Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One player maybe banned, others not so banned

A confusing day of ban, counter-ban and lifted bans.

Apparently, Andrew Hall, Justin Kemp and Johan van der Wath were all banned from participation in official ECB events (like that cocktail party at Lord’s at the end of the season) because they were involved in the Indian Cricket League.

The ICL is pretty much the cricketing equivalent of the chubby girl at school. Anyone caught canoodling with her risks a lifetime of ostracisation and ridicule.

However, we are informed that today, of all days, this ban has been lifted and the Saffers can re-integrate into the county champagne set and get down to some serious yaughting at last.

Frustratingly, neither the cricinfo piece nor the bbc article informs us as to who lifted this ban. It could have been some sort of court, or perhaps alternative dispute arbitration conducted by a geezer in the street. I’m guessing it must be, because I can quote from his judgement:
“Yeah. It’s like this, yeah? It’s like, this man, yeah? And he has this, like, thing, you know? He’s got this thing and he should ‘ave it? AVE IT! Yeah?”
In other news, another, more official court ruled decisively to procrastinate over the future of Shoaib “I realise that I’m in the wrong now that you’re about to ruin me” Akhtar.

Shoaib was originally sentenced to serve a five-year ban for being a bit of a tit, which many hoped would stand as an influential precedent wordwide. Sadly, this ruling has yet to be extended to the people who inflict themselves upon my life.

Some judgy bloke from Pakistan ruled that Shoaib’s ban should sort of remain, but sort of not,, oh, I don’t know, he judged, let’s deal with it later: say June?

And so the wonderful limbo of law descended upon Shoaib’s life. Sure, you can play cricket. So long as it’s outside Pakistan and probably not in India.

I think you will all agree that this is an elegant and neat way of solving the problem. Put it off until tomorrow. Lawyers at their best.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Name That Bum #8: Answer

The answer to yesterday's Name That Bum was, of course Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Congratulations to "T" who was the first to correctly guess the answer.

Seeing as he has already won this noble competetion, I have decided that, in stead of the usual poem, to brand this rather enigmatic character, so that we may easily identify him in the future. So, here is T's logo AND slogan for future reference:

Tune in next week to see if you can....NAME THAT BUM.

Giles Clarke backs AYALAC all the way

It has been ages since I put “AYALAC” in a headline and filled an article by talking about myself, so let’s correct that wrong.

Giles Clarke, King of English Cricket, read my recent angry and sweary rant against the possibility of an English Premier League, Allen Stanford and everything that that bloody Texan stood for.

Giles consider my weighty words and realised the inevitable logic of my constructive criticism. Agreeing with my assessment that he was a “money gabbing traitor” and was a “total bastard”, he called a halt to all this twenty20 franchise business.

In an interview with Boris Johnson, he stated:

“AYALAC is right. Franchise sport has simply never worked in the UK,"
He went on to add,

“I still may be somewhat of a bastard, however.”
He qualified this last remark by alluding to the continuing negotiations with Sir Allen,

“I hope to give more details in the days and weeks ahead but I can guarantee that everyone in the game - from playground to Test arena - will benefit from this deal."
I really don’t like the sound of that. Ominous, isn’t it? So, we can assume that this “deal” rules out franchises, but not the selling off of English cricket and facilities to some yank.

Watch this space to see if Clarke’s innate bastardliness dissipates further.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Name That Bum #8

Same rules as always, you have to identify the international cricketer in the shots below. Please give you answers in the comments.

Winners will have a poem written in their honour.

Good luck, and good bumming.
Clue One
Clue Two
Clue Three

Can you...NAME THAT BUM?

AYALAC pledges its undying loyalty to the people of China

Today, we’re all snazzed up. AYALAC has acquired the use of a proper, grown up domain name. AYALAC is now registered in China.

You can access this site through the normal way, or through using the snazzy new domain name:

If you feeling either parochial, or international, depending on your perspective, you can also get in via:

In other technological news of whiz-bangery, I have re-uploaded the viddy-blog number 10, with much improved video and sound quality.

Apologies to my youtube subscribers for messing you all about with that, but this really is better. Actually, I'm not sure that it is. But, right here, right now, I'm caring less and less.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What can’t Stanford bugger off and save snooker or something?

Snooker is similar to cricket. It is considered, by those outside the game, a boring and pointless activity. To this sentiment, I generally concur.

Clearly, snooker needs a helping hand.

That is why the new Tell All Texans To Bugger Off And Start Messing About With Snooker starts here.

There’s an obsequious turd of a piece by Simon Wilde in today’s Sunday Times heralding Allen “Sir” Stanford's immanent messianic saving of English cricket.

In the words of a fine and ineffective ex-Prime Minister: “crisis, what crisis?” Forgive me if I’m fucking stupid in the brain, but hasn’t cricket been ticking over quite nicely without the interference of a moneyed yank who finds test cricket “boring”?

Oh wait. I idealistically forgot about cash. That’s the most important thing in cricket, right? I mean, that’s what it’s all about: making some former investment banker who used to keep wicket for Harrow Second XI as a light distraction from his bullying by the older boys and sexual harassment by the teachers, who now fancies a spot of cricket administration when he isn’t crunching on our hard-earned credit like a hungry, hungry hippo through adventerous German tourists.

But, the bankers say, if we set up a super-rich twenty20 competition, then Kevin Pietersen won’t leave us. And if he leaves us, we won’t have that stylised tart poncing about over the celebrity magazines, too concerned with highlighting and brain pedicures to mess about with getting runs for England. Heaven forefend the possibility of allowing in an English player who actually wants to play and try hard for his country.


The future of the English Premier League is still under debate. We don’t know whether we’re going to get a two division system, or some artificial “regional” structure. Frankly, I don’t care. These discussions are rather like mulling over the fate of the battle’s survivors: should we bayonet them or squish them in a juice press?

Bastards. The lot of them. Why does cricket have to endure this whilst snooker is unmolested? What did we do to deserve this? Is it because we don’t wear snazzy waistcoats?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Harbhajan “Happy Slap” Singh

The captain of Mumbai Indians (as opposed to the Mumbai Clangers) has allegedly slapped Sri Sreesanth across the chops in a game against Kings XI Punjab.

In post-match interviews, Harbhajan has been a bit cagey about this. He hasn’t exactly denied the brutal attack, but he suggested something had happened but it not a “big issue”.

The fall-out has been cataclysmic. I quote the following from the BBC website:

“TV pictures showed Santh crying at the end of the game, which his side won.”
Indeed they do. Take a look for yourself.

I think you’ll agree that this is a priceless piece of video footage. This is an important addition to cricketing records.

Harbhajan has never been well-liked in AYALAC. But this moment of wisdom has recovered some of his lost esteem.

Every time Sreesanth graces my screen my sub-conscious, my consciousness, my Id and my knees all scream out: “He needs a slap.”

And today, their wish was delivered. Perhaps I should re-think my theological position?

Speed Away

Early morning drives around the M25 are surprisingly fast, and for that reason all the more pleasurable.

The sun is shining, the cows strut proudly across the lush fields and all the grotty ABSO children gravitate into the Vortex of large shopping centres leaving me free to enjoy the breaking Spring unbottled.

Not just me, though. I have a new companion. He used to work. He used to be a busy man. He used to be the, oh god I hate even typing this, the Chief Executive Officer of the IC-bloody-C

Now he’s not.

A man of energy and self-belief, who once charged across the world arguing for his ideas on cricket. Of course, those ideas were fundamentally corrupt, but the man was decent and his management was generally competent.

But it would be naïve to suppose that these alone were sufficient qualities to ensure survival in a complex, multi-national organisation. Speed was undone by the politics.

I received a lot of stick from Indians when I criticised the IPL. They felt slighted. It seemed as though I was attacking India. If not Indian directly, I was offending their property, which somehow becomes the same thing.

Although facts are short at the moment, we can detect a similar dynamic in the ICC. Speed seems to be ousted because of a severe rift between himself and senior South Africans on the Board and Executive Committee.

We are, I suppose, all products of our countries, and to an extent, we reflect the received wisdom of cultures when looking abroad. Malcolm Speed, an Australian (a country prominent in the condemnation of Robert Mugabe’s regime) has been hawkish when dealing with Zimbabwe.

Indeed, after a forensic audit carried out by KPMG uncovered wide-spread financial mismanagement and evidence of money laundering, Speed condemned the Zimbabwean cricket board, in a leaked memo, stating that they had "deliberately falsified" their accounts.

The ICC decided to sweep this negative audit opinion under the carpet, against the protests of Speed. Whereas Ray Mali, the ICC president and a South Africa, has called for a more softly-softly approach, eerily reflecting his own country’s foreign policy.

Of course, there were other conflicts with the BCCI and what not, but it was the total deterioration between the CEO and president that hastened Speed’s departure.

It is sad, if understandable, that the important committees and managements are divided by shoddy and irreverent geopolitical positions outside the world of cricket. But its susceptibility to this sort of unknowing malleability it’s indicative of the ICC’s weakness as an institution which is not capable of standing up for itself, let alone representing cricket.

Perhaps it would be a little nationalistic of me to suggest a return to the MCC days…

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

English cricket for sale

My new best friend, Giles Clarke, is considering selling off English cricket to some bloke, for a lot of money.

I previously thought that the tender only covered a single, one-off match. That alone made me annoyed. Not as irritated as I was this morning, whilst trying to negotiate the exit of Fenchurch Street Station whilst fending off the jingoistic advancements of some freebie newspaper distributors encouraging me to honour St. George’s Day.

“No,” I thought. “Go away.”

Needless to say, they didn’t. St George’s day? What on Earth will they think of next? Let’s All Beat Up The French Day?

Anyway, this state or anger was topped today when I discovered that Allen “Call Me Sir” Stanford is planning to bank-roll an expanded English twenty20 competition to rival the IPL. Why we would want to do such a thing is unclear, but Stanford is only prepared to organise such a useless tournament if he receives assurances from the ECB that they’ll guarantee his investment plus returns.

Cheeky bastard.

This produces is a whole new layer of fury. This makes me angrier than that woman who clips her nails on the train. And I want to kill her. I want to kill her with a cheap rubber spatula such is my accrued wrath.

In a vague, feeble justification, Stanford says that England need to be at the heart of any future evolution of cricket. And hilariously adds,

“The organisation here is better, the management is better, the structure is better.”
Clearly, the Texan billionaire didn’t attempt to catch a Northbound Circle line from Tower Hill this morning, and then worked out, without any official communication, that the Circle Line was delayed, requiring him to walk to Aldgate Station to wait a further twenty minutes during the rush hour for an over-crowded train on another buggered line, resulting him in being late for work. Again. Thoughts of managerial efficiency do not spring to one’s mind in such circumstances.

In any case, the whole thing is shocking and awful and terrible and a betrayal. These people need to be sent to the same place as nail-clipper girl.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sehwag Smash!

Once again, AYALAC inspires great feats of near super-human achievements.

After watching my latest viddy-blog, Virender Sehwag was overheard to have said,

“The video quality is a bit shaky, but by crickey, that has inspired me!”
He went on to biff an unbeaten 94 from 41 balls. This is not normally the sort of cricket I approve of; I prefer it when those figures are reversed. Better still if they are reversed, debited, credited and multiplied by the residual value,

Now there’s some spanking cricket.

But, for Sehwag, I make exceptions. You can mercilessly biff anyone like, Viru, even England (but not Somerset). And he accepted my offer, and used the opportunity to single-handedly win the match.

There seems to be a developing pattern to these IPL games. Each match has had some bloke go mental. The side with the mental bloke wins, it seems. Rather like rolling the dice, you might think… I know the truth.

By the way, you may, or may not have heard that the IPL, in a bid to extend public affection for them further, has banned the publishing of images taken at the matches onto the internet.

This is where AYALAC comes into its own. Not only do I paint you an original artwork straight from my creative consciousness to your puny, underpowered computer, but this is the only source on the internet where you can see, nay feel, the unfolding action of the IPL.

You are certainly lucky. Luckier than most. The rest don’t have AYALAC, and oh how they suffer.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Video 10: Incredible Sehwag, The

My rather late honouring of Virender Sehwag's recent achievements.

YouTube really butchered the sound quality of this one. I tried to upload a uncompressed version, but all was in vain. So, sorry for that. You are welcome to come to my house and watch the original.

Also, for those of you in the third world (France) I have uploaded this film to my Daily Motion page. (I'll try to upload the rest when I have time, too.)


Name That Bum: #7 Answer

The answer to yesterday's Name That Bum was, of course, Geraint Jones. The forgotten saviour.

Congratulations to Tom G, who provided the first correct answer.

So Tom G reigned victorious,
I wonder what the “G” stands for,
It could be Gertrude, Gary or Gore
Whatever his name,
It’s all the same,
His knowledge of bums is notorious,

Tine in next week to see if you can...NAME THAT BUM.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Name That Bum #7

Same rules as always, you have to identify the international cricketer in the shots below. Please give you answers in the comments.

Winners will have a poem written in their honour.

Today's bum has been nominated by Catherine. Know her mind and you shall have the answer.

Good luck, and good bumming.

Clue One

Clue Two

Clue Three

Can you...NAME THAT BUM?

The ECB sinks to new low

Last week the ECB sunk to new depths in my esteem with two pieces of news.

Firstly, they banned that iconic link to the past: the cable-knit jumper. Of course, the ECB is not unafraid of shedding its heritage; cricket has lost what little remains of its uniqueness in a market saturated with the finest American plastics and wheezes of twelve year-olds in suits.

Replacing time-worn, proven elements of the game with the ephemeral fads of blind modernisation is all part of the new feckless strategy of a pro-active, globalised, empowered, service-oriented, ahead of the curve, excellence-focused English administration.

This may, or may not, be something to do with the new chairman: Giles Clarke, who is, by all accounts, a total bastard. Apparently, he can speak about twenty languages, is an enormously successful businessman and is obsessed with cricket statistics. So we can safely assume he knows nothing about cricket.

Look at England’s replacement kit. What really irritates me about this is the whiteness of the whites. Whites are cream; even demented, colour blind mole people know that. Clarke the twat, however, does not. Now our team look like a bunch of unemployable youths, loitering outside the local off licence debating whether they should re-attempt a cider-shoplifting expedition or try to score some scag from their mum.

The ultimate denunciation of this chav-wear came from Kevin Pietersen:
“It feels sensational.”
Secondly, Clarke’s depravity knows no end with his official announcement that the England cricket, after over a hundred years of honourable if modest achievement, is now for sale.

The ECB is currently in talks with “Sir” Allen Stanford over the possibility of England playing a collection of hired goons for a prize $200 million.

Apparently, the justification of this scandelous misuse of a noble instution is to compensate the impoverished players from their unrealised IPL earnings.

I have accepted long ago that the ECB is no longer interested in cricket, but this greedy nadir is simply too much for me to endure. I might just burn down Lords, with all their chequebooks, media contact indices and hip, unstuffy outfits left inside.

Why is usesless Boris Johnson messing around over the London mayoral position – we need a inactive, hopeless head of the ECB and we need one now.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

IPL starts: Hoo-fucking-ray

Well, I suppose I should something about the inaugural IPL match.

Not that I want to.

As you no doubt already know, Brendan McCullum broke the twenty20 world record, providing the crowd of thousands of rabid football fans with what has become known as “entertainment”. He scored 158 not out, from bugger all balls.

After that innings, the Bastradly Bangalore Badgers melted away like the Wicked Witch of the West, giving the Kolkata Squires an easy victory in an ultimately predictable and drab match.

In fairness, the IPL is breaking down my protective wall of curmudgeonliness, McCullum’s innings was awesome. “Whack! Wollop! Wazzam!” went his innings.

“Oh! Whoops! No!” went the bowlers.

What strikes me, more than anything, about this tournament is the weirdness of the players’ juxtaposition. There, before me on the telly, is Ricky Ponting hugging Sourav Ganguly. Australians, Kiwis and Indians alike are frolicking gayly in front of my disbelieving eyes.

To capture any similar sites in the future, it might be worth watching a few more games.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

AYALAC becomes technical whiz

Not only have I entered the 21st century, but I have mastered it and made it my mistress.

Thanks to the patient explanations of Unkie JRod from cricketwithballs, I have a RSS feed do-dah set up. Look! --->

See? Nifty, isn’t it?

Not sure what it does. You subscribe to it, or something. Ask JRod.

England awakes

The sun begins to peek around the clouds, the mind turns to Pimms, we brush the dust from our neglected Betjemans, we reacquaint ourselves with the sleepy willows beside the river bank and rejoice once again in the English summer.

The excitement of a gentle joys and quiet passions of another cricket season wells up once again, just as quickly as the receding bitter memories of winter torments in hostile climes are suppressed.

Huzzah! The summer is here and the cricket returns!

And these initial days of a nascent season already remind us of staple truths from our youth: Mark Ramprakash is still a run tycoon; Andy Caddick still manages to bound in and the best players are still Australian.

I haven’t made any great predictions for the County Championship, other than the obvious coronation of Somerset. Championships are like political elections. Champions rise and fall, underdogs emerge from apparent obliteration, journeymen made are converted into heroes and giants tumble. It is an unpredictable, stochastic and utterly glorious affair.

I anticipate this on-coming season with greater relish than any pretender twenty20 circus or over-hyped international tournament. This is cricket in its purest, essential incarnation: a languid, leisurely past-time aimed at maximising outdoor pleasure in the few patches of sunlight through the clouds. Wonderful.

Of course, getting carried away with the romance of an English summer is impossible to suppress after enduring one of our winters. But, it is a weakness that must be indulged.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

AYALAC launches new IPL team

King Cricket recently agonised over which team to invest his support. He opted for the “English tactic” by selecting the worst looking outfit.

I, too, have deliberated over this problem. But, given as I hate the IPL so, it is probably best that I launch my own team and attempt to wangle them into the League. (I was going to found a team with Miss Field, but my legal people didn't like her legal people's shoes.)

Although the team isn’t flush with money, once the players realise that I’m associated with it, they will flock to me like fluff to a bellybutton. Besides, I’ll buy them a pint now and then.

So here’s my team, with my bid in parenthesis:

Rahul Dravid (packet of pork scratchings)
Steve Tikolo (pint of “Captain Smith”)
Mahela Jayawardena (one coaster; torn)
Hashim Alma (the printed wine list)
Mohammed Yousef (half eaten packet of crisps; ready salted)
Cameron White (some pleasant chit chat about folk from the Blackdown Hills)
+Chris Martin (a prod)
*Anil Kumble (the entire contents of my bank account)
Ryan Sidebottom (some lager; on special offer)
Abdur Razzak (bottle of trendy alco-pop)
Dwayne Leverock (that nice sounding pie on the Specials Board)

These are obviously the best players in the world. The basic criteria is that either their best shot is the forward defence or they bowl spin. I have no other demands of cricketers.

Although, some of them have connections to Somerset or are otherwise in my favour. I have decided to give gloves to a specialist gloveman, I’m not concerned about batting ability.

They will be called the Twickenham Alan Sugars. Named after my town and the scariest thing I can think of.

So, how easy is it getting a franchise into the IPL? It must be easy, no?

Is Sluggo the best in the world?

Does the pope shit in the woods? Of course he is.

The Bermudan Cricket Board has recently been awarded “The Bestest” in the ICC’s Global Development Awards.

The criteria for this honour are, rather blandly, “excellence in all of governance, management, cricket operations and development.”

Apparently, the BCB beat all the other cricket-playing nations in the world. Perhaps a surprising decision, given the rank mismanagement of the national team and the squandered opportunities after World Cup publicity, but the BCB has a strong grass roots domestic scene. The number of children playing competitive cricket has more than tripled in the last three years.

Most of these successes can, of course, be put down to Bermuda’s best player: Sluggo.

If Bermuda has the best development programme in the world, then the best product of that system must be the best player in the world. It stands to reason.

But we already knew this, didn’t we?

Of course we did!

Well done the ICC. I approve of their decision. HOORAH FOR THE ICC!

The sheer oh blimey amazingness of Sluggo’s prowess on the field was seen in his recent (ish) game for Bermuda against Guyana. Although even his Atlas-like shoulders could not prevent a narrow defeat, his excellent one off eight balls and no wicket for 14 runs whilst he opened the bowling ensured that the game went right to wire. Guyana only managed to chase-down Bermuda’s total after 10 overs.

Interestingly, the Bermuda also produced the photograph of the year, entitled “It’s a catch”. I have scowered the internet for this image, but sadly, my technical skills failed me. I shall assume it was this catch:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wisden’s Famous Five

Regular readers of AYALAC will know me to be a quiet, retiring sort of chap, who is loathed to give his opinion on many matters. Today, I will break that vow of polite reticence and give forth upon Wisden’s five bested cricketers of yesteryear went.

1. Ian Bell
How this he-goblin sneaked into the final five, the deranged and possibly power-mad new editor of Wisden alone knows. Perhaps it reflects the desperate dearth of batting talent in our nation side? Perhaps it’s an arrangement with a bookie?

2. Zaheer Kahn The only thing you need to know about Zaheer Khan is that he isn’t Anil Kumble. And even that is too much. Stupid left-arm seamers. They aren’t spinners. We wants spinners! Spinners that can captain and be resplendent. Zaheer Khan satisfies very few of these demands. I’ll put him down as another bookie boy.

3. Shiverine Chanderpaul This first of the Wisden Five to hold my approval. Bowling against Chanders is like playing Scrabble against Mr Memory from The 39 Steps – the only way to triumph is by shooting him. Unfortunately, the usually creative Michael Vaughan did not attempt this timeworn tactic.

4. Otis Gibson This was a left-field choice. Could me another bookie boy, but I doubt it. It smacks more of blackmail than corruption. Sure, the part-time kids’ show presenter had a great 2007, but so did Foot And Mouth Disease, and we don’t want to replicate that. Of course, he managed ten in an innings once, but so did the Indian captain, which again, underlines Otis the Aardvark's problem: he’s not Anil Kumble.

5. Ryan Hairybottom
Now then. Here we go. A real heavyweight. He is now, more or less, England’s only bowler. He made Steve “Cheap at half the price” Harmison looked daft. More so. And the Hoggard for Captain crew are unusually hushed. Siders has emerged from the county scene like a school bully graduating into the world of office management. He is perfectly placed scoff at the accountants for another year yet.

Name that Bum #6: Answer

The answer to yesterday’s tricky connundrum was, of course, the illustrious Salmon Butt. Clearly, Miriam’s Bum in One is the way forward. They are far too easy.

Congratulations to T, who guessed the correct answer approximately eleven seconds before the post was published. In his honour, I compose this poem.

There once was a blogger with a letter for a name,
Just as Mister T, his designation was the same,
Even though there were no payings,
They’d both have their little sayings,
Bits and bobs, such as “I ain’t gettin’ on no plane”

Tune in next time to see if you can...NAME THAT BUM.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Name that Bum #6

OK chaps and chappettes, you know the score.You have to identify the international cricketer in the shots below.

Same rules as last time, please give you answers in the comments.Winners will have a poem written in their honour.

Good luck, and good bumming.
Clue 1
Clue 2
Clue 3
Can you... NAME THAT BUM?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Zealand vs England: The complete series

We're back baby. Perhaps not legally, but back nonetheless.

I'm quite proud of my little stop-motions, so have decided to publish the entire three match series between England and New Zealand.

Let's see how long these last.

First Match One: Hamilton

Second Match: Wellington

Third Match: Napier

Thursday, April 10, 2008

AYALAC assailed by bastards

Today, I have been Got At by the Dark Side. The most evil, soulless creatures to walk the Earth have entered my life; leaving only cold shudders a sense of the sinister in their wake.

That rights: The Lawyers got me.

Some bastardly law firm in the States enacted some Cease and Desist Order, or something, at me and removed my latest viddy-blog.

They argued that it infringed their clients copyright or something. Which is obviously absurd, because everyone knows that AYALAC doesn’t obey laws. We play by our own rules here. We’re nutters.

So, I’ll be working on some ways to return my stop-motions to you, once I have either blown up The Lawyers or circumvented their daft dikats.

Surprisingly interesting results in Caribbean

I have been avoiding the Sri Lanka tour in the West Indies because I’m generally parochial and self-obsessed, but a match so exciting has come along it has forced us to consider something that isn’t me.

A tough ask, you might think, but this was genuinely a great match. Normally, ODIs that reach the last five overs of the second innings are classified as a “thriller”; those that reach the final over are “tense thrillers.” I’m not sure what you call this match, because it was won on the very last ball.

Maybe a “super thriller” or “thiller thriller”. You know its thriller, thriller night.Youre fighting for your life inside of killer, thriller tonight.

Our hero, our champion, our chief of the crabs, saw the Windes home with 63 from 63 balls. Chris Gayle also scored a captainly half century.

Plaudits also go to Chamara Kapugedera, who I thought was just some guy, you know, but turns out to be an aggressive and effective hitter of the nasty old women in the street with a stick mold. OK – she doesn’t look much, but you don’t want to get in the way of that lashing walking stick of death.

Is fifty over cricket the new twenty20? Of course it is. It’ll happen all over again with the IPL in a few years. Mark my words, sunny jim.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

AYALAC raises tone of Wisden

Simon Jones, pictured above, has been hanging around my house recently. He’s really looking forward to the new edition of the Wisden Cricketer.

It’s usually a flighty, even racy, publication, so he’s hoping for something a little more high brow this month.
As the rest of the England team gather around the latest copy, excitement builds: perhaps we could have some serious, hard-hitting articles on Andrew Strauss, perchance?

Ryan Sidebottom, however, is more interested in the poster of himself. You should see his bedroom. He’s mad for it, him.
What’s this? Simon Jones has found something to interest him. An article by AYALAC! Dominating the most important page of any self-respected magazine: page 22. The page of kings.

Alec Guinness gets a little jealous of a photo that isn’t of him.

Richie Benaud reads the whole piece. Because this is a photograph, you can’t see his vigorous nodding. But he is. Well, as vigorously as when Richie moves towards a bottle of plonk.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Name The Bum #5: Answer

The answer to the latest Name that Bum was, of course, Aravinda de Silva. One of my all time favourites.

After much deliberation, and some crazy suggestions, Dave was eventually triumphant with the first correct guess. I rather suspect that he was standing on the sholders of giants, as Catherine provided the crucial piece of reasoning.

Anyway, to Dave!

There once was a random called Dave,
Whose answer successful he doth gave,
Drove did he a Skoda,
Whilst talking like Yoda,
How see my readers are deprave?

Tune in next week for another…NAME THAT BUM.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Name that Bum: #5

OK chaps and chappettes, slightly different game this week. After your collective smugness last time, the ubiquitous Miriam has made a suggestion to make it harder: Guess the Bum in One.

You have to identify the international cricketer using only a single shot. Ha!

Same rules as last time, please give you answers in the comments. Winners will have a poem written in their honour.

Good luck, and good bumming.

Clue the one.

Can you... NAME THAT BUM?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Cricket’s insidious influence reaches US

New York State, an American place, has announced that it will be establishing a state-wide school league. It is hoped that over 600 students will participate.

This is the first state-wide school league in the US. I think that there was once another league, in California, I believe (pedants, here’s your chance) but that didn’t last long.

American cricket has been in a right old mess for a while now. The United States of America Cricket Association was expelled from the ICC in March 2007, after the centrifugal force of various factions proved two much.

However, one of the most divisive members of American cricket, Gladstone Dainty, has been re-elected president, as the USACA’s ICC suspension was lifted. Hopefully, they can sort things out from here.

But the shambles of American cricket, rather reminds me of the mess that was early American communist and socialist parties. They were so divided and fragmented that Comintern frequently intervened and gave them a bollocking.

I’m not saying that cricketers are communists…I’m just pointed out a similarity.

So, the take over begins. The task that the British Empire started and lost, cricket will complete. This is it, oh my brothers. This is where we can take back America. It’s rightfully the property of the Queen, anyway, so it’s all legal.

Eventually, when cricket has penetrated every level of American society, they will set up a little national team. And we will crush them. And then we will laugh.

Although we are small people, at least we have something to live for, when cricket takes over, and yanks are still mystified by the whole thing, us cricket bloggers will be like gods. Until that point, we can just mock them.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

IPL yields to Ayalac pressure

Regular readers will know that AYALAC has long campaigned against the hypocrisy of Shoaib Akhtar's continued presence in the Indian Premier League.

AYALAC has longed railed against his inclusion, despite his five-year ban issued by the PCB, which we viewed arbitrary given the BCCI’s canvassing against ICL players’ participation in other domestic competitions.

IS Bindra, a member of the IPL governing council, after reading the AYALAC’s latest post, said:
"AYALAC is quite right. The scales have fallen from our eyes. Well done The Atheist.”

And then added,

“Shoaib has been banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board, and even though they have cleared him to play for IPL, we felt that international discipline needs to be respected. If he can't play for Pakistan, how can we play him? There will be no discipline left in the game, if we play him. It will set an unwanted precedent.”

This could be interpreted as an obvious rouse to influence other boards’ stances on ICL players, but we in AYALAC would rather consider it as another success for this blog and humanity in general.

Well done me.

Can we hate the BCCI more?

Of course we can, you goons! We already think that they are evil, bastards and even Nazis, but now it seems they are hypocrites.

Mushtaq Ahmed and Rana Naved Ul Hasan have gone for the ICL. They are also a bit old looking and probably don’t have too many seasons left in them. So, like any self-respecting knakered old geezer, they are finishing of their careers in a retirement home – English county cricket.

Seems reasonable? Ah, well that would be the wrong way to look at modern cricket. You need to put on your BCCI goggles. Here, I’ll show you what their world looks like:


OK – you can take them off now. As you can see, it’s a heady vission, but it works for the BCCI.

Now, let us take another, seemingly unrelated episode: the Shoaib Akhtar affair.

Our ol’ mucker, Shoaib, is clearly mad. He attacks his fellow team mates with bats, insults his bosses and has generally made an idiot of himself for years. The PCB then metered out a five year ban.

The severity of this punishment obvious underlies the mismanagement of Pakistani cricket. Administrators cite “his continued attitude problems” as the reason. Imagine if all our bosses took this view: the Western economy would collapse.

Anyway, the PCB has banned Shoaib. So we can consider his career over. Wait…what’s this? He can still play in the IPL? That seems curious.

You would think that, given the BCCI’s stance on Mushie and Rana that they would, for the sake of consistency, apply the same standard to other players. Ah, but then you wouldn’t be wearing your goggles, would you? Reciprocity doesn’t happen when you wear your BCCI goggles, look:


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Westward ho!

Ha! Yesterday’s post was just an April Fool’s joke. I think you were all pretty much taken in by that one. How clever I am.

Anyway, I think, in our heart of hearts, we all know that the best county in England is Somerset. The best food, best accents and best cricket team all come from this rural utopia. And this season, Somerset will join the voaks in the First Division.

And they’ll be no mugglin’, they’re be climmerin’ up to the top dreckley.

They also have the opportunity show off their new lovely new donnins. As you can see from the picture, they have chosen a bootiful combination of grey and red. Of course, Somerset is the land of grey and red, int ee?

I have great hopes for Somerset this season. Andy Caddick is set to return after some surgery. And Marcus Trescothick has retired from England duty, which means, unusually for a county, Somerset will retain the use of their best player.

I’m a little bit in two minds about the whole captaincy situation. Putting an Australian in charge of the noblest county in the country is heavy blow to Englanders everywhere. There’s nothing wrong with Justin Langer in himself, other than his rank Australianness, it’s just that if you asked him, “what would you prefer: the love of a beautiful woman or a slice of toast?” he’d enquire what sort of marmalade was on the toast.

Although, there are many advantages to the toast. It’s less demanding, doesn’t cost you so much and you don’t feel guilty about falling asleep after you’ve had a piece of it.

In any case, Cameron White will also be handy. Although he’s a policeman from Chard, some Ausslers have got it into their head that he’s one of them. Fair enough, so long as he plays well for us. Don’t worry, meh ol’ acker, I wonst be tellin’ on thy.

Anyway, if you want to catch up on the latest gossip in the West Country, be sure to check out the excellent blog Scrumpy and Sixes. Ee’s a good’un. Ooh arr.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Roy defects to England

AYALAC has exclusively heard that Andrew Symonds is considering changing allegiances and fielding in England blues.

Symonds has struggled at test level, in an age of batting supremacy an average of 34 is not good enough. Moreover, his options with the ball, in the extended version of the game, do not provide the all-round package that Australia are searching for. Averaging over 40 with the ball is akin to a part-timer.

My sources inform me that Symonds “had it out” with senior members of Australia’s management, and even after a reasonably successful run in the team, it is doubtful that he has a long-term future with them.

Being English-born and familiar with the domestic set-up, Symonds’ first thoughts moved to England. He is quoted to have said,

“Ultimately, as a sportsman, you want to perform at the highest level. Sustaining yourself and performing well at test match level is the goal of ever player. And to achieve this, I might have to consider some radical life-changes.”
“Roy” has once rejected the advances of England selectors, but poor form and bad weather is thought to have changed his mind.

Roy informs me that,

“I’m thinking of settling down in another country, you know, one with sunshine and stuff. Plus, I’m probably not good enough to stay playing for Australia for long. Which can only mean one thing, really, you know?”
Yes we do, Andrew. Yes we do.

Name that Bum #4: Answer

Alright you smug buggers, yesterday’s Name That Bum was a bit easy. It was, of course, Sir Viv.

But you have made a rod for your own collective backs: next week I’ll select some random first class player from South Africa in the sixties. And you all will fail.

And only one person will be laughing. “Ha ha” I will say, “Ha ha ha”.

And you will cry tears of shame. Tears of shame, ya hear!

So, on a brighter note, well done House Monkey for correctly guessing the answer. Here’s your poem:

There once was a House Monkey who guessed,
The correct answer to yesterday’s test,
He has some sort of site,
Which seems quite alright,
It would improve if more people undressed,