Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I, on the other hand, tolerate them. This is because I find them, on the whole, tolerable.
I have met a great number of them, and have spent a reasonable proportion of my life in that general neck of the woods.
I quite like their gritty, boring approach to batting: Jacques Kallis and Neil McKenzie are quietly applauded here.
A person left a comment asking me who I liked yesterday. With the one obvious exception, I seem to like the South African team. The Sri Lankans are all, of course, lovely.
In the England set up, things are a little bit complicated. There are some players that I want maimed: KP, Jimmy A – the usual lot.
But who do I like? Well Ryan Hairybottom is current GOD and Alastair Cook used to occupy that coveted position.
The gingers get the nod. Captain Vaughany gets my qualified love. Chris Tremlett can have my babies a few times over. Tim Ambrose is Australian.
Obviously, Matthew Hoggard is a king in our time. With those golden locks, he should be given everything he wants. EVERYTHING.
GIVE ALL YOU HAVE TO AN ENGLAND SWING BOWLER NOW.
Owais Shah scares me in a sort of Clarke Gabel way. He looks a bit mad. As if he’s threatening to sweep you off your feet at any moment, and then run off with your mum. Although, that’s probably an unkind comparison. Gabel had terrible halitosis, which certainly wasn’t a hit with the ladies.
You see, it’s a confusing mix. But this is a useful reference for the rest of you. Remember, before you decide whether you like someone, ask yourself, what would AYALAC do?
Monday, July 28, 2008
Then I went to work and forgot it.
So I’ll just settle back into a comfortable default, and whine about Steve Harmison.
Oh Lord, how I hate Steve Harmison. Well, I don’t hate the man, I’m sure he’s fine in a bleating, bellyaching way. I just hate everything about him.
Now he’s back into the England set up. Rumour has it that he averages 21 in this season. That’s pretty good. And that he’s fast.
Although, fast long hops still get a pasting.
I put all these anecdotes down to The Usual Nonsense That Surrounds Harmison. Some people can’t get enough of the man. They see a lackey bloke, who chucks it down there at some pace and they become gibbering aunties: “Ooooh.” They say, “Isn’t he lovely?”
No. He’s rubbish. And he’s especially rubbish at cricket.
Worse still, Chris Read fans. What is wrong with these people? Alright, he’s an ok-ish keeper with wonky teeth, but if you listen to Read-fans you would have thought England have refused a place to Jesus H. Bradman.
Like Liberal governments and dead people, Chris Read is part of the past.
I’m getting worked up now. Who else winds me up?
I suppose the Geraint Jones lot are annoying. But they aren’t so numerous now that a court of law proved their champion USELESS.
Ooh. There’s another one: Jimmy Anderson. For some reason, there is a large segment of people out that cannot see that pants for the trees. Occasionally, he bowls a good swinging ball. But swinging long hops are still UTTERLY CRAP.
“Oh but” the Oh Buts always say, “He’s got good figures!”
Oh good figures. Piss off.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
When I was growing up, I am ashamed to admit, I mocked my Middlesex heritage. Being a strong Somerset fan through and through, me and my learned school associates laughed at the London county’s last three letters.
Oh how we laughed.
But now, I can feel proud that the county that provided me with a mediocre education and high office as local paper boy can produce players of such quality.
Players such as Murali Kartik, who learnt his cricket as a young lad on Twickenham Green. Players like Tyron Henderson: born and bred in Isleworth Estate. And players like Dirk Nannes: conceived in the Prince Blücher pub.
Their victory will ensure spiritual and perhaps some financial happiness with their playing of a series of Stanford matches in the Caribbean (including a game against England) and their inclusion into the Champions League, where they will play against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Although, these plans may be stymied by Ed Joyce’s wife-to-be, who has “put a spanner in the works” by agreeing to marry the stand-in Middlesex captain.
He wasn’t the only one with trouble with ‘er indoors, as Shaun Udal revealed that “the wife has probably spent [the prize money] already.”
It is a testament to the strong team ethos that the Middlesexians can triumph even though they are married to an inconsiderate gaggle of bastards. It brings a tear to the eye.
Well done boys. We’ll celebrate hard in the Blücher tonight.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
In their recent match against the “we’re really good at playing spin, we are” Indians, the Lankans recorded a huge victory by an innings and 274 runs. That’s the sort of margin that gets statisticians excited: “highest winning margin in the mouth of July” they say.
The Indians were in a tizz at the crease. Only VVS, Hammer of the Ozzies, showed much resistance to the spinners’ tricks.
But, as the Indians followed on in the second innings, the Lankan twiddlers took apart the fragile tourists. The Indians lasted only 45 overs for their feeble 138 runs, with Anil Kumble’s 12 the pick of the innings.
That the Lankan batsmen could manage four centuries in their abundant innings is testament to the quality of the pitch, and the bowling that would follow.
