Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dear Michael,

You’re far too vain.

More interested in the trappings of your fame and fortune; promotions and sponsorship than Test cricket.

Too ensconced in celebrity culture.

You won’t accept responsibility. There will always be an excuse, even when the truth is that we just weren’t good enough. We’ll be stuck in the doldrums for at least the next decade.

Lara.

The team has already succumbed to mediocrity, but you won’t take it seriously enough; when underperforming, you’ll laugh it off. On Twitter.

Your form sucks. How can you lead by example?

You won’t show good sportsmanship. In fact you probably won’t show any.

There's your gauntlet. Prove me wrong. I implore you.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Americans + cricket = RUN AWAY

There's been a bit on the news lately about the cricket team from Compton visiting Australia.

Compton is here:

No your eyes are not deceived. Americans are playing cricket. (Don't say it too loud, it might be catching.) And I don't mean the West Indies imports their 'national side' consists of.

Growing up it was drummed into me that basically, you can't trust a country that doesn't play cricket. While I realise now that there are some pretty large gaps in logic here (like the bit about not trusting those that do, either), the essential point remained: the USA are not to be trusted.

We've all heard the stories about Twenty20 and the IPL catering for an American audience, but it's a fair assumption that it's aimed that the Indian ex-pats living in the States.

This is being reported as a good news story, because Compton by the sounds of it, is a hell hole, and these young men have transcended their gangster fate because of cricket.

These young men, who call themselves the Homies & the Popz.

Are we on the same page yet? 'Mainstream' USA made hip hop and other musical atrocities genres, pioneered by downtrodden USA, popular. Right? Let your imagination run rampant for a second. Americans get into, then take over, cricket. The bats would be wider and made from aluminium; excessive headgear and armour would be likely; the ball would be softer; boundary rope closer in. The changeover between overs would be increased by at least thirty seconds to cater for advertisers. We could farewell our five day fun.

Because, good news story aside, cricket is better without the United States. No, I'm not such a heartless bitch that I'm not glad these guys turned their lives around (and if you'd like to donate to them you can do so here). But really, couldn't they find soccer or something?

I doubt that our sport is going to be conquered by Yanks just yet. Which is good, because basically, there's no room in cricket for American egos. Dealing with the Indians is challenging enough.

It will never happen. Right?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another post about Shane Watson

During the most recent Winter Olympics, F-grade sportsman Steven Bradbury said some really stupid things.

He remarked that people who weren't serious medal contenders shouldn't be involved in the Olympics, as they were doing the event a disservice, wasting people's time and there was no place for them.

I can't remember who he was referring to specifically, but think along the lines of Eric the Eel. We loved Eric the Eel in this country. He definitely had a place in the Sydney Olympics.

So Steven Bradbury is a tosser. Agree?

Interesting fact, however, is that despite him now apparently being a font of wisdom on who belongs at the Olympics, he is famous for winning gold in the 1000m speed skating final in Salt Lake City by default; because everyone else fell over.

The only reason he didn't fall too is because he was so far behind.

Watch:



It should be pointed out that this man was awarded an Order of Australia medal for this 'achievement'.

I'm drawing a parallel here with someone else who's widely accepted as being a tosser, bad sport, un-Australian.

Why?

Because last night he was awarded the highest cricket award in this country by default, because everyone else was crap.

Yes he may have deserved it. But you can still be outstanding and not win by 100 votes.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

Shane Watson; the Steven Bradbury of cricket.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The renaissance of Shane Watson

So Shane Watson won the first ODI for us. Thanks bro.

Truth is, I like to stick with my convictions; he's unlikeable and unworthy.

But now I'm in a tizz. For all his stupid wanky faults, he's... improving.

Firstly, he made 161 runs tonight. Excellent, he did his job (probably worthy of a bit more credit, but let's not overdo it here).

Secondly, he's not a total media disaster, at least it doesn't sound like it. He acknowledged the failure that was the Ashes in a way that didn't make a mockery of every cricket fan in Australia.

Then, apparently he's heading home to Queensland to lend a hand in the clean up. PR stunt? Unlikely.

What's he going to do next? Leave the field with dignity (har har)? It's like the renaissance of Shane Watson. The worm's slowly turning and before long he won't be in the Michael Clarke category of loathing anymore.

But he's still a prick. Right? Right?? Jesus, what is he?

He may still be unlikeable, but I'm not so sure about unworthy.

Let's turn to film to melodramaticise (did I just invent a word?) my dilemma.

Here, the men's only choice is between English bullets and ours.
But there's another way.

The way of courage.

The way of love of the Strayaland.

We must tell magnificent stories, stories that extol sacrifice, bravery.

We must make them believe in the victory.

We must give them hope, pride, a desire to fight.

Yes... we need to make examples.

But examples to
follow.
What we need are heroes.


Do you know any heroes around here?

Yes, comrade. I know one.


Okay, I admit it. The next post about him I'm likely to be converted.

God help us all.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Funny but wrong

I was forwarded a joke today:

A bloke walks into a brothel and says
"I'm a bit kinky, how much for total humiliation?"

The madam replies "$60."

"Wow, what do I get for that?" he asks.

She says: "A baggy green cap and an Australian Cricket XI shirt."

Yes, it's very funny.

But with a huge factual error.

I'd like to know which brothel would give me an Australian test shirt for $60.

So just when you thought you were safe in a joke, you find out you'd even be paying exorbitantly for your kinky humiliation.

There really is nowhere to hide.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Better the devil you don't

Australian cricket is in some pretty serious denial tonight. This is nothing new, but you'd think now would be a good time to just come clean and admit there are problems.

Shit, even Obama could admit there were problems, and I think he had a bit more to lose.

