Too bad last night was a school night. I love a rumpus:
THE International Cricket Council is expected to examine a heated exchange between Michael Clarke and the umpires during a frantic late finish of the last Test at The Oval.
Umpire Aleem Dar pushed Clarke away as Australia's captain was furiously protesting against the light as England threatened to steal the Test following a sporting Clarke declaration.
|South Africa||209||Cape Town||19-Mar-09|
|South Africa||284||Cape Town||9-Nov-11|
|South Africa||47||Cape Town||10-Nov-11|
England celebrates yet another successful pitch fix:
In a distasteful display about five hours after the last Test was called off for bad light with England in sight of victory, the players gathered near the pitch celebrating and yahooing.
A number of players including Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen and Jimmy Anderson took it in turns urinating on the pitch to the cheers of their team mates.
No one likes Kevin Pietersen; no one likes Michael Clarke:
Clarke: ‘No one in your team likes you.’
Pietersen: ‘You’re captain, and no one likes you.’
In case you were unaware, Shane Warne hates Steve Waugh; especially Waugh's insistence the players wear the Daggy Green:
"We had this ridiculous thing Steve Waugh brought in. It was just silly. He said that everyone in the first hour has to wear the green baggy cap. I said to him ‘I don’t have to wear my green baggy cap to say I enjoyed playing cricket for Australia, I want to wear my white floppy, I feel more comfortable in it.’ He said ‘no, we’re all doing it.’ I said ‘righto’ So we used to do it and I used to sit there and sulk at first slip for the first hour wearing this silly baggy green cap. I think it’s fantastic and everyone has pride in wearing the green baggy but you don’t need to wear it."
Okay, so Stuart Broad is a dick. But Boof Lehmann has let Broad get under his skin and Boof has over-reacted to Broad's comments. Looks like FM radio has once again lured a sporty into OTT comments:
"Certainly our players haven't forgotten, they're calling him everything under the sun as they go past. I hope the Australian public are the same because that was just blatant cheating. I don't advocate walking but when you hit it to first slip it's pretty hard."
"From my point of view I just hope the Australian public give it to him right from the word go for the whole summer and I hope he cries and he goes home. I just hope everyone gets stuck into him because the way he's carried on and the way he's commented in public about it is ridiculous."
Not that I wouldn't love to see Broad blub. Not that I believe Bell missed Broad's nick. Not that I believe Agar missed Broad's nick. Not that Broad has polished his reputation with his failure to walk, which was too blatant for good manners. Not that it seems to bother Broad. (Or does it? There always seems to be a bit of "protest too much" with Broad.) Not that the umpire's not a muppet. Not that I mind a public slanging match. I love a rumpus. Anything to fire up this undead rubber.
The Old Batsman takes a clinical long handle to Neil D'Costa's management-speak / pop-science assessments of the Australian batsmen:
Neil D'Costa, known for the years he has spent coaching Michael Clarke as well as for his work with Phil Hughes and Mitchell Starc, gave a barbed little interview to the Sydney Morning Herald last week, pointing out various 'fundamental flaws' in the 'non-negotiable basics' of Australia's top order.
No doubt the complexity of the pretentious lingo is in proportion to the sizes of the numbers on the invoices sent to Australian cricketers (or their management groups).
Do I "crave an optimal degree of uncertainty" or "an anchor of familiarity" or "narrative uncertainty" or even "a contest"? I honestly don't know:
Why is it good news for England fans that Australia played so much better at Old Trafford and Chester-le-Street?
There were plenty of times during Australia's era of dominance when I shot down anyone fool enough to crave a contest. I revelled in Australia clouting the opposition, and was always vividly aware that what goes around comes around. When I watch Melbourne play footy I crave big win so that I can relax and enjoy the match as Melbourne cruise home. (And yes, I'm perfectly aware the crave has been on the other foot, thank you very much.) When I watch the Aussies play cricket, I hope we make a squillion, then roll the opposition for rock all; on the flip side, the current Aussie cricket team has rendered cricket as interesting as I can remember, if teeth-gnashingly so.
I crave a contest - up to a point.
How about we just give Warnie the benefit of the doubt and suggest he is merely speaking from experience?
''Let me tell you this, if you lose respect for the game and the opposition, cricket has a funny way of biting you on the backside.''
If England batsmen are found to have put silicone tape on their bats to fool Hot Spot, they should forfeit the first three Tests. If both teams are found to have put silicone tape on their bats, the results of the first three Tests should be annulled. If Australian batsmen are found to have put silicone tape on their bats, they should forfeit the first three Tests:
The Ashes series has descended into controversy with claims players have applied a silicon-based adhesive tape to the edges of their bats in a bid to cheat Hot Spot.
