Thorpster has a look at the bat throwing incident from Marlon Samuels in the vague direction of Shane Warne last week, and says it is all great publicity for the Big Bash League.
|A publicity stunt?|
Having not really tuned myself in to the Australian imitation of the IPL, or some might say the original English version, I paid a little more attention following the laughter inducing spat between the ageing and formerly great Australian leg spinner/over merchant, and the classy but controversial Marlon Samuels.
After Samuels bit of grip and grapple (for you eighties wrestling fans), with Warnie's team mate, the syrup sporting, text maniac resorted to tossing the ball at his West Indian counterpart. This resulted in Samuels bat flying into the air like an untethered helium balloon followed by the inevitable "hold me back" incident. This reminded me of another chortle inducing, sporting face off when the now sixteen times world darts champion, Phil "The Power" Taylor, took umbrage with the alleged overly firm handshake of his "friend" and semi-final opponent Raymond Van Barneveld, the five time champion of the world. The Power, aka the short, fat bloke from Stoke on Trent decided to play a game of "you wanna make something of it" with the equally rotund, but 6 ft 4 "Barney" from the Netherlands. This played out much to the amusement of the lagered up 3000 strong Ally Pally crowd. I am sure such a darts crowd would have enjoyed a proper scrap between a former Potter and Postman, but it was not to be. Someone once referred to finding yourself in a darts crowd as the equivalent of gate crashing a Romany wedding, but would you say that to the 3000 hammered lunatics?
|The Postie and the Potter in happier times|
Anyway, Taylor has been reported to the DRA and will be probably been restricted to a mere twelve pies a day which will really hurt. In a similar vein, Warne was banned for one game for his "put em up" with Samuels, who ingeniously ducked into a bouncer and had his face rearranged in order to avoid his disciplinary hearing. Like Sky, with the Taylor versus Barney spat, Cricket Australia struggled to hide its delight over the Warne v Samuels bout, which has given much needed publicity to the previous low key BB. No, I don't mean Celebrity Big brother although I would gladly enter the house and smack all the z listers over the bonce with a Duncan Fearnley run reaper!
Except Razor Ruddock that is. A big lad during his football career, Razor is so fat they apparently had to lower him in through a flip top roof. He replaced the unfortunate Jim Davidson, who according to sources used the defence of many batsman versus a caught behind appeal, by stating "I never tickled it" when confronted with historic allegations by the Old Bill. Razor was only available as he was kicked out of the poor man's darts world championship, the Lakeside BDO format, for being too large. The No.1 seed in that tournament Stephen Bunting has been described as that fat bloke with glasses, although his nickname should be Billy Bunter. Being a slightly overweight bloke who sometimes wears glasses I don't hold it against him, although was a bit concerned when the referee said, "Stephen, you require a diet".
Warnie was banned for one game and fined a few thousand Aussie dollars for his trouble. A spokesman for Cricket Australia said "whilst we don't condone anything that happened, this sort of thing is something that only inspires greater rivalry and creates interest in the Big Bash League." In other words, we love it and let's see more of it please!
|Warnie...copped a one match ban|
Warne's response was to say "sport can be emotional and at times very passionate too. I went too far in trying to stand up for the team!" Incidentally, the Big Bash is sponsored by KFC which makes it very popular with the darts players from both PDC and BDO organisations especially Simon "The Wizard" Whitlock, the top five Aussie PDC star.
For sporting contests trying to drum up rivalries and back stories, these kind of confrontations are the stuff that has the marketing men about as excited as Michael Barrymore during one of his Saturday night Roydon swimming galas.
Many have asked why Warnie would leave the warm bed of the lovely Liz Hurley where he no doubt enjoys his own Big Bash? But hey, going back a few years we asked why the now perpetually "hacked off" Hugh Grant would eschew Liz's bed for a Stateside layby love in, with the paid for "Divine Brown". Talking of layby love ins, maybe Hugh was trying to imitate the antics of another Celebrity Big Brother contestant, former Eastender, Gillian Taylforth, aka "Kaf" Beale. Gillian, who went on star in Footballers Wives was detained by the local constabulary for "allegedly" engaging in a sex act with her hubby in a lay by on the Barnet By Pass on the A1. Meanwhile Phil "The Power" Taylor, was stripped of his MBE after being convicted of a bit of double top on an unwilling and pissed up fan, in a camper van after an exhibition. Oh well, they say it takes all sorts, well Kevin Keegan does anyway.
|Taylforth...helping cure pancreatitis!|
I've no doubt that the Warne v Samuels clash has raised awareness of the Big Bash across the world. Whilst being a little unsavoury and despite the fact some may question its spontaneity, such an incident in today's world, driven by social media was bound to spread like wildfire and bring many more of the viewing public to its table.
Oh well it worked with me anyway!