Friday, February 29, 2008

It's a bird! No...


This is a seriously awesome photo. He looks like he's flying! It works as a Superman thing, but if I was any good at PhotoShop I'd edit him in a broomstick. Seeker Potter vs Seeker Hopes. O yeah!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hello bandwagon, I'm here.

Ok everyone has an opinion and I am no exception.

1. I agree with Matthew Hayden, but
2. He was out of line. He was
3. Punished accordingly and accepted it. (Novel idea, huh?)
4. What he said was not a racial slur, however
5. He should have waited until he retired to say it, or
6. Just left out the "obnoxious little weed" bit, because
7. Otherwise his point was valid. He was damn right about Harbhajan's record speaking for itself, and
8. Apparently Harbhajan has the worst record of any cricketer, ever.
Sigh. Roll on Sunday.

On a happier note, my second-favourite-Aussie-but-not-for-much-longer submitted his gloves for inspection because he was concerned they were illegal, because his gloves are made by the same company that make Dhoni's gloves. What a star. That's why...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hoggy's going

George, aka Brad Hogg, has quit international cricket.

He has represented Australia in seven tests, and 121 one-day international matches. He will play out the rest of the one day series before embracing his retirement.

He is 37. I wonder if he will keep playing for the Warriors.

I tried to get onto cricinfo to see what their story is, but the site is down. Don't ESPN pay their server bills?!

Aha! That's better. Here's what the good man had to say...

"I haven't even thought about [the ICL]," Hogg said. "I'm out of here for a couple of months. I've got things that I want to sort out at home and get my new chapter in my life organised and on the go. It's an exciting time and a sad time. There are just a few personal issues that are probably the main reason for this decision. I'm going to take a good couple of months off, really decide what I want to do. I've got a number of things on the go at the moment - I won't go into that."

Reading between the lines, does that mean his wife has left him? Apparently he's doing a degree in business, I wonder which uni he's at. Maybe now I'll see him out and about too, along with Gilly. Best of luck George.

Dan Cullen, Bryce McGain, step forward.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Brett's the one

Brett Lee won the Allan Border Medal for 2008.

He didn't look very surprised, but I'm sure that's the fault of the Botox. I know that "I'm incredibly pleased and proud of myself, but I can't move my face" look anywhere.

He thanked his wife (who has a sore back - care factor?), his son (what the hell did he do? Bat for him in the nets?), his teammates, staff. Short and sweet acceptance speech, just as it should be.

When interviewed by Mark Nicholas he talked about his Bollywood career, his love of India, his commitment to his family, and his childhood idols Dennis Lillee and his brother Shane.

His wife Liz didn't smile very much. Maybe the orange glow of her skin was reflecting in her eyes and distracting her.

He scored 125 votes, significantly more than Matthew Hayden in second place.

And that's over for another year. Back to the cricket. Back to reality.

EDIT: Tell me it's not true!

The glamour, the shame

2 points for me. Shit. I should have bet. This always happens. Hurrah for Haydos, the one day player of the year. The worldwide blogging community love and adore you Matty, and I'm sure they're all very pleased for you too.

Here are some random observations.

I am now more certain than ever that Brett Lee gets Botox injections. I know that "you're all laughing at me but I can't move my face to show emotion" look anywhere.

David Hussey
missed out on state player of the year, Queenslander Ashley Noffke was the winner. And good WA lad Luke Pomersbach won the Bradman Young Player of the Year. Score! Next year it's Theo Doropoulos' turn. Got that, Theo?!

Andrew Symonds, Brendon Julian, Mark Nicholas and Ricky Ponting are looking gorgeous. And seeing Brendon Julian and Mark Nicholas on stage together is... nice.

Do the Rogue Traders have a contract with Cricket Australia or what? Because they annoy me, cricket medal nights should feature classy crossover singers like Sarah Brightman, not that God-awful talentless woman. Natalie Bassingthwaighte, please be advised that dresses should not be so short when thighs are so thundery. And please don't shriek at me. I can hear you well enough.

Lara Bingle is a tart. The top half of Mel Gilchrist's dress is nasty. Shane Warne's daughter Brooke is a ranga, like she hasn't got enough problems. I'm just not sure what Kellie Hayden is wearing. Why is Glenn McGrath wearing lilac? Why? And I would very much like vision control to show Brad Hodge now, thanks.

What is Kevin Harrington doing there?

And who is Andrew Symonds with?! Oh, she's the blondest of them all. Grr!

Yay for Brett and mini-punter on the way

1 point for Miss Field. Brett Lee is the test player of the year. He last won at the Allan Border Medal night when he was awarded the Bradman Young Player of the Year in 2002. Well deserved, Binga.

Here he is with his wife, Liz.
It amazes me that she can be a shade browner (read: orange) than her husband who earns his living spending all day in the sun.

ABC Online are running this:

Ponting to become a dad

Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting is to become a dad with wife Rianna confirming she is expecting their first child.

Mrs Ponting confirmed as she walked the red carpet prior to the Allan Border Medal ceremony in Melbourne that she is 14 weeks pregnant.

The 33-year-old master batsman and his wife were married in 2002.

I swear they already have a couple of girls.

Monday, February 25, 2008

And you thought the Oscars were hot?

Tomorrow night is the highlight of the calendar year for any cricket-loving heterosexual female... Allan Border Medal night (read: cricketers in tuxedos).

That is, until their blonde wig on a stick steps onto the red carpet after them. After that moment it's back to realms of fantasy for another year.

So, while I sit in the corner and feel sorry for myself for a) not being married to Ricky Ponting and b) there not being a bottle of H202 strong enough to make my hair blonde and not orange, who do we think will be the winners this year?

Will David Hussey be the state player of the year?

Will Matthew Hayden be the one day player of the year?

Will Brett Lee be the test player of the year?

And of course, which fachion victim will wear animal print? My money is on Michael Clarke.