As a consequence of this denial, I've decided that they're all - the officials and the players - a bit like doctors. This is in the sense that when something goes wrong they all band together in a showing of rampant elitism, pretending all's well, and that we shouldn't question them or their methods because they know best. But underneath the self-indulgent, egotistical collusion, there's a festering pit of discrepency and incompetence.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

"Crisis? I don't think there's a crisis in Australian cricket at all," Clarke said.

What the fuck?

Some home truths:
We were defeated by an innings three times in a five match series.
We last lost the Ashes in Australia 24 years ago. I was six months old.
In recent times we have lost to South Africa, India. We drew with Pakistan.
We are fifth in the Test rankings.
Ponting is the only captain in a century to lose three Ashes.
Oh God, there's more, you know it.

There's a sentiment that being the Australian cricket captain is a more important job than the prime minister. Sure this might indicate that our priorities are seriously misordered, but it exists. When we get sick of our government, we get rid of them. So listen up, Cricket Australia, the people are speaking, enough of your media spin, your stage-managed PR bullshit, your whimsical attitude that trying your best is good enough. At this level, it isn't, and stop evading the issue.

Australian cricket is in crisis. You've screwed up, big time, and the way to get the confidence of your public back is not by saying it isn't true.

It is true. WE SAW YOU.

My solution? Sack the lot, starting with James Sutherland, down through Hilditch, Neilsen, Ponting, and beyond.

A lot of money is invested in sport in this country. And cricket is not a sport just for the private school boys, with exclusivity betrayed by accent, and money attached. Kids here, from a young age, are encouraged to believe they can play for Australia, in whatever their sport is. There is a huge pool of excellence out there, there is talent out there, we just need some representatives willing to fetch the axe, and begin a proper process of renewal.

For the good of the country.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Just a little confidence

Alastair Cook.

While I'm not as passionate about the man as someone who posts on this blog who is not me, he has been the star of this series. Unequivocally.

He's become the first Englishman to ever do this; the third best that; he's been compared to, whisper it, Bradman, and; Jesus Christ, the stamina of the lad (take a deep breath ladies).

He's become a bit of a hero.

Before this series kicked off I thought England's uncharacteristic confidence gave them the edge. Well the edge, the corners and the sides, over an Australia more scrambled eggs than omelette.

“We're aware it's a tough assignment going to Australia and winning, very tough, but we're in a good place to do it. We're quietly confident we can do it without being over-the-top arrogant.”

Those were Andrew Strauss's words at the time, and he's certainly come good on them.

It's amazing how far a little confidence and faith in yourself can get you. Ability and talent as well, of course, but you arguably can't have one without the other.

Scariest part about all this for me is that Cook's only 26, and only just 26. He could be trouble for us for a long time to come. Worse, he could even define our trouble for a long time to come.

In summary, the most dominating tour of Australia by someone called Cook since 1788.

I just hope the impact won't be as permanent.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When you go from fan to follower

I find myself in an odd situation today. Sitting in my room, drinking my mandatory morning coffee and chowing down on a makeshift ham roll, I looked down at my hands and they were shaking. Shaking in the way I pray to a god, who may or not be there, to let the batsman get a century. Only thing is, said batsman was Alastair Cook. Granted I would be happy for him to get his century and then be bowled out along with the rest of his chums for two runs, but it is a worry none-the-less.

But if I dig down deep enough and be true, I recall a similar feeling way back at the WACA in 2006. It was different however. It was blazingly obvious that despite his century, England could not win. Freddie even admitted this in the press conference after they lost. So I was happy to see a youngster get his century. Now Cook’s century, and as I speak it is forming into a double, could win England the game. I will grant you, he has seen a bit of luck this innings, and a lot of shoddy of Australian bowling that he has merely had to take advantage of, but still, he deserved it, and I wanted him to get it.

At present I still have a dislike of England. Strauss because he is captain, Bell because he is a girl, Colly because he is a ranga, KP because he is a prick, Tremlett because he gives me the jibbles, basically I have a reason to dislike them all, except for Cook. I hear what you’re thinking, that I must feel this way because I fancy the lad. While this is true, it is not the reason. I fancy KP, but I would happily see him go under a truck before scoring a century.

However, I think I may have nailed the problem. When I fell in love with cricket, only five years ago, shameful I know, I was an angry, vicious Australian supporter. I hated all other players with so much disdain I would bark like a feral dog when they were dismissed. But now it would seem, while yes, I am a fan of my dear Australian team, I am a follower of cricket. And the latter trumps the former. I want to see a good game and I want to see good cricket, and if my boys aren’t playing good cricket, I won’t come to their defence when they lose.


By Ruth.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Selling out

There's a video on YouTube of the England cricketers saluting their supporters with a group sprinkler dance at the conclusion of the fourth Test.

Here it is:



What I find strange about this is that it's been uploaded to the Cricket Australia channel.

Does anyone else find that a little puzzling?

Sure I could understand if it was the MCG posting it, or the Barmy Army, or a player, or someone. And I can understand that press conferences and interviews make it to the CA channel, no problem. Even soirees at my future residence Kirribilli House.

But a celebratory dance by the victorious opposition, after we've played beyond poorly? Succumbed to defeat by an innings more than once, showed shocking form without an ounce of humility, with a dusting of bad sportsmanship thrown in for good measure.

When we've lost on home soil for the first time in a thousand years?

Don't get me wrong, do your little dance, enjoy your moment, thank the fans.

But Cricket Australia, really, will they stop at nothing for a few hits? Dance on our ashes, go on.

Anyway. Some of us were doing this lame dance move long before England cricketers decided to make it even lamer.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's all over


Yet, still overpriced.

Happy New Year everyone!