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RIP Bill! [31 Jan 2009|12:03am]

[ mood | sad ]

Ye Sad News.

Wow - Bill Frindall has died at the age of only 69, after suffering from Legionnaires' disease.
TMS will be much poorer without him - Cricket has lost one its finest figures.

My thoughts are with his wife.

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Tour to Sri Lanka [20 Dec 2007|08:20pm]

[ mood | annoyed ]

Woeful, just woeful.

Particularly the state of play in the Third Test.

On the day that I am writing this, Sri Lanka have declared their first innings on 499-8, and in reply England were all out for 81.
Yes, that's Eighty-flipping-One.
(Not  'One hundred and eighty one').
And to avoid defeat the team must now bat for two full days on a deteriorating wicket against Murali.

Theoretically, England could turn this around - but then, theoretically, the Liberal Democrats could form the next Government in this country.

OK, so Sri Lanka are no pushover, and for them to beat us is entirely plausible, acceptable even.
But, to beat us in this-emphatic a manner?

If anyone has any valid excuses/justifications for this spineless display of inferior quality from our team, I'd love to hear them.

Yours frustratedly,

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Twenty:20 World Cup [19 Sep 2007|04:18pm]

[ mood | Resigned ]

So, with the South Africans defeating the Kiwis, we are knocked out of the inaugural Twenty:20 World Cup.
Oh, the humanity!

Still, I suppose that it comes as no surprise really, what with our injuries, and the unpredictable nature of this form of the game.

Anyway, now that the Three Lions have been eliminated, who will you be supporting now?


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Jones! Well, one of them... [23 Aug 2007|10:33am]

Simon Jones gets his first wicket of the season! I cross all fingers and other available limbs, that this is finally his real comeback.
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Fred and Warnie [24 Jul 2007|10:28pm]

Interesting chat with Fred and Warnie in the Times today. So much unadulterated crap has been written about what went wrong with England in Australia over the summer (our southern summer, that is), and I completely agree with what Flintoff and Warne say here about it:

Flintoff: “Desire, yeah, definitely.”

“But wasn’t that the difference between the teams during the winter? Brett Lee told a great story about the boot camp before the Ashes and the way it . . .”

Warne: “No, it was a waste of time.”

“But as a neutral, I would have said that it was the perfect example of the difference between the two sides: ‘Look how much the Aussies want this!’ ''

Warne: “The one thing it did do was . . . sometimes you can speak to three different people and they will deliver the same message in three different ways. The boot camp was a different way to reinforce the same things. My way would have been to lock us all up in a pub. Take the point Fred made about Monty. We sat in the dressing room and had a beer for an hour - that’s my way of doing things, and it can have exactly the same impact as a boot camp, if not better. I’m not a big fan of John Buchanan. I didn’t think he was a very good coach. What was his role? How could he teach someone to play a cover drive? How could he teach me to bowl? Some people thought he was fantastic and didn’t get enough credit - I found that hard to believe.”

Flintoff: “You say they wanted it more because they went to the boot camp, but that’s easy to say after the event. The bottom line is that we got outplayed. Don’t talk to me about desire.”

“You don’t accept that?”

Flintoff: “No, I’m not having that.”

“There was no complacency?”

Flintoff: “We got outplayed by a superior team riding high on the back of some great results. It was like us in 2005; we beat everyone in world cricket before playing these guys. We were on the crest of a wave but [in the last series] we had players injured, players who hadn’t played because they were injured - but I’m not making excuses, because we were outplayed.”

And nice to see Geraint Jones back in the runs. Whether he'd ever make it back in the England ranks is another matter. But stranger things have happened. When Prior made a century on debut at Lord's, I think Jones was heard to mutter that he racked up the runs when he was first picked too.
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Is there any International Future for S.P. Jones? [04 Jul 2007|06:44pm]

[ mood | curious ]

So, fellow cricket lovers, do you think that Jones the Seam has any future within the England (and Wales) cricket team?
Or is his history of injury an insurmountable stumbling block?

I really hope that he can come back from his latest injury - his mixture of control and aggression was one of the (many) high-points of the '05 Ashes series.
When fit, he is one of the (maybe is the) best quick bowlers eligible for England.
And he would certainly make it in to the current Test Squad.

But, given his extensive injury record (and that of his father), do you think it likely that we'll ever see him wearing the Three Lions again?


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Go Jones [02 Jun 2007|12:16pm]

So pleased for Geraint Jones. This'll boost his confidence after a terrible year. Whether he'll ever play again for England though, is another thing.

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[13 May 2007|11:32am]

[ mood | cold ]

The England squad for the first Test against the West Indies has been announced this morning, and is as follows:

Andrew Strauss (captain)
Alastair Cook
Ian Bell
Kevin Pietersen
Paul Collingwood
Andrew Flintoff
Matt Prior
Liam Plunkett
Steve Harmison
Matthew Hoggard
Monty Panesar
Owais Shah

More about it it here.

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Tres scores again [09 May 2007|10:52am]

Phew. Trescothick hits 185 against Norths! He is in his cups. But I see that perhaps Fletcher wasn't so dumb in his desire to keep the England players out of county games, given that Vaughan and now Pietersen are looking dodgy for the first Test. To be honest, it's a risk either way. If you let them play for their counties they're in danger of picking up injuries, but if you don't they miss out on very valuable match practice.
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Wicketkeepers, part 2 [27 Feb 2007|11:48am]

Here's a rather charming profile of Paul Nixon from the Times:


And on another note, my sister-in-law has brought me a Barmy Army t-shirt, an official 06/07 Ashes tour one, with the Test dates listed on the back, a litany of failure and humiliation, but I don't care. I'm proud to wear it.
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Mr Geraint Jones [24 Feb 2007|11:59am]

Nice little piece here about what Geraint Jones is up to now. Says he's back in the runs at club level and still sees the England wicketkeeper's job as up for grabs which I'd say would be true as it's hard to imagine Paul Nixon in the Test side.

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England's World Cup squad [14 Feb 2007|04:05pm]

Michael Vaughan (c)
James Anderson
Ian Bell
Ravi Bopara
Paul Collingwood
Jamie Dalrymple
Andrew Flintoff
Ed Joyce
Jon Lewis
Sajid Mahmood
Paul Nixon
Monty Panesar
Kevin Pietersen
Liam Plunkett
Andrew Strauss

What do people think of the choices? I think picking Bopara was a big mistake. He has played one game and scored 7 runs. We need someone like Loye to open and kickstart the innings, especially since Vaughan will probably get injured at some point.

Also, they've gone and picked 3 injured players again - Vaughan, Lewis and Anderson. The selectors obviously learnt nothing from the Ashes.
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so near [29 Jan 2007|11:22am]

A brave, brave fight by New Zealand, to get so close to Australia's huge total last night. Perth is five or six hours behind us so I taped most of the NZ innings and went to bed. But I heard about it on the news this morning. NZ really deserve to be in the final ahead of England. I feel sorry for the England players who are not ``pathetic'' or ``pitiful'' or ``shameful'' or whatever the latest swathe of adjectives is. They are simply without many of their best players, and those that are fit are at the end of a long and depressing tour and hugely lacking in form and confidence.

I'm not worried about them. Though I am worried about Michael Vaughan's fitness. I have no doubt he has been screaming with frustration inside his head, having to sit out with this damned hamstring strain and not be out on the field geeing up his team. Because I think he would make a difference, a big difference. The only two games England has won in Australia this tour were when he was captain (one was an academy side). It would be a crying shame if his career ground to a halt over fitness, especially after all the long year of effort he has put into getting his knee right.
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Captain [07 Jan 2007|11:25am]


Michael Vaughan regains the England captaincy.
Yes, yes and yes again. In the words of Van Morrison: ``The healing has begun.''
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Sun [03 Jan 2007|05:34pm]

Sun's finally come out and we are having a gentle bit of summer weather. We went shopping this morning and got groceries and I bought a new organiser insert (which is an incredible rip-off — $18 for a year insert with a week at a glance) and a copy of the NZ Herald. Which was full of nothing due to the silly season. And I told off D for fibbing and I watched England play cricket badly, and be badly captained by Flintoff who I am heartily sick of. He is NOT a captain. And I miss Geraint Jones. Bring back Geraint Jones.
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New member! [29 Nov 2006|03:20pm]

Hi all!!

I have just joined this community, nice to find some other cricket fans on LJ!! Wish I was out there in Australia with the Barmy Army though!

What would you all do selection wise for the 2nd test? I was surprised that the Australians have omitted Stuart MacGill from their side because everyone seems to say that the pitch will turn in Adelaide. I'm wondering whether we need to play two spinners, KP can bowl a bit can't he, I'm thinking Panesar in for Anderson and either play two spinners or drop Gilo for Mahmood. I think we'll see a different Harmison too, or I hope we do anyway!

