Friday, March 27, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New blog

I just noticed a new blog being written from Sydney by Amy S.

She's a bit on the treacherous side - Australian, with a thing for South Africans. Imagine that!? AND she claimed Albie Morkel off me. Just like that. The cheek!

She ranks the top cricket nations and why she likes or loathes them. My favourite -

8. New Zealand should float by on the back of Dan Vettori's success. Only, Jesse Ryder would need a flotation device. I'm not sure Dan would do.

She also got this comment that she proudly displays at the top of the page "why dont u piss off Amy S!!!!!! u dont know about australia!!!! go back to your sh1thole!!!". I love people.

Amy S Talks Cricket here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"South African" Premier League

I'm choosing to ignore Australia's dismal performance for now.

Let's talk Indian Premier League.

Insert obligatory comment about the passage of time: it really doesn't seem like a whole year ago we first saw a cricket in such a... dazzling... light.

It was amusing but it didn't take long to lose interest. Sure, Ricky Ponting wore a black and gold costume (uniform doesn't say enough) and Shane Warne proved he's still ace, but it's only Twenty20, and the whole thing went for too long.

It really was a tournament of very little substance.

The best part of it, in my opinion, was seeing the likes of Ponting and Ganguly playing side by side; something county cricket followers would be familiar with, but we haven't got an Australian equivalent.

But a lot of things have changed in the last twelve months.

India has been subjected to a horrific terrorist attack.

The recent attack in Pakistan saw made us realise that our beloved sportsmen are not immune to the instability of the world.

The 2009 IPL will coincide with federal elections in India.

If I was a cricketer I wouldn't want to go. As it is several Australians have pulled out of the competition. Though citing other reasons, security must have been a factor and a big one.

The Indian government have said they cannot provide extra security because of the elections.

"Due to the attitude of the government that it cannot provide security for the tournament, we are forced to take a decision to move the IPL out of India," the country's cricket chief Shashank Manohar told reporters.

I commend the BCCI for this. It would have been easy to turn a blind eye and reap the reward and profit, despite the risk of attack.

South Africa is the likely host for the IPL, with England a second alternative.

I wonder what implications this will have for the league's profits.

An integral part of this tournament is interpellation - Indians identify with the IPL, it's their tournament. Their celebrities own the teams, those celebrities are often filmed in the crowd celebrating or lamenting the performance of their team. The spectacle and the glamour, from the player auction to the season launch to the costumes; it is India.

In turn, atmosphere at Indian cricket matches is something to behold, and I believe assist to sustain the interest in this event. They are an immensely lively bunch and it goes hand in hand with the extravaganza of the IPL. Again, it is their tournament. Will it be mimicked in South Africa? No.

There is a 3.5 hour time difference between the two countries. Granted this is not as big as if it was being held in England, but it will still affect prime time viewing in India (and make no mistake, this tournament is held to be broadcast in India).

Take away these patriotism factors - will the Indians lose interest if tournament seems to become South Africa's? My Indian blogger friends are far more qualified to comment on this than me, but it makes me wonder.

While all these factors are interesting to consider, none of it really matters. What matters is the safety of the cricketers and subsequently the safety of the people around them who may in turn be affected (security guards, by-standers etc).

There can be no doubt the BCCI are doing the right thing here. If that means the IPL dies, which is unlikely even if this season goes badly, so be it.

I also commend South Africa for being ready to mobilise with this.

It's cricket. We're there for each other.

Ponting's wicket

Michael Hussey really needs to find some form.

In the next two minutes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Test matches and OBEs and Engerland. And South Africa.

The third Test starts tomorrow.

I know. I too am struggling to contain my excitement.

To mark this occasion, here is a post written by my esteemed friend Angus on his most excellent blog, which he has kindly let me re-post here.

It's about an incident back in 2005. Something happened back then, now what was it... oh yes, that's right.

We lost the Ashes.

OBEs for EVERYBODY!!!!!

I think I speak for all of us when I say that beating South Africa in sporting contests is one of Australia's three most solemn duties (the other two are beating New Zealand at Rugby Union, and preserving the memory of Gallipoli).

Beating England is not solemn - it's a raucous affair. But beating South Africa is important, it is crucial, and it is satisfying.

