Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The drugs don't work

Cricket has always been a game where those not of a successful nature, have a lot of time on their hands. Me...I'm like a rolex! However, temptation has got the better of one or two of our players over the years, although I think educational work by people like the PCA and the fact that more money has come into the county game, meaning that people have more to lose, has helped bring down the numbers of people caught.

Merson was helped with his addictions whilst cricketers were sacked

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Why not Woakes?

With Ravi Bopara missing the second Test match against South Africa due to personal problems and the fact that Jonny Bairstow is obviously not the man the England selectors want to take it to the frightfully impressive Proteas bowling attack, James Taylor finally gets a chance to show us what he can bring to the middle order. Is he the man for the job though?



Oppo speak - the aftermath

Our article last week by Thorpster regarding talking to the opposition (http://www.themiddlestump.com/2012/07/oppo-speak-is-it-dying-art.html), has certainly made people sit up and take notice, and the response on Twitter was overwhelming. Even Paul Allott mentioned us on Cricket Writers on TV this morning, although did say "going home" instead off "pissing off home" like Percy did twenty years ago. He also said he had never heard of the terminology "Oppo speak" either, but whatever it is called in your part of the country Walt, it certainly seems it is on its deathbed. Here, starts the campaign to bring back Oppo Speak into clubhouses throughout Britain.

Walt...had never heard of the phrase "oppo speak"


Saturday, 28 July 2012

A massive thank you

When myself and Liam started this blog on March 23rd 2012, it was for a laugh, a bit of a joke and a bit of fun. Today we have just had our 50,000th hit on the site, and quite frankly, we're stunned. After a few weeks, Liam said we might get 30,000 hits by September. I told him not be so bloody stupid.

Sometimes, we have sailed too close to the mark, sometimes we have nearly got on the wrong end of lawyers and sometimes we have over tweeted, but we just want to say a massive thank you to a few people who have helped us raise our bat for this landmark.

Firstly, we would like to thank the Thorpster for his contributions and some of his articles have been very popular. Secondly, Gill Nuttall from Factor 50, a human dynamo and someone who works tirelessly for an extremely good cause who has given us access to some of the professionals, along with the comedic genius that is Graeme Fowler. Foxy, you're a star. To the other pros and ex pros, who always help us - Paul Nixon, Mike Selvey, Steve James, Gareth Rees, Rikki Clarke and countless others who we can't all name personally. To Marcus and the cricket family as well, legends!

Along our journey we have met numerous new friends, and we look forward one day to meeting you all personally. Some areas of the UK we have massive support, the West Country and South Wales in particular and you have been fantastic, helping us and joining in with our brand of banter! We've had some laughs, we've had some tears but we love what we do, and hope that our book which comes out next April via the History Press gives you all plenty of laughs. It's got some outstanding banter in it, not yet seen on the site.

To anyone who has followed, or ever retweeted, we love you and you keep us going!

Thanks again.

Dan and Liam (The Middle Stump)

The best grounds in Britain part 4

Another look here at some of our grounds that our friends and followers on Twitter have sent us in association with those good dudes down at Kingfisher. Prizes galore here -  www.facebook.com/kingfisher or on Twitter @www.twitter.com/kingfisherbeer - so why not give them a follow...they go down a treat with this recent hot weather, I tell you. Keep sending us the pics of your beautiful cricket grounds, and we will put them all up eventually. Twitter account is @themiddlestump or we have a facebook page too now. If one is not a social networker, you can just e mail us at info.themiddlestump@gmail.com. We want to hear from you!





Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The most beautiful grounds in Britain: Part 3

Over the next few weeks, we are going to publish our favourite cricket grounds in the UK, in conjunction with those great people from Kingfisher. Sit back, pour yourself a cold Kingfisher and admire the stunning cricket grounds on offer in England's (and Scotland's) green and pleasant land. You don't just have to have one in your local Indian restaurant you know, and you can also win some great prizes by following them on www.facebook.com/kingfisher or on Twitter @www.twitter.com/kingfisherbeer. If you think your ground should be included then send us a photo on Twitter @themiddlestump or e mail us at info.themiddlestump@gmail.com Here are the next five.






Tuesday, 24 July 2012

1st Test Review

It was billed as the battle of the bowling attacks; Steyn, Morkel and Philander against Anderson, Broad and Bresnan. Who came out on top? The batsmen of course!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Dressing Room Dialect

Cricket, once home of the wittiest banter sport has seen, is now often just a place for abuse. It seems to have followed society, as our good old friend Thorpster points out here in his latest article.