The countdown is on. And I guess on the plus side for me, it's only really Australian cricketers for whom a blonde escort is a strict prerequisite.

Classic cracking captions

"Getting ripped off... under paid... getting sold... second hand... that's how it goes... betraying your homeland..." Michael Hussey and Nathan Bracken thought they were at the unveiling of the Bon Scott statue in Fremantle.

"Yeah go jump Ishant, I'm worth $440,000 more than you, which is what Ricky is worth, and enough to buy Miss Field a house."

You'll have to come up with your own caption for this one I'm afraid, everytime I look at it I become mysteriously distracted. Something along the "no hands!" lines would be appropriate I think.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

He's not just back, he's sexy back!

Ricky Ponting, our brother, our captain, our king.

He's back. He said during the mid-game interview that he'd "been away for a while" SO I WAS RIGHT. His imposter has been playing for him, and poorly. Lucky Ricky came back in time to save himself!

Let's see, he scored 124 and was in for 46 or so overs. He scored seven 4s and one 6. The first innings finished 7 for 317 after the full 50 overs. That's better, boys. Whatever the outcome of this game is, I'm really proud of him.

Elsewhere, Jesse Ryder has been sidelined for three months after his hand met glass and the glass won. He was trying to break into a toilet that had been locked and broke a window, poor poppet.

It happened at 5.30 am so it sounds like drunken escapades to me! This afternoon he had surgery, a reconstruction to the exterior tendon on his index finger, a flap reconstruction, and a skin graft. Ouch. It'll be six weeks before he can even start training lightly.

Team New Zealand's general manager Lindsay Crocker commented.
"...this behaviour is unacceptable and we will have a serious discussion with him to ensure situations like this do not occur in the future. Ryder will pay for the damage and apologise to the bar owner. No further disciplinary action will be taken as Jesse's injuries should serve as enough of a lesson on this occasion."

Best wishes, you drunken lout. Don't worry, if New Zealand dump you, you've ticked the first criteria box for England selection.

EDIT: To the person who searched "Ricky Ponting is so sexy" and ended up here, I'm glad you agree.

Commbank cricket ads

Good television ads are like sunshine in England. Rare and fleeting moments of relative joy among the endless periods of misery.

Lately the Commonwealth Bank (the primary sponsor of the current series) have been airing some cricket ads and they've been widely criticised but I think they're awesome.

I also found this "Behind the scenes" clip.

One that I hadn't seen before was just shown. I can't find it on YouTube. Damn. In other news, Ricky Ponting is on 45, 16 overs in and the commentators are speculating on whether Mahendra Dhoni's gloves are illegal because of the style of the webbing. I wonder!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The rhetoric of Justin Langer

I like Justin Langer, and if I ever have a son he shall be named Justin, and I will tell him he was named after JL (even if that wasn't really the case and I just liked the name).

SeƱor Langer, who has declined an offer of $236,850 (not enough for a house. Maybe a really big shed) to play for Jaipur and instead honour his commitment to Somerset, has said some interesting things.

"Before the auction, I don't know if many people anticipated what an issue these massive player payments would become. But when you see how much money is being paid out, I think we have to be very careful to protect the integrity of the game.

"A few days ago, playing for Australia would have been the main goal for just about every young player in the country. Now that might not be the case.

"When you go to your grave, people will remember what you did with your life rather than how much money you made."

I think he's dead right.

Hooray for New Zealand

New Zealand have won the five-match one day series 3-1. Enough said on that. Balance has been restored to the Force. But I do say, rain is ruining the summer of cricket this year, in both New Zealand and here. The Duckworth Lewis system is evil. I propose that in future when a game is washed out they should consult with me as to who the winner should be. Bugger stats, I will award the rightful victor.

In other news, I cannot find a name for the Kolkata IPL team. I have found the Bangalore Royal Challengers, Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils and they're three of the lamest team names I've ever come across (and I played sport at primary school, believe it or not).

I am going to find a name for Kolkata. Not the Cats, because the Cats are a name of a football team here who won the flag, so no. Plus I'm acutely allergic to cats, and hate them. I even have a sticker on my car that says "Ask me about microwaving cats for fun and profit." They're horrid things. Anyway, I digress.

I'm not keen on alliteration, otherwise I'd be going with Kolkata Killer Cricketers. That's got to be up there with the Delhi Daredevils. But no, I think Kolkata should take a step forward to a more sophistcated name (and by more sophisticated, I mean sophisticated at all). Kolkata Superiority Detachment. Kolkata Doomsday Purveyors. Kolkata Giant Pandas. Kolkata Rebel Alliance. Ah better not use that one, Lucas would probably sue (it does sound good though, maybe the team's admin and Georgie Lucas could come to some sort of naming rights agreement, neither could lose.) Kolkata Gladiators. Kolkata Splendour. Kolkata Sorcerers.

For lack of ideas, I choose the Kolkata Rebel Alliance. And further to that, here is my cast.

Ricky Ponting - Han Solo
David Hussey - Luke Skywalker
Brendon McCullum - Chewie (his home planet is beautiful but he does sound funny)
Ajit Agarkar - Admiral Ackbar
Sourav Ganguly - C3PO
Murali Kartik - R2D2
Shoaib Akhtar - Lando Calrissian
Ishant Sharma - Wedge Antilles
Umar Gul - Dak
Chris Gayle - Obi Wan Kenobi
John Buchanan - Yoda

Shoaib Akhtar: [after realising the Delhi Daredevils aren't as lame as their name would have you believe] Home One, this is Gold Leader.
Ajit Agarkar: We saw it. All fieldsmen, prepare to retreat.
Shoaib Akhtar: We won't get another chance at this, Admiral.
Ajit Agarkar: We have no choice, General Akhtar! Our bowlers can't repel firepower of that magnitude!
Shoaib Akhtar: Ricky will have that shield down. We've got to give him more time!

If Punter was a bowler it'd work better. Still. Works for me.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bearing in mind that David Hussey is from WA...

A Facebook group has been started for David Hussey to be selected to play for Australia.

If you're on Facebook, swing over to Australian selectors should pick David Hussey and join the group.

If you're not a Facebooker, sign up and then join. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell the selectors.

Jrod's petition can be found here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The next World Cup might be more interesting than the last

Let's hope.

And listen here, karma fairies, I'm not referring to exciting in terms of suspicious, high-profile deaths. Bring on the embarrassing English drunken escapades though.

The ICC has recommended that the next World Cup plays 14 teams instead of 16 and be reduced from 47 days to 38. Well this is a start, but will it be enough?

I propose that the top eight teams by ICC rankings qualify automatically, and there are two more spots available for wildcard teams who win their places in a qualification competition among the lower ranking eight teams.

I think that would be a good way of striking the balance between ensuring it's exciting as well as providing a competitive opportunity for up and coming cricketing nations (who are genuinely potentially competitive, not just there to make up numbers and be seen and not heard). Plus, that qualifying contest would be interesting to watch.

If, after a few World Cups, the minnow teams are really inspired and more places are needed, then look at expanding.

This ICC committee also recommended greater use of technology in on-field decisions. The MCC has offered up Lord's as the testing ground for the so-called Umpire Decision Review System during England/South Africa matches later in the year. I wonder what that will consist of.

Thinking back, I still am appalled by the lack of spectators at the last World Cup. It was in the Caribbean for crying out loud, it should have gone off. I think more than cutting back on the teams and length of the tournament, it should be a priority to ensure that matches are being played to be watched, not just broadcast.

At last year's World Cup, unsold tickets should have been sold to members of the local community at a price they could afford on the day. Tickets in general should be cheaper. It's wrong to deny people access to the sport we all love in the name of profit. It happens, but it's just not cricket.

And, you know, maybe this ICC committee should consider not having the last few overs of final played in total darkness. That'd be novel.

Bizarre tidings

It's going to be so strange seeing our national players compete against each other at international level. Unnatural.

I'll have to pick a team soon. I have family in Kolkata and Mumbai, so one of those would the obvious pick, but on the other hand I could choose depending on where my favourite players are going. Ponting is going to Kolkata but my Andrew is going to Hyderabad. I guess there's a few points there for Kolkata.

At a meeting the BCCI made a commitment that players' international obligations would take precedence over IPL matches. In return, the ICC said that while the Future Tours Program was in place (until at least 2012) no window for the IPL season would be considered. Now that's compromise for you.

Jaipur are going to be penalised for not spending enough at the auction. Apparently each team was supposed to spend a minimum of $3.3 million. My goodness, I thought salary caps worked the other way around with a limit to the spending. Apparently they're going to spend more money outside of the pool. Righto.

Brett Lee has proclaimed this auction to be a defining moment for the future of cricket.

"It's a bit like when the World Series started - providing we always keep Test cricket as Test cricket, one-day cricket as one-day cricket and keep this (Twenty20) as the third form of the game."

Certainly, Brett. I think he is correct though, if this IPL takes off these past few days will prove to be historic. And I think he's right that Twenty20 needs to stay in third place on the priority list. As long as the players remember this and continue to believe it, I think the IPL and cricket as we know it should be able to function adequately simultaneously.

Alastair Cook, who I've heard has a penchant for eyeliner, had this to say about it all... "We're very well looked after and I can't see why you'd trade in the three lions for anything." As an Australian who sees a permanently drowning side struggle through its embarrassing existence, I must say, he's a funny boy.

Andrew Flintoff, who gained my pity-turned-respect after the 2006 Ashes, was a bit more articulate. "Lancashire and the ECB have looked after me well and my concern is to get on the field for them." That's loyalty, not blind subservience. Flintoff played his first game yesterday with the England A side. For competition's sake, I hope he gets back on track and does well. From a spectator's point of view, he's a good player to watch. As long as he's not too good. Just you remember that, Freddie.

Back to India. The ABC have a photo of Sourav Ganguly arriving for the auction looking rather sharp. And on pictures, this man owns the Kolkata franchise, and is a big star apparently. The photo made me smile. His hair is almost as fabulous as her jacket. I can only aspire to be so fashionable.

Here's a list:

Top players (Australian value)

1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India) $1.74m to Chennai

2. Andrew Symonds (Australia) $1.47m to Hyderabad

3. Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) $1.06m to Mumbai

4. Ishant Sharma (India) $1.03m to Kolkata

5. Irfan Pathan (India) $1.01m to Mohali

6. Brett Lee (Australia) $982,000 to Mohali

6. Jacques Kallis (South Africa) $982,000 to Bangalore

8. RP Singh (India) $952,745 to Hyderabad

9. Harbhajan Singh (India) $927,000 to Mumbai

10. Chris Gayle (West Indies) $871,000 to Kolkata

10. Robin Uthappa (India) $871,000 to Mumbai

12. Rohit Sharma (India) $817,000 to Hyderabad

13. Gautam Gambhir (India) $789,000 to Delhi

14. Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) $764,000 to Kolkata

14. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) $764,000 to Mohali

14. Adam Gilchrist (Australia) $764,000 to Hyderabad

17. David Hussey (Australia) $735,000 to Kolkata

17. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) $735,000 to Hyderabad

17. Jacob Oram (New Zealand) $735,000 to Chennai

17. Albie Morkel (South Africa) $735,000 to Chennai

17. Mohammad Kaif (India) $735,000 to Jaipur

17. Manoj Tiwary (India) $735,000 to Delhi

EDIT: I just noticed in that photograph of Sourav that it looks like he's just stepped out of a Mercedes Benz Kompressor. Nice work if you can get it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's wrong with Glenn?