Note to all those clever clogs who say (as if they are the only people on God's green sward to came up with the idea) that if you coat your bat with silicone you will not be saved when the umpire misses an inside edge and gives you out LBW: coat the outside edge and leave the inside edge free of slippery stuff. Sorted!
I was taken out of context, I was misquoted, it's not my tweet:
David Warner's brother claims he did not send an expletive-laden tweet from his account during the Lord's Test that described Shane Watson as selfish.
Brother? It will be a fun old world when the tweets of players' second cousins (twice removed) become newsworthy.
And of course:
''Apologies for the inappropriate tweet earlier regarding the Bell catch. It didn't emanate from CA's official Twitter presence at Lord's. CA is currently investigating the matter.''
I have yet another theory: successful sportsmen rarely have a sense of humour:
The tourists were in high spirits at an official reception at the Australian high commission in London on Tuesday night, where an exuberant Michael Clarke called each of his players onto the stage and gently made fun of each of them.
James Pattinson's grooming routine, Shane Watson's guitar playing and Ed Cowan's enjoyment of picnics in the park.
So, Mickey Arthur has dished on the Aussie team. Was it a strategic leak by Arhur's team to put pressure on CA? In which case: way to burn your bridges, bloke. Or was it a CA person looking to discredit Arthur? In which case: Why? Not that Clarke & Watson at each others throats is a secret. In more important news:
Arthur became the first foreign-born coach of the Australian cricket team after succeeding Tim Nielsen in November 2011.
Timothy John Nielsen (born 5 May 1968 in London, England).
Already sick of references to Loose Shoes Broad and Hoppers Crossing:
The president of the Hoppers Crossing club, Steve McNamara, beamed with pride at the club's role in giving Broad his competitive steel.
''We probably taught Stuart a bit about the rougher side of playing. Our guys soon sorted him out.''
Broad was "sorted out" because he was good enough to play Test cricket and he was up against suburban oiks.
At what point do you walk? At what angle of deflection do you overstay your welcome? At what degree do you go from good guy to bit of a cheat?
Bunt the ball back to the bowler, you go. Slap the ball to point, you probably don't even look at the umpire. Thick edge to gully, ummmm, no, better go. First slip? Well, you think about hanging around, but pretty much you hit the bricks. Snicks to the keeper are the ones which cause trouble.
Stuart Broad was pushing his luck last night when he stood his ground after getting the edge caught by Clarke at first slip. But don't forget, the ball hit Haddin first, so it was a finer edge that the massive jag described in most of the media today. (Matty Wade probably reckons Haddin dropped it; Haddin's dropped plenty else.) No, the three villains here are Haddin for green-lighting the LBW review on Bell, Clarke for following Haddin's advice and burning the review, and obviously Aleem Dar for another Trent Bridge howler. It is also little discouraging that Broad, allegedly, would have walked if Australia still had a review; that is dragging sportsmanship into the cynical wastelands on the border of the Spirit Bollocks of Cricket.
Michael Clarke's reputation took a (further?) battering when failed to walk after edging KP to short leg last ball of the day in Adelaide in 2010. What was more aggravating was that, yet again, Clarke had been dismissed late in a session; especially since we were all out around lunch the next day, only for sessions two and three to be washed out. You could conceivably extrapolate Clarke's Clarke-time dismissal cost us the Test and indeed the Ashes. (Clarke also refused to walk when he gloved the ball to slips, but for the life of me I can't remember who that was against.)
What suffers here is not cricket, since sharp practice will always be a part of professional sport, it is the reputation of Stuart Broad. (And Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds to name a couple - feel free to compile a pretty extensive list.) Broad failed the Turd Degree. Long after he has finished playing he will be remembered as a bit of a cheat.
In 2009 Sky was insufferable. Not much different this time around. But I agree with Larry, I did not mind Ian Botham last night. (Can't believe I wrote that.) His stint with Mikey was good value. Beef is usually dire and Mikey appears to be there because he has an attactive voice. AND! I may even have detected trace elements of humour in Botham's commentary. Don't tell Ian Chappell; he will never talk to me again or, in fact, at all:
Tuning in to the British Sky Sports coverage of the Ashes Tour – masquerading here as both the Nine/Gem and Fox Sports coverage – is a humbling experience. For example, on the second day of the first Test, it was imprinted on one’s mind, via Mike Atherton and others, that James Anderson and Graeme Swann were among the greatest proponents of the bowling arts in Earthly history. At least they were in the commentary, which appeared thin on analysis and description but very well-stocked for gloating Englishmen.
Love the picture of Nasser, too, and its caption.
“(Prior) was pretty confident it was out.”