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Athers...recently the subject of some not so witty banter

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

New at The Middle Stump

You may be wondering what has happened to our site or like most of you, you probably don't give a shit? Well for those that are wondering we have taken down our interviews and features as we are going to bring out a book called "Cricket Banter" which will be published in April 2013 by The History Press. There will be a donation being made to Factor 50 from the book as well, so you'll get the feel good factor as well as having a good old giggle. Some of the best bits of the site will be in the book, but most of it will be brand new copy.

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Monday, 16 July 2012

Out of Africa

Ladies and Gents, grab your seats and let battle between to the two best Test sides in the world commence. The South Africans have arrived on these shores and due to the weather are extremely short on match practice. Led by Graeme Smith for the third time in England, he has a reputation for making the English captain lose his job. However, Andrew Strauss' job is one of the safest in the country, along with the culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, and I do not expect him to go the same way as Hussain or Vaughan.

Smith on his third test tour as captain to these shores


Friday, 13 July 2012

The best grounds in Britain part 2

Over the next few weeks, we are going to publish our favourite cricket grounds in the UK, in conjunction with those great people from Kingfisher. Sit back, pour yourself a cold Kingfisher and admire the stunning cricket grounds on offer in England's (and Wales') green and pleasant land. You don't just have to have one in your local Indian restaurant you know, and you can also win some great prizes by following them on www.facebook.com/kingfisher or on Twitter @www.twitter.com/kingfisherbeer. If you think your ground should be included then send us a photo on Twitter @themiddlestump or e mail us at info.themiddlestump@gmail.com Here are the next five.





We hope you enjoy!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Should cricket be an Olympic sport?

Thorpster gives us his take here on the Olympics and discusses whether cricket should be an Olympic event? Let us know what you think or drop us a line on Twitter @TheMiddleStump

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Team GB in the Olympics?

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Best Cricket Grounds in Britain

Over the next few weeks, we are going to publish our favourite cricket grounds in the UK, in conjunction with those great people from Kingfisher. Sit back, pour yourself a cold Kingfisher and admire the stunning cricket grounds on offer in England's (and Wales'...sorry Abergavenny and Liam) green and pleasant land.You don't just have to have one in your local Indian restaurant you know, and you can also win some great prizes by following them on www.facebook.com/kingfisher or on Twitter @www.twitter.com/kingfisherbeer .  If you think your ground should be included then send us a photo on Twitter @themiddlestump or e mail us at info.themiddlestump@gmail.com Here are the first five.

We hope you enjoy!



Sunday, 8 July 2012

Just who are Factor 50?

Recently, during a moment of cheek, I said to Dan, ‘I’m funny, I’ll write something for you…..’ However, having thought about what I do, I figured that I’d write something a bit more meaningful and see if I managed to get it past Liam and Dan’s strict criteria. 

Gill Nuttall from Factor 50 with Stuart Law and Luke Sutton

Friday, 6 July 2012

Tommy Rundlers - bowlers who thrive on tracks wetter than Linsey Dawn McKenzie

Guest blogger Thorpster gives us his take on those who have picked up most of the wickets this year. Those dibbly dobblies, often entered into the scorebook as T.Rundler are thriving in these wet conditions, much to the chagrin of Thorpster.

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Lindsey Dawn...knows all about a damp track

Paul Nixon - Keeping Quiet





Keeping Quiet is the new autobiography by Paul Nixon, with Jon Colman and published by The History Press. Quite frankly, I couldn’t put it down! It is a brutally honest and frank account starting with family tragedy, Nico’s battle to overcome dyslexia and the way he overcame his demons, and the negativity and doubts that affect all sportsmen. It shows the rise of a man from growing up on a Cumbrian farm to playing cricket for England.


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Ramprakash - hero or villain?

Mark Ramprakash will retire today, a cricketer with nearly fifty thousand runs spanned over twenty five years in the game. With one hundred and fourteen centuries, and potentially the last cricketer to ever score a hundred hundreds, we should be looking back on a career of serious distinction. Yet, I can't help having the feeling he should have done so much more.

Another classy shot from Ramps


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Cricket Coach 2012

As a young lad I loved cricket and my love for the game was increased when my dad bought me International Cricket Captain when I was 10 years old. Nearly 15 years later I have found a new game which blows ICC out of the water. That game is Cricket Coach 2012.


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Lord David Gower

"Gower never moves, he drifts" "The way Gower bats he is an inch away between an exquisite stroke and a nick" "Difficult to be more laid back without being comatose"
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One of the finest batsmen England have ever produced

Monday, 2 July 2012

ECB Premier Leagues - time to go?

Twelve years ago, Lord Maclaurin had a vision that was going to improve English cricket. The elite from the counties would play in an ECB Premier League, and the rest would feed into those leagues, should they be good enough. Has it improved the standard? I personally think the opposite. I believe we are losing a generation in club cricket because of this.

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The cricket warm up in 1990