Wednesday, May 27, 2009

West Indies rediscover their historic form

Well, I have returned to Blighty once again, and am delighting in the wondrous cleanliness and functionality of English toilets. More to the point, the IPL has finally done the decent thing and finished.

Meanwhile, the West Indies have proved us all wrong, once again, by returning to the glory years of the early 2000s (sometimes, people hilariously refer to this decade as the “naughties” – these people should generally be avoided, and, if at all possible, persecuted).

England have comprehensively humiliated the Caribbeaners in this series. No single Windie resisted the England attack; the usual reliable Big Wigs failed to fill their boots. Even El Crabbo himself seemed overwhelmed.

It’s not as if England are any good – Stuart Broad led the attack, for Courtney’s Sake. The Windies simply imploded.

After the winter’s heroics, the West Indies have returned to the golden era which boasted players such as Ian Bradshaw, Rawl Lewis and Vasbert Drakes. At last, they have returned to the era that young boys remember so well from their childhood.

Chris Gayle is threatening to “do a Harmitwat” and bleat endlessly at how much he suffers, and how terrible everything is. In any case, we can probably look forward to another tour in about two months time, with the possibility of acquainting ourselves with a new quartet of weirdly named seamers.

Although, with their track record, it is equally possible that they will win the Twenty20 World Cup.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Stanford: Failed drug figher, too?

Some weeks ago, cricketwithballs insinuated that Allen Stanford may, in fact, be a CIA undercover operative. As it turns out, this may not be far from the truth.

Since his empire of meaningless paper came to a crashing demise in, only three, including Laura Pendergest-Holt, chief investment officer of Stanford Financial Group, have indicted.

This is a bit odd.

Stranger have happened, of course. For instance, Paul Collingwood’s continued inclusion into the England team can be attributed to his ownership of a laminator, which he lends to backroom staff for their “Please leave the toilets as you would expect to find them” posters, pinned up in away grounds loos.

Indeed, strange things do happen. John Sweeny, of the BBC’s investigative flagship programme Panorama has accused Twatford of being in the pocket of the US Drug Enforcement Administration as a registered informant from 1990. (You can watch the entire report here.)

He's currently under the protection of the American legal authorities, who were presumably happy for him to steal $8 billion of other people's money in return with the valuable information that brought about the complete cessation all trade in drugs.

This seems a little tenuous to me, and very little evidence supports this claim.

Most interesting is the ECB’s continued claims that it conducted adequate due diligence. Although, it states that all is fine because:

ECB is not a financial regulatory body. No regulatory body expressed any concerns about Stanford when we announced the contract in June 2008.”

Bless. Horrid money confuses them.

But there is another admission:

ECB conducted due diligence on the original deal.”

Notice “the deal” and not the man. Hitherto, the ECB has laughable claimed that it had been professional and thorough in its background checks. But now says that it only looked into the project, not the man. (See full statement here.)

The man who was bankrupt; lost his banking licence in Montserrat; was wanted by the Floridian authorities for multi-million dollar tax non-payment; and openly on the SEC “He’s a bit dodgy” list.

For some reason, the Australians, Indians, South Africans and the money fetishist ICC didn’t want anything to do with this snake-oiled cheat. And yet the ECB has been untouched by their involvement with the Black Hole of Antigua.

They haven’t even had the foresight to make the illegal immigrant cleaner into a scapegoat. Everything about this shocks me.

Anyway, John Sweeny: kudos.

Friday, May 15, 2009

So, England are the best team ever

It seems proven then. England are the best team ever and Ravi Bopara is the new Lenny Kravitz.

Playing in the only test ground north of the Artic Circle, the Durham cricket fans are showing the world just how popular test cricket still is. Although the West Indies are doing their best to show us that it doesn’t really matter any more – there are more important things in life now.