I was speaking to Miss Field a while ago - who has been keeping another blog hidden in plain sight - about why losing to South Africa in Australia was less painful than losing to England in 2005 (in England).

Here are my top reasons why losing to England in 2005 was so hard to take:

1) The series of coincidences that went England's way

2) Australia could not have played ANY worse, we were lacking our best fast bowler (we dominated the one Test he played), and we still only lost the series by two runs.

3) England's team was full of crap players who played much better than they ever had or ever would again to fluke wickets and runs.

4) They treated a marginal 2-1 series victory as if THEY HAD RE-WON WORLD WAR II.

5) The English players went back to being crap within 24 hours of the final Test.

But one of the hardest things to take was something Miss Field pointed out: that any time an Australian mentioned that perhaps the English were over-reacting by giving their players OBEs for winning two Test matches, we were accused of being sore losers.

Ashley Giles. Useless cricketer. OBE.

It was not a great time to be an Australian cricket fan. Just like this past summer against South Africa. However, here are the key reasons why losing to South Africa is not as painful as that horrible 2005:

1) South Africa were the better team. Australia played badly again, but we had our chances to win it and we bottled it. We can acknowledge better teams.

2) The Proteas' performances were not flukes, and their players were not in some kind of never-to-be-repeated Indian summer. They had built their form up over the past few years.

3) They didn't carry on like flamin' galahs after they won two Test matches. Whatever the equivalent of the South African OBE is, they didn't give it to a bunch of blokes who did the job they're paid large amounts of money just to get done.

4) We recognise that our team is in transition and we're willing to cut them some more slack.

5) We've just gone and handed them a defeat on their home soil with three of our blokes playing their first Test.

The Ashes in 2005 will always be a bad memory, but hopefully, one day, Flintoff and Vaughan and co will come out and say "you know what, I probably didn't deserve to be made a member of the Order of the British Empire for barely winning two cricket matches." And I'd like to think that I will be around to say "EXACTLY!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"I love weddings... drinks all 'round!"

Adam Voges is not allowed to get married while being a cricketer.

So he is not going to be a cricketer... for the One Dayers in South Africa, at least.

Apparently he asked if he could fly home to marry his girl, and Cricket Australia said no because it will mean the team will be short a batsman.

Andrew Hilditch said he understands Adam's position but cannot put the team at risk.

(Read: except when Matthew Hayden is involved.)

I hope this doesn't have too great an impact on his future selection chances. He is fab and worthy.

I can understand CA's point of view, though on the surface it does seem a little harsh. Surely he could have planned his wedding better.

BUT weddings have to be planned often a year plus ahead. A friend of mine who tried to place an order for a wedding dress eleven months in advance was told she was an 'emergency bride'. I assume it's a WA thing, but I could be wrong.

And obviously Adam hasn't been keeping up with the Upcoming Tours listed here to notice the terrible timing.

Or maybe, as he is from WA and not NSW, he wasn't expecting to be selected. That said, Marcus North is going to replace him. And that's good.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Domestic season closing

Victorians.

Love 'em or hate 'em they are about to win the Sheffield Shield against Queensland.

Yup. The coolest named team in Australia are 392 runs in front of the Bulls at stumps on day four. So they'd better declare and do their thing so that Brad Hodge can have some joy in this cold, callous world.

Good stats - Chris Rogers (still not forgiven) 105; D Hussey 103; Cam White 135. Andrew Symonds 4/48. Dirk Nannes 4/65, Clint McKay 3/35. It's Victoria's game; none of the Bulls' batsmen even deserve a mention!

Two questions spring to mind... what the fuck happened to New South Wales? And will Jrod be able to cope with the Bushrangers actually winning the Shield?

I vaguely remember saying this last year, but it's the Warriors' turn next summer... just you wait and see.

Women

You wouldn't know the Women's World Cup is going on at the moment.

And not just because I haven't written about it yet.

But because on Cricinfo the only mention of it is down the left hand menu.

And then, the first sentence of the lead story isn't about cricket at all.

During the second World War, a secret bunker in Bankstown was used as the base for Australia's air-force operations.

Cricinfo. For all your wartime history needs.

I flicked onto Fox Sports 2, whose programme listed said "ICC Women's World Cup". But instead they were showing the last Test between Australia and South Africa. Men.

Who's going to win this series? I do not know. My tip is England though. I'd rather it was New Zealand. Or Bangladesh. Or, you know, Australia, though that's nigh impossible now.

I am, however, hanging out to see the Aussies take on the Poms on Thursday.

If it gets shown.

The England flogged us during the Ashes, so I hope it's time for the World Cup defenders to exact some vengeance. Though, yeah. Unlikely.

The whole thing is about five weeks shorter than the last men's World Cup. I think the lads need to take a leaf.

Incidentally... Fox Sports 2 is now showing a Geelong v Collingwood game. Hmm.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good luck Binga

Watching the last Test match against South Africa made me think... Brett Lee and Stuart Clark will have their work cut out for them getting back into this team.

Brett Lee has different ideas.

"I'm not embarrassed to say that I expect to lead the pace attack and take that brand new ball again for Australia," Lee told Cricinfo.

Sounds a bit too big for his boots. Like someone else we just managed to get rid of. It would be different if Australia had lost the first two Tests. But we didn't. Should a winning formula be changed? I don't think so. Does Mitchell Johnson secretly want to punch him? Perhaps.

Also, er, I bet Matt Hayden's feeling a bit small. Because if he had gone when he was supposed to (as decreed by me), well, let's just say there might not have been so much losing going on during the summer, eh?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Introducing...

Over at Cricket With Balls, Jrod has decided that Cricket Australia actually does have the right idea, and sought out some super feline bloggers to raise his profile among the laydeez.

Introducing Nimby and Mizzy.

And don't question Mizzy's hair. It is most certainly not a Cherry Ripe wig. K?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kiki and Sassy ruin cricket

It has come to my attention through Jrod of The Balls, that Cricket Australia have recently implemented two females to blog on cricket.

I'm insulted.

I'm not claiming to be the only woman to blog about cricket. There are other female cricket bloggers out there. To the best of my knowledge, the only other from Australia is 12 years old. She knows a lot more about it than these two.

In fact, what does make these women qualified to write about cricket? It doesn't say they are former players, and I certainly haven't seen them doing the hard yards around the cricket blogging circles.

No. They are generic bloggers HIRED TO WRITE ABOUT CRICKET.

It would be fairer to have a male cricket blogger PRETEND TO BE A WOMAN writing about cricket. Jrod would give it a damn good go, for one. Plus he'd look fine in that afro wig you get in Cadbury showbags, the one that genetic-woman is wearing.

I may write a lot of fluff. Sure, I have a crush on Graeme Smith. But at least I know what I'm talking about. In fact my friend Kirstie, who has to be dragged head-first to a cricket match, knows more about it than these two clowns.

So I guess Sakky and Kisi, or whatever their names are, are the nieces of James Sutherland or something.

I would very much like to spend more time writing about cricket. I can write nice. I can write stupid. If you've read what I wrote in Whingeing Pom you'll know I can twist the knife in the heart of my own team if I have to. I'll even assume a retarded name. Sassbo.

If you need me to write my own comments too, I'm on it, for shizzle. Sehwag knows I can create better characters than the morons with no interest in cricket whatsoever, who apparently ended up in the Cricket Australia blog page to declare their newfound interest.

This blog is an insult to any woman who likes cricket for more than the "Maddona microphones" and because "what other game gives you an excuse to park yourself on the lounge for five days straight?".

By their own admission they don't know what they're doing.

Please do me a favour and don't visit their stupid blog. Just take my word for it. It sucks. If you feel even a twinge of annoyance, I encourage you to write and tell Cricket Australia so. Here's a link for you.

And while you're online, visit Crikey and support our Jrod.

A jihad on these charlatans. A jihad on Cricket Australia. In the words of Daniel Vettori: Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you all.

Not that Kisi and Sakky have any idea who he is.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I need your help

On a rather less serious note, I have been meaning to ask all of you who live in Australia to acquire a copy of the February edition of the award winning Whingeing Pom magazine. Your local newsagent would have it, and don't worry, it's bi-monthly, so it's still around.

And then check out the 2,000 word story I wrote on page 54. That's right. This may come as a surprise to you, but my name is actually not Miss Field.

So. Whether or not I get another gig with this magazine depends on the reaction to what I wrote. Love it or hate it, I encourage you to write in and tell the team what you think.

If you feel betrayed by any of those 2,000 words, email the editor and tell him. He's a top fella. For a pom.

Thank you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We're all in this together

When I was at uni, there was a terrorist attack in Indonesia.

Not the sort that changes the world, but one in which people died, and it was significant if for no other reason but that.

The university sent an email out to all students saying that a certain number of people had died, but fortunately, no Australians were among the dead.

A lot of people, students and teachers alike, were angry about this, but it's a common attitude in the face of accidents and disasters. We are ok and sod the others.

It's a displaced sense of patriotism that skews the value of human life.

Even leading on from this, watching the SBS World News you can see the tragedies that occur around the world every single day that don't stand a chance of being reported on the six o'clock commercial news.

The sort that make you thankful for the life you have and the country you live in.

Why isn't it reported? Because it happened so far away, in a poor country where English is not the first language. It doesn't matter that 300 people died. Ben Cousins takes drugs. Ben Cousins had a coffee in Leederville. Ben Cousins flew to Melbourne.

In light of the attack in Pakistan, a similar attitude has emerged, this time not in a patriotic sense, but an elitest sense.

The terrorists struck but the cricketers survived*. Phew. The end.

I am as happy as anyone that the Sri Lankan cricket team and their entourage were not killed in this awful attack.

But it bothers me that in the media this sentiment largely outweighs the tragedy at the lives that were lost, even if it was in the line of duty. And this doesn't help the poor bus driver.

Sure, analyse the consequences for our sport. Validate your point of view on the future of cricket in the region. But don't let the loss of life pale into insignificance because of who was and wasn't killed. Rome is not worth one good man's life.

Maybe I'm just naive to think we should all be equal. Australian, Indonesian, cricketer, bus driver.

*Six police officers died protecting them, and two civilians.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cricket in Pakistan

Being on the Pakistan Cricket Board can't be an easy job at the best of times.

And when Wasim Bari says things like this: "At a time when terrorist attacks are taking place all over the world Pakistan cricket should not be abandoned or isolated. We can still hold international matches."

It's impossible not to feel sorry for him.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Terrorism 'n' stuff

Here in Australia, the story of what's happened today in Pakistan is being used to validate the actions of Cricket Australia in continually 'postponing' Australia's tours of the country.

Sure, they were right.

But let's stop thinking about ourselves for a second and look at this from a different angle.

I am not sure whether I have mentioned this here previously, but I generally think the word brave is bandied around too liberally.

I won't go into where I think it's inappropriate, because you'll be queuing up to call me nasty names, also it's not really relevant, so let's move on.

The Sri Lankans were brave to play in Pakistan.

Sure, you could call them foolish, but that doesn't mean they deserved this attack.

On the flip side, I doubt they have the same 'get-out-of-jail' options available as countries like Australia and England.

They really were brave to be there, and I respect them for it.

Sri Lankans should be angry. Really, really angry.

If they were my boys over there, I would be livid. As it is I am angry on their behalf.

For a long time people have viewed cricketers as somewhat untouchable, because of the point of view that the love of cricket by people in cricketing countries outweighs their potential desire to inflict carnage and destruction, as it would a) do their cause no good and b) affect a major source of entertainment. I guess this is not the case.

I wonder what motivates someone to do something like this, what makes them think they have the right. These weren't politicians. But then I give up because it's not something I will ever understand.

It's a sad day for cricket in Pakistan. It's yet another sad day for Pakistan.

Got a beef with Sri Lanka?

So the Sri Lankan cricket team has been attacked in Pakistan, and while there are casualties and the act is totally reprehensible, four possibilities spring to mind:

1. coincidence
2. deliberately targeted by the 'terrorists' Cricket Australia want to avoid by not letting the Aussies tour there
3. deliberately targeted by 'terrorists' hired by Cricket Australia (and maybe pitched in for by other cricket boards who don't let their teams tour there) to make their point
4. Roy did it

Will we ever know the truth? Will Roy ever be sobre enough to own up? Will Australia ever tour Pakistan?

I think the answer is clear to at least one of those questions.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

BlackCaps regroup!

I have noticed that whoever designs the BlackCaps' uniforms is getting a little adventurous.

A little too adventurous.
What's wrong with a silver fern? Ok you could say it's overused, but it looks a damn sight better than these. And baby blue? What's that about?

And everytime I see it I think maybe it's a sign of things to come.