Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Att: board of selectors

Tonight there was no breaking news that Matthew Hayden is retiring.

Which means he's leaving it in the hands of others.

Here is a step by step guide to show the selectors how it's done... (it's really not that difficult).Step 1. Apply knife.

Step 2. Press.

Easy, and better for everyone.

Hey BlackCaps

Sooooo.

New Zealand.

They've got some issues.

Of the 14 Tests they played this year, they won four. Three against Bangladesh.

Top effort, lads!

Actually I feel a bit sorry for Daniel Vettori. He's alright. It's a bit like seeing Andrew Flintoff treading water during the Ashes (except he's not alright). But you can't carry your team around for ever. Nor should you be expected to.

Actually he's said some pretty amusing things lately (Vettori that is. Historians are still trying to deciper Flintoff's post match media conferences of two years ago. The ones he turned up to.).

"The game is called Twenty20, it's not called one1. We don't want to dilute it too much."

"Getting eased away for four can be a little bit of a heartbreaker."

"What's wrong with a tie, I have no issues with it."

"It's just sometimes the ground is not big enough for Chris Gayle."

Just imagine that in a Kiwi accent.

He sounds a bit upset. See in two Twenty20 matches both were ties, which I think is pretty amazing. But to determine a winner this happened -

Trialled for the first time in an international match, the Super Over has each team nominate three batsmen to face an over against one bowler from the opposing side. If two batsmen are dismissed inside the over, the innings is considered complete.

What?

Sounds kinda lame to me. I agree with the Kiwi, what's wrong with a tie? Though I wonder if he'd said it if they hadn't lost the "Super" over. Somehow it was his fault for not getting 26 runs in the "Super" over. That's funny too... New Zealand lost the match after Vettori failed to chase 26 runs in an over. Love it.

To me this sounds like "If a Twenty20 ends in a tie, we play an over of baseball to see who wins."

And that ain't cricket!

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Joernaal - day 24

Diary -

Had an unacceptable dream last night and woke with an image of Makhaya dressed as Santa Claus in my mind. Sick. Have decided that next summer tour there will be no dressing up as Santa Claus. Dreamt he - Santa Claus - was chasing me around the MCG. I was running away, but then I remembered I am Graeme Smith and I fear no man (he probably just wanted an autograph, maybe a photo), so I stopped and turned around, ready to discuss my cover drive. But he began taking all his clothes off. So I kept running. As fast as I could.

Anyway. If there's one thing that's as fantastic as me my batting me, it's being out on field to watch the Australians choke. At last I can use that word again without having to practice looking contemptuous. Smug takes up so much time. Can't wait to see Hayden's replacement crumble under the expectation to win Sydney for them. This series is ours.

Damn. I am so good.

Girly squeals abound

What could possibly top being caught on 99, at the MCG, Boxing Day Test, when it would have been the fourth time you got two centuries in one Test, and third against South Africa, while also trying to redeem your country from EPIC FAILURE, trying to save your country's number one ranking and your captaincy?

Being caught by Graeme Smith.

Smith took that firmly struck shot and erupted in celebration.

Erupted in celebration, huh.

Wonder if that involved a girly squeal.

Turning the screws

I am so impressed that Brett Lee batted today.

Ok. So he scored 8. But still, 8 more than I'd expected, seeing as I didn't think he would bat.

I tried to find a photo of him batting so I could add the caption "I'm in tremendous pain but I can't move my face", but there are none.

I guess he wasn't in for long enough.

So Australia is 7/185 at lunch on day four. A similar position to South Africa in the first innings, except I can't see us batting the day out. It did seem like we were scoring runs quite quickly, but in a 'shit let's get a move on' as opposed to 'yay let's play a Twenty20'. Which was nice. Makes it seem like we're still trying to win. Just a shame about the 7-for bit.

I'm still trying to work out whether the scales are tipped in the direction of Australia being crap or South Africa being outstanding.

It's like trying to pick between Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. It's always one til I see the other.

I don't think this will be a draw, South Africa will win this.

And probably Sydney too.

And the right to gloat for a while yet.

And England will get their hopes up.

And become a little complacent.

At least Ponting's still out there.

(Did you notice that I didn't mention a certain opening batsman? It's like he's gone already.)

When all else fails...

At least we can laugh at ourselves.

Hahahaaaaaaaa. Oh. Woe.

Courtesy CWB.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Binga, bad to worse

Brett Lee has buggered his foot and is about to make a statement about his immediate playing future.

Sounds ominous.

Will he retire?

Nah.

Watch this space...

