Thursday, 26 June 2014

A new England?

On this site in recent weeks, I have been particularly scathing about the England side. Not everyone agreed with me, so I have asked people to feel free to e mail me with their views. This succinct and intelligent piece came all the way from Uganda by guest blogger Tim Grover and throws up an alternative view. However, it is well worth a read and a good review of the whole series and where we are as a team. Have a read on as Tim, like Billy Bragg doesn't want to change the world, he's just looking at the new England...

The crowd at Headingley

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Review of the 2nd Test v Sri Lanka

So England managed to contrive to lose the second Test in Headingley by a stunning margin of exactly one hundred runs from a position where they should have won. Despite the efforts of Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson was bounced out to the penultimate ball, and with it Sri Lanka took the series. The 'new era' promised to us by Paul Downturn and Peter Less, imploded here in Leeds almost as fast as the one by a certain Brian Clough in this city in 1974. At least Cloughie lasted for forty four days. This was an absolute bloodbath in many ways. Surely it is not a kneejerk reaction to ask Alastair Cook to stand down? His captaincy was shockingly bad, England are in the abyss, and Headingley was the nadir hopefully. Surely it can't get any worse can it?

Headingley...empty seats a plenty

Friday, 20 June 2014

Banter with Butch

Alan Butcher is a top bloke. Not only that, he was one of the finest players of quick bowling in an era when some of the best exponents of the art, plied their trade. In a career which spanned over twenty years, he was unlucky not to play more than just the once for his country, and was one of the most popular performers during his time and both Surrey and Glamorgan. In later years he has become one of the most respected coaches around and has just finished up a stint with Zimbabwe. We caught up with him recently and discussed all things from his son Mark's guitar playing, Sylvester Clarke and his legendary drinking ability along with many other amusing stories. Read on for some brilliant, hilarious cricket anecdotes...

SURREY - Alan Butcher #183 PANINI "World of Cricket 83" 1983 Cricket Sticker

Monday, 16 June 2014

Review of the 1st Test v Sri Lanka

Despite an epic finish, the First Test at Lord's ended up in a draw as a combination of too good a pitch, a lack of a proper spinner and the same old 'safety first' tactics from Alastair Cook, denied them a victory. In a game played in scorching June weather for the first two days, the home of cricket looked sensational but the track was as bland as the commentary of Andy Townsend for the first three days. The lack of a decent spinner made about as much sense as Andy's pearls of wisdom on ITV too, and even though Alastair Cook's lads gave it a real go at the end, it wasn't quite good enough. On the positive side, at least our cricketers were the only ones out of our national teams not to lose, on a weekend when the rugby lads went down unluckily to New Zealand.
Lord's on the first morning

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Glovemen

Jos Buttler's innings last week and subsequent comments from Alastair Cook that he wasn't ready for Test cricket, have made the country scratch their collective heads. With Matt Prior having an Achilles problem, and being a doubt for the first Test at Lord's, it looks as if the selectors may well go for a genuine glove man in James Foster. Described as the best in the country, and possibly the world in his art, Foster takes us back to an age when keepers were picked for their keeping alone, although he is no fool with the bat. We look at who there is in England. Who are the genuine stumpers, as opposed to batsmen who can keep a bit? And trust me, there is a huge difference.

Foster...a genuine gloveman

Monday, 2 June 2014

On the Box

Having read the headline above, most of you are probably thinking that this is another article about getting hit in the balls from a seamer nipping one back on the wet pitches that no doubt, you have played on this weekend. Alas, it is not. This is something far more serious than that. This is about cricket being played by less people and the fact that we are losing youngsters to cricket. The decision to sell the crown jewels (no I am not talking about bollocks again, although some say I do talk bollocks), to Sky is backfiring and the kids of today cannot identify many of the current crop. Something needs to be done before it is too late, and this means getting cricket back on terrestrial television.

For anyone under the age of 15, this is the legend Richie Benaud