Friday, 26 July 2013

Thorpster's Ashes Nostalgia

Thorpster is back with a bang and here our bud looks back on the last time the Aussies were such a poor side back in the eighties. He talks Berni Inns, Trevor Brooking, Prawn Cocktail and Graham Yallop in this look back at how cricket was thirty years ago.

Old Trafford with the footballing namesake in the background

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Talking with Trout

We spoke recently with John Barclay, the ex Sussex batsman, captain and England Tour Manager in the 90's. A lovely chap, he was named in our Poshest Named XI recently for having the name Troutbeck, and was feted as one of the finest captains in county cricket back in the 1980's. The Old Etonian and ex President of the MCC took time out of his hectic schedule whilst commentating on Test Match Sofa to have a chat with us, and waxed lyrical about smuggling champagne, Imran Khan and his cunning tactics to stop Viv Richards and Ian Botham scoring runs!

Barclay in his Sussex days

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Australia's batting woes

A couple of days have past since England thrashed Australia in the second Test and things have become quite bizarre and I'm not talking about the future King of England getting out and Shane Watson not reviewing it...

Usman Khawaja: him that did no homework, has put the poor batting displays of the Australian top order down to the badly prepared pitches in the Sheffield Shield.

It is no secret that pitches in Australia are now fine tuned to suit fast bowling but is that the reason for a top order including Michael Clarke- for me the best player in the world- to be consistently under performing?

Flat pitches can help a batsman to get in and stay in, go on to get a big score and gain confidence. Cricket is like riding a bike. If you get a big score, you know you can go and do it again. It may not make for the best entertainment but it can produce fine batsmen. Bowlers are also helped as they have to find a way of getting a bat out. Bowling in pairs, having a plan.

Bowler friendly pitches and general bad ones can also help develop batsmen as the cream rises to the top. The best techniques will show through and players temperaments are examined. If you can go and score on a raging Bunsen then you can go big on a road.

The Australian batsmen have been out played by a better team so far in this series and some have got themselves out. Having such an attacking top seven and trying to hit themselves out of trouble is not the answer.

The question is: is there too many limited over and t20 cricket? Players are coming into Test cricket almost straight from the Big Bash without spending time in the Shield. 

This is where the problem lies: players are coming in with t20 mentalities with flawed techniques, big pay packets and even bigger egos. It is not the bowler friendly pitches that are their downfall. It is themselves.

If Australian state sides are being rolled. Batsmen have even more chances to score runs. 15 years ago someone would dig in, show some bollocks and go and score a big hundred. So far in this series, nobody has.

On to Old Trafford...

Monday, 22 July 2013

Review of the 2nd Test v Australia

So England won the second Test at Lord's in four days to put themselves 2-0 up in the series. To have any chance of regaining the urn, the Aussies need a win now at Manchester where they have as much chance of winning as the Royal Baby about to be born has of being called Wayne, Darren or Charmaine. At Lord's they were an embarrassment and their batting was pea hearted.

Root, Root, Root!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Middle Stump guide to Australians

The Aussies are over here to make the English cricket team look good and with them, comes their fans. Here the Middle Stump gives you a guide on how to speak Australian, and being an educational and informative website, we give you every bit of Australian terminology needed to be a cultural ambassador for the UK. Read on and find out when not to use a Durex when chatting up a Sheila...

Down Under

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The rise of online cricket info...

Guest blogger and good friend of the Middle Stump, James Castle has a look at how cricket coverage used to be in the old days of when the internet first started and the rise of online media covering the game. I would say things have taken a turn for the better, but here James looks through retro rose tinted specs at what it was like trying to find out how quickly Glenn McGrath would go through the English batting order.

No need for the radio Glenn, get on the World Wide Web!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The cultural guide to Glamorgan and Somerset

Last weekend the Middle Stump boys went westwards to sign copies of our book Cricket Banter. Having been the top selling cricket kindle on Amazon throughout the month of June, we went to promote the book, to do a signing and to meet a few of our followers on Twitter. What ensued was fifty odd hours of pure chaos!

Cwrw...a fine beer

Monday, 15 July 2013

Review of the 1st test v Australia

This Test was a classic. If you thought 2005 and 2009 could not be beaten then 2013 has already started off in more of an explosive fashion than the toilet of a Cardiff hotel shared by the Middle Stump lads, the morning after twelve pints of Cwrw and a kebab from Caroline Street on Friday. Let's say the pan was in the same sort of state as Jonathan Trott's stumps after he had dragged one on in the first knock.

This man knew all about a Hot Spot

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

#Ashes Day One

The wait is over; the greatest match in cricket (outside of India of course) is underway. 'The biggest game for the smallest trophy' as it is billed on that annoying advert that comes on the radio more often than Stuart Broad's physio. Australia are here and they will do whatever they can to take that little urn home on the boat come the end of August.



Thursday, 4 July 2013

Will Smith

Recently we caught up with ex Nottinghamshire and now Durham batsman, Will Smith. Will has been an integral part of the county game over his career which has seen him named as Durham's Player of the Year when they won the title in 2008, before he skippered the side that retained their crown in 2009. Already with a ton under his belt this year, Smith tells us in this hilarious interview all about his team mates, and no doubt a media career beckons when he finishes in the game.

Will Smith