Sunday, March 30, 2008

Outing the cricket demons

In my favourite book, the human soul is a physical manifestation in the shape of an animal that reflects the person's character, known as their dæmon.

I think mine would probably be a wombat and be called Xanthius.

Lately I've been thinking about certain cricketers, and what form their dæmons would take.


Andrew and black panther Evangeline. Evangeline shows great restraint when Andrew is racially taunted, because if she wanted to, she could tear the throats out of his abusers in seconds. They enjoy watching Enough Rope on Monday nights.


Graeme and Merle, a black mamba. Merle is the king of the African snakes, and the largest of the poisonous. Two drops of her venom are enough to kill a human, and it happens within minutes by paralysis of the nervous system. That's our Graeme! Graeme and Merle love holidaying in the Caribbean, especially Antigua.


Paul and Marielle, a loyal jack russell terrier. They engage in debates about world affairs and can often be heard discussing international politics, especially the Middle East conflict. Marielle is terrified of flying.


Jesse and Brinlynn, a rather dull-witted black-faced sheep who was amused by Jesse's recent behaviour. The pair occasionally partake in cow tipping, and have been caught more than once. New Zealand cricket conveniently overlooked this disturbing hobby when selecting him.


Ricky and Kalandra, a hard-working, no-frills blue heeler who can round up sheep faster than Freddie Flintoff can round up mates to have a beer with. Kalandra secretly hates Princess Mary for becoming a more famous Tasmanian than Ricky. She knows Ricky deserves those New Idea covers.


Kevin and Tiessa are a force to be reckoned with. Together they form a one-in-a-million mutual admiration society. Tiessa thinks most English people are pillocks, and Kevin not-so-secretly agrees.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hot cross Poms

If the Pommy lads aren't allowed to play in the IPL, they'll be cross and defiant.

Said Sean Morris, the CEO of the Professional Cricketers' Association, in a roundabout sort of way. "Restricting employees anywhere will cause friction in a relationship - over a period of time that will break it down."

I think he has a very valid point here. If it came to it, can England afford to be sacking its top players if they're defying orders, ala New Zealand and the ICL? I think not.

He also said that a solution must be found or money will talk, and on that point, I had an interesting conversation with a ten-dollar note about where to find cyanide solution the other day, actually. Once again, Miss Field leads the way.

Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, apparently knows that top England players want to play in the IPL ("I know a lot of them are interested...") and he is willing to move the season a bit to accommodate. What a star.

On the contrary though, the ECB's chairman Giles Clarke said the England lads are all happy little vegemites, that he is not under pressure from any of them to be allowed to play in the IPL ("I don't think the rewards being talked about are ones England players would be interested in.") because they're all satisfied with dedicating their lives to a lost cause. That way at least they can die as martyrs.

Now. Someone's telling fibs here, and I have a theory that it's Mr Clarke. When all the cricketing countries are joining in but yet his players, without exception, are happy not to, something isn't quite right.

I wonder who will stand by their apparent convictions and who will be bought. We all have a price...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

News from the world of Australian cricket

Ok right, so. Clarke and Bingle are getting hitched. I give them two years tops. And that's enough of that.

Luke Ronchi was on the news tonight, looking rather stoked that he's going to play for Mumbai, alongside ol' Sachin. Yeah, I'd be pleased if I were him. I like this young chap, and I hope he does well, I want him to have a bright future.

England have won the series against New Zealand. This is good and bad.

It is good because it means Michael Vaughan lives to fight another day.

It is bad because it means England won, it means New Zealand lost, it means Michael Vaughan lives to fight another day, and it means the pendulum has swung a little closer to the middle in the battle for the bet. As you can see, the bad heavily outweighs the good.

I do feel that our cousins across the ditch have kind of betrayed us, but even though I know they did their best, as Sean Connery told Nicolas Cage in The Rock, losers always whine about their best.

Which doesn't, to my mind, mean that England are going home with the prom queens, but they're the NZ in ANZAC, so we're comrades, right? And who was it that sent us onto the beaches hmm? I wonder.

Can you hear a ticking? I think it's the timer counting down until that loser comment bites me on the bum. All I'm saying is that I hope New Zealand do themselves justice when they head to England later in the year.