Update
Wow, the Channel 9 team like to outdo themselves from time to time. Like promising me a live press conference with Brett Lee and then spending too long talking to Jiminy about his ice bath so they have to cut the program, because damn we can't miss Fishing Australia, can we?

Feckers.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Joernaal - day 22

Not going so well today. Must fix this. Can't have that twat Ponting outsmug me. But how much can a captain achieve on his own? Vaughn Van Jaarsveld is coming to replace Ashwell, who is still whining about his thumb. Serves him right for pre-empting me being ruled out. I hear whispers that he will replace me, but we will see about that.

I bought myself an iPod for Christmas. I had it gift-wrapped and put it under the tree when no one was looking. They all asked me who it was from but it was a good exercise in smugness when I said I couldn't be sure which of my admirers sent it. But then someone stole it and uploaded a bunch of Britney Spears songs onto it. Hilarious. Not impressed, especially when Morne grabbed it off me before I realised what had happened. I will cheerfully murder anyone who utters the words 'hit me Graeme one more time' again.

Caught Brett Lee staring at AB today. Can't help but wonder what AB has going for him that I don't.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Aussies to smash Poms in charity match... right?

Superblogger Jrod has accepted the challenge from The Village Cricketer to play an Poms vs Aussies charity match for an English charity, Everyman.

Held at the end of June, it'll be a sort of curtain raiser to the Ashes, and I predict the country who wins this match will also be hoisting the urn at the end of August (if it's the Poms, complete with tickertape and OBEs).

I will donate $10 for every six that's scored.

Hopefully, I'll also be there to cheer on my captain and his boys.

Visit Cricket With Balls if you'd like to play for Australia. I'm going to try and recruit my friend Ricky.

Please go away!

Phil Jaques
Phillip Hughes
Shaun Marsh
David Hussey
Brad Hodge
Marcus North
Adam Voges
Glenn McGrath
Luke Pomersbach
Chris Rogers

Ten players who could step up and take over from Matthew Hayden with ease.

There are more.

They are talented, capable and lacking only opportunity.

There is no shortage of alternatives, so why haven't we cut the fat already? There's no place for nostalgia in elite sports.

Taxpayer money goes to funding sport in Australia.

I expect Olympic gold medals.

I expect records to be broken.

I also expect cricket selections to be based on merit. For a while now we should have been assisting new, younger players to settle in, not carrying around a dead weight in hope of a miracle.

Sorry it had to be like this Matt, but you've had your chances.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Festivity ahoy

Merry Christmas everyone.

Christmas is the day we lay down out weapons, pause the war, and have lunch together.

Nah, bugger that. There are proteas to be smashed.

Here is my vision of how Ricky Ponting will be looking tomorrow. Forgive the designing, I know it's shit.


Actually, maybe he's staring at someone in a sort of wistful fashion. Brett Lee maybe?

Have a good one.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Joernaal - day 18

Diary -

Flew to Melbourne yesterday. I hate journalists who wait at airports. I hate all journalists. Although one was hot. Her face was, at least; she was a bit fat. Saw Ponting. Smirked at him. He looked like he wanted to cry. Never did such a baby have such hairy arms. I had a Lignocaine injection today. It fucking caned but what's pain when there's 11 half-wits waiting to be beaten? I think Ashwell was disappointed. I caught him in front of the mirror, pretending to address the media. Dream on.

Ponting - not the worst

If you, like me, think that although Ricky Ponting needs to lift his game pronto or leave, he is not the worst captain in cricket - then please swing by the grand Republique Cricket and vote here.

If you do think he's the worst captain... maybe don't visit. Stay here and tarry a while, as they said in that Robin Hood game of old.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Inadequate solutions to monumental problems

Australia has never won a three-match series after losing the first match.

This means nothing to me - Australia has enough talented cricketers to win this series. But changes have to be made. The current side is dogged by out of form players who are being carried along by that hope that they will re-live former glory. They won't.

And this 'carrying' policy, new to us, will fail. It may cost us our number one ranking. It may cost us the Ashes.

Yes I'm still reeling.

What I want to know is why...

Why Matthew Hayden is still playing and will be allowed to continue until he's ready to go.

Why, as Moses has pointed out, it has escaped our captain's notice that the 56 runs scored between him, Hussey and Hayden, in the entire match, was unacceptable.

Why Brett Lee would be selected if his personal problems clouded his ability to play to form.

Why blaming the pitch is acceptable.

Why Michael Hussey didn't play better at his home ground.

Why it just looked far too easy for South Africa.

This isn't a difficult problem to solve, but it requires some leadership, and I'm thinking that's our biggest problem at the moment.

