December 2009

Twelve days of Christmas

by daniel 24. December 2009 23:44

Listen to 12 Days of Cricket Christmas.

On the first day of Xmas my true love gave to me,

The early retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the second day of Xmas my true love gave to me,

Two left hand right hand openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the early retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the third day of Xmas my true love gave to me

Three solid middle order batsmen who don't throw their wickets away at the first sign of "scoreboard pressure"

Two left hand right hand openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the fourth day of Xmas my true love gave to me

Four runs smacked back past the despairing hand of Dale Steyn (taking off a finger nail in the process)

Three solid middle order batsmen who don't throw their wickets away at the first sign of "scoreboard pressure"

Two left hand right hand openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the fifth day of Xmas my true love gave to me

A five-fer Oni-ons

Four runs smacked back past the despairing hand of Dale Steyn (taking off a finger nail in the process)

Three solid middle order batsmen who don't throw their wickets away at the first sign of "scoreboard pressure"

Two left hand right hand openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the sixth day of Xmas my true love sent to me

A six wicket maiden

A five-fer Oni-ons

Four runs smacked back past the despairing hand of Dale Steyn (taking off a finger nail in the process)

Three solid middle order batsmen who don't throw their wickets away at the first sign of "scoreboard pressure"

Two left hand right hand openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the seventh day of Xmas my true love gave to me

A number seven whose ability with bat and ball gives the side genuine balance and options

A six wicket maiden

A five-fer Oni-ons

Four runs smacked back past the despairing hand of Dale Steyn (taking off a finger nail in the process)

Three solid middle order batsmen who don't throw their wickets away at the first sign of "scoreboard pressure"

Two left hand right hand openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the eighth day of Xmas my true love gave to me

Eight weeping Saffies

A number seven whose ability with bat and ball gives the side genuine balance and options

A six wicket maiden

A five-fer Oni-ons

Four runs smacked back past the despairing hand of Dale Steyn (taking off a fingernail in the process)

Three solid middle order batsmen who don't give their wickets away at the first sign of "scorebaord pressure"

Two left hand right openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the ninth day of Xmas my true love gave to me

Nine whinging Channel Nine commentators calling for Ponting's resignation

Eight weeping Saffies

A number seven whose abaility with bat and ball gives the side genuine balance and options

A six wicket maiden

A five-fer Oni-ons

Four runs smacked back past the despairing hand of Dale Steyn (taking of a fingernail in the process)

Three solid middle order batsmen who don't give their wickets away at the first sign of scoreboard pressure

Two left hand right hand openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the tenth day of Xmas my true love gave to me

Ten ten for tens by a cloned Hedley Verity (using DNA found on a ball in the Lord's pavilion)

Nine whinging Channel Nine commentators calling for Ponting's resignation

Eight weeping Saffies

A number seven whose ability with bat and ball gives the side genuine balance and options

A six wicket maiden

A five-fer Oni-ons

Four runs smacked back past the despairing hand of Dale Steyn (taking off a fingernail in the process)

Three solid middle order batsmen who don't throw their wickets away at the first sign of scoreboard pressure

Two left hand right hand openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the eleventh day of Xmas my true love gave to me

An eleventh successive unchanged winning eleven

Ten ten for tens by a cloned Hedley Verity (using DNA found on a ball in the Lord's pavilion)

Nine whinging Channel Nine commentators calling for Ponting's resignation

Eight weeping Saffies

A number seven whose ability with bat and ball gives the side genuine balance and options

A six wicket maiden

A five-fer Oni-ons

Four runs smacked back past the despairing hand of Dale Steyn (taking off a fingernail in the process)

Three solid middle order batsmen who don't throw their wickets away at the first sign of scoreboard pressure

Two left hand right hand openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the retirement of sun drenched surfer dude Brett Lee.

On the twelfth day of Xmas my true love gave to me

Twelve startled Aussie former "wunderkids" tweeting about being made twelfth man

An eleventh successive unchanged winning eleven

Ten ten for tens by a cloned Hedly Verity (using DNA found on a ball in the Lord's pavilion)

Nine whinging Channel Nine commentators calling for Ponting's resignation

Eight weeping Saffies

A number seven whose ability with bat and ball gives the side genuine balance and options

A six wicket maiden

A five-fer Oni-ons

Four runs smacked back past the despairing hand of Dale Steyn (taking off a fingernail in the process)

Three solid middle order batsmen who don't thrown their wickets away with the first sign of scoreboard pressure

Two left hand right hand openers with a telepathic understanding of the quick single

And the retirement of sun drenched, all round mister bloody nice guy, never got a bad word for anyone and he plays in a band don't you know, surfer dude Brett Lee.

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Will England Ever Play Cricket Again?

by daniel 9. December 2009 22:58

So, international cricketers are in danger of burn out. The amount of cricket that’s scheduled will result in players taking early retirement and picking and choosing games. Test cricket for sure will fall by the wayside as exhausted sportsmen drag their weary bodies from one high pressure match to the other. Well, call me a miserable old git stuck in the 60’s but am I alone in thinking this international cricketer lark is quite low physical maintenance? Since England arrived in South Africa they’ve played 5 one day games (full days mind you), and a punishing two and three quarter 20/20 matches in 5 weeks. In total they’ve had to endure a back breaking 260 overs in the field. Colin Dredge would get through that many in less than a week at Taunton in the 70’s. In part this is due to the absurdity of attempting to play cricket in South Africa’s so called summer.

You could be fooled for thinking that the land of the rainbow nation was some sort of sub tropical paradise if you’d sat through the promotional videos that accompanied last Friday’s turgid world cup draw. But closer scrutiny of the meteorological facts reveals that half of South Africa (the half where they insist on trying to put on cricket matches incidentally) receives more rain in an average summer than Manchester. Fifteen days in every November and December it rains in Jo’berg and Pretoria. It’s seriously infuriating. Especially when we’ve got the Saffies on the rack. The only comforting consequence being that we have that much longer to marvel at what might be wrong with Anderson’s knee. Scans reveal nothing, but he’s labouring in terrible pain and might not make the first test. As for Sidebottom, he’s bowled about 86 overs in 9 months and has a crocked side. In form then. So whom to England call up? Harmison, a known but mistrusted commodity? No. Mark Davies who has missed half of the last three seasons with the usual smorgasbord of ailments, all no doubt brought on by playing too much cricket.

Maybe, they actually don’t play enough cricket. Is it possible that the niggles, aches and pains that were a regular feature of a fast bowler’s life from the start of cricketing time until the arrival of central contracts, are in fact the natural background noise that accompanies a professional sportsman’s career? Poor old Anderson and Co. are shocked by these pains. Having played less cricket than a more than averagely keen club player over the last 3 years, they are bemused by these sensations of stiffness after a long day in the field. Their knees don’t feel quite right. They can’t bend down with quite the same ease as they could in their youth. Blow me down.

Of course, I’m lashing out in fury at anything, owing to the lack of cricket to report on. It's bad enough spending four months in unemployed, miserable, grey gloom, when sunsets coincide with the Countdown soddin' Conundrum, without my winters being blighted by vicarious rain. And that’s the point. Forget less cricket. If a game is rained off, schedule another one immediately. If necessary do it indoors. The cricket authorities (for whom I have a lot of time by the way. You try navigating your way through numerous cultures, power interests and a game whose laws, yes laws, have been passed down from generation to generation like the sacred non existent tablets that Moses must have mislaid – I mean have you seen them?) have managed to find space for pyjamas, white balls, orange balls next year, limited overs, very limited overs, umpire review systems and Duckworth Lewis. I want cricket. I don’t care how they bring it to me. Have both captains throw 16 sided dice that correspond to dots, runs and wickets, and then computer generate the results. Or, or, just tell us something is happening but say that the grounds are empty 'cos of a nationwide bomb scare and there are no TV pictures. Make it up. Commentate it, and make it up. Something, for chrissake. Just don’t schedule games in South Africa, in November and December, on top of a high plain. And most importantly of all, don’t listen to the preposterous whinging of  people who claim they’re overworked when they actually put in about 100 days of labour a year, half of which is spent in an air conditioned pavilion tweeting about their colleagues’ diabolical taste in music.

Oh, and I just checked the weather forecast for Jo'berg. Thunder storms for four of the next five days. Hmmmmm. Thank God guns are illegal in Tooting. 

Listen to SA v Eng 5th ODI Highlights (and World Cup Draw) Durban.

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