Wednesday, 29 May 2013

US Cricket Guy

If there is one thing I enjoy more than reverse sweeping medium paced bowlers it is taking the piss. I can quite easily wind you up and annoy you within a minute of meeting you. I also enjoy acting stupid – something that comes quite natural to me – a personal favourite of mine is getting a name wrong on Facebook or Twitter and watching the bites come in...

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Review of the 2nd Test v New Zealand

The second Test match v New Zealand was a strange one and provided many talking points amongst the games scribes. Were we right to not to enforce the follow on? Did we bat too slowly? Is Compton the right man to open against the Aussies? If only we were discussing the great batting of Joe Root, or the fine bowling of Graeme Swann who picked up his first ten wicket haul in a Test match, but instead we are all talking about the conservative captaincy of Alastair Cook, almost so conservative he could be UKIP!

Alastair Cook

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The day Viv got a golden duck

A few months back we wrote in these pages about when the professionals play against the clubbies and generally take the pee. Stories of the likes of John Inverarity smashing double hundreds against Kent club sides, and our followers on Twitter gave us many instances of their own. Here is a story from the 1970's, of when Vivian Richards played a benefit game in Somerset, and got a first baller against the might of Cheddar CC.

King Vivi

Friday, 24 May 2013

Discourse with Dobell

George Dobell is the Senior Correspondent at ESPN Cricinfo and one of our favourite journalists. Along with Steve James, Mike Selvey and Derek Pringle, his is one of the columns we always look out for, and he hits the mark from a different angle from most cricket writers. It's not all one way traffic either and we caught up with the man recently and waxed lyrical about all things from keying up cars, to drinking rum, to what really goes on in the press box as well as Jennifer Lopez' culinary skills. Have a chuckle with the banter from one of the funniest people out there covering the game of cricket. Just don't get into a car with him!

George Dobell

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Problems facing England

England may have beaten New Zealand last week in the Test match at Lord's, but for me all is not rosy in the English garden. England may look the part in the gleaming white kit, which incidentally the only thing whiter than these are Michael Vaughan's new gnashers, but there are a few problems which need addressing. Here we have a look at a few of the issues facing our lads, and what needs ironing out before the Aussies arrive.

Cook...problem with left armers?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A review of the 1st Test v New Zealand

So New Zealand lived with England for 18 days by the looks of things. On the 19th that little bit extra in class shone through and it was Stuart Broad who grabbed all of the headlines. These battles between these two countries have been a bit like chatting up a girl and going on endless dates, endless dinners and getting nowhere, losing interest maybe. Then all of a sudden, at Lord's she invites herself back to your room and she's slipping the condom on! Happy days...


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Warner the Wally

I was woken this morning at 6am with a txt message asking what I thought of David Warner. I sat up and I had a little think then replied to the silly o’clock txter that I thought Warner was a frightfully entertaining batsman but I would not like to share a beer with him or even a taxi for that matter. I was oblivious to the tweets sent out the night before…

There is some sort of six-a-side tournament going on in India and has been for the past six months, or something. This is where Warner is – chasing the rupee and a lot of wide ones.

Warner, who plays for the Hyderabad Bad Boys or the Delhi Dodgers or even the Mumbai Millionaires - I don't know, nor do I care - took exception to a journalist – Robert Craddock – who had discussed the IPL and their current problems.

"Shock me @crashcraddock1 talking s*** about ipl jealous p****. Get a real job. All you do is bag people. #getalife"

How lovely.

Warner sent out six bitter tweets to which Craddock did not reply to one. Fellow journalist Malcolm Conn did have a little wooden spoon on his person though…

"@davidwarner31 cricket is a real job? Please. Most people pay to play. Million dollar cricketers milking the IPL are hardly the best judges."

This resulted in what I can only describe as childishness. Warner asked Conn:

“@malcolmconn are you still talking you old fart, no wonder know one buys your paper.”

This went on into the night with Warner then seemingly tweeting to himself, arguing with himself, probably covered in kebab sauce.

Silly man.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Our trip to Lord's

Yesterday Dan and Thorpster, along with his brother and a workmate went to Lord's for the day. It was my first visit to the Home of Cricket for a while and quite possibly, the worst day's Test cricket I have ever seen in my life. New Zealand aren't a poor side, England aren't a great one either. Strauss is being missed for his leadership skills, KP is being missed for his aggression and I was missing from the office for the day, getting smashed.

Photo: Lord's
Yesterday at Lord's

Monday, 13 May 2013

Chat with Chops

Varun Chopra is one of the leading run scorers in England at present. The Warwickshire batsman has scored over a thousand runs for the last two years, and was one of the stars of the side as the Bears won the County Championship last season. With a sparkling 163 for them against the MCC in Abu Dhabi plus a televised hundred against Somerset, he has been making plenty of people sit up and notice him for possible international honours. Some of his shots through the covers of both front and back foot are seriously tasty and whilst we are a fan of his graceful strokeplay, likewise Chops is a fan of our graceful rhetoric on these pages! We caught up with him as he returned from England Lions duty against New Zealand and he spilt the beans on all sorts including Jonathan Trott's dress sense, what Laurie Evans is like when he gets out, and life in Birmingham.

Chops...another ball goes to the cover boundary

Friday, 10 May 2013

Book signings

News has just filtered through that the boys from The Middle Stump will be on tour in the West in July. We will be signing our book Cricket Banter at the club shop at the SWALEC in Cardiff on the evening of Friday 12th July. It is Glamorgan v Somerset and a game which should mean a very busy night in the Welsh capital. We have a huge following down in South Wales, and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible for a beer afterwards.

Having recovered from the Welsh hospitality, we will then be signing more copies in the club shop at Taunton on Sunday July 14th, where no doubt we will sample the odd cider and look forward to seeing as many of our followers from Somerset then too. Somerset are entertaining Worcestershire on this date. Please come and say hello, and no doubt the banter will be flying around.

If you are an impatient bastard, and can't wait that long to get your hands on a copy that everyone is talking about, then click on the link below and those cool dudes at The History Press will send you a copy in the post.

Liam, Dan and the Thorpster will be visiting Cardiff and Taunton

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Graham Napier: Mr Responsible

On Monday while nursing a hangover of epic proportions I sat down and watched Ronnie O’Sullivan blow away Barry Hawkins and claim his fifth world title. A mean feat indeed but made even more impressive considering he had a whole year off. What struck me in his post match interview was of an Essex man capable of anything- annihilating opponents, magical breaks- you name it.

There was a look in his eyes that told a thousand stories, a look that knew how good he was and how he wished that it had come earlier in his career rather than in his autumn years.

One cricketer who could epitomise this for me would be fellow Essex man, Graham Napier. A true talent and one of the most naturally gifted all-rounders this country has ever produced.

He may not have the demons that O’Sullivan had/has but at 33 years-old he is now maturing into the player we hoped he would become.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Middlesex v Glamorgan YB40

On a beautiful summer's day at the home of cricket, Middlesex entertained a Glamorgan side who were coming off the back of an impressive victory over Yorkshire at  ColwynBay.

A year in the Life of Somerset County Cricket Club

Thousands of us work on a voluntary basis doing jobs within our own cricket clubs across the land. Anyone who does is going to love this book, as it is just doing what we do on a week by week basis, just with higher stakes. As the chairman of a cricket club in North London, I found it intriguing. Written by Andy Nash, the chairman of Somerset CCC, and published by The History Press, it is an amusing chronological look at the 2012 season in a diary form and is a must read for any cricket lover out there.

A Year in the Life of Somerset CCC

Monday, 6 May 2013

50 up for One Day Cricket

The 1st May 2013 was the 50th anniversary of the first one-day game played in a national competition. Now being a traditionalist I still don't consider it proper cricket, but nobody can deny the impact it has had on the greatest sport in the world.

Ted Dexter lifts the TFCCKOCFTGC!

Friday, 3 May 2013

The Liam Plunkett interview

Liam Plunkett is a top man. A recent convert to The Middle Stump on Twitter, he has represented his country nine times to date. A bowler who bowls at a decent rate of knots, he is also a very useful batsman and is part of the record 8th and 9th wicket stands for England in a One Day International. Having won the title with Durham, we caught up with him recently after his move to Yorkshire and he told us all about Jack Brooks' socks, what it is like to face Shoiab Akhtar and tells us never to throw your bat at Trent Bridge! Read on for more...

Liam Plunkett

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Middle Stump on location

After the riotous launch of Cricket Banter  last week, the boys from the Middle Stump are hitting the road for the summer season.