Friday, January 30, 2009

Steve Harmison finds his spiritual self

The list of English players that are interested in participating in the up-and-coming IPL fiasco has been published.

Steve Harmison, troubled tourist, homebody quick and molly-coddled underachiever, has found that, after years of moaning, complaining and missing the soft, bountiful rain of Durham, he has, all of a sudden, developed a pining for foreign shores.

He likes warm weather after all. Sure, it turns him redder than a judge’s backside, but, what are you gunna do? Spend all day in the swimming pool?

He likes international food now. He can tolerate all of that foreign muck these days. Although, still, no one can do spaggi bol out a can like his mam can.

Of course, it’s a shame that the recent independence and glimmer of character has emerged only recently, leaving a legacy of spineless overseas performances and frittered test matches, but we England fans have long accepted to take anything that we are given.

Except, we won’t be given anything in this case, because he’s going to play for Madras Metal Works Ltd. Super Smelters' XI. But, anyway, it’s nice to know that, after all these years of promise, investment and attention, Harmison has finally decided to come out of his shell; once the world realised the sort of incentive he needed. He cares enough to give something back.

It was such a simple thing. Harmy never wanted much. Just huge piles of diamante. It’s almost shaming to realise how basic a man’s desires were, and how pitifully we let him down.

Good on you Harmy. We’ll be rooting for you to stay in India for as long as it takes for you to find the real you, and leave the unpredictable, whinging disappointing you behind. Really, stay for as long as you need.

By the way, take a look at this tee-shirts. They're pretty cool looking.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bollocks to who? BOLLOCKS TO YOU!

This sites has been a bit overly sophisticated as late, so I need to dumb down and connect to the bland morass that is my readership.

So, today, I shall denounce certain cricketers that deserve to have a huge hairy Hungarian screaming “BOLLOCKS TO YOU MATEY” in their face.

So. Lets start.

Kevin Pietersen.

Pratty Mire

Darrel Hair.

Shoaib Akhtar.

The ICC in their entirety.

Although we are above drawing crude penises on top of players heads at the moment. We make no promises about the future.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Is nothing sacred?

Bagpuss, not satisfied with taking over London, has now decided to invade English cricket.

Some goon who unashamedly calls himself Lord Marland of Odstock and ran Boris Johnson’s successful campaign for London mayoralty, (although, we all know it was actually some nasty piece of work Aussie that did the dirty, somehow Boris’ old chum was awarded the “Campaign Manager” title) wants to become the new chairman of the ECB.

Boris, flexing his political muscles further, plans to tighten his strangle-hold of the English establishment by sending Oddsocks forth to capture the ECB.

The London Mayor was heard to have said,

“Well, uh, buh buh, it’s kinda, buh, buh, gosh, right! Buh buh. The Johnson house will subjugate the masses through insidious control of its essential institutions, confounding all those who stand against us! Crickey.”

That Giles Clarke, a respected and hard-arsed businessman, has come under challenge from a minion of walking flan, is a sign of troubled times for English cricket.

Clarke hasn’t been a bad chairman. He hasn’t done anything that any other English chairman from the hallowed histories of the ECB wouldn’t have done – with the possible exception of ol’ Lord Bumsoak, whose solutions to administrative problems usually involved large vats of sherry, some well-oiled bats and twelve naked schoolboys.

But, politics is politics, and when the rats smell an opportunity, they begin to talk about strategic leadership and the need to gnaw on the rotting corpses of roadkill.

So, some nobody, whose only claim to fame is an association with the Tory party financial scandal that involved cheating electoral laws by fraud and winning over huge sums of money by misleading the authorities, thinks that he can do a better job than someone with actual abilities.

It’s a bit annoying that English cricket is such a preserve of the political right. I don’t make this objection so much for partisan reasons – my politics is somewhat broken anyhow – but it would be a fantastic addition to the game is so left-wing perspectives were brought into the game.

The Twatford affair would have been considerably more entertaining had (Sir?) Arthur Scargill been at the reins.

“Aye, Twatford lad, let me have a go at they lasses. Hallo love, we’ll keep the red flag flying here. Ooh flippin’ Norah.”

That’s right. We need more communists in English cricket.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bangladesh grow into their trousers

And what trousers!

They’re playing a tri-thingy with Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. The teams are full of nice people. Whereas the sides playing in Australia are full of bastards. So obviously we’d rather watch the Tiddly Tigers receive a gentle rodgering by their considerate sub-continental partners, than a watch rough-house quality performance with gits on some bloody pacific island.

Heck, if you were really in a voyeuristic mood, you could even watch them untrousered by Zimbabwe. But they have special genres for that line of business.

In any case, after their African unseating, Bangladesh sought vengeance for their humiliation and battered Sri Lanka. How, no one knows.

There are rumours that Sri Lanka has recently acquired a new girlfriend, causing them to stare absent-mindedly towards the WAGS enclosure as the ball speeds towards their collective heads. Occasionally, they have an embarrassing crack at poetry.

People are trying to avoid them.

Not only are they suffering from the usual symptoms of a rapidly shrinking bank balance and sleep deprivation, but this new female took anyway their ability to bowl straight without sighing wistfully at the thought of her beautiful pink elbows.

Then, as with all new relationships, Sri Lanka awakened to their daftness, and decided to pummel Bangladesh for “looking at her” - bowling them out for 154. Murali, fuelled by wild, jealous rage, bludgeoned the Tigglers into the dust for even thinking about it.

Nevertheless, the Tigers should be proud of their achievements: two efforts against hardened, experienced and skilful opponents. They have learnt their lesson: don’t get in the way of an inflamed Kumar and his gal.

But the Bangladeshis have earned their trousers today.

They have earned them good.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Being a moron isn’t my fault

So, KP doesn’t understand why he was sacked. Eschewing the dignity afforded to him by the ECB’s acceptance of his resignation, he is now doing what he loves best: bleating about nonsense in the press.

That he has been leaking to the press is not the issue. Although it is regrettable that this spat became public and personal rather quickly it is not decisive in his leaving.

The ECB is a public institution that principally operates in the media. Like any open, high-profile body, it is subject to leaks, rumours and press speculation. That anyone has been using this to their advantage to play their own game is hardly surprising, in fact, I would be shocked if it didn’t happen at all.

No. What did for KP was his ridiculous and frankly childish behaviour. To issue an ultimatum to your boss, five months into your contract is ludicrous, belying a deep unprofessionalism that is impossible to manage, or, at least, develop a meaningful working relationship with.

Or, as one ECB apparatchik put it (whilst anonymously briefing the press): “Anyone who offers to resign, clearly doesn’t want the job that much.”

Pietersen seems as though he didn’t want to give that impression, but that makes him all the more na├»ve. Behaving in and, more importantly, getting your own way in a professional context, is considerably more nuanced that a quick-fire fifty on a flat track.

And, KP didn’t seem to understand that he couldn’t act the same way off the field. He appears quite open about bringing his “do or die” mentality to the board room:

“I risked it all because it was my duty to say this was how we should move forward."

Risked all? What are you jabbering about? This isn’t Tarzan of the Bloody Jungle rescuing Jane from the improbably large jaws of some non-indigenous carnivore, it’s just office politics. Play the game, you muppet, it’s not the end of the world.

I wonder how much of this sort of non-sensical and embarrassing clap-track the England management has had to endure over these last months. Perhaps they got bored of his tedious cliques and platitudinal designs and thought one day, “sod it, I’ve had enough of this, let’s sack the bugger.”

So, here’s to ennui-induced regicide! Here!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Top Ten: Sexiest Crickters in History

I was inspired by Miss Field’s guest blogger’s throw-way line speculating whether Graeme Smith was the sexiest cricketer in history.

This set my historical brain ticking: Who is the sexiest cricketer ever?

To be honest, those who know me best will readily admit that I struggle with sexiness as a concept. What I think as gormless, moronic-looking goon, females swoon over just at the very thought of his expressionless gawp.

So, I’ll be frank, I’m no authority. I’ll even admit that I’m wearing long johns as I type – which uncontentiously hold the title of Least Sexy Garment Known To Man. But then again, I have to walk to work when it’s minus twenty. In my experience, extreme cold never enlarges sexual aspects of life.

Anyway, to add to my catalogue of nude cricketers and general filth, I have compiled a Top Ten of what I consider to be the sexiest cricketers. The sole criteria will be those I would consider suitable subject for a cheeky fling. Or two. Some things transcend sexuality. Cricket, undoubtedly, is one of them.

Number 10 Malcolm Marshall

The sexiest bowling action in history. As silky smooth as those pants your ex-girlfriend bought you that you’ve never worn but hang on to despite passing years of emptiness – you know, just in case.

Number 9 Kevin Curran

Look at the tenacity in that hair. His insolent eyes. Everything about him says: I’m too good for you. And you know what? He’s right.

Number 8 Robert Christiani

People tell me that Daniel Vettori has successfully mastered the “sexy geek” look. Although, not pretending to understand this, I have taken this reasoning to its logical conclusion and found the geekiest, and therefore sexiest, man in cricket. Well, eight sexiest.

Corr. Look at this’un. I would.

Number 7 Justin Langer

A man’s man. Ready to tough it out, no matter how many balls he has to fend off his face. But watch out for the stylish flash of his mighty weapon on this one.

Number 6 Paul Collingwood

(Front.) Ginger nuts are the sexiest biscuit of the baked goods community. The same is true of people. Sex on a number six.

Number 5 Nawab of Pataudi

The picture of elegance, refinement and sophistication. Plus he has a huge conk. And you know what that means, girls!

Number 4 Mound Stand, Lords

A symbol of muscular strength and sturdiness. Can support multiple people in multiple positions at the same time.

Number 3 Graham Gooch

Making sure his equipment is well oiled before he goes into action, he’s never afraid to show off his fine helmet.

Number 2 Sarfraz Nawaz

All women can’t resist a ‘tache. Except for those that can. Pure, untamed phoar on a lip.

Number 1 C.B. Fry

This dashing, fine figure of man could certainly teach the one ones a thing or two about style. And sex.

Right. I'm off for a cold shower now.

Viva la revolution! Viva la Banana Republic!

Ding dong the witch is dead! Viva la presidente!

Well it’s been a rollercoaster 24 hours, hasn’t it?

I’ve been trying to explain to the various Europeans in my company the enormity of the events surrounding the Pietersen affair, and none of them quite get it.

So, I will explain it to you. I can’t see your eyes glazing over.

First off, this is probably the best thing to have happened in English cricket for a while. Not just because we sacked an absolute bastard, but because we did so in such a hilarious fashion.

Sure, the ECB didn’t want to be pushed around by some jumped up, over-hyped, over-sexed, David Beckhamesque Saffer – we all have egos, don’t we? And without self-respect what are we? Well, we’re English, but not much more, I tell ya. Not much more at all.

Secondly, the press’ response to this has been excellent. For instance, take this yesterday’s cricinfo headline:

“Breaking News: ECB yet to clarify situation.”

Breaking news indeed.

Anyway, this whole debacle couldn’t have come at a worse time for England, notwithstanding impending Ashes doom, but they have already gone through all their senior players, and the leadership cupboard is looking a bit bare at the moment.

So, the only plausible candidate got the job: Andrew Strauss. But for some, he looks a bit flat. Allen Lambchops said that,

"Unfortunately, I don't think Strauss will play in all three dimensions so that will create a problem. That is why they picked Pietersen - he can play all three dimensions."

That Strauss is struggling to enter the third dimension, is problematic for him and the rest of the England team in general. It is said that he need a fag to get him down the stairs in the morning.

It didn’t take long for KP’s magic man milk to go sour. Probably because everyone hated him. Andrew Flintoff supposedly lead a rebellion against him. Even Harmison decided to actually express an opinion.

I wonder what KP is doing right now. Feeling a moron, no doubt. Although, it won’t be all touchy feely in the Pietersen camp

Before this ridiculous mess, Pietersen was considered a world-class batsman, in all forms of the game, a feared presence at the wicket and a widely respected player. Now, he’s just a moron who bungled his way out of the job that he coveted for so long. For a man with limitless ambition, he is now constrained from developing any further.

Apparently, he doesn’t have the nowse to act as captain, to play the game and didn’t even have the respect of his own team-members. There is no where else for him to go. He’s just a batsman, and can go no further.

Undoubtedly he’ll make a big show of swaggering back onto the international stage (surely these IPL’s murmurings are not a realistic option for KP; besides, he’s already stated his intention to stay with England) but some of the aura of the man has drained away.

Most cutting is the public exposure of his weaknesses, and of his status as a perennial outsider - a foreigner who finds it hard to get along with others, arrogant yet, almost endearingly, desperately seeking acceptance. There is a tragedy about the man, a dichotomy. His success is brings a form of acceptance, yet this success is brought about by his uncompromising self-assuredness, the very quality that drives others away.

You could write a play about the anguish of the Pietersen soul: A Comedy of Twattishness.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Australia fluke a win

Much like in England, once South Africa won the series, they magnanimously gave the opposition a test match. So, clearly there are some nice South Africans out there.

In any case, no one cares about the trouncing of minnows.

What we really want to know is all the juicy details of the England dressing room: what Moores really thinks of Captain Fantastic; who betrayed who; who’s bitching about who; and who’s shagging who.

Well, I suppose the new Doctor is a bit young and keen.

(See, despite my life spent cowering under the blankets in a cold, dark and unbelievably cold country, I can still make topical jokes. Even though I can’t feel my toes at nights, I am still wiv it, yeah.)

Now. Not only do human beings universally loath Kevin Bloody Pietersen, but it seems like the England team are in on the act. The Old Batsman made a very interesting point yesterday, by suggesting that the whole affair was an elaborately conducted plot to weasel the politically brilliant Steven Harmison into the captaincy.

If true, this darkly executed scheme, not only lacking in any moral reference or empathy, but it would instantly result in Steveo’s elevation to GOD and win a life time’s devotion from me.

However, outside the nihilistic pleadings of my cold-shrivelled soul, Andrew Strauss’ name is once again being mentioned. Within the power struggle of the England dressing room, and I’m not talking about who puts Monty in Andrew Flintoff’s coffin…

...hang on a minute...


Just read that KP has been sacked. According to the den of lies, the BBC, Pietersen, in his infinite wisdom, Pieterprat issued the ECB with an ultimatum: either I go or Moors does.

Seeing as the season of expanding debt, the ECB decided to go for a two-for-one deal, and sacked the both of them.

The rest of the world was heard to make the following remarks:


What makes this resignation interesting, as well as hilarious, is Pietersen’s reason. He’s not going because he’s useless and has a terrible track record. Oh no. He’s going because he couldn’t get along with some apparently alright bloke.

Napoleon had the same problem. But don’t worry, he came back on fine form.



Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Harmison intervenes with tact and diplomacy

Steven Harmison, long-time complainant of the media, commentators and those who open their mouth before engaging their Id, has shamed them all by his dignified entrance into England’s management fiasco.

In case you have some sort of life with priorities beyond the petty feuds of ECB politics, Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores don’t get on. It might be something to do with Moores’ denial of KP’s opportunity to lord it over Michael Vaughan like some magnanimous twat. Or it might be something as simple as Captain Fantastic being a disagreeable twat, who can’t get on with anyone. Like a twat.

In any case, the misfiring of their team, despite the sagely advice of Otis the Aardvark, has brought a wave of introspection, self-doubt and, inevitably, wonderfully, beautifully, BLAME.

As all losers know, you can’t spell “You’ve been Ka-Blam-eod!” without blame.

So, the symbol of stability, reliability and mental strength within the England fold, “Steady Steve” Harmison entered the fray. Although, not being Scouse, it reduces writers’ prospects of suggesting he might do this by saying “cam daun, cam daun” and jerk his arms about like a maddy. Although he is sufficiently Northern for this thought to creep into a blogger’s mind, but it impotently sits there, never finding voice for fear of producing an embarrassing and slightly wrong passage.

So anyway, after being interviewed by the BBC World Service, broadcasting his views to every living person with a radio, power source and English-Geordie phrase book, Mahatma Steve has forged peace within the troubled England team.

Peter Moores was heard to say,

“I thought that KP was a right twat, then I heard Harmison’s grating, whiney voice on the radio this morning, and I decided that KP wasn’t so bad after all. There are worse people out there.”

Walter Bagehot, in a second press conference, asked the lanky slip-tester what he had said to calm the warring factions. Harmison replied,

“Oh, not much really. We sportsman have a way with words. I just said, “Hey, guys, just mellow, yeah. Players come and go; both of you are temporary, ephemeral wisps of a whimper. Only Harmy remains constant. Cam daun, cam daun.””