Saturday, May 28, 2011
We'll just continue mentioning it as if it has meaning, as if you understood and as if I wasn't a pontificating twat.
Saturday, April 02, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Unfortunately – much like a political compromise – a tie left both sides feeling disappointed. “Oh” we all collectively thought, “so we didn’t win”.
Interestingly, the match, despite its drama, was still meaningless. Both sides will probably qualify. So. It was all just a waste of everyone’s time, really.
The match did show simply the relative ineptness of the bowling. Aside from Zaheer’s moment of maddeningness and Bresnan’s tedious reliability, neither time has sufficient firepower to blast their way to the world cup.
Sachin Tendulkar, though, eh? Fluky bloody bastard.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
The weekend brings England’s big match. We play tournament favourites, India. People think India will win because they are “local” and therefore their side is immune to debilitating toilet strikes which bedevil sides coming from the “potable water belt” from where most of the other participating countries come – as well as the non-cricket playing nations also.
Local boys also include Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. All these countries share the same strategy of having one or two alright players and then the rest used chiefly to clean up the skids marks off the others’ kit. So hopefully the sub-continental sides will turn up nicely over the next twenty weeks.
Much has been made of the money-grabbing length of the tournament. Personally, I like cricket. Similarly to that annoying bloke on the train who simply cannot get enough of his ring tone, I can happily watch Pakistan destroy Kenya again and again. Especially when all hope of an upset is extinguished within the first ten minutes.
Anyway. England. A knackered bunch of workhorses far from home for too long. Children’s lives are missed, wives are abandoned, girlfriends are restless. It’s as if the lesson of Alan Johnson have been entirely forgotten.
England will lose. I feel safer territory after the Ashes. England have been practicing that homesick brand of the game that we all familiarly know as “shit”. Even the Dutch took our bowlers to the cleaners. And no one know why the Netherlands plays cricket.
Don’t they have their own friends?
No. Nor do India, mind. But, the difference is: they shall beat England. Their kit will be the cleaner. Sreesanth will make sure of that.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I am now old enough to appreciate any such spectacles life throws at me today. I have experienced enough inevitable disappointments, sufficient certain disasters and a more than adequate amounts of predestined catastrophes to be able to spot future failures.
Now, as the Australian bunny blinks mindlessly back into my headlights, my mind quickly recalls the many fiascos in which it has participated, just before engaging the wind-screen wipers to remove the debris.
Unlike the current Australian side, the 1995 West Indies team had hope. They had some world class bowlers and a sprinkling of legendary batsman. Currently, Shane Watson has the role of Brian Lara.
But, it is difficult to see where the future lies for Australia. Much is made of the post 1986-7 cull, but who do they replace the old guard wife? Michael Beer and Phil Hughes?
No one wants to be captain. No one can captain.
No one can bowl, either. Not even Michael Beer.
There are glimmers of hope in the batting department. Much as there are glimmers of sanity in the Tea Party.
The only solution I can see is either scouring the English leagues for anyone who has a secret Australia shame in the bloodline – or a sun tan.
Or, merging with New Zealand. The Oceanic Islands may yet conquer the world.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I eventually passed out, to be haunted be a night of terrible visions. Firstly, I dreamt that was a spectator at the SCG. Having never visited Australia, the ground took the form of something akin to a polo stadium in Libya.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
The main problem of not being unemployed is having work. This means the hours between 11 and six are traditionally reserved for recuperation and rest. As previous experience has proven, sleeping for hours at a time in the staff toilets is frowned upon.
So, the cricketing world once again asks me that familiar question: How recklessly irresponsible are you?
Just as the first test match of the Ashes teeters on the edge of mythology, with the possibility of ludicrous victories either side securing legendary status, my already questionable work-ethic is tested to the limit.
AYALAC has prepared some sure-fire methods to watch the game, whilst preserving the aura of professionalism in the office.
1) New project. Developing an entrepreneurial new product that will add value to your workplace will show that you are dedicated and inventive and generally amazing. Working on this has kept you up all night. What a champion. No one will question the quiet abandonment in few weeks as the Great Plan goes that way of all new ideas: The bin.
2) Emergency plumbing. For those accustomed to the rich vein of fantasy that are the “WFH” emails, working from home is a perfect time to catch up on needed sleep. Escaping to your “work-bunker” will also raise a convenient excuse to your total unresponsiveness to emails or calls.
3) Bravely soldier on. The announcement of disease instantly provides sympathy and distance from your fellow man. The bleary eyes and clumsy decision-making can plausibly be as a result of a massive virus attack. Once the ruse is established, frequent emergency trips to the toilet for micro-sleeps may get you through the day, as well as winning more credit.
4) Form a sleep co-operative. The key to skiving off work is thorough and meticulous planning. Identify all those sympathetic to your course in advance to the match. Prior to the night-long vigil, book an all-day mega-meeting with cricketing colleagues. Take your bedding into the meeting room first thing in the morning, lock yourselves in and sleep like demons.
5) Coming clean. Remind your boss of his or her obvious insignificance to cricket, laugh at their thoughtlessness at scheduling work during an Ashes series and slap yourselves on the back before heading homeward to bed. The long-term advantage of this strategy is its possibility of relieving you of any further work-related inconveniences in the future.
AYALAC is personally considering a combination of numbers (1) and (3). Infected dedication should throw them off the scent long enough.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
So. The Ashes are here. Not a great surprise. Given that there are three other, probably more interesting series going on. Nevertheless, myopic parochialism has never stopped the British press before and there’s no point going back on it now.
As all siesta-takers will know: short is good.
The interesting trick is, however, to take coffee just before napping. Apparently, it comes into effect just about the time you are waking up, and therefore it stimulates you to once again to an attentive state.
I write this at . I am already thinking about bed.
Here’s to us not cocking up the toss.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
So, anyway. We have a number of grinders. Alastair Cook, Paul Collingwood, Jonathan Trott and even Andrew Strauss. They all scratch away and their places are perennially under question. However, they are all still class, god dammit, and have an infuriating habit of scoring a century just on the cusp of being dropped. This buys them a few more opportunities to nurdle out a string of painful 20s.
England’s “consistency” approach allows for these sort of players to exploit a failing in the system. The principles of England enlightened selection policy is to pick on the basis of long-term performance, not immediate flashes in the pain. Players positions are awarded on the basis of performance over a number of games, allowing occasional failures in return of significant contributions elsewhere.
But, this is not so. When a player comes under threat, we take a long term approach, but, when he’s scored runs, and specially scored one more run than 99, then we take a short-term approach, and all before is forgotten.
So, players that consistently under-perform, but will occasionally produce runs, will be secured of a long-term position in the team. Half of England’s top-order have averaged under 40 during 2010. Yet, they just about do enough to stay in.
I agree with the consistency policy, but perhaps it should be shaken up once in a little while?