Chris Gayle has the air of a man whose passionate girlfriend is jumping all over him, but because of the sounds of the neighbouring Morris dancing session he is finding it hard to get into the mood. He seems to be trying his best to respond, but the gentle clunks and whoops of the tubby men next door are proving compulsive listening, and certainly not eliciting the desired reaction.

Two Essex lads made runs for England yesterday. The most noticeable feature of this was their post-match interviews, were viewers could delight their Beckham-esque, streetwise accents.

“Yeah, mate, we chuffin’ ‘ammered ‘em propah.”

In celebration, Southend Pier was moved seven miles inland, in order to turn it into a giant kebab, in a bid to provide Alistair Cook with the mental encouragement to forge a double century.

It’ll probably happen, not because of the kebab, but because England only get double hundreds against the West Indies. But, of course, they’re still quality opposition.

Monday, May 11, 2009

England best team in the world

A lot changes when you’ve been away for a week.

Ravi Bopara, who’s a sort of alright nurdler, that would be perfectly suited to fiddling around the edges of England’s 1990s has now become England’s best batsman.

Joanna Lumley has made a bid for the Prime Minister’s position.

Graeme Swann, who’s about as English as the contents of the British Museum, is the new Andrew Flintoff. He can ably smack a quick fifty lower down in the order, and he’s literally impossible to play if you’re a left-hander.

A man whose name is so funny that would bring Noel Coward to his knees with laughter is now a bowling deity.

Although, struggling with this unexpected elevation to the status of “legends”, the ECB has recalled some of its key players from its “total Sheisse” days – namely, Jenny Bellend and Sadam Hairybottom.

The question is: WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

Like trying to talk German to Spaniards, the England management have managed to make complete tits of themselves by communicating an apparently simple message.

Of course, as we find every time the Windies come over to the UK, they are totally ill-equipped to cope with English conditions. The tour has no bearing on everything except for providing a troubling set of indicators for the popularity of test cricket.

Although, it does prove that no English achievement is too great for us to belittle.

Ah, England. It’s good to be home.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Chris Tremlett bats Rest of the World to oblivion

Chris Tremlett senstationally pulls to dispatch the Rest of the World mega time to the Dustbin of History.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Anguish of a Rejected Soul

Pity Lancastrians. They are sensitive types.

News that Michael Vaughan was not included in the England line-up hit the former England captain hard.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Chris Tremlett bowls out the rest of the world

In a grudge match between Chris Tremlett and the rest of the world, the Hampshire attack dog bowler dipatched the ROW's incredble line-up for a record score of seven.

What a guy.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Afghanistan: All-conquering mega-heroes

Afghanistan have recently dispatched another cricketing superpower. In a grudge match, fought, in true Pashtun fashion, to the death, huge crowds and bemused US soldiers saw the central Asian nation finish off the entire village of Ditchling.

Jamie Theakston captained the Ditchlingers, was quoted to have said,

"It is important in the process of nation-building and redevelopment that peasant peoples understand the value of pop personalities and meaningless gestures."

Theakston, famed for having once slept with Syphilis Spice, followed the match with the much more enjoyable game of having his carcass used in a stirring contest of Buzkashi, a sort of Afghan polo that Sylvester Stallone invented in 1985.

This received a much livelier response from the locals, as well as the English, familiar with Theakston’s work.

In any case, the West Sussex village team were comprehensively showed up by the Afghanis, who had showed the advantage of years of professional training and a massive stock-pile of AK-47s.

It perhaps proves the intrinsic sporting superiority over dessert people compared to the cultivated – just look at Australia.

There must be some advantage of living in Afghanistan. For instance, I imagine that Afghanistanis don’t have to endure the sexually frustrated croonings of Lilley Allen every time they go into a shop. That has to raise the moral.

Anyway, here’s to Afghan dominance! Death to imperial, neo-colonial aggression!

[I’m going to be off for a few days this week. Don’t worry though, this site is never quiet for more than a few hours. The ever reliable AYALAC, has some juicy generic content applicable to all scenarios lined up for you.]