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Hoggard [17 Nov 2006|02:05am]

Matthew Hoggard — three for 16 in Adelaide! Swing it, Hoggy! Come on.
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Flying to Australia [03 Nov 2006|12:56am]

Today Friday (but tomorrow Friday in England), the England cricket team will get on a plane and fly to Australia to defend the Ashes trophy they won back last September. I think they will probably lose, but not because I am a defeatist or anti-England — more because I think they do not have a full-strength, united, confident team. Here are some of their weaknesses:
1) They don't have the right captain. Michael Vaughan's cool astute leadership was a big part of their success last year. It's been heartbreaking to see him sidelined all this year by his knee injury, though he will be travelling to Australia hoping to be fit for the last part of the tour. Flintoff is a massive all-round talent and inspiration to his team but I don't think he is the best leader — I don't think he has the cool intellect for it. Like Ponting, he can only lead by example. In the absence of Vaughan, I would have chosen Strauss, which would have meant another brain in charge who the Aussies would have underestimated, leaving Freddie to be his expansive talented self, unburdened by captaincy.
2) Both options of wicketkeeper, Read and Jones, are out of confidence and form.
3) Strike bowler Steve Harmison is also massively off his game and doesn't like being away from home and family.
4) On the batting side, Bell, Strauss and Collingwood are in good nick, but Trescothick has been shaky and Pietersen flaky. And Collingwood may not be selected in order to get five bowlers in the side.
5) The team don't look happy and confident in the field. They certainly did last English summer. They were a side who were united and positive and believed in each other, and had played together as a successful unit for a good period of time. There's been so much chopping and changing in the last year that those positives don't apply anymore. There's no joie de vivre on the field, particularly from Flintoff, who looks like he has several ingrown toenails, rather than being the heart and soul of the team.

On the good side, there's always my man Matthew Hoggard, who does look fine in a jersey, and is doing a weekly column from the Ashes for the Times. He is the staunch workhorse of the bowling attack. (My God, have I taken up residence in the school of sporting cliche, or what.) And England's two best spinners, Monty Panesar and Ashley Giles, are both fit and ready to go, though there's going to be controversy about who gets picked. You can see all the pundits favour Monty, but coach Fletcher likes Giles for his allround cricketing ability — able to stand firm in the lower batting order, and a safe pair of hands in the field. I say pick 'em both and leave out one of those flaky fast bowlers.

(crossposted to my LJ)
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What does it mean? [22 Sep 2006|02:24pm]

What does it mean when I find myself agreeing with everything the England coach and selectors do, and feeling vastly irritated with most of the cricket writers and pundits. I am vastly gratified with the selectors' decision to keep faith with Vaughan, Jones S and Giles. And I suspect that awarding neither Jones nor Read a contract may have been the best solution for that conundrum at this point. They clearly haven't made up their minds on a wicketkeeper, but have said they can award a contract later on if and when they do.

Have you seen these Aussie TV ads for the Ashes:
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Lots of spin [14 Sep 2006|01:57pm]

Man, it's a spinners' love-in:

Giles on Monty
At 33, Giles will be the oldest member of the Ashes party, and he will have an important role to play as senior professional in the dressing room.

How much of a role Giles plays on the field may depend on his ability to dislodge his fellow left-armer, Monty Panesar, who has established himself since the spring tour to India.

"I've got a new enthusiasm about my cricket and some of it's down to Monty because it gives you an extra edge to want to come back," Giles said.

"There are always moments when you think: 'This bloke's bowling well and he's in my place in the team.' But you've got to be realistic. Monty's different and the public love him. To win Test matches England need to take 20 wickets and he's been a big part of that this summer.

"I don't know him really well but he's been to a few of my benefit events this year and he's always open and willing to chat to people and has gone out of his way to help me. I think I can learn things from him and hopefully he can learn some stuff from me as well."

(Daily Telegraph, 14-9-06)

Monty on Giles
Panesar Hails 'World-Class' Giles
Wed 13 Sep, 1:09 PM, Sporting Life
Monty Panesar has played down talk of a rivalry with Ashley Giles by describing his fellow England spinner and Ashes tourist as a "world-class cricketer".

Both were named in the 16-man squad that will travel to Australia to defend the urn this winter, with the selectors sparking debate over which man is England's most accomplished slow bowler.

Panesar has shone during Giles' injury absence this summer, taking 27 Test wickets against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

With England likely to utilise only one spinner for the majority of the Ashes Tests, and 33-year-old Giles still recovering from a serious hip problem, Panesar appears to be in pole position.

But Panesar, 24, has talked down his own credentials and paid tribute to his senior partner.

"I'm just a young kid trying to bowl spin," he told The Wisden Cricketer.

"He's a world-class cricketer and I just hope I can maybe be like him one day. When you look up to someone in that way, I don't know how I could compare myself as a competitor."

Warney on England:
England better than last year, says Warne
Is this Shane doing reverse pyschology or has he really been won over? He seems to be loving being an English cricketer these days.
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