Actually I'm surprised that Andrew Strauss did what he did. He reminds me a bit of a restaurant I visited in America called Cracker Barrel. There were rocking chairs and carved pumpkins. Sure it was entertaining and really quite novel, and personally I liked it. But would it last ten minutes in a country like Australia? I think not.

Now we've seen the end of the lovely Stephen Fleming, it's all a bit sad because well, he's cool, even if he does occasionally take an exceptionally bad photograph.

It's always sad to see a top player not leave on a high, but I guess that's just life. And it's usually either because they didn't realise they were past it or because they've been told to bugger off, but if it was either of those reasons I won't hold it against him. And I daresay he will be remembered in high esteem.

Although after the match apparently Danny Vettori was seen prancing around like a mad lunatic with an effigy of Mr Fleming, chanting "I am the light" and cackling like an old witch.

He looked to be dancing with the effigy but a closer look revealed he was actually attempting to set fire to it. Odd that someone who is the light couldn't conjure a bit of flame. What a strange lad.

And here's Virgil with Archibald and Lou. I'm resisting the temptation for a nasty caption for this pic, because there are dozens running through my mind, such as about how two dark-haired people spawned two very blonde, blue-eyed children.

Or about the giveaway that they're English because they look like they've never seen the sun before. I know New Zealand is cloudy, but they should be wearing hats.

Hmph.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cricket chemistry

In the absence of my boys lately, I haven't felt very inspired. There's only so much one can say about the schizophrenic nature of the New Zealand/England relationship.

This creative fella, on the other hand, has written a guide to cricket blogging, a detailed and highly comprehensive analysis of why Kevin Pietersen is his all-time favourite cricketer and an expository essay about the speculated ruination of Ishant Sharma involving Tania Zaetta, all in the space of just over 24 hours. I can only aspire to such greatness.

Now if I was as good at science as Jrod is at making stuff up, I'd have pursued a career in medicine. Alas it was not to be. But during my days of high school chemistry, one of my friends came up with a great equation to sum up our teacher, and I think it applies quite well to everyone's favourite South African.

NaCl + children ---> yummy dinner for Graeme. His hunger is never-ending so children is the limiting reagent.

Personally, I think Graeme is... actually, never mind.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Decisions that shit me

"As expected, the ICC has confirmed that Darrell Hair will not be asked to stand in any international matches involving Pakistan."

Ahhh so Darrell Hair will not be umpiring Pakistan matches.

This is crap.

I hate it when people choose to do something because it's easy as opposed to choosing what's right and having to deal with the consequences. How can this outcome be acceptable?

The ICC people said it's because of the extreme scrutiny and criticism he will face if making a bad decision against Pakistan, but the incident at the Oval wasn't about making a bad decision, it was about accusing them of blatant cheating.

Surely most people (except maybe the Kiwis) can accept that there is a margin of error (kill the ref!). If he's not biased he'd be within that margin. If he's outside that margin, he's a shoddy umpire and should be fired, anyway.

Oh! But he's promised to improve his communication skills. Jeez, why didn't he say? So now it's all ok! Yeah, whatever Dazza. It's all so depressing really. Oh well, I suppose Pakistan are pleased they won't have to deal with him, even if they're annoyed he's been allowed out of his cage at all.

Elsewhere, dear Suave has predicted a comfortable win for his England in the third test. Hop over (only for a few minutes, then come back) to read his preview.

Is it all over for Kevin Pietersen? I don't think so. I think that's wishful thinking. Unless he's dropped before it happens, he will come up to scratch again... eventually. If not, I'm sure England will have him.

Oh, wait.

I wonder if, by some strange string of happenings, KP and Grazza Smith were in each other's shoes, would the world hate Graeme as much if he played for England? It's a strange thought, because Poms hate KP (unless he's winning matches for them, then they tolerate him) as it is. Imagine the possibilities, imagine the hatred oozing, imagine this world gone topsy-turvy!

Anyway, whether you believe in the Resurrection, the Easter bunny or Adam Gilchrist, happy Easter to all and sundry, and remember to drive safely.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hairy Maclary is back, but most certainly not sexy back

I just got an email from the ACF and I was excited because I assumed it was the Australian Cricket Family emailing me to let me know that I've won a trip to the West Indies to watch my boys play. Not that I've entered such a competition, because as far as I know there isn't one, but still. It could have been. But it wasn't. It was the Australian Conservation Foundation. Sigh. Next time.