So what have the powers that be done to address this worsening crisis (that's right, I called it a worsening crisis)? They've dropped Jason Krezja. And what do you know, replaced him with Nathan Hauritz, who meets the primary selection criteria of being from New South Wales.

So now I'm also wondering why the leadership hasn't been fired for being spineless and out of touch. Someone take a stand!

By the way, good work SA. You outplayed us and deserved the win.

There you go, Ricky. I could say it.

My Joernaal - day 17

Diary,

Damn it feels so good to stick it up these revolting Australians. Arrogant fuckers. Yesterday afternoon was fantastic, watching them fail, over after over. What a bunch of useless animals. And then that shit Ponting had the cheek to blame the pitch. Saw Michael Clarke gazing at AB again. He saw me scowling and winked at me. Yuck. Will have to deal with that. Poor AB. He was man of the match... AB, that is, not that little Australian tosser. Should have been me. Might ring Ponting to see if he wants to have a beer. Need to smirk at him some more. Though that means tolerating the stupid man. Maybe he'll bring his wife. Need to catch her alone over Christmas. There's no chance she'll turn me down again this year.

Bye.

Ponting denounces graciousness

Ricky Ponting:

"This wicket here, it looks like the WACA have got what they wanted with another very flat batting wicket and has lasted and probably played better today than right through the course of the game," he said.

"The WACA's like playing in Adelaide now - it's probably the slowest WACA wicket that I've played on, it hasn't cracked up and it hasn't done anything late in the game.

"We've heard a lot about the pace and the bounce being back at the WACA but every time you rock up for a Test match it doesn't seem to be there.

"I think there's certainly an advantage to batting second on this ground."

Get a fucking grip boy.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

One night, a few glasses of Wolf Blass later...

A person this evening searched "Brad Hodge underrated" and got to my blog.

Yes. This person was from Victoria.

Would anyone like to hazard a guess about this?

Sounds like Brad, 5ft10, Victoria, seeks empathy, any kind, from anywhere.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Australia wins again!

You may recall that superblogger Suave declared that his England would finish second in the ICC test rankings by the end of this year.

Well he lost.

Yes, no surprises. Not even Kevin Pietersen could redeem that lot.

More importantly, it struck me that damnit he year has passed rather quickly. It was January, then June, then September, and now Christmas and cricket time. Hurrah. I think there might have been other months in there somewhere. Maybe.

So because he lost, Suave has to humiliate himself in some fashion. This will more than likely involve him wearing a t-shirt of my design to a test match.

I've heard it said that it's a bad reflection upon society today that I'm making him humiliate himself. I say it's fun! Might even be worth a trip to the old grey country for a look myself.

We would like to reopen the suggestion box, and if you can think of a cracker slogan for a shirt for the dear boy, well, good on you. We'll use it and you'll receive... nothing.

So far "Graeme Smith's bitch" is sounding good. Or maybe "I love Matthew Hayden". Got a better idea?

Vive la Republique!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bunking off work

Yesterday I went to the cricket. Yes, I took the afternoon off (thanks boss) and lauded it up in the sunshine instead.

The day's play is old news now, but I did take some photos that I will upload tomorrow.

I would, however, like to echo sentiments out and about in both the blogosphere and the realm of proppa churnalism.

Why did Kallis bowl so much? I'm not complaining, but as said on cricinfo, he's about as threatening as a pineapple.

Krezja and Siddle (I'm sure it was Siddle, cbf double checking, if I'm wrong let me know) batted better than I expected (or anyone else for that matter, I imagine), nice work lads, you bat better than Glenn McGrath.

Mitchell Johnson, what a trooper. I bet Brett Lee narrowed his eyes in Mitchell's general direction, maybe with lips pursed, at least once today. "I want what he's having." Good luck, Binga. Seriously though, welcome home Mitchell.

And I would like to reiterate that Ponting's time is up. A double century next innings just MAY redeem him for another match.

Damn, being at the cricket beat being at work.

Graeme Smith update - FOUND HIM. At the WACA, would you believe it? I heard a rumour he might be there on Saturday too, which is lucky, because I'm going to be there. I would like to make a sign but I can't think of a good message. Ideas?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cricket in sunny Perth

The Warriors wiped their arses with the Proteas yesterday.

AHAHAHHAHA.

South Africa 2/185
Australia 4/215

Adam Voges made 87... fool. Yes I know that's 87 more than what I could make, but to end up with 87 opens an enormous can of cliche that I'm particularly partial to. Yum yum, cliche pie.

And Morne Morkel (hahaha cracker) injured his ankle; tripped over his ego on the run up for his first ball of the match and had to hobble off field. Wish I'd been there just to see that.

Well, they did specifically request the match replicate Test conditions.

I know they played without Smith and Steyn, but nonetheless they should have won. Full kudos to the Warriors. That's my boys.

NB On day one of the second, two-day tour match, South Africa are 8/320. AB, whose full name is not as exciting as you'd think, scored 129.

Doh.

Still no Graeme.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Retired crickets: more interesting than the current ones

The News tonight -

Glenn McGrath:

"I still back our boys any day so my prediction is still three-nil."

He's so funny! Except the time before the last time that happened... well, you know. I don't want to talk about it.

And then Justin Langer says he wishes he was playing in this series to exact his vengeance on Ntini.

And then they showed a shot of Michael Clarke inspecting pink stumps.

And then back to Glenn, saying how proud he is that they're renaming Ladies' Day 'Jane McGrath Day', and his surprise that something at the SCG was named after her instead of him.

Obviously no one cares what current players have to say about things. I guess when it's Michael Clarke on offer, that's no surprise.

And then there was Alastair Cook, complete with eyeliner, saying that the England players would be donating half of their match fees to the families of those attacks in Mumbai.

I'm no England fan.

But that's a cool gesture. Respect.

Therefore Cooky, it would seem, though almost as inarticulate as Freddie, has more to say than any of the current Australian players.

Interesting.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cricket Etc

I've come across a blog, written by Bridget, a 12-year-old girl in New South Wales. Ok, we'll forgive her the New South Wales bit, but the rest is impressive. When I was 12 I was working out how to avoid cricket at any cost.

I get a lot of requests for blog links. (Does no one attempt to get recognition off their own back anymore? What is this blogosphere coming to?) I don't link them all, but that's more about me being forgetful than not wanting to.

But this young lady has not requested a blog roll. Hence why I'll do it. You can visit Cricket Etc here.

Knowing a 12-year-old is reading my blog kind of makes me want to be a good, clean blogger. Nah, bugger that. But it does make me want to crack out the S Club Seven and pretend to be 12 again.

Welcome aboard, Bridget.

Graeme Smith update: still no sighting.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My first match of the season

Tonight I experiened my first indoor cricket game. Which was also my first cricket for the season at all, so there we go.

Stop laughing. I wasn't actually playing, I was observing. I was watching some blokes I went to high school with, who call themselves the Fine Tuners, against a charmingly named opposition called Team Tnuc. Lovely.

I wasn't familiar with the rules of indoor cricket previously, but I was surprised how fast-paced it was.

For anyone who's wondered, it's like a cross between backyard cricket and conventional cricket played in a big shed with a net around the players so the ball doesn't get far.

Tip and run? Yes. If you get out, you lose five runs. If you hit the back net, you get six. If the ball hits the net and then is caught, that's out.

I'm not really sure how the overs worked. I'll figure that out next time.

The oddest thing was that that non-striker's crease is in the middle of the 'pitch'. Which, presumably, is because the net means the ball doesn't get very far. It looked strange.

There was also lots of diving, swearing and sweat. And some dodgy umpiring. So all essential cricket components were present!

The team I went to see lost by six runs (lame!) but I believe at one point they were getting thrashed in a way Daniel Vettori would be proud of, so they came back pretty well.

It almost made me want to pick up a bat.

Almost.

Graeme Smith update: No sighting yet.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD THE PROTEAS ARE HERE

Yeah. It's a sleepy town. You should have seen the reaction when Michael Jackson was here, a decade or so ago (not my reaction, bleurgh).

Anyway, after the confidence fuck that was New Zealand (thanks for that, lads), and after seeing this...


...I think all is not lost.

Perhaps it is only blind faith. But those South Africans think this is their best shot at winning in Australia since they were taken off the after-school detention list.

This makes me think about my list of Evils. Is it worse to lose to India in India, or South Africa in Australia? That's like asking me to pick between Abbey Road and the white album.

People love to hate South Africa because they're arrogant bastards. It's part of the deal with the Proteas.

But the Indians seem to have this relatively newfound arrogance that I don't like. It's more than just their skill, it's about the power of their cricket board as well. Power that, in my opinion, is spiralling out of control... couldn't possibly upset the BCCI now, could we? Fuck that. And down with Twenty20 cricket, too.

Therefore, I decree, losing to South Africa in Australia is not as humiliating as the Indian series was. I reserve the right to change my mind on this. And seeing as I'll probably be there on the last day of the first test, it may well happen.

So. Captain Can't-get-a-girlfriend is in town. I'm off to the Llama Bar. I'm sure that's where I'll find him.

I'll be sure to let him know how enamoured the blogging world is with him.