Now that the Lions have two unplayable spinners, on top of two excellent quicks, we should perhaps just pack up and go home. Maybe put the kettle on and flick through the multitude of rubbishy channels that bless all modern day television. If we’re lucky, there might be a Bruce Lee film on. Or possibly some fat men throwing darts.
Murali took 11 wickets and young master Ajantha won eight.
This sort of thing is going to continue for some time. Perhaps, on occasion, the pitch will suit seam. In which case, Vaas will take 11 and Malinga eight.
We’re screwed, aren’t we?
Friday, July 25, 2008
But the fact is: he does.
He really, really does.
In any case, as this photograph from the 1990s shows, Robocop was also liable to a pounding at the hands of the Saffers - his one weakness.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Rumour has it that "Kraddo" has an excellent record of running through line-ups. His low-flying mystery ball is almost impossible for batsman to pick up.
Apparently, he is from a new age school of spin bowling, with some interesting holistic approach to solving England's problems.
It is expected that he, like most people, will be better than RoboPatt.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Watching them destroy all national pride in under five days, whilst you are thousands of miles away is, strangely, no less tolerable.
In fact, having English cricket conveniently timed between dinner and bed in India is like some sadistic stab of fate. You would have thunk that prime time cricket was a wonderful, fantabulous gift.
No it is not. It is a curse on the soul. A dark, England selector shadow in the heart. A beating on the bum.
The pain is amplified by England’s wilful stupidity. You see, at the moment, there are few, reasonably good contenders for quicks around the county circuit.
In fact, it would be difficult to pick a team. Hard but possible. We pay clever people to do that for us. Like lawyers: no one in their right mind would ever want to read the law, we just want give heaps of cash to some intelligent-sounding bloke in the suit who will smooth over everything.
But the England selectors were not suave, or clever. Although they did try their hardest. Only, they smoothed like a slug smears against the road whilst interfacing with the wheel of a ten-tonne autorickshaw.
Imagine my joy when I emerged, rosy-cheeked and cheery after finding one of the few bars in Mysore, when at the bottom of England’s scorecard displayed the following name:
Who? What? What is this? Why have I never heard of this person?
The anger began to take over. Some bed linen was thumped and, I am ashamed to admit, a dirty sock was thrown in rage.
This gormless roof-tiler comes from Australia’s dodgiest state: Victoria. He was born in England’s dodgiest slum: Grimsby.
He is a trundler. A trundler from Grimsby and Victoria. He only learnt to play cricket two years ago.
What are they doing?
WHAT ARE THEY DOING?
Why aren’t they picking Chris Tremlett? Tremmlers is great. He has bounce. He does stuff. He offers loads of things. Things like the ability to take wickets. At the moment, with these collection of feckless goons, taking twenty wickets is harder than getting a nights sleep in Bangalore.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
From the safe distance of a few thousand miles, I have watched my side flap ineffectively in the face of a beatable, if solid, opposition.
The pain that those bastards cause me does not succor through distance.
WHAT ARE THEY DOING? RUBBISH! D’hear? RAH BISH.
The Michael Vaughan catch was an interesting one. Apparently, the side’s coach is allowed to appeal a decision, which is an element of the rulebook that seems to have alluded me.
I also liked the way that the umpires more or less accussed the English captain of lying. What a grand state of affairs modern cricket is in.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The newspaper situation has improved significantly since coming to Mumbai. Although the headlines in the Delhi Times were hilarious, the actual content was unintelligible.
I was reading the snazzy Mumbai Mirror on a bus, and a bloke next to me smiled and stabbed his creaking finger at a picture of Virender Sehwag.
“Sourav Ganguly” said he.
“Er… No. Sehwag,” said I.
Like I say, Indians are a bit rubbish when it comes to cricket.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
That is what the Indian telly is telling me about the cricket. Of course, Indian telly tells me about the cricket all the time. Whether it’s games from the early nineties, or the current England match, or some annoying presenters being kra-zee about the cricket.
It feels good to be irritated by people from television. It’s just like home.
Well done to young Sachin Tendulkar, by the by. I understand that he scored his 22nd test century yesterday. Against the Australians too.
Right, it’s back to the cocktails for me.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
But I don’t care. I’ve been to the pub and I bloody love Sluggo I do.
Right, this champion, this he-teddy bear of a man, this goliath amongst puny, underfed Davids, finally struts the international stage like the heaving colossus that he is.
Sluggo took ten wickets against Canada who, next to Australia, are probably one of the bestest twenty or thirty cricket sides in the whole wide solar system. The Vengeful Venus Eleven and Scary Saturn Sodomites pale into insignificance in comparison to the might and muscular resplendence of North American’s primary cricket team.
It was against this hegemonic power that Sluggo strove so manfully.
To take 5-69 in Canada’s first innings not only showed an awareness of lewd numerology, but pegged the Red Devils back to a score that was unexpectedly pisspoor.
Sluggo, sensing a moment of imperial hesitation within the ranks of his foes, launched into a furious offensive, and dispatched the Canoodians for a pittance in their next innings to record ten wickets.
He was also unbeaten at the crease.
This is the sort of one-man heroics that is worthy of at least twelve public monuments, a change in national motto and the rights to an electric grilling device.
Sluggo. If ever there were a pair of powerful, match-winning moobs in international cricket, there they are.
Have a thought for the poor Canoodling opener, though. This is how he fell in the first innings:
GEF Barnett c Foggo b Sluggo 30
Right, I’m really off to India now. See you all in Delhi, yeah?
Monday, July 07, 2008
Knowing that I spurned their lovely country in favour of their much bigger and probably smellier neighbour, they decided to Stick It To The Man, and beat India in the final of the “fixed” Asia Cup Final.
Their victory was principally due to the twizling efforts of their new spinner: Ajantha Mendis.
Everyone is going mental at how brilliant he is. Kingo praises his carrom ball, Q thinks he's good, but not as good as Rodger Federerer, Martyd thought it all rather pretty, Ankit thought him magical, JRod tells us all to calm down and that his mum is better.
So, I’m not going to talk about him. He has been grubbed by the hands of many bloggers before me.
But what I will pick out is a key even that I only saw. This event was the turning point of the match. The mark of no return for my holiday destination and the unseen triumph of the Lankans.
It came in the twelve over in the Indian’s innings. I’ll take cricinfo’s commentary of the moment.
Vaas to Dhoni, no run, cuts away after landing on a length, pushed to covers.
From that point on, the Indians were screwed. Poor blighters.
Right. I’ve got my visa and passport and stuff, so I’ll be off on Wednesday. Not sure if I’ll update before then, or whether I’ll bother posting whilst in India.
But, if I don’t do anything these things, best of luck surviving over the next few weeks without me.
Don’t get Dengue.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Take, for instance, facebook. As a snooty and generally disagreeable kinda guy, I looked down on facebook, neglecting it for years. “Rubbish” I thought.
Now, when you’re working, it is difficult to get diverted by blogging; declaring that “I am going to write a post” requires intention and commitment. I need to deliberately take time off work to compose a blog.
Facebook, on the other hand, is the silent killer of distractions. Its subtle demands orbit discretely on your peripheral awareness.
And this is bastard of a website, is slowly pulling me from my work – extending the amount of time I spend at my desk. I’m searching for people I shared maths lessons with, frantically trying to correct the inadequacy of my “friends” total.
There is some cricket activity going on there. Kinggers and Ballsers both have a following. But that’s not the point, really, is it? Its purpose is to keep you from work; to detain you indoors and away from real, actual people.
In other news, some Australians became intimately close with some other Australians.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Michael Vaughan, left, said after England's series win over the New Swindon Crew,
"We mashed em, raht proper. Our new clodaz is well bangin'."
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
You see, Pakistan’s cricket team, home of the Lesser Spotted Younis Khan, is playing India. They play each other a lot. They’re neighbours, you see; saves on plane fees.
India, in fairness, did alright in their innings. A solid opening partnership, followed by a timely lower order fifties allowed the Indians to hit 308 runs from their innings. Although this isn’t a New Zealanian score, it is highly defendable.
Then the OMG-WE’RE-RUBBISH!!1/OMG-WE’RE-AMAZING!!1 Pakistan casually knocked off the runs with the loss of only two wickets and with five overs remaining.
Misbah-ul-Haq and some bloke I’ve never heard of eased half fifties each. Younis tossed off a century.
Bish bash bosh. Simple stuff. Cricket’s easy. La la la.
In their next match, Pakistan will lose by twelve wickets with 34.5 overs remaining. Some effigies will also be burnt. And the world will look on, wondering whether Andy Murray will ever go away.
It, alas, seems doubtful.
In other, more interesting news, my impending Indian holiday is cracking on apace. Bought some travel books: E.M. Forster and William Dalrymple. Can anyone recommend any other Indian books?
Also, anyone recommend any things to do? Currently, we plan to sit in our rooms; occasionally looking out the window.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Only I'm not so fucking happy.
The New Zealanders (the team that everyone decided were rubbish) recorded the largest ever ODI victory margin over the Irish (the team that everyone decided were rubbish, but said they were great anyway). The difference between the two sides was 290 runs.
Things started off for the Kiwis in a rather rosey fashion. The openers knocked out 266 for the first wicket. After this loss, the Black Caps' Crazy Shoes started to do some talking, and they cracked out 17 runs an over for the remaining 46 balls.
In response the Irish went "Oh no," and opted for village cricket's tried and tested method of accepting the defeat and racing to the pub. Which, in fairness, was an objective the Green Gaps were wholly successful in achieving: they were bowled out for 112 in 29. The leading scorer was a Mr Extras, with 83.
Michael Mason is still having difficulties in placing the ball in the right county.
Kyle McCallan, the Irish captain, commented on many of the Irish players' controversial assualts on the Kiwians:
"Well, we have a young side, to be sure, but our real problem is finding players who understand the rules of the game. But, let's be honest, who seen Brena McCullum's face and not wanted to re-arrange it with a hurling stick?"