It is hilarious that there exists this picture of a man whose name is Hair.
The same man has been re-instated because he's one rehabilitated umpire. So, no more accusing poor Pakistan of unspeakable things, let's hope.

I think it's crap that certain umpires don't get appointed to certain countries as a rule because of excessive complaints by a particular countries, or they're seen as biased. If an umpire is unfit to umpire the games of one country, he should not be an umpire.

And this is the man who tried to offered his resignation for US$500,000, even though he was in the wrong and he damn well knew it.

Personally I think Darrell Hair is a clown. And to me, in this world of celebrity substance abuse rehabilitation, to say he is rehabilitated implies that he went to a kind of hospital where there was no cricket, he wasn't allowed out at night and his family could only visit at certain times of the day.

For the duration of his stay, he had to reflect on his life and think about the consequences of his actions and decisions. For the privilege of being at this rehab place, the ICC paid roughly $3,000 a day, which for the six-month period we've not seen or heard from him, added up to $546,000. So maybe they should have just paid him out and sent him on his merry way.

Alternatively this rehabilitation process could have occurred in prison, but that's not for the hip, jazzy, super cool, neat, keen, and groovy cats that cricket umpires are. It's in the fridge, daddy-o. Are you hip to the jive? Can you dig what I'm layin' down? I knew that you could. Slide me some skin, soul brother.

In other news, a former dentist charged with stealing body parts and illegally harvesting organs, including Alistair Cooke's, has pleaded guilty in a New York court. Yesterday this man (sort of) confessed to being a doctor. I think I'm onto something here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Who wants to go a knight rider?

My IPL team, the Kolkata Rebel Alliance, has been officially named, and I was quite disappointed that none of my most excellent and, dare I say it, super suggestions were taken on board. The Kolkata Knight Riders. This name, even though it doesn't sound as lame as the Super Kings, is actually quite embarrassing.

Someone was undoubtedly paid millions to come up with this name and all they did was choose something that'll be interpreted in a smutty context. Another example of why I should be in charge of these matters. I would have been quick to jump on this knight rider and ensure sense was seen! Hark!

Knights would be a cool name, not too common, not too weird, just right really. Night riders would even be a pretty decent, different sort of name. It sounds like something from the gaming world, something maybe a little bit elusive and enviable.

But no, the Kolkatese have gone for a different context entirely. Knight riders.
"Ricky Ponting is a knight rider."
"Oh really, which one?"
"Sir Guy of Gisborne I heard."

Actually I just need a moment to pause and reflect on that thought... mmm.

Anyway. I wonder if they have do a preference. Sir Richard Branson? Sir Elton John? Sir Paul McCartney (better watch out for gold-digging tarts in that case)? Sir Peter Jackson? Sir Charles Gairdner? Sir Ian McKellan? Sir Hiss? What would their logo look like? And they couldn't have a mascot, it would be far too offensive.

Those crazy Indians. They will still be the Rebel Alliance to me.

India and South Africa will be competing soon. A while ago I made a list of who the worst teams to lose to, and while I stand by my comment that it's worse to lose to South Africa than India (only just, though), I hope South Africa kick India's arse all the way to Peru. Why Peru? Why not.

Also, there's a quote on cricinfo that Shane Warne apparently said in reference to his immortalisation in plastic, and the dialogue he recorded for it... "I wanted it to say 'Chuck us a VB, Murali'." I haven't got VB Warney but I've got Boony and Beefy (why did I just type Beeny? Or was it Boofy?) and occasionally they do say rather funny things. That comment of Warney's that would have been funny.

Finally, visit here and then go here and join. Soon there will be a Facebook group dedicated to counting down the days until we see young Suave in the t-shirt he was born to wear.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Steph Broad and the doom of cricket

So much to say, so little time.

Most importantly, I saw this picture and wondered who the girl with Brendon McCullum was.

He looks like the girl we all knew Taylor Hanson was. That's right. Taylor Hanson.

You know I'm right. I also realised that the girl in the first photo was born in the same year that I was. This made me dislike him even more. Evil, girly git.

I really think that with Steph Broad, they did take the good advice of someone, who may or may not have been The Atheist, and recruit from the girls' team.

