Thursday, 5 December 2019

Bob Willis RIP

Today the sad news reached the cricket world that Robert George Dylan Willis has passed away. With it, a piece of my childhood went...

Bob Willis...

Monday, 25 November 2019

Review of the First Test in NZ - the Prince Andrew special

A new venue for World cricket, a new opener, a new coach…the same old shit. England arrived in New Zealand to headlines dominated by Prince Andrew. Within a few days we had seen this game dominated by a slow, lingering BJ before ending with a disappointing Root. This was the first game for the new reign of Chris Silverwood. Silvers v the Silver Ferns. This Test was played on a docile pitch – located in the Bay of Plenty of runs. It was the start of an overseas series in New Zealand. This is the review of the First Test from Mount Maunganui…

Bay of Plenty (of cheap gags about Prince Andrew)

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Transfer Fees in Cricket?

"There's no mistake, I smell that smell, it's that time of year again" sang the Stereophonics but around the time that the clocks go back in the cricketing world, the smell of the movement of players, permeates the shires. This week Dawid Malan swapped Hampton for Headingley and went to Yorkshire, whilst Reece Topley turned down the advances of Sussex and hopped it up the A23 to the Oval. Whilst both counties have expressed their good wishes to the player, it has left such a sour taste in the mouths of some fans on social media, that even Monica Lewinsky would balk at it. So is it time to start bringing in transfer fees into cricket to protect the counties?

Malan...Yorkshire bound

Monday, 9 September 2019

Review of the 4th Test v Australia

“Oh Manchester, so much to answer for” lamented the Smiths back in 1984 but it was a couple of other Smiths who grabbed the headlines during this absorbing contest at Old Trafford. Steven for Australia scored a double hundred, Ed for England, picked the same batting line up. This was where England lost the Ashes in Manchester but the reality is that they were lost from the moment that England persisted with a side, that was as fragile as the cotton that gave this city its Victorian wealth. It was a selection that showed myopia, that culminated in this loss down the road from Longsight. Our Prime Minister had less of a humbling defeat in the Commons this week. This is the review of those bloody Australians beating us again…

Cold Trafford...

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Papering Over The Cracks

On the eve of the Old Trafford test match, England are expected to announce a change in positions to their top order but with the same players who have struggled this summer. Ed Smith must feel like a croupier as he shuffles the pack yet again, in order to accommodate those he has selected recently. But are England papering over the cracks? Is the reshuffle the right way to go? Is the selection totally wrong? After all we were only a bit of Ben Stokes magic away from the Aussies retaining the Ashes. We were only a Nathan Lyon misfield from having more inquests than Quincy.

Ed Smith

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

The Small Guys

"The Grabbing Hands, Grab all they can" sang Depeche Mode back in the early 80's, in the days when commercialism in sport stretched to a Hitachi or a JVC spread across the shirts of the odd football kit. Fast forward thirty six years or so and today sees two very proud football clubs about to go out of business. Clubs are at the heart of their communities and leave a huge hole, as sadly, the residents of Bolton and Bury could be about to find out. But is the same scenario happening in cricket? Despite the wealth of neighbours, are some of the smaller counties being squeezed out by their bosses?

Made in Somerset and Durham

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Review of the best Test Match of all time

"Don't talk to me about culture, ah've been to Leeds", said Harry Enfield's Yorkshireman. Well this was cultural, this was oustanding and no amount of adjectives will do this match report justice. If Test match cricket is dying, this was Lazarus. English fortunes, along with Joe Root's chances of keeping his job, oscillated as they went from bleaker than an Alan Bennett play to jumping around my living room paying homage to Sir Benjamin Stokes. You get some classic Tests. Edgbaston 2005, Melbourne 1982, Headingley 1981, this pipped it. This is a review of the finest Test match that I have ever witnessed.

Handsome Headingley

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Short Stuff

There's been a lot of talk around this week about short pitched bowling. Steve Smith was hit at Lord's and missed the Headingley Test, Jason Roy got hit in the neck off a dog thrower practicing - we even saw Mark Cosgrove flick one off his head on to the slips, reminiscent of Neil Ruddock in weight and heading ability. Batsmen getting pinned isn't a new phenomenon by any stretch of the imagination. However, are they playing the quicks differently in the modern age?

Smith...

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Review of the 2nd AshesTest v Australia

Lord's. Genteel, lovely Lord's. This was anything but. The 2nd Test was an absorbing contest, with the players on and off the pitch as the St John's Wood drainage system was put to use regularly. Ashes series never fail to disappoint and despite the match ending with honours even, this was an all time classic. It had skill, courage, more medical staff than an episode of Casualty, drama, excitement and a host of other adjectives mixed into a pot pourri of red ball cricket. Some draws have been tedious. Some draws at Lord's have been tedious. This was no dull stalemate in NW8. This will be remembered for a Sussex based Archer causing more havoc than any other since King Harold fancied a rumble with William the Conqueror down at Hastings. This is a review of the Lord's Test...

The Home of Cricket...

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

The Blundred...

Regular readers of these pages know that I'm not a fan of the Hundred. To me, it's fast food, Carling Black Label, Love Island; the out of town retail park of cricket, bound to have the same effect on certain counties as many of our High Streets in the UK. The more I read about it, the less keen I am, although apparently it isn't aimed at me anyway but rather this new generation that will suddenly fall in love with the game. It's due to start next summer and I can't wait to take my holiday during it, even if there are two pounds to the Euro by then. In fact a cruise gutting kelp in the North Sea on a Grimsby trawler boat will do me just fine, just to get away. Here's my view...