There was a time before cars were invented when Matt Prior was not pretty confident it was out, but lately it's been all one-way traffic; except when Prior was pretty confident he knocked the bails off.
Not that Prior actually said this, errr, that; not to the media anyway. Jimmy Anderson was the one sent forth to lobby via the media... I mean, explain what went on with the non-stumping of Ashton Agar and the non-snicking of Jonathan Trott. Can't have Prior and Trott being accused of bad form; better to have a teammate do the legwork and shift emphasis. Not that "Trotty said he hit it" is much of a sook dodge. Not that Jimmy's testimony would stand forensic scrutiny:
“I thought it was out, yeah. But I saw it on the big screen, so hard to tell.”
So, you thought it was out, but you did not get a good look. Perry Mason does not have to get out of his wheelchair to slice holes in that witness statement.
As for the English papers? Cor! Lumme!
England's Jonathan Trott gets visit from team shrink after being wrongly given out in Ashes clash with Australia.
The ICC apologise as televison umpire overturns on-field decision without conclusive proof and dismisses seething star.
Wrongly given out?
England receive apology from ICC and inventor of Hotspot over Trott dismissal by third umpire
The ‘Snickometer’, which is not part of the official review system, also detected a faint edge.
It did? It did not.
Ashes erupt in fury: ICC chief backs England over TV umpire storm
Third umpire, Marais Erasmus, overturned the decision of on field official Aleem Dar to give Trott out lbw despite the act the side on Hotspot image of the dismissal was not available.
Check out the last picture of the ball hitting Trott's pad. There is not a television lawyer in the land who would tender that in evidence. For the record, Snicko clearly blipped when Trott flicked his pad with his bat.
At least Trotty can take solace in the fact that his first golden duck in Test cricket was a memorable one.
There have been 12 Ashes First Tests at Trent Bridge, the last in 1981. Australia won that Test by 4 wickets chasing 131. We failed to regain (Australia swept England 3-0 in the post WSC series in Australia in 1979/80, but England refused to put the Ashes up because it was only a three Test series) the Ashes, though, as if you did not know, on the back of a collapse at Headingly chasing 129, a collapse at Edgbaston chasing 150, and a first innings collapse at Old Trafford. (Ironically, we made 400+ batting last at OT, but still lost by 100-odd runs.) In that series Dirk Wellham famously topped the averages, but he only played the one Test; Allan Border averaged 59; but Wood, Kent, Yallop, Hughes, Dyson and Marsh all averaged sub-30. Dyson and Marsh would not have been chuffed to have tallied lower averages than DK. Is it possible to draw parallels with 2013? We may unearth a one Test outlier, but I struggle to see any of our blokes averaging a 59 to match AB, including Nicker Clarke.
'oller for an omen:
As for an omen, try this: Australia, when it was on top, staked out the high moral ground so assiduously that it banned Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper - hardly a hooligan - from playing at Australian grounds. It was haughtiness preceding a fall. As Australia declined, and suddenly needed to be loved, Cooper was allowed in.
Now Cooper has been barred by Trent Bridge …
Australia has suffered the most run outs in the last four years:
Sri Lanka: 19
South Africa: 18
New Zealand: 17
West Indies: 13
My theory? (Diligently researched and peer reviewed, naturally.) Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, Australia played aggressive cricket against lesser fielding sides, relentlessly challenging opponents to run them out, all the while banking big totals which rendered run outs less costly, while confident McGrath and Warne would always dismiss the opponents for less. But as Australia dominated and then dropped off the pace, other sides began to emulate Australia's aggression in the field and have become better at running out the still aggressive and now perhaps even blasé Australians. Australia does not now have the runs to waste wickets on run outs, nor do they have the bowlers to put the frighteners up the opposition. Was Gary Pratt's run out of Ricky Ponting some kind of beacon? Australian batsmen, crusing along at the crease, appear to wear run outs worse than its opponents. Do Australians suffer a sence of injustice when run out? Have opponents decided that running out Australians really get under Aussies' skin? Or maybe we've just played more Tests. Someone look that up. Fingers crossed Watson, Cowan and their chummies don't reduce us spectators to jibbering wrecks as they give their wickets away with absurd, Test-killing run outs. Katich in Adelaide, anyone?
Hot on the heels of the Australia A victory over Glue-Sester-Shire (according to an SEN newsreader) Mickey Arsur gets the arth. This Ashes just goes from strength to strength. Personally, I would not have gone near the Mickster after he masterminded South Africa's short-and-wide tactic to Our Phil Hughes in 2009. Punted by South Africa. Coached WA. Not exactly a glowing CV. Then it turned out that none of the Aussie cricketers (or, for a variety of reasons, Aussie cricket heavy-weights) liked him; not that liking the coach is necessarily a KPI, but it may help, and may even have prevented Australia becoming a stock of laughing. And of course there was the homework.
Cricket Australia has sacked head coach Mickey Arthur on the eve of the Ashes.
It is expected that he will be replaced by highly rated Queensland coach Darren Lehmann who is in England and has just completed a coaching stint with Australia A.
Word is Cow Corner Warner got pissed and punched a Pom:
Australia opener David Warner has been stood down from tonight's ICC Champions Trophy match against New Zealand following an off-field incident.
In other meaty news: AB wants to give Beefy a piggy back ride:
Allan Border, the captain who led Australia's underdog Ashes triumph in 1989, says the current team will be galvanised by mocking predictions from Sir Ian Botham and the English press that a 5-0 whitewash is imminent.
Border responded to Botham's comments by declaring he would "piggyback Beefy round Piccadilly Circus if England beat Australia 5-0".
Saturday night played to our fears about the dark arts of "reverse" - and in fact "forward" - which are set to dice and slice us this Ashes:
The sorry nature of the loss at Edgbaston on Saturday will have hurt Australia but at least its batsmen know what to expect for the next few months after England's bowlers revealed their recipe for retaining the Ashes.
When paceman James Anderson was asked whether it was Bopara's role to prepare the ball for reverse swing, he deflected the question with all the skill you would expect of someone with 544 international wickets.
''We've all got our jobs to do, and we try to look after the ball as well as we can. It's mainly a question of keeping it dry and not letting too much moisture get in the way. Fortunately we made it reverse quite early. The pitch was very abrasive … and we bowled a lot of across-the-seam deliveries early on to try and help the process along.''
That probably contains more than a sprinkling of mind games, but if the Poms get the ball moving, either way, well, you don't need me to draw you a diaphram.
"Hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture."
Achtung, Fritzy. I put it to you that the English, long considered a touchstone of culture, hate Australians more than Australians hate the English. As far as cricket is concerned, anyway.
"England and Australia are two countries separated by the same culture."
~~ George Bernard Cobber
David Gower is kidding himself if he thinks Aussie crowds are feral and, by inference, English crowds are not:
Asked if England's cricket relationship with Australia represented a clash of cultures, Gower told the Radio Times magazine: "I'm tempted to say, how can you have a clash of cultures when you're playing against a country with no culture? That would almost be sledging."
Manfully avoiding the temptation to resort to Ciceronian praeteritio with reference to soccer crowds, the only thing that has kept English cricket crowds in order is the fact that they were long time losers. Now that they are winning English crowds have taken on a particularly Australian flavour. While they are funny losers, as winners they are every bit as obnoxious as Australians.
You're not entirely comfortable with the Australian government introducing legislation to fast-track citizenship for potential Australian sportsmen and women who "would be of benefit to Australia." No, neither am I. We have mocked England for years for filling their cricket team with foreigners, for pinching all our coaches, and for competing in the Olympics as four countries in one, now we are legislating to do the same.
Without mentioning Fawad Ahmed by name, Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor has introduced to federal parliament a bill that paves the way for the Pakistan-born leg-spinner to become an Australian citizen before the Ashes.
Under proposed amendments to citizenship laws, the minister would have discretionary powers to fast-track the claims of people whose work benefits Australia, and who cannot meet the normal residency requirements, which dictate they must have been in the country for at least four years.
Australia 1 New Zealand 1. New Zealand 0 England 0. New Zealand finish top on the "away Tests" rule. Australia second. England third. The Ashes are coming home. (After Tim Paine and Ryan Harris bat out the last session to save the Fifth Test.)
Mitchell Claydon has a point: the Sheffield Shield is currently shy of gun cricketers; especially batsmen. The lack of gnarly old pros hurts, too; pretty sure Spanky Roebuck made that point several years ago. And you will struggle to find a cricket fan who thinks Australia will win the Ashes. On the other hand, Claydon is a regular for Durham, but only plays grade cricket in Sydney. I guess he's too old:
IT was once regarded as the best cricket stage in the world, but the Sheffield Shield has slipped so badly that the English county competition has overtaken it and is leaving it in its wake.
Journeyman Mitchell Claydon, an Australian professional cricketer who now calls England home, says the demise of the Shield is one of the reasons for the dire state of the game in this country.
Australia will not regain the Ashes this year, but it's good to see the Cocks getting pommy... I mean, the Poms getting cocky:
What do you call a great Australian cricketer? Retired.
With that gibe, former England skipper Michael Vaughan opened the battering.
The Ashes series in England starts in July and the Poms are already laughing at us.