Friday, 31 July 2015
"Do I not like that" was a quote made famous by a man who cut his teeth in Watford and then came to prominence in Birmingham, but that is where the similarities between Graham Taylor and Steven Finn end. A quick game is a good game say the lazy journalists, as this one in the second city was done and dusted within three days. That famous Warwickshire fan Shakespeare once said, "better to be three days early than a minute too late" as this one was more or less in the bag by the end of Day Two. Even the English girls were happy with a premature ending as England thrashed the Aussies by eight wickets, in the cauldron of Edgbaston.
Thursday, 30 July 2015
I have never been to Edgbaston before. It has had a reputation for being England's loudest and most patriotic ground. It has a reputation for being raucous. It has a reputation for being intimidating for visiting sides. It was all of those, and the Hollies Stand where we were, was rocking. I loved the place, I thought the ground was excellent, the people were magnificent and it was real. None of the artificial hype of some grounds, none of the snootiness, this was the heartbeat of English support, in the heart of England, and the players responded accordingly.
Monday, 27 July 2015
Ok, firstly let me assure you that the above headline isn't an invite to a sado-masochistic dungeon. Oh no, this is far less painful! For just a fiver this Thursday 30th July, you can go and watch a star studded team of ex internationals take on Eversholt CC, at their beautiful village ground and in the process help raise a few quid for Prostate Cancer UK. If you haven't been to Eversholt CC before I would seriously recommend it. Just an hour from London or Birmingham, it has featured on our most beautiful grounds on these pages, and with the church overlooking the pavilion, the swimming pool at the other end and an idyllic village setting, it is a great place to settle down for the afternoon.
Tuesday, 21 July 2015
This Friday I will be signing copies of my book Characters of Cricket in the club shop at the County Ground, Taunton as Somerset take on Middlesex in the NatWest T20 Blast.
Monday, 20 July 2015
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" said a bloke called Charles Dickens, but this was proper dicking handed out to England by Australia. Whether you choose the former or the latter of the opening line will be dependent on which hemisphere you are from, but after Cardiff where we had such Great Expectations, these were Hard Times for England at the Bleak House of Lord's which was a Tale of Two Countries. The Aussies just about squeezed past England by the margin of 405 runs. If you had paid a hundred quid a ticket as an English fan to watch this, you'd be furious as it made Raheem Sterling's price tag look like a bargain.
|Lord's...the scene of carnage|
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Australia seem to be in a bit of a pickle. Not the sort that accompanies the filling of Mike Gatting's cheese sandwiches but they seem to have some serious problems. Injuries, lack of form and rumours of rows behind the scenes have all plagued the tourists since their arrival on these shores, and if you believe everything you read or hear, then they are in total disarray. Saying that, they have been here before. Remember 'homeworkgate' and the sacking of Mickey Arthur? They bounced back from that quickly enough. Here we look at what is being discussed in the cricketing world regarding those boys in the Baggy Green caps.
|Clarke...plenty to ponder|
Saturday, 11 July 2015
"Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, if Root don't get ya, then Moeen must" to paraphrase a famous 70's banner but England went one nil up in the series thanks to the spin twins. Cook outhought Michael Clarke from start to finish in this Cardiff test, as the undercooked Aussies had a warm welcome in this hillsides from a partisan crowd. Some from New South Wales probably can't wait to leave South Wales, as England sent out a message. It might not avenge for the horror of THAT tour, but by god it was sweet. Here we review the fantastic first Test match from Cardiff, and trust me, it's not as bad as a Shane Watson lbw review.
Friday, 10 July 2015
Much has been said about the pitch for the first Test in Cardiff. When we saw Mitchell Starc's fourth ball of the match bounce twice on the way through to Brad Haddin, we either thought that this was a Sabina Park mark two, or had about as much life as the Athens bond market. Yet for me, this has been a brilliant Test wicket so far from an English point of view, and Cardiff should be applauded for producing such a pitch. A decent batting track where runs have come at around four an over, will no doubt become more bowler friendly as it wears.