I had something awesome lined up for England's win, but it didn't eventuate. Not to worry, hopefully it'll be available for the next one, I should plenty of time (years in fact) to get it organised.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Glenn McGrath: still useful

I received something interesting in the mail at work today, and I sent my best mate Ruth the following text message: "You'll never guess which cricketer's photos landed on my desk this morning. I'll give you a clue, he's holding a bat but he really shouldn't be."

To which, quick as lightning, she replied: "Is it MPV?"

Fantastic! But no. "Sorry, couldn't resist. What is old Glenn up to these days?" she wrote.

Let me tell you.

It was a Landcare Australia media release and two proper old-school 4x6 glossy photographs of Glenn McGrath. I think they PhotoShopped his teeth. Also, his mullet has gone and the sensible climate change hippie haircut suits him far better.

He's on the global warming bandwagon, and is now an ambassador for Landcare. This particular media release is about a program called CarbonSMART which enables plebs like me to reduce my carbon footprint and purchase carbon credits for my household use. Quite an impressive concept.

Anyway, the old Pigeon. Arguably he should be more inclined to work at reducing his carbon footprint, by all accounts he has enormous feet. Ah, sorry.

Er. His quotes are amazingly, uncharacteristically articulate for the great man, and include such rhetoric as "My family is originally from the land. That's why I'm right behind Landcare."

and

"For example, adjusting our thermostat, changing the shower head and of course if I was still pulling on the whites, I'd be washing them in cold water!"

I think my life just changed. Did yours?

To the photos!

Here he is showing us what he does in the shower with his large tool.
He really is quite tall. I wonder if being taller than your shower door is a pain in the arse. I don't mean that in any literal sense, just wondering.

And here he is out the front of his carbon-neutral Cronulla mansion showing us what he does best......indeed. I think it's safe to say that if Glenn McGrath's batting had to save us all from global warming, well we're screwed aren't we? On both accounts we collectively half-close our eyes, half-turn away and think... let's just get this over with.

Finally, yes I bag him, but at least he's doing something worthwhile with his celebrity. "Landcare, yeah yeah" beats "Advanced Hair, yeah yeah" any day.

You save the world Glenn. I'm off to have a shower. Back in 30 minutes or so.

The empire strikes back...

...is the best film in the Star Wars series, but Return of the Jedi is my favourite.

So. Day 2. I read that if England lose this match Michael Vaughan will be sacked. Oh my goodness. I'm not ready for this. I think the Black Caps, sensitive to my feelings, decided to do their bit and be all out for some lame-o score. Did they choose to finish with 198 or did it just happen? We will never know.

England are, well, er, uh, they're... going ok. But the thing is, I really think it had more to do with New Zealand being crap. They, England, batted for five overs today, and let's take a peek at what they got up to.

Over 1 - 3 runs
Over 2 - 1 run
Over 3 - maiden
Over 4 - maiden
Over 5 - maiden

Were the first four runs too much too soon? Three runs in one effort is a lot to ask for. But the numbers are deceiving, because only half of those runs were made by actually running. Two of them were no-balls!

I can just imagine Vaughan and Cook meeting in the middle of the crease, doing that nauseating fist-punch thing and Vaughan saying "Well doon, we're doin well-good ey, with these four runs mah career is seved." In fact, I wonder if, as a child, he traded his family's only asset for some magic beans. I wouldn't be surprised.

Anyway. Is this it now? Virgil Vaughan and Ally McCook have sunk exponentially into the world of nothingness. Zero. No runs. Cricinfo had this to say on the matter:
Recent overs
. . . . . . | . . . . . . | . . . . . .
I get they didn't want to lose a batsman so close to stumps, but four runs in five overs is silly.

Prior to this, Paul Collingwood did something constructive with himself and bowled 3/23. Well done lad! Was this a fluke or does he actually have potential? Only time will tell. Jimmy Anderon's 5/73 also a fine effort.

Back to New Zealand. Well, not much to say here. Danny Vettori made 50 and no one else did. Oh except Ross Taylor, who made 53. Back to Daniel, I think he's great. I may have mentioned this before, but he is. Seven 4s and one 6.

He leads from the front, in fact he carried his bat, and he's prepared to carry his team when they need him to. Except when he runs out of batting partners, but that's when he carries his bat, and looks good for it. So shit, can he do any wrong?

Virgil Vaughan's captaincy and New Zealand's pride hang in the balance, and both are up for grabs. Exciting stuff. Is anyone prepared to stick their neck out and call this game? England again seem to be chasing a draw, and New Zealand, being that great bunch of people they are, will want to win. So I think I'm going to go with New Zealand, but I'll know before lunch tomorrow whether I am committed. Roll on Day 3!

Speaking of Michael Vaughan, here he is just after deciding he's better off not only playing with his eyes closed, but using his bum is a better option than his bat. It's beautiful. It's art.
"Do the Hustle!"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"I come hither to die"

A dolphin has guided two stranded whales to safety after human attempts to keep the animals off a New Zealand beach failed, a conservation official said.

Unfortunately, the English cricket team do not have the same luck.

Floundering in the water, flapping about and heading for the sandy shores of certain death, no one helps them. And like the whales, they do not help themselves, far too proud to admit they're on the path of doom.

Why?

Is it because they are weak and spineless, and look for short term fixes rather than long term solutions to their plethora of woes?

Is it because of their attitude that simply being the England-whale is good enough, and at the end of the day, well it doesn't really matter if we beach ourselves big-time, because, well we're better than you, we're England, lucky for our natural superiority.

Their air of superiority towards 'the colonies' is inherent in every one of their players and persists like a really bad headache or Ponting form-slump.

Is it, symptomatic of the previous suggestion, because of their dismissive attitude towards cricket that is not first class, despite being poor in all forms and having actually developed the Twenty20 format.

Yes, it is because of all of this. And so much more.

The England-whale's indefatigable supporters (the non-barmy of which may deserve medals for being environmental warriors) stand on the shore and watch this disaster unfold, hearts breaking.

Their loyalty to their cause does not waver, despite their frustration at the England-whale's determination to commit ceremonious suicide, stupidity in not having learned from the last time this happened (which wasn't very long ago), and pride in refusing to see that death is not the only way.

The rest-of-the-world-dolphins are lurking in the deeper water, looking like they take the England-whale seriously but their efforts at stifling their collective laughter are poor and half-hearted.

They watch the folk on shore and mock their loyalty and feeble, unsuccessful attempts at aiding the self-destructive England-whale.

Why should they, the rest-of-the-world-dolphins help these clumsy fools? We all have choices, and theirs continue to be poor, so they must face the consequences. Besides, the England-whale thinks it's so much better, if it's so good, let's watch it prove itself.

It's ok. Someone has to be the laughing stock of the cricketing world, and the English are supreme at comedy, there's no disputing this. Second only maybe to a new series of Father Ted with the original cast, I could think of no greater entertainment than watching an England batting collapse. And the cumbersome, lumbering heap that is the England-whale never fails to oblige. And our love-hate relationship continues.

So, like stupid suicidal whales, they continue their slow trawl to the end. Their players, accustomed to the shame, will get paid the same no matter what the outcome. Their ever-loyal fan base will cringe in knowing anticipation of the unavoidable outcome. And nothing changes.

EDIT: I forgot the obligatory Michael Vaughan shot. There were some good ones up from the last few days, he even volunteered himself for Suave's Epic Failure register. Alas, even his attempts at distinctive failures are mediocre. But here he is humouring Steve Harmison, who may or may not have Ian Bell in that bag. Cue to worship...
"Did you just hear someone giggle?"

Sunday, March 9, 2008

New Zealand are great

I got up this morning and put the TV on to see England were 8/67. Needless to say I laughed, paused to imagine Suave wearing a humiliating t-shirt of my design, and laughed some more.

We all know England are crap, the question is, how good are New Zealand? How much of this crushing defeat was because of England's ineptitude as opposed to New Zealand's ability? Collingwood's 2 off 50 might answer my question. What an effort! That's a strike rate of 4.0, which is a statistic KP would be jealous of.

I also think Danny "I am the light" Vettori should be congratulated for declaring and setting England a target of 300. It was unlikely that England could have made it, but certainly not impossible. He was making a game of it, and for that (among other reasons) I admire him.

It's a shame England took the opportunity, dipped it in petrol, set fire to it and watched it vanish in a matter of moments, except for the last bit, which, as the fire was dying, burnt on pointlessly before being snuffed out by a giant who danced with glee on the embers.

There are winners that lose, and there are losers. The winners that lose are the ones who do their best to win, they take risks and see them as opportunities. Occasionally they lose, but this doesn't make them losers. Their valiant attitude makes them winners.

Losers on the other hand play to draw rather than risk losing. On the rare occasions that they win, it's usually a fluke (often involving light). Michael Vaughan wouldn't have declared at any point while his team were still batting, because he is the captain of losers, who need to take a look at their attitude more than their ability.

After the match they interviewed him. My dad said he felt a bit sorry for him (an astonishing admission) and I laughed and said he only scored 9 in the second innings, to which it was pointed out to me that our captain has not done much better of late. Hmm.

Nice skins.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Do England actually want to win?

I don't think so. I think this morning, maybe even yesterday morning, Virgil Vaughan gathered the team around and they discussed the best tactics for getting to a draw.

"Listen up lads, I can't think of any good reason why we should bother trying to win, so let's have a competition to see how quickly we can get the crowd asleep. I'm betting three hours. The winner gets a go in the pedalo, the runner up gets to give young Ian a chinese burn on his right arm."

I'm watching the overs tick over, and consistently seeing no run... no run... no run... no run... no run... no run.

I mean, go the NZ bowlers for keeping the run rate down, but they'll be aiming for wickets, and it's not happening, not because they can't do it, but because Vaughan and Cook aren't even bothering to hit the ball!

Oh well. I think I'll be celebrating my 30th before they get to 100, but still, live in hope they'll get bowled out.

EDIT: About frigging time! Haha and Matthew Hoggard, the night watchman, has gone too. Good one.
"Picture yourself on the Waikato River, a new pedalo, all around blue skies. Or chinese burning, you'll twist that arm slowly. Watch the tears stream from Bell's eyes..."
Taking a leaf from Ricky Ponting's John Lennon book, Virgil Vaughan serenades the lads.
Photo: Getty Images

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Justin's going

He was going to be part of the last post, but he deserves one of his own.

Justin Langer announced his retirement today. I really like JL, he's a tough cookie, a champion, and a nice bloke.

He got concussion to mark his 100 test match at the Wanderers, and although he retired hurt, he and Ricky Ponting almost fell out because he wanted to bat at the end of the innings if it was needed, and Ricky told him he would declare the innings and forfeit the match before he let him go back on field.
In reply, Justin apparently said he would never speak to him again if he forfeited. Lucky it didn't come to that. Someone, if my memory serves me correctly it was Brett Lee, scored the winning runs.

Anyway, Justin debuted for the Warriors in 91, so I must have met him, I'm sure I did way back, but my mum says I didn't. At least 14 years ago though, my brother though was loitering about the nets when he was training one day, and JL gave him the ball he'd been using. Which I still have. Treasure!

Justin Langer, I salute you!

EDIT: And no comments about the photo, it was the concussion!
Photo: Alexander Joe

Like feeding time at the zoo...

Oh my goodness. The cricket highlights are on. Michael Vaughan is on the telly. Swoon! It's been a while between drinks.

New Zealand are off to a pretty average start, but I've been in touch with the boys and made it very clear that I expect better tomorrow. They seemed to understand. It is good to see Matthew Hoggard again (even better when his playing is mediocre, what a considerate chap he is!).

To follow up on my front-line reporting of Ronald, here he is looking rather morose. Poor love. I saw the replay, it looked very "ouch". Guess he wasn't faking to get to Mt Hutt.

I really wish the Barmy Army would just shut up. Am I alone in this sentiment? Hearing them carrying on ruins my cricket-viewing. It's great to be loyal, but maybe they could demonstrate their loyalty in other ways... a vow of silence springs to mind. I suppose it's good to know they don't just stalk us... just because they wish their relatives had stolen a loaf of bread...

Oh, and the clown showed us all he really is a humble bloke...
Now, back to watching Michael Vaughan, I mean, the cricket.
Photos: Getty Images

Pure NZ, 100%, oh yeah

Thank God for test cricket. The first test between Newzalund and Ingerland started today, and the Enzedders are batting, and are off to a pretty good start. Carn the Kiwis!

Er, Stephen Fleming is playing. I thought he quit a few weeks ago. Maybe he was announcing a tour of duty... maybe I'm just way off. But jeez, I thought the reason for this horrid photo was because he was upset he was leaving, and I felt sorry for him. Now it's just a horrid photo.

I'd really like to be at home watching this on TV and not following cricinfo updates. Especially considering there's an ad on cricinfo telling me to ski Mt Hutt but not offering me the means of doing so. It's a cruel world. Employers should learn that providing TVs and Foxtel for their staff would enhance productivity. Who wouldn't be inspired by Danny Vettori's slow left-arm orthodox in the workplace?

I was really hoping I'd get to the Wellington test match next week. Months of planning came to nothing, and there's only a few days left for any potential benefactors to come forward. So if you're looking for something to spend that spare $1500 cash that happens to be lying on your dresser on, vote 1 Miss Field. Actually it wasn't the money issue, it was the lack of company issue. But cash donations are still welcome!

Anyway, Ian Bell wants his mum. The little girl hurt his wrist this morning, and has gone off to radiology to have it scanned. They told him his mum would meet him there.
"I want my mum."

Maybe he saw the cricinfo ad as well, and is skiving off to Mt Hutt. Bastard. I bet he doesn't have to appeal to strangers to pay for his holidays. In fact, his mum probably still pays for his skiing trips.

In other news, Australian captain Ricky Ponting is believed to be considering a career as a John Lennon impersonator after he was overheard singing the chorus to the Beatles hit The Ballad of John and Yoko in the Aussie dressing room after last night's disappointing loss to India, which ended his disappointing summer. Very disa-Ponting.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's over

Well done India. Congratulations. Well deserved. Kudos to you. Good work, and all the rest...

...but who's presenting himself and why does Ishant Sharma look like he's trying to rip his clothes off?

And Sachin should be at the front, for reasons many and varied.
Photo: Getty Images

Andrew Symonds shares the love

I wonder if this man fancies Andrew Symonds. Not that I can blame him, but there are the right forums for declaring your undying love, you know. I guess other people declare their undying love for each other at cricket games, but usually they're fully clothed couples on the brink of getting hitched. And this man didn't do his homework, for Roy is not only heterosexual, he also has a girlfriend. A very expensive mistake to make.

Maybe he doesn't fancy him, I'd say it's 50-50 really. But I think, if you make a calculated decision to streak at a cricket match, you probably want to consider different options to running straight at Andrew Symonds, who is built like the proverbial brick shit house.
Oh well, I suppose if the cricket thing falls through, I'm sure there'd be a spot for Andy in the Wallabies' team. And the streaker could sell his story to Today Tonight.

Apparently the fine for streaking at the 'Gabba is $3000. Here in Perth, it's $5000, so I'd say that's a bargain if your heart's greatest desire is to declare your love for an uber sexy, ultra tank cricketer in front of tens of thousands of people... naked. Just don't expect a warm welcome, especially if you're a bloke.

So not even 20 overs in we're five wickets down and need a hundred and something to win. Stranger things have happened, but based on our recent record I'd say it's not looking too good. But I have faith.
Photo: AFP

Monday, March 3, 2008

Woes and woefulness

A team is only as good as its last game. Sadly, this doesn't make us world champions. It makes us crap.

"The bottom line was we didn't get enough runs, we didn't bowl well enough or field well enough." - Ricky Ponting

Correct. These three deficiencies pretty much cover the whole game, so, it seems we've got some big problems.

Unfortunately though, a team needs to be lead from the front, and when the captain's form is poor, there's not much to be inspired by. And the vice-captain is leaving, so no one expects leadership from him.

I mean, apparently Ponting's been ripping into them about the collective performance. It needs to be done, yes, but could you help but sit there feeling a tiny bit mutinous and thinking "Well what about you, you tosser?"

And a mutinous team would make for a crap team. A team that can't bat or bowl or field to save its life. Or beat India. Or Sri Lanka.

It's not good when you're hoping that Sachin Tendulkar and Ishant Sharma's injuries will rule them out of the next final. That's not my team, that's not us. We should be better than that. I want us to be able to take on the best India has to offer and win. That's the Australian team I know.

And because of all the crap that's gone on this series, I want very much for us to win. The best way to stick it to someone is not by stooping to their level but by showing that you're better by kicking their arse.

I think our boys need to go back and train in the desert again. It did the trick perfectly last time.