to Australia or India 80 years ago. Not exactly a simple commute was it? Hampshire Chairman, Rod Bransgrove is one of the latest voices to have advocated the scrapping of tours to be replaced with a direct test league. 2 divisions of 6 teams (numbers 11 and 12 anyone? - Kenya and Ireland based on the ODI rankings), playing 10 tests a year home and away. That'd be a drop of 4 tests a year, which is not insignificant for sure, but the underlying logic was pretty convincing. Other suggestions were a 3 yearly championship based on the current points table, but that seems pretty pointless, just a noddy layer over the top of the current system, too far apart for anyone to really care.

It's odd enough to have a single match last 5 days, but when that's just a fifth of the series over 2 months plus, it is really pretty bizarre compared to the rest of the sporting world. I know that one of those funny squashed football games also does test series, but it's still not on the same scale.

The only thing in my mind that does make the breaks squeal is that sodding little urn. I can handle not not watching us playing in New Zealand in the middle of the night, but the idea of no Ashes does seem odd. Would it make amends to maybe turn that into the prize for the league winners? Probably not, and I'd expect a whole heap of arguments against scrapping tours to sit on it's little handles.

Again though, tours came to exist for practical reasons. Cold hard logistics, and if you stop questioning the reasoningbehind that and just sit there with rose tinted specs on, nothing will stop the slide of falling attendances and the likes.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


A mere 5 months and already another one bites the dust. Yesterday I was thinking how funny it would be if that happened, which it clearly wouldn't. This morning all the bloody discussions will start all over again. KP has quit as England captain (both forms of course) and unless the ECB appoint someone pretty chuffing quickly, then all the nominations of Rob Key and other has-beens will start again.

Ashes, it was nice thinking we might know you.

Most people would be inclined to go for Andrew "Cricket saved me from becoming an accountant" Strauss, which on the test side seems a pretty fair bet. Someone nice and dull who's doing OK. That would though raise that bloody awful split captaincy gubbins again though, and prior to Colly getting the nod, the only other dude in the frame was KP anyway. Let's go for oooh Prior.. yeah that's a great idea, let's stop all possible discussions of shitty keeping coming back by forcing a selection of a keeper regardless of form.

Sorted. Respect due.

But you know what hurts most? I had to find out from Sarah From Canterbury's Facebook status. Teach me to play mp3's in the car on the way to work for the first time in a year. (Kings of Leon - Only by the night btw...)