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...)