Sunday, January 17, 2010

Surprise! We were rubbish after all

Somehow, England have blagged their way to test match success throughout 2009. They live not so much a charmed life, but a life over-brimming with rabbit foots, newt’s legs and sexts from Beelzebub.

There were perhaps immorally lucky to have escaped in so many matches. The same team was beaten by the West Indies no long ago.

And you remember the West Indies, right?

No. Neither do I.

So, does this display of impetrative bowling and feeble batting mean that England fans can point out that: Most of our players are South African.

All the metaphysical laws of double standards say: yes. Yes you can.

The final score reads: the good bit of South Africa (the bit that, you know, could get a job) beat the rubbishy, whiney part of South Africa.

How very interesting.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The spirits of cricket

The English fanbase in peculiarly weds itself to “the spirit of cricket.” I, too, admit to having found baffled and inarticulate at the need to justify a principle.

“Well, it’s just not cricket.” Is my meek offering, when asked why sconing the short leg whilst the umpire looks elsewhere is wrong.

There’s something about cricket that evokes the more romantic sides. Like the idea of battering to death your sister’s Care Bears, cricket washes over us with warm, nostalgic feelings.

Cricket is a game apart. Unchanging in its intrinsic goodness and we should not risk losing its unmoving fairness for pyjamas and hissy fits. It is what it was, and always shall be.

Here’s what Jack Hobbs had to say on the matter in his 1922 book Cricket for beginners:

“Perhaps the surest evidence that we have regarding the unwritten law, which doubtful is, ‘above all things play in the right spirit and be hanged the book of laws,’ is the oft-repeated action of a captain who allows a side to complete a match after the allotted time has expired, when his opponents would be absolutely certain to win if only another ten minutes were left to play.”


So, ‘playing for a draw’ isn’t within the spirit of cricket?

Right. So bugger the spirit of cricket, let’s pull out the seams and murder the bastards. We all know you can only reverse swing by cheating anyway.

I bet Jack Hobbs would have been rubbish against reverse swing.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

FACT. England are the most annoying side in the world.

Clearly we should all hate the English. They don’t have much going for them: bad food, bad teeth and now a successful Ian Bell.

The ultimate insult to the world.

Today, the legacy of the phrase “a Paul Collingwood-type” player has been secured for good. Ian Bell has become a Paul Collingwood-type player. He’s not as good as Collingwood, though, obviously he’s much better which makes Bell all the worse.

All-out attacking cricket may be glamorous, but saving a match from certain defeat should also be an achievement worthy of celebration.

I have long criticised Collingwood. He looks ugly and can cock-up at times. But who amongst us can honestly deny that they too are unsightly incompetents? But, for some reason, he keeps coming up with the goods. He's hard. And increasingly, England are becoming hard like him.

England can now justifiably categorise themselves as a side that is Hard To Beat. It doesn’t matter that South African are the better side, and should be 2-1 up in this series, England are a bunch of hard cases that will take a severe battering before they’ll yield.

But still, as an England fan, it’s hard to know how to view you team. It was tempting to scream around the office once the draw was drawn, but surely it’s within our rights to hate them for inflicting an entire day or stress and worry upon us?

Best to pick and choose. Hate KP. Love Strauss. Hate James Anderson. Love Graham Swann. Have a love/hate relationship with Ian Bell.

Or just stick to hating the Australians?