I've got one best mate who'll be seriously ticked that none of the IPL folk showed any interest in Glenn McGrath at today's auction. I'm also very surprised. I know he's a bit out of it, but... it's Glenn McGrath! I thought there'd be some interest.

On the other hand, I'm not at all surprised that my Andrew attracted the highest bidding for any of the Australians. According to whoever bought him, he's worth over $1 million. He's worth more to me! Maybe that's why no one could afford Glenn. They were hell-bent on forking all their money out on Andy.

Binga and Gilly were both also bought for sums that would be enough to buy more than just a very nice house.

Ricky Ponting on the other hand was bought for a mere $400 000, and Warney for $480 000. I would have thought Shaaaane would have been worth a lot more and I think Punter might have been worth more if he hadn't gone AWOL and had his inferior impersonator doing his job lately.

I wonder, having seen what everyone's worth in the eyes of a third party, how they all feel about themselves and each other. I wonder if there is any resentment that some are worth more than others, if certain players feel they were undersold. Or, you know, not sold at all.

Mahendra Dhoni got cost $1.6 million. I wish someone would pay me $1.6 million to play Twenty20 cricket for a few weeks. Or you know, just pay me $1.6 million.

Where are all the England players among this? Maybe they got letters telling them not to worry putting their names in the hat. "Don't worry, Ian, we'll call you." Still, I'd have been curious to see what they were worth.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cricketers up for grabs

I've read it several times, and still the words are there. Australian cricketers are being auctioned tomorrow. Why wasn't I told? I wonder, if I offer Ricky Ponting $400,000 if he'd spend April with me. I'm about $385,000 short so I guess I'll die wondering on that one.

There are 13 players who've signed up. These are Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Matty Hayden, my fiance Andrew Symonds, Michael and David Hussey, Nathan Bracken, Simon Katich, Cameron White, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer.

Gosh, the way some of those latter ones carried on about retiring and how much cricket meant to them, you have to wonder how thrifty their wives are if they've got no money left and have to sign up for this. Or they just bullshitted to us all about it in the first place and would have continued playing for Australia if their match fees were tripled.

Michael Clarke, Jason Gillespie, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson have not signed up.

I have to say, inherantly I haven't got a problem with any of them signing up for this, but I'm really proud of Dizzy, Braddles and Mitchy for resisting - assuming their reasons are genuine as they've stated. Clarke we all know just doesn't want to be seen doing anything that might threaten him as heir to the captaincy.

Next, let's see who signs up for the ICL!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Theeeeo, way to go

I am a Theo Doropoulos shipper. For a while it looked like he would be dropped, but he hasn't been, and over the weekend he did good!

In the Twenty20 final (which I was at the WACA for) back in January he was the second highest scorer with 43 (exactly half of Shaun Marsh's 86, hmm) before he was caught and bowled by J rod's future prime minister, the traitor, the brother of sexy Michael, the very talented David Hussey. Shame we lost, damn Victorian tail and superior bowlers.

Anyway on Saturday he scored 75 runs on the road to WA's total of 242. In response, Queensland could only muster 111 with Watto top scoring with 46. In fact he the Warriors were 4 for 33 until Theo showed up and smacked 75 off 63 balls. And that was with four sixes and all.

It was his second 50 in as many games, and considering 44 and 41 were the next highest scores on Saturday, he was without a doubt the star of the show. He also caught Nathan Reardon, batting fourth, for a duck. So the Warriors' six game losing streak has come to an end, and I think Theo is largely responsible (and maybe a bit of credit to the WA bowlers who got the Bulls out in 17.5(!) overs. Shiza! Good work boys.)

I hope he continues to be selected, and in more first class matches.

cricinfo Aus have labelled him "brutal". Lovely! Let's watch this one.

The bet of the year

Just to bring the bet back to the forefront, ideas are still being sought.

Some good ones have come through, but the more the merrier. At this point we think the loser will have to go to a match with a t-shirt proclaiming their love for their least favourite player. And as everyone knows, my least favourite player is Michael Vaughan.

But we'd still like suggestions... if England finish #2 (or #1) in the ICC test rankings by the end of the year, what would you like to see me do?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Where in the world is Ricky Ponting?

Have you seen this man?He's absent without leave and we need him back. This man...
...has been playing for him lately and unfortunately the difference has been noticed. This is not Ricky Ponting.

Let's have a look at the impersonator's recent innings'...

Dec 26 - 29 (Melbourne)
RT Ponting b Khan 4
RT Ponting c Dravid b Harbhajan Singh 3

Jan 2 - 6 (Sydney)
RT Ponting lbw b Harbhajan Singh 55
RT Ponting c Laxman b Harbhajan Singh 1

Jan 16 - 18 (Perth)
RT Ponting c Dravid b Sharma 20
RT Ponting c Dravid b Sharma 45

Jan 24 - 28 (Adelaide)
RT Ponting b Sehwag 140 (some outlier! - what happened?)

Feb 10 Australia v India (Melbourne)
RT Ponting c Tendulkar b I Sharma 9

Feb 15 Australia v Sri Lanka (Perth)
RT Ponting c Jayawardene b Vaas 25

Feb 17 Australia v India (Adelaide)
RT Ponting c RG Sharma b Patel 10

Es nicht gut!

Dear Ricky Ponting,

Is it something we did? We miss you and we need you.

If you want to have a holiday, please just say, don't go getting your stunt double to do the job for you, we're better off with Brad Hodge.

And next time, please don't go out of mobile phone range so we can ring you and tell you to hurry back while your captaincy and all is still secure.

We hope to see you very soon. If you need counseling, please don't hesitate to contact me. For you I'm available at any hour of the day.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Field for Cricket Australia
Images: cricinfo

Concerning hobbits

Now that Michael Clarke has decided to attempt masculinity, I can see a resemblance between him and another affeminite young lad (who I thought was very attractive when I was standing three feet away from him).

Images from cricinfo, WireImage

cricinfo: dazed and confused

cricinfo have this headline...

Collingwood restores England's pride

What? Surely this is a little premature. I think "Collingwood restores furniture" or "Collingwood restores fragile ecosystem" or even "Collingwood restores monarchy" would be more appropriate, without being appropriate whatsoever.

See this is the problem. One win doesn't redeem them! It is consistency that leads to redemption, not short lived glories and getting by on hope and chance. Nor is it only up to one player to carry the rest of the team, or be the magician in getting out of trouble. (Besides which, Ronald made 73 runs. If I were him I'd be pretty cross that Paul was stealing all my short lived glory.)

The restoration of pride will only happen when they can perform consistently. I'm not sure they'd even have to win that constantly, just not look quite so much like they couldn't care less and are only along for an overseas trip, a nice blue and red shirt and a good time (and free Hugo Boss products).

I wonder how often they can look their supporters straight in the eye and say they did their best and that they honestly believe it was good enough. I'd say, more often than is truthful.

Also, the picture that goes with the story is hilarious because young Paul looks downright miserable. It's good to see someone taking it seriously for once though. Maybe he also thinks that more is required from them all. But even so, he looks more pleased when they're losing. Masochist!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Miss Field worships at the altar of Adam Gilchrist

It was a sunny day in Perth...

...and the WACA was packed full of Adam Gilchrist well-wishers. The man did well, very well, in fact he made half the total! I'm really pleased he played so fantastically, but what the hell happened to the others... Ponting?! What's going on? I hope everyone noticed though that Ricky Ponting walked before the umpire gave him out. Don't be too hasty in commenting that he damn well should have, because as we all know the press of late has been ranting on that a bad sportsman such as he would never do such a thing.

Anyway I took a load of photos, of which here are a few...
If you can't read that yellow sign it says "The WACA - where Gilly was made!" Aww.

My face is burnt. Not too burnt, but I can feel it and it's sore. Damn. I also bought a new hat, a white wide-brimmed one with the WACA logo on the front. It's just a shame I didn't buy it 'til about 5 pm so I'd already received about four hours worth of exposure to the sun. Bleurgh.

And my sign was on tv apparently. I've had this sign since the 06 Ashes and taken it to every game since, so it's very special and it is a bit disa-Ponting that I'll never get to use it again. A lot of effort went into its creation, which is why only one was made (actually, there's another one for Matthew Hoggard, but I doubt that'll ever get to be used again either). I will miss Gilly and so will the Australian side.

Kumar Sangakkara was great, he battled admirably. It's something we're (usually) good at, never saying die, it was nice to see an opposition batsman with some spine, fighting on while his teammates crashed around him. If they hadn't crashed quite so quickly it would have been a very close game. Andrew Symonds also took a couple of gorgeous catches, and I do mean gorgeous.

I must admit the match did drag in the second half. Maybe I've been to too many Twenty20 games of late, but I found myself counting the overs by the 30th. The crowd were bothering me though, so maybe I was just longing to leave before I caught stupid. I also couldn't really see the pitch much because of the moron in front of me, which brings me to my next point.

Do you know either of these bogans?
They were foul. They were racist, ignorant and stupid. They were abusive to the Sri Lankan players fielding on the boundary and thought they were hilarious. I can't tolerate racism and I couldn't stay quiet so I told them what I thought of their behaviour, but I once had a more intellectual conversation with a cabbage. Apparently they are brother and sister. I wonder if their parents are also brother and sister. If you know them, please tell them Miss Field thinks they're dickheads.

The crowd (read: mob) annoyed me towards the end, especially the pillock pictured above. I'm not the fun police but don't stand on the chair in front of me, bellowing "show us yer mammories" to some tart a few rows in front who's giggling "oh stop it" but doesn't sit down herself. And fine, put all your plastic cups together to make a long line of plastic cups, but just let me watch the damn game.

I don't have a problem with people drinking at cricket games, I do it, but if you're going to get totally hammered and not pay any attention to the game and just annoy everyone around you, why not watch it from a pub or better still from home. You'd save yourself money, and the sanity of people who actually have a brain and want to see the match.

The game was good, but as my best friend Ruth pointed out, you can really tell the difference between a one day crowd and a test crowd. Although I think the weather also plays a part. On muggy, overcast days they go feral. There was a match last year at the WACA that I went to, and the heavens opened and the lightning was crashing and the crowd went mad. Troppo.

I also took this picture for Suave.

EDIT: Here's a clearer one for your scrapbook. I refrained from drawing love hearts on it for you.

Sri Lankan cricketers bring rain, catatonia

Oh no!

As I was driving to the train station this morning I saw a big, black front approaching from the east that resembled the mothership from Independence Day. And from the west, giant CB clouds that look like the clouded mountain in The Amber Spyglass.

It’s going to rain! At least the clouded mountain mothership will provide me with shade.

Also, I read this a few days ago and thought it was interesting.

Sri Lankan Captain Mahela Jayawardene says his team has a great chance of victory in Perth on Friday because he believes Australian players have lost their self belief in close matches.

While I hope this isn't the case, and it goes without saying that he's trying to talk us down in hope it'll affect our performance, I think he might have a point.

The last couple of games you could see that the effort was consistent, we didn’t just lie down when the going got really tough. But that said, the self-belief is different. There have been games where the self-belief and the effort have coupled (with ability, of course) to enable the boys to pulls off monumental and impressive victories.

But is the effort without the confidence enough? The team has been criticised relentlessly in the last few weeks for being arrogant, a term that implies over-confidence. Maybe the critics have been successful in shreading the confidence away. And so there have been losses.

However, this isn’t to say that a) the quality of the opposition hasn’t been enough alone to defeat us, and b) we just didn’t play well enough.

Roll on 1330.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A few things

I'm going to the one dayer on Friday. Yay! Just need to figure out how to skive off from work. Hmm. But I shall contain my anticipation and bask in the events of today.

New Zealand's defeat of England has been covered far more eloquently than I could ever be.

"fucking village..."

"England: useless like a dead monkey"

"spectacularly... pathetically... feeble"

et al

However I feel it was cricinfo who summed it up best with this headline...

Ryder and McCullum trounce England.

Yep, that's right. A two-man squad could defeat England, and even without the backyard cricket rules.

Sri Lanka beat India and this made me ever so happy, especially after they suggested we are scared of them. Fools! It was a good day in Canberra today.

Also it looks like the Australian tour of Pakistan won't go ahead. I'm pleased with this. Cricket is not an island, nor do I believe it should be (unless it was just up from Antigua, I'd go there in the winter).

The actions of cricketers and cricket boards reverberate, and I think touring countries that are governed by suspicious regimes is seen to endorse said suspicious regimes, whether they mean to or not is irrespective. Plus it's just so unstable with opposition forces as well in Pakistan. If it's not safe it is just not worth the risk.

I'd die if something terrible happened to my Andrew. Or any of them.

Anyway. I've decided to quit my job and play bass guitar in a Wolfmother cover band. Have fun, ya'll.

Monday, February 11, 2008

What am I prepared to lose for my conviction that England belong at the bottom? You tell me.

I've made a bet with young Suave over at Republique Cricket.

He seems to think that England (yes, England) will return to no 2 in the ICC Test World Rankings by the end of 2008.

Yes I can hear your laughter. Let's pause and enjoy this nostalgic moment together... cue John Lennon songs. No wait, what's that you're saying? I shouldn't be so mean and should give him a let out?

Sure, I'm not such a cruel young lass, I'd be happy to, but he's pretty confident that it's going to happen. Indeed, one would hope he wouldn't agree to a bet he wasn't confident of winning. And who am I to refuse? Who knows, he might have inside knowledge and it could happen. Yes, yes, laugh it up fuzzball.

Anyway, we've both decided to ask you, the cricket blogging/reading public, to suggest a suitable forfeit for the loser of this bet.

Win or lose, it's gonna be a cracker!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Doin' my bit for the Cap'n

Dear Ishant Sharma,

While I begrudgingly offer my congratulations to you and your teammates for your victory tonight, a pattern has a emerged that I would like to discuss with you.

You have a wondrous knack for being the Achilles heel of Ricky Ponting, and as I find this difficult to cope with, I would like to make you a lucrative offer.

It just so happens that my extraordinary best friend Ruth, for reasons unbeknown to me, fancies the pants off you.

I propose a trade. This fine specimen of a female in exchange for your leniency towards our captain.

She's at uni at the moment, but transferring to Indraprastha Vishwavidyalaya University shouldn't be a problem.

On the odd occasion that we find ourselves at the nets at the local park, she proves to be skillful with a bat, and so you could even practice bowling at her.

Also, her hair is currently the colour of Leeloo's from the Fifth Element, so you will not lose her in busy Delhi streets.

I daresay she will even commit treason and support your team, and this sort of pledge from an Australian is indicative of supreme dedication.

In exchange, you must promise to go easy on our Ricky. At least hold off until he makes a century before inflicting your wrath.

See, our Punter is a bit fragile of late. He's been a bit shell shocked since his hair miraculously started growing back, and I fear he is concerned it shall not stop growing until it resembles yours. It is this distraction that throws him off guard every time.

I have a theory that the captain of the winning side should consistently be awarded man of the match, however at this stage we're even struggling a bit with the winning part.

There are no losers in this deal, especially not yourself. If you accept my offer, please contact me and we can arrange a drop off point.

Your discretion in this sensitive matter is deeply appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Field for Cricket Australia

Brett, Shane and... Dave

"Brett Lee?!" a friend of mine once said rather incredulously, "he looks like Dave the cricket!"

And I realised that she had a point.

Give me a minute to stop laughing and I'll write the post

Result New Zealand won by 6 wickets (with 120 balls remaining).

Welcome back, England!

They got their arses kicked! Clearly the mere suggestion of visiting Australia was enough to make the lads wet themselves. So I do take partial credit for this victory.

And to think I'd nearly written the Black Caps off, following the advice and support of newfound New Zealand blogmates. I knew they wouldn't let me down for long. In Wellington and all! Aw!

While it's obvious the Black Caps were the better team, I also believe that it was more a case of "The England" returning to the poor form we all expect, moreso than the Kiwis improving drastically, and I mean that as no slight on the win.

Dishonourable mentions go to...
Captain Collingwood - I saw his run out on the news. Poor little guy was as red as the fabric on his shoulders. Fool!
KP - bowled Oram, for 6. Sounds like heaven. Is the footage on youtube yet? Pietersen vs Oram. Hell yeah!
Bell - bowled Martin, for 5. Heh. Heh. I wonder if he broke a nail as he made those five runs. I cannot begin to imagine how worrisome that prospect must be for him. Poor kid.
Jimmeh - economy of 7.

Honourable mentions to the Kiwi bowlers, none of them had an economy rate over 3.00. Beaut.

Soo... what's more embarrassing, losing by six wickets, or being all out for 130, or having that made up in only 30 overs? Life's full of tough choices. I guess the 130 is the starting point of the shame, and the rest followed sweetly behind.

The next one dayer is in Hamilton, hometown of Danny Luca (sounds like he could be a child of Anna Nicole Smith), on Tuesday. Hamilton is a small place. I remember it being semi-industrial. I also remember not seeing Captain Vettori conveniently walking down any streets. Very disa-ponting.

Anyway. I like the 2pm start time (10am here, I think). The apple+tab function on my computer at work is well-used when there's cricket on. One minute of work, one minute of cricket. Ah!

As a side, I'm looking forward to seeing Jesse Ryder prove himself over the next few weeks, even if he was caught by a sub in the game tonight (and I mean substitute fielder, keep it clean). It's going to happen, and there are words that will need eating, and for once they won't be mine.

New Zealand you do me proud. Cousins across the ditch, I salute you!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Open letter; why I should work for CA

Dear "The England",

Here in Australia, the summer of cricket needs a bit of refreshing. No I'm not asking you to mail any Hugo Boss products across, I am hoping you can find time in between beating the crap out of the Black Caps to visit. I know of 11 blokes who'd be pleased to see you.

You see, India bring controversy, Sri Lanka bring rain. You bring good sport. Think the Colosseum. Think Romans and Christians and gladiators and lions. Imagine the possibilities!

I propose at least one test match. India couldn't possibly have played five and so we have been denied the full lifeblood of our summer. If you can't find a spare five days (although I'm confident you'll only need to commit to three) between your rounds of golf and visiting Lord of the Rings sights, how about a one dayer?

At least it would let Gilly have one last chance of smashing sixes everywhere, and don't you want do your bit in giving him the fine send-off he deserves? For the purpose of making it a truly worthwhile exercise, please bring Andrew Flintoff. No one has perfected the gape in quite the manner he has (as demonstrated in December 2006). I'm sure Gilly would love it.

When I can't get home in time to watch Today Tonight, you help me see the funny side of life. Think Fawlty Towers... there's always someone worse off... oh really, I'd like to meet him, I could do with a laugh. Indeed. Sleep well knowing you are that laugh. New Zealand clearly don't get the joke. So come to Australia, where you're fully appreciated.

We can even pass the hat around for a collection to buy you all some soap. And in a similar fashion, you can recycle all that charming convict rhetoric. The prospect of such gaiety is surely irresistible.

Aren't you up for the challenge? Surely your seasonal 'secret weapon' hasn't injured himself yet. In fact your secret weapon is yet to reveal who he is. Perhaps you've been saving him, waiting for an offer like this. Well, bring it on.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Field for Cricket Australia

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I'm only happy when it...

Only yesterday I declared it wouldn't rain here in Perth for months. And this morning I woke up to pouring rain.

Well what am I, the weatherman?

Goes to show, never run on a misfield!

At least it's still hot.

EDIT: And not just rain, we've passed the average for the month in one morning. Even the weather calls my bluff. The turf at the WACA will be uber-green. Water is wet.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lil Dodgeball, look at him go

Brad Hodge!

The tuxedo-wearing (mmm) ambassador for Wolf Blass has proven why he's worthy of this post by making a century in his one hundredth one dayer. Cricinfo are going with the following headline: Hodge rams into Bulls with match-winning century. Sounds pretty good to me.

In fact it was a career-best 119 not out from 134 balls, and he (and Cameron White) saved the game for Victoria. Aww! Good work D-ball. Just don't tell selectors how to do their job, and we may yet see your face in the national side more than just sporadically.

The thing is, if it is Victoria and Tassie in the final, who would I rather win? Captain Ponting hails from Tassie, but Hodgey is a Victorian. A Tassie-dweller egged the Sri Lankans, but the Bushrangers beat us in the Twenty20 final. Tasmania don't really do any other sport, and the Vics think they own the AFL.

Alright I think it'll be Tassie. But I hope the Hedgehog does well.

Brissie is un-Australian!

Trust Brisbane.

I'd suggest that the venue should be changed if the weather forecast is looking categorically shabby, and let's face it, this game being a washout was almost a given (it's been pouring over there for weeks) but then again if this was the case we'd never have a game played in England.

Still, it's gotta bite if you paid $70 for a ticket and didn't get a full game. I declare that rain contravenes the spirit of the game. Fear not, the temperature is blistering here in Perth, and it's not looking to ease, let alone rain, for ages as yet. I daresay a full game will be played next Friday! Huzzah!

And speaking of the spirit of the game, Rohit Sharma was fined for dissent. He was given out and disputed it. Excuse me, but isn't that a display of particularly poor sportsmanship, o India the Righteous. Mind you, apparently he clearly wasn't out, so that is very disappointing, and yet again resurrects the third umpire debate.

To New Zealand (not literally, damn it), where England are proving to be a marginally superior team to the Black Caps. Boo! Dimitri Mascarenhas (who?) scored four consecutive sixes off Jeetan Patel in the first Twenty20 in Auckland (type that into your phone... it'll say Bucklame. Yay Bucklame!).

Poor Patel. Obviously the English don't feel the same affectionate tug at the heartstrings we Aussies sometimes do when we're on the brink of delivering the Kiwis a hammering. Not that it's ever stopped us delivering said hammering, but he could at least have spaced his sixes out a little more kindly.

I am waiting for New Zealand to improve. "The England" cannot be allowed to win. It is forbidden.

Finally, cricinfo has squeezed out some editorial about how Lord's and the Oval have been recommended as possible venues for next year's Twenty20 World Championship. Was there ever any doubt it would be at one of these two venues? Must be a slow news day, especially after the tumultuous last few weeks.

EDIT: Dimitri Mascarenhas went to Trinity College which is attached to the WACA. No wonder he was capable of four sixes in a row, the Australian lifestyle has obviously affected him. Hark!

Monday, February 4, 2008

You've got to be kidding

Thanks to Will at the Corridor for posting a link to this.

Attention English cricket team. Do acting. Do singing. Do wine, even! Don't do fashion. You are a weak and spineless bunch by on-field reputation, swanning about declaring to the world your love of Hugo Boss and fake tan doesn't help. While moisturiser may enhance your pasty complexions, discussing it does nothing to enhance your wilted image.

Maybe it's a joke. Please say it is, then we can all have a good laugh, eat bagels and have tea, and pretend it was all a very bad dream. Posing for photos is one thing, but this is pathetic. The worst has got to be Anderson, who was coerced (presumably by his fiance) to have a spray tan before his wedding. What a wholesome and nourishing relationship theirs must be. If his tan has washed off now, does that mean she's left him? Or is she surely not so superficial?!

And Stuart Broad, the peroxided, be-mulleted hunk of man-meat, who for reasons inexplicable to me, made the so-called fashion editor who was interviewing him swoon. Please! Don't encourage this. This isn't the behaviour of real men! This is the behaviour I've come to expect from effiminate Beckham-esque soccer players who dive because it's the only way they can make on-field progress and at the same time mask their lack of talent. It doesn't fool anyone. Cricketers are better than this, even English ones.

I tried to imagine Australian players doing this. Ponting, Symonds, Lee and Gilchrist. Similarly some Kiwis. Imagine Oram, Vettori, Taylor and Patel in an interview like this? No. They would laugh! They might do it if they were contracted to, but they wouldn't act so proud or take themselves so seriously.

But no, these four clowns sit there talking themselves up like they're models! I get that they're paid well for it, but please. TOUGHEN UP, BOYS! Once you're at the top of the cricketing tree, then ponce about in this fashion (if you must). But don't give the rest of the world any more reasons to laugh at you, there are plenty already.

I hope New Zealand wipe the floor with this bunch of pansies. They may as well have sat down and composed a list of potential sledges and emailed it to NZ Cricket management. They virtually did!

An old Greg Champion song springs to mind...
Deep in our hearts everyone barracks for Fitzroy
Because Fitzroy are the most lovable team
And how do
they keep their shorts so clean
Fitzroy are the most lovable team we've got

And just as Fitzroy are no longer a team in their own right, the England are not lovable. Just kinda pitiable. And damn funny.

As usual, Gilly sums it up best.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

My rant

As Dave Hughes said on the Glass House, I'm angry. Thanks to Straight Point for directing me here.

I don't even know where to start. How dare someone throw an egg in someone's face. It's more than just unacceptable, it's utterly degrading and derogatory. Maybe I'm naive, but I just don't understand what would possess someone to do this. Who do they think they are and what gives them the right to treat someone so maliciously?

Whoever did this should be publicly named and shamed. Although after the debacle with Corey Delaney, such shaming might actually turn into celebration, which is sickening. However they should be banned for life from all sporting events, be prosecuted, and be made to apologise publicly to Murali. At the very least.

Only last night I was beaming with pride at being an Aussie, this makes me ashamed. There are some feral people in the world, and a fair portion of them live here. There are people in this country who are an embarrassment to the rest of us (they are probably from the families of people who voted 'no' in the 1967 referendum). These morons ruin things for everyone, and worst of all they do it in the name of being Australian. I'll spare you all a history of racism in this country, but our past is wrought with it.

It's no wonder we're getting (already have?) a reputation for being a bunch of rednecks. If there's anyone out there who wonders if we're all like this, we aren't. But unfortunately, there are a growing number of people who behave in this manner, and a growing culture of racial intolerance. I find it inexplicable. And it's not good enough.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Twenty20 fun on the hallowed turf

I do love it when we win. I'm so proud to be Australian, for more reasons than just cricket, but cricket is one reason.

Imagine being at the MCG with that crowd! I went to a football game there last year and was in awe of the atmosphere, and it wasn't even my team playing. To have been there tonight, to see us demolish the Indians, and give Gilly a send-off, would have been something else. I didn't see any back-turning, although I doubt it would have been aired if it happened. But from what I saw the crowd seemed well behaved. And no cheerleaders (that I could see), praise the lord.

India played terribly and it was very disappointing. However, I would like to mention Virender Sehwag, who chatted to the commentary team, ala Gilchrist and Symonds. I think it's great that this happens, it's fun and adds a significant dimension of camaraderie for the television audience. Although, they were talking to Gilly just before he got out, so it could be very distracting, but it's his choice to do it. Anyway, when we played England, none of their players talked and it was quite disappointing (especially as Twenty20 is their creation). Balance is a good thing, and it makes things more interesting too. But not only did Sehwag join in, he said really nice things about Adam Gilchrist, and talked about his team's poor performance, and I imagine that must be quite a difficult thing to do when you're out in the middle of it all. Hurrah for Sehwag.

I also wonder why the other teams don't have their nicknames on the back of their shirts. I think it's good, although I did have a memory lapse trying to remember who Catfish is. A bit disappointing that David Hussey didn't get a bat, but he still did well. (Loved Mark Nicholas' comment "One of the Hussey boys is human! And it's... Michael!") Kudos to Adam Voges and Mr Wolf Blass, Brad Hodge, who is creeping up on my list of favourites.

A solid performance from Clarke and his boys. (First time I've said that. Feels funny). I know it's only Twenty20, but after the events of the last few weeks, especially the circus that was the appeal hearing, the best way to exact vengeance is by performing well, and we have done just that. You're only as good as your last game, and considering India are the Twenty20 world champions, I am quite impressed with our effort tonight.

Finally, on Sunday night I thought I'd look into getting tickets for the Aust/Sri Lanka ODI in Perth, and logged on and there were tickets available. When I went to work on Monday it said there were none left! Horrified at my poor timing, I rang TicketMaster and they said more might be released and to keep an eye out. Although he did say if it happened it would be closer to the day, at about 3:30 that afternoon I had an inkling, and logged on, and there were some available. It was my lucky day. I'm going to the game!

EDIT: My best mate Ruth has pointed out to me that Michael Vaughan actually did speak to the commentators during an Australia/England Twenty20. My mistake.

The Satanic Circus and the big bad BCCI

I don't know very much about the ICL. I've been having a look around and trying to gather some information about it, but I value any insight.

I understand that the ICC sets up programmes for developing cricketing countries with profits, and I think that is fantastic, but on the other hand, recent events have brought to light for me the supreme power that the BCCI seems to hold over the ICC and the rest of the cricketing world. So in that sense isn't competition good?

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