Shouldn't there be a refund of all tickets if a match is a no result? That would increase the pressure on everyone to get the damn thing over and done with. Tickets for Edgbaston were more than £50 a pop, but there is a misalignment between the rules of the refund and the rules of the game. How so? Well, a one-day match is deemed to be valid once a minimum of 40 overs have been completed (i.e. 20 overs per side), but you'll only get a refund if less than 10 overs are bowled. Cheeky buggers. If 16,000 punters at Edgbaston had been about to leave the ground with £800,000 worth of refunded tickets in their back pocket, I reckon those 6 balls would have been delivered.
Feel sorry for Grant Elliott? Both times he has been rushed into the New Zealand team at the absolute last minute. I'm sure he would appreciate a training session or two, perhaps some introductions to the others in the dressing room or the administrative entourage. At Napier it was an Oram hip injury that saw him thrust into the Test arena, and this time the big lummox’s hamstring seized up and Elliott was drafted in from the lowly Surrey League.
Do you believe Paul Collingwood's claim that his team didn't deliberately go slow in the Edgbaston one-dayer? I don't. Not for one second.
According to Google Trends, which New Zealand city has the biggest appetite for cricket? 1. Christchurch; 2. North Shore; 3. Auckland; 4. Wellington; 5. New Plymouth. Cricket has been playing second fiddle to rugby for the past month though.
Is there still love out there for Craig Spearman? He is in his benefit year at Gloucestershire Cricket Club where the third ODI will be played on Saturday night. He certainly has a fan in Mark Greatbatch: “In my opinion [Spearman’s] test career was cut short by a lack of consistent opportunities and a lack of willingness from management to learn how Craig approaches the game, which is slightly different to the norm.” Get your naked Spearman calendar now.
Will the new lunch rule make a difference? Yes it will. ICC regulation 15.1 has been amended to allow the duration of the innings break to “be agreed mutually by the umpires and both captains” as long as it is between 10 and 30 minutes long. And under the new rules, even if Collingwood had played hardball and disagreed with Vettori over the need for another helping of Edgbaston macaroni cheese for his boys, the match referee would have been wheeled in to make a call.
Is Steve Kirby on drugs? Guess who the redheaded Gloucestershire seamer is on about here: “I think it's fantastic what he was doing previously. We have got some big decisions as a club to see where we're going forward, and I've got to make sure all those things are right for me, because I'll never be in this position again… I just hope that we can keep moving forward as a club. I want to win things, and I'm sure the club will make the right decisions, so I've got to make sure I weigh up all of the options." None other than John Bracewell’s second coming. Perhaps he would like to have him back before April 2009 – like, um, maybe tomorrow would work…
Are you surprised that Shane Warne was spotted ringside at the WWE Smackdown in Australia? That seems completely and utterly "on brand" for the peroxided baked bean connoisseur.
Is this a newsflash: Loye Approves of Slogging? The least surprising endorsement of KP’s outrageous backhand slog came from compulsive slogger and 7-time stopgap English opener Malachy Bernard Loye. He emulated it in domestic cricket this week: “We would all love to play that shot and I had a go at it in Tuesday's Twenty20 against Durham at Old Trafford, with the satisfaction of seeing the ball sail for six.” Good man.
Who was the original switch hitter? One of the most boring batsmen alive in fact: no, not Geoff Allott, Shoaib Mohