Sunday, September 28, 2008

Northern Monkies steal Championship

No one saw it coming. Not even God.

Especially not God.

But Durham pipped Nottinghamshire at the post yesterday, beating them, and Somerset, to be crowned First Ever Pikies To Win Anything.

So congratulations are in order to the Peoples of the North. There are some redeemable features there.

In more interesting news. I am sitting in a minimalist apartment in Berlin. It’s a bit rubbish, but I’m moving in with an Australian tomorrow. God alone knows what will happen. And, as we’ve already established, He’s rarely a reliable guide.

I ordered my first ever meal in German today. Felt very proud. Only, I didn’t feel so clever when I could specify how cooked I’d like my steak, so they provided it traditional German tough as old boots style.

“Das war gut” lied I.

Rubbishness is the theme of my move it seems.

So far, little sign of cricket in Germany. Rest assured however, when I find it, and I will find it, you will hear of its existence first.

[In other mad news, blogger’s gone all German on me. Ooh eer missus.]

Friday, September 26, 2008

Name That Bum #16: Answer

Well, I have been stunned and shocked alike in this week's Name That Bum.

I thought I'd picked the the hardest one of all time, and then along come a Mister D. Barry, and ruins all those evil plans of mine. The answer was, of course, Steve Tikolo.

David Barry's first guess hit the mark. Made almost immediately, he correctly answered the hardest Name That Bum in history. So difficult was this week's bum, that there was virtually no other entrants.

The only explanation for this is witchcraft. David Barry, you are clearly a witch.

Tune in next week, to reveal more blogging demons and see if you can.... NAME THAT BUM.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Name That Bum # 16

Bit of a nightmare on Bum Street this week.

Usual rules. Usual prizes: some amazing ahtwork in the winner's honour and the love of a thousand beautiful women. Usual stuff.

Bum the ONE

Good luck, and good bumming.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kolpaks sent packing

Alright! That’s what I’m talking about!

Finally, people have decided to listen to the BNP, and keep the English county league for the English. Out with those nasty foreigners.

A report in today's Daily Telegraph claims that the ECB is set to eradicate the Kolpaks and throw a tightened overseas player policy into the mix. To quote:

“Pending any unforeseen loopholes in EU law, any player not holding a British or EU passport will need to have played five Tests or 15 one-day internationals in the preceding two years (the final criteria have yet to be agreed, but must not be over-discriminatory) in order to be signed by a county. That way, the quality of imports goes up (counties can still sign overseas stars) while their numbers come down.”

This is an interesting move, and I the Twickeneese Panopticon, didn’t see it coming. This may be a little short sighted: consider the West Indies greats of the old, who learnt a lot of their cricket in an English county. It is not na├»ve to suggest that England is still an important supplier and polisher of international cricket talent.

It’s a bit like Sandhurst, only with less grooming of blood-thirsty dictators to be.

I have long hated this Kolpak business. It’s cheating, to be honest.

The reason that it was brought about is not due to globalisation or Evil Germans, but the enhancement of county cricket’s quality and the greater intensity that this demands. Given the heaps of counties out there, there is simply no way that weedy bumpkinshires could produce the required number of nut-case, Aussie wannabies.

So they turned to the next available source of bastardliness: South Africa.

But, as with any market, once a shock has been absorbed, the system will be re-structured and, I suspect, some losers will be eaten up, or fall off completely.

The collapse of certain county sides was perhaps the ECB’s original intention when they bisected the championship. It’ll be sad for some. But, I’ll certainly cheer once some of the smaller, more pointless clubs, like Surrey, finally get the chop.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

AYALAC is going to Berlin!

Alright. Alright. After so many emails, I have relented.

“Please The Atheist. Please. Please go to Germany to report on live matches there. I really want to know what’s going on.”

Your wish is my command, demanding public.

So, after briefing playing a console from Deep Space 9 (“boop biddle beep” was my line) I have secured a job in one of Europe’s oldest and most bombed capitals. I wonder if the ECB will call my mission off?

Anyway, to the evil, international, corporate goons that previously enjoyed my employ, I say this: SQUID YOU.

Can anyone tell me what the German is for that? Or the German for anything, for that matter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bangladesh all messed up: blame the Indians

Thank the Lord for the BCCI. Now that Bangladesh’s national team has been set back by about a decade, we can all content ourselves that the Tigers never need tour India.


Some might say that the Bangladesh Cricket Board are also partly to blame for this. They banned the 13 rebel players from all national and international cricket for ten years. This isn’t really because of Indian pressure, but because of the comments of former Tiger captain, Habibul Bashar:

“Screw you, hippies.”

So now the 13 are off to live a life-style of opulence and isolation. It’s funny how those things usually go side by side.

Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi side is completely buggered. And for this, I blame India. No one, specific India is to blame. I’ve met a few. Some of them are nice. Some.

The intransigence of the BCCI and its failure to pursue a sensible policy towards the ICL is beginning to have serious, and long-term effects for the game. Sure, a few old duffers can quietly see out their days in a moneyed segregation, but it’s the whole-sale importing and out-casting of national sides that becomes problematic.

Weirdly, the BCCI accepted the logic of the ICL. They have suddenly realised what a jolly good idea twenty20 cricket. So why can’t they get along nicely, merge their leagues and stop buggering up cricket.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Pakistan turn to the Windies

Yes, it got that bad.

After India, Sri Lanka and wussey Oceanic nations said no, Pakistan finally turned to the fat kid, and said, “West Indies, I pick you.” And then added “I suppose.”

No one is sure whether even the ugly, fat kid will get involved in Pakistan’s increasingly pooey team.

The WICB website doesn’t seem to have registered the proposal. Its last news item is dated in July. Apparently, nothing has happened to the entire region during the summer.

The proposition is an interesting test of sociological convention: which is more dangerous, downtown Islamabad or uptown Kingston?

It’s a tricky one, but hopefully, armed with bat-like clubs and full body protection, the Windies are tooled up to hit the streets and get involved in some serious action.

I say that excitedly, although the only action that the West Indies busy themselves with is of the “rear guard” kind. And rarely with much commitment then.

You rather feel that Pakistan has been buoyed by the BCCI’s bolshiness, and attempted similarly bullying of the world. The world, though, realising that Pakistan is a dodgy backwater, simply say, “farty pants.” And all goes tits up.

Talking of tits us, seen Herr Warne’s recent comments? HA!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Every Blog

Sorry it has been so long in posting. I’ve been really busy recently.

Isn’t life rubbish?

So, I was, like, sitting in front of the telly, with a cup of tea, watching the latest match, and then I suddenly realised how huge his collar bones are. It just ain’t natural!!!

And the umpires! What do they think they were playing at?? I mean really! Isn’t it obvious to everyone, in this day and age, after so much failed and successful experimentation, what technology’s place in cricket should be. Isn’t it obvious!/?#?

So, this bloke, he got a few runs. Which was totally outrageous because he sported a pretty hideous goatee. What is it with cricketers and their suspect facial hair ambitions?

Thankfully, he got out. And then some total goon walked in and was like, “I’m Mr Forward Defensive.” What’s his problem? Self esteem issues?!!!1!1?

Right. Let’s get to specifics. England. What’s that all about? They keep on promising and promising and promising. But what do they give. What do they really give? Don’t ask me. I don’t know anything.

Australia. Bor-ring! This is about as tedious as the time when I had to conduct a time and motion study of a paint-drying observation group.

When will people see that there is a perfectly simple solution to dealing with Australia. Why don’t they get on with it! I mean, really! Why does no one else see this? It’s so clear!11

India. Don’t get me wrong, and many people do, but what exactly is the BCCI’s objective? What’s it really up to? Don’t ask me11111 I don’t know anything.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Name That Bum #15 Answer

We finally received a correct answer to the latest Name That Bum. It was, of course, Les Ames.

Congratulations to the highly talented David Barry, who, not for the first time, proved his worth in a bare-fisted bum-to-bum smack down.

In recognition of this great achievement, I honour him with this Epic Poem:

Oh David, David Barry
You make me, oh so very happy

With you, and you bum-
Spotting ability

It is quite a boon,
To have such a proclivity,

But it is unique,
In its creativity,

That such a geek,
Has such a capability,

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

Graham Pooch

There once was an animal that attracted so many Google hits, that his shameless creator couldn’t help but capitalise on the surprisingly viral market. Today we look at the life and works of Graham Pooch.

As a young pup he learnt his trade in the Kent Kennels.

He developed a reputation for a tough, dogged approach, which won him favour with the local top dogs.

He was eventually selected for the English Shepdogs. First, he was sent in for night-watch duty, but he began in paw form.

Later, he enjoyed the many runs and walks that came his way. He was insatiable – like a dog with a bone. This was rewarded with his elevation to leader of the pack, a position in which he used to expunge cattish players.

Now he is an old dog, relegated to sniffing around the fringes. But his bark is worse than his bite as he is liable to bite off more than he can chew.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Number Two Aims to Gun Down Opponents

That’s right. Currently second place Somerset are still on target to smash all those who stand in their way to take the County Championship.

In a recent statement, Somerset captain Justy Langer said,

“What’s the difference between Somerset and a homicidal transvestite hell-bunt on destroying on particular Midlands counties and the world more generally? Lipstick.”

However, recent years have provided controversy. Although it is content to enjoy rural isolation, it has been thrust into national awareness through uncertainty in the current climate. Indeed, many of Somerset’s off-spring have been caught up in unfavourable attention in recent times.

The glamorous county is currently engaged in a tussle with Durham, a frosty wasteland of limited note. The battle has seen fierce support fro Somerset’s fanatical and slightly frightening fans, who have been heard chanting,

“Drill them! Drill them! Drill them! We want to drive large, fuel inefficient cars over them!”

This might seem a little jingoistic, but frankly Durham are on a bridge to nowhere. Somersetians are generally pro-life, except when they have guns, in which case, they think it’s fine to cause havoc.

By the way, as I am unemployed, I would appreciate it if anyone could give advice as to whether it is possible to make money from a website. Or, for that matter, any sort of money.

Cricket with Balls is OLD

Can you remember what you were doing this time last year? More of the same, only with more hope?

This guy was founding a new global franchise and has used it to take over the internet.

He now has a million sites. Some of those follow useless domestic sides, others back hopeless local teams. Variety is the key word in CWB.

Occasionally, you might see some nudity. So go there. Go there now now!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cricket news and things

As I work primarily in the public sector, the client has recently provided me with a data stick. On which is contained the complete details of all social security claimants in a certain London Borough.

No encryption. No password. Great stuff. Now, which train station should I leave this? Perhaps plaster our branding all over it and post it to our competitors? Maybe I should simply go the old fashioned route and send it to the Guardian?

The possibilities are endless.

England have announced their Stanford Squad. It’s not very interesting though. See?

So, anyway, back to me.

I’ve had an interview today. It was one of those nasty phone interviews, where you suspect that the interview panel is rolling their eyes at each other.

Word of advice, when in an interview, never start a sentence with the words “Oh, don’t get me started on…” This is not a beginning that can lead to good places.

Although, it isn’t bad as the “ice breaker” I fielded some years ago. These goons asked me:

“If there was any character in history you would like to invite to dinner, who would it be and why?”

Lots of “inspirational” corporate type answers popped into my head: “Nelson Mandela, because he’s so…blah blah blah…” I even considered Ghandi. Ha!

No. I didn’t give that answer though. I said this:

“Erm…not really sure. My brain’s keeps suggesting one name. Er. No. It has to be Vlad the Impaler.”
“Er…right. Any reason why?”
“I think we would share the same sense of humour.”

Monday, September 08, 2008

Name That Bum #15

Right. Bit of a toughie this week. It's another Bum From the Past - as well as being a Miriam Bum in One.

What a treat.

Whoever wins gets something life-changingly wonderful.This week we'll play using Stockholm rules.

Good luck and good bumming.

Bum the One

Can you...NAME THAT BUM?

Post Stanford chit-chat

This is my last week at work. I am working on a client’s site unsupervised, alone and bitter. Oh, the client is going to hear an earful. Oh yes. They’re going to find out exactly what they get for our over-inflated fee, let me tell you.

So, while I’m away doing that, I decided to dust down the ol’ Predictron, and ask it to tunnel into the future. The location: England’s dressing room. The time: after the Stanford Parade.

“Hey Owais, what kind of oil do you use on your bat?”

“Well, I’m glad you asked me that, Jimmy,” responded the Middlesexian batsman, as he removed a small peppering of powder from the pin-striped lapel of his bespoke Fawns and Newham suit. “My weapon needs hours of greasing and rubbing down before you can get it to really start gushing with runs.”

“Yeah, I had a problem with the runs once” said a hairy, Northern creature. But nobody heard. As usual, he was only wearing his underpants.

A low hum began to fill the room.
“Sounds like GOD has arrived,” said Iain the Bell. He set down his Lucian Freud exersketch for 12-16 year olds. “Should we prepare the auguries?”

The seriousness of his tone settled the high-spirited group.

“Yes,” replied young Stewie “we must please him well.”

“There he is! OH! Doesn’t he look marvellous!” a young Peter Moores suggested excitably over his snack of blinis and Golden Panda shavings.
“Arriving on a Porsche–drawn carriage!” a chirped Luke Wright, “how classy.”

Indeed, the Dirty Saffer was a site to behold. Muscle-bound and stripped to the waist, standing astride a shimmering Lapis lazuli chariot, The Mighty One was propelled by four firey soft-top Porches, as topless and resplendent as the four super-models that drove them.

“Oh bugger!” exclaimed Andrew Flintoff “That reminds me I forgot to buy the new Veyron.”
“Isn’t there, like, a ten year waiting list for that?” asked some fool. It doesn’t matter who. The only important issue is that the question was asked. It was a narrative device. It adds to the drama and progresses the story. Come on, get involved.

“Well, you know how it is” shrugged the beefy all-rounder, made all the more huge by his recent acquisition of Trellis and Son - “Fine Pies for all the Family. And More.”
“Yeah.” They all chimed.

Along with the distant concert of sporty engines and whips, a trudgy, dumpy sound could be heard approaching from the stairs. The large Brazillian teak door, inset with detailed rosewood reliefs depicting historic scenes of English success, lurched open as a tired Monty Panesar stomped into the room.

“Hey Monty,” spoke Pratty Mire, “how did you get here? Catch a bus?”
“No, actually,” stumbled Monty. “I caught a lift from my dad. He has the new Vauxhall Insignia.”

“Hey, chaps, I forgot to tell you,” said that spinner no one has heard of from Notts “I recently bought this Swannery in Dorset or somewhere. It’s well nice. I get all my quills sourced from there now.”

“Not a bad investment in these times,” saged Paul Collingwood, “I find that my avian assets are consistently the highest performers in my portfolio.”

“Yes," said Samit or Other. "And I reserved a lovely spot for The Dropper.”


Friday, September 05, 2008

Angus Fraser makes dangerous statement

Generally, I don’t like to get involved in county politics. It’s boring. I prefer to focus on the actual cricketers – and their filthy private lives.

But, if you must know, there are rumours that Angus Fraser will take over as “Managing Director” of Middlesex.

The only reason that this is news is because a) people have heard of Angus Fraser and b) Graeme Smith is in hospital awaiting a mouth transplant.

I love Fraser. He, along with Andy Caddick and possibly Phillip J Tuffers were among my favourite players of England’s 1990s Golden Era.

Fraser’s main tactic was to spend half an hour running in and by the time he got to the crease he was visibly exhausted. When Brian Lara dispatched him to the boundary, Gussy would kick at the ground and blame the captain for asking him to bowl an unreasonable number of overs. Just look at how knackered I am you heartless bastard. He would say that. Only, without quotations marks.

Then the captain was changed. Hopefully to one who would put our Angus in at slip.

On the speculation regarding this county position, Fraser has said:

"I'm keen to chat with them and find out what they [Middlesexian big-wigs] have to say because it's still a place close to my heart. I currently have a very good job with the Independent newspaper but…”

And this next bit requires a severe buttock-clenching bracing position.

“….there is no harm in listening to what people have to say.”

Oh Gussy. Gussy. Gussy. Gussy.

Angus. Angus Robert Charles Fraser. Angus. You may need to know all there is about doggedly plugging away off or around the women’s changing room, but your understanding of human behaviour is somewhat lacking.

Personally, I feel that this dangerous and frankly inflammatory statement should preclude him from any position of authority. Obviously, he’s fine in his current role as a journalist. But any job where people should actually listen to him should be immediately ruled out.

Perhaps send him back to the ICC?

In my experience, the most harm has come from listening to people. In fact, I have given it up altogether.

Look at Stalin. He spent most of his early days listening to Lenin. And then look what happened.

It’s the same storey with Gordon Brown.

Do you want to end up like that, Gussy? Do you? Do you?

Well then.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Here’s to unemployment!

Ryan Hairybottom. Matthew Hoggard. Andrew Symonds. And now me.

We greats. Us, the noble four. We share a single unifying victorious wondrous characteristic: unemployment.

Cricket Australia has recently revealed that being a jobless bum is now the best profession in the world.

We outcasts know that we’re best placed. We have no “responsibilities” or “futures”. We lone wolves are independent. We don’t need friends. We have self-pity for companions.

I’ve been taking hints from my dole mate, Ryan – known to your disreputes as “God”. He tells me the best way he real with rejection is to find a quiet bridge, hide underneath it, and cry until you pass out.

It’s worked wonders for me.

I don’t have a job. But at least I don’t play for Nottinghamshire. The seat of evil. So I think I have one-up on him there.

Anyway, Siders also advices hanging around fish and chip shops. Apparently their bins are like gold mines.

But the coming credit crunch has showed that many fine, talented, occasionally gorgeous people, have been thrown out to the seagulls.

These rejects need to be looked after somewhere. Usually, the English county circuit is the perfect home for expended refuse, but I feel the need for a new institution. Somewhere to home the nearly man, somewhere to sooth their disturbed pride, somewhere where they can feel like cricketers again.

Personally, I think Southend Pier is the best place for them. It can be a little concentration camp for castoffs.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wales + cricket = The Rubbish

The last game in the one day series between Empirer and Empieree drizzled out to an abandoned draw.

Many of us would recall the abandoned draw as a familiar result to family holidays in Wales. You were stuffed into a clinging anorak, prodded up soggy mountains, dragged through depressing marshes and forced to commune with Welshies. The Rubbish was everywhere present.

Of course, the fellahs in the ECB ignored the hard-fought experiences of youth, and have repeatedly played matches in Wales. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

Can you remember a single holiday to Pembrokeshire or Gwyndathshire every classified as “won”?

Why don’t England play in the South of France or perhaps in the Italian hills? Those were all “won” holidays. You could bring some nice wine into the, err, ground. You could wax lyrical about the local cheese. Such grounds even offer chances to laugh at the silly locals’ English. Moreso than in Wales.

In stead, the ECB offers Welshy sog airy, pies and lager as watered down as the weather.

In other news, that Australia is messing everything up with his daft theories. This isn’t the first time it has happened.

But, I’m debating whether to go to see the potentially interesting Somerset vs. Notts match in Trent Bridge this Saturday. Only problem is, the train ticket is £50. And I’m not guaranteed any play or a West Country win.

Should I go?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Somerset: they haven’t won yet

Some of you are wondering about Somerset. “Why haven’t they won yet” I hear you say, “they’re well ace.”

I know, I know. We are all concerned. But we all know what a total bastard reality can be. That a place famed for its scabby minors and gun crime can beat a perfect, rural idyll at anything is indicative of the essential rubbish of things.

But that is the situation that the First Division of the Whatever County Championship. Nottinghamshire are currently cheating the most, and are leading the tables. Somerset are cheating less, and so are only second.

But what’s second place?

It’s like announcing to your office that you’d like to have a baby, and only finding a fresh donation of semen on your desk the next day.

Sure, the fellahs’ hearts are in the right place, and it’s a thoughtful gesture, but they have failed to realise the result you wanted.

Justin Langer promised so much after his triple hundred and smashing of the Second Division. And, despite some cruel draws, he has generally produced the goods.

But we expect more. It is not enough simply to “like” cider and occasionally go shopping for shoes in Street. No. Victory. Victory is all. Victory or deportation. Deportation back to Australia.

Now there’s incentive for any man.

There’s not long left to see whether Lango can inseminate a new era of West Country success, or just produce a small mess which eventually crusts away.

Monday, September 01, 2008

KP's magic man milk

After I revealed KP's secret to success yesterday.

The Englanders leaked documents substantiating my libellous claims.

This was quoted from KP:


KP’s brews up a treat again

Very rarely does an England sporting team dispatch strong opposition. Sure, we can crush Turkey at Polo and thrash Poland at Turkey Gobbling, but very rarely do we beat a number two side in the world, let alone repeatedly blown them away like farts on a summer breeze.

But that’s what England did today by smashing South Africa for the fourth time on the trot.

There were times when the Saffers looked strong. They started very quickly, 69-0 from bugger all overs. Although, this promising start petered out into a relatively disappointing 183. Similarly, whilst in the field, they had England in trouble at a wicket down, a quarter of their overs passed, with still over a hundred to go.

Then Jacques Kallis decided to bowl himself. One moment of short-of a length madness, and England had advanced their score by twenty, downgrading their official status from “Panic! Panic!” to “Hang on a minute…”. When Andrew Flintoff eventually took the field, Defcon stood at “Take that you Saffer Pansies!”

So what exactly has KP done to the England cricket team. Obviously, they’ve been suckling at his fantastical, victory-enhancing teets. But Michael Vaughan tried that, and his man-milk only seemed to last 2005 before it became crusty and incapable of giving life.

Some people think that he has made players feel valued. Loved. Wanted. Whereas before, I suppose, they were abused regularly. Here’s a leaked training session under Vaughan’s regime:

“You bunch of useless wankers. I don’t know which one of you is most useless. Is it you Harmless, you pathetic heap of gangly sinews?”
“Yes sir.”
“What about you, Owais? Oh way to be crap more like”
“Yes sir. I am exceedingly crap.”
“Good. It is through pain and suffering that you learn to lose matches. And it is only when you lose repeatedly and feebly that you understand the true meaning of success.”
“Yes sir,” says all.

Compare this to the recently leaked transcript from KP’s “Friends’ Camp”: