Thursday, July 18, 2013

A cricketing malignancy

With Mickey Arthur suing Cricket Australia and airing the family secrets, Australian cricket hasn’t been so scandalous since Shane Warne bought a mobile phone.
It’s a bit of a shame that it coincides with the second Test. How can we thank him for snitching when there’s an urn to be returned? You don’t make friends with salad, Mickey.

Now, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that I don’t like Michael Clarke.

If you were to ask me, I’d say he pretty much encapsulates everything that is wrong with the Australian side. In fact, without him, I believe they would be significantly more successful than they currently are.

Let’s have a look at the comments he made after the first Test. I have translated his words for the non-Australians out there.

"I need to get better." Everyone else needs to get better.

"Unfortunately if I had used my reviews better it would have helped our team.” It’s not my fault my team can’t bat unambiguously.

"I am not happy with my use of DRS but both teams are using it and England have used it better than I have.” That was a shit game.

“It is consistent for both teams.” I am the greatest.

"I'm going to concentrate on getting my referrals better.” Because my batting is so awesome.

"Sometimes you find out you did hit it, like in my case.” I didn’t hit it. Fuck you all.

“Other times you find out you were right.” I’m always right.

“That's how the game is and you learn to live with it.” My job is safe because I’m the golden boy of Cricket Australia.

"That's the way it goes with the DRS system.” Yeah, that’s right, I just said Decision Review System system.

“At the end of the day it was a great Test match." I want to saw your face off with a teaspoon.

I’m sure you’ll agree the problem here is not Shane Watson.

I’ve seen comments around the traps that if Australia had any hope of winning a match this series, it was the first Test. That ship has sailed but I stand by my prediction of a 2-1 series victory. Partly out of blind, misguided faith, partly... no it's probably all blind, misguided faith.

On balance the sides were fairly evenly matched, and with a few extra runs (I’m looking at you, skipper) we’ll be alright. I'd say Ed Cowan's on his last chance. England were solid but not brilliant. Australia didn’t lay down and die in the first, and they won’t for the rest of the series.

A lot hinges on the toss, and this too is probably Michael Clarke’s fault.

Onward to glory.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ashes Ashes Ashes

This series has completely crept up on me. And not because I was too busy reading this gem (thanks @M_Littlewood84!), but because it seems to be thought of as a foregone conclusion.

Not even Cricket Australia’s TV commercial, which has far too much John Howard in it, places any confidence in our team. Make no mistake my friends, they’re trying to tell us the glory is in the struggle. This is not true. The glory is in the win, win after win, series after series. We may be perched on the edge of our seats but we don’t want to be. We want it to be done and dusted by game 3 and the rest is quiet contempt for the Barmy Army and the satisfaction of knowing that equilibrium has been restored.

Oh heady days of yonder.

Basically, I don’t give a flying piranha whether the two teams catch up over chai lattes after the match. I care about sporting success. We’re here for the win. Yet, this team is a shambles. They are the cricketing equivalent of the little boy who is so proud to run in the school athletics carnival and dawdles his way to finishing last, waving at his mum the whole time.

So Michael Clarke and Shane Watson don’t get along. Somehow this doesn’t work in the same way that Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne didn’t get along (eg productively). I would suggest vanity might be a factor in this. But everyone knows being on the Australian cricket team for the Ashes is pretty much the most prestigious thing an Australian man (or a Pakistani refugee) can be, so please, just step up! Unlike others I take no comfort in Michael Clarke scoring a century against a county side last week. Is it so wrong to expect nothing less? Where were the staunchly high standards we once had?

The English will be seeking a glittering trifecta after the Lions’ success and ‘winning’ Wimbledon.

The Australians are hoping to avoid a crushing defeat.

And as for me, I’m expecting Mickey Arthur’s sacking to be justified. Game on.