Archive for the ‘Cricket’ Category

Sledgers strip off

November 22, 2017 19 comments

As every British cricket lover will confirm, watching the match is indeed a serious business, calling for a suitably sourced blazer and tie, a faded panama hat and preferably a proper deck-chair close to the action.  Certain compromises are acceptable – but only if the match happens to attract thousands of fellow devotees – and there must be limits.

Now, however, in some corner of a foreign outfield, an upstart authority has sanctioned mixed bathing just a few feet from long-on! I mean, a gentleman’s sauna at Headingley for April fixtures would be bad enough, but really! Blowers would have found le mot juste, I’m sure.

If you can bear to learn more, the shocked meeja can help.


One of those voices

June 23, 2017 27 comments

Entertainment in the ’50s and ’60s was all about sound, not so much about images. The wireless played a leading rõle in family life, with the morning pips reminding us we were already late, the evening news gathering us together at 6 o’clock and favourite programmes on weekdays and at weekends. And in our house the cricket coverage was eagerly awaited, especially the voice of John Arlott.

So it was probably my generation of listeners who first welcomed what is now known as TMS; a sporting institution. Down the years Brian Johnston (sans the ‘e’) and his younger pupils have bemused and amused us every year.

But Henry Blofeld has been a star in the firmament, with erudition and wit we should hardly expect from a mere sport programme. And now he too is going to retire.

Thank you, Bloers!

It could have been me!

November 20, 2016 6 comments

Come on! I’ve been to Oz more than once and seen several repeats of the Croc Dundee films. At least a 12th man candidate, surely?

Restoration of the House Of Lancaster

July 19, 2016 7 comments

Pakistan deserved to win the first test and as fate would have it, the reformed Mohammad Amir scored the winner. That’s sport for you. England have made a few changes and should be stronger. Another thing to take into account is the second test will take place in God’s County: Lancashire.

The county of the Red Rose  is famous for many things: Betty’s hotpot, Eccles cake, Lancashire tea, The Big Dipper. With its bold and big landscape there is definitely a case for Lancashire to Engexit and become an independent state. As a naturalised Lanky, I’d go for it. I await an Ambassador’s role in the near future.


Pakistan’s Yasir Shah, the Messi lookalike mystery spinner is ranked #1 in the world at bowling. He is only keeping the spot warm for Jimmy because “our” Jimmy is back. James Anderson is a Burnley man, that makes him one of our own. As England’s leading wicket taker “we” expect him to add a lot of Pakistani scalps in the forthcoming contest. (Pity “we’re” not playing India. That sentence would be better with Indian scalps, wouldn’t it? )

With Lancashire doing so well in the County Championship, and Independence looming, it’s only a matter of time before we receive Test playing status and play the rump of England then go for the stumps of Australia.

Return of the Amir

July 13, 2016 17 comments

This Thursday England lock horns with Pakistan in the first test at Lord’s. In the tourists side will be the fast bowler, Mohammad Amir. Now aged 24, Amir was found guilty of spot-fixing on his last appearance at the home of cricket, six years ago. He was banned from cricket for five years and served three months in prison. Debate still rages on at all levels of the cricket community over whether Amir should still be allowed to play.

I take Morgan Freeman’s side on this. These are his words from The Shawshank Redemption when he faced the parole board.

There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then, a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I wanna talk to him. I wanna try to talk some sense to him — tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this old man is all that’s left. I gotta live with that.

I really like…

April 26, 2016 2 comments

Marlon Samuels. He’s a bit of a character. Brandoesque.

Better than Bradders?

March 24, 2016 4 comments

Statistics don’t lie, do they? The higher the batting average the better the player. Top of the list of Test cricket’s batting averages is  Andy Ganteaume. The Trinidadian played one test for the West Indies v England in 1948 and scored 112. The politics at the time prevented him playing any more tests so his average remains the best.

Andy joked he was a “one cap wonder” and kept his feelings to himself until 59 years later he complained bitterly about “the establishment” in his autobiography, My Story, The Other Side of the Coin. He died on February 17, 2016 aged 95.

Not better than Bradman, of course, but it’s better to be a one cap wonder or a one hit wonder or a one day wonder than being no wonder at all. Well played, Andy.

Kiwis show the way

March 24, 2016 12 comments

nz flags.pngThe anti-colonial era is over! There is a new pride in belonging to the British worldwide club – which rejects the demands of envious foreign cultures.

NZ has voted to retain its union-jacked flag!

Look on, you outmoded defectors – and weep.

A Month of 20/20

March 7, 2016 7 comments

It’s fair to assume that the cricket lovers in this house prefer Test match cricket over the other formats and rightly so. Still, T20 is the only game in town at the moment. The T20 World Cup starts tomorrow in India with a few juicy ties.

Hong Kong v Zimbabwe

Afghanistan v Scotland

These are, what the organisers have called, group stage matches. The big boys don’t come into play until later, in the Super 10 phase. Understandably, the winner usually comes from one of the bigger teams. This time round I’m going to stick my neck out and pick an outsider. For me, England can go all the way. And if not them I hope it’s The Netherlands.


Only when I laugh

October 4, 2015 27 comments

It’s the pain, doctor.

Where exactly, Janus?

Just here (pointing to heart).

And when do you get it?

Whenever I watch English teams play.

So it’s home-sickness then, the call from home?

No. That’s a sweeter feeling, like hearing I’m to be a grandpa for the 10th time.

Congratulations then! But back to the pain?

Yes. What’s the cure?

Get rid of the sports channels. Watch Danish tv. You’ll feel no emotion whatever and sleep extremely well. That’s the true meaning of ‘hygge’ (pron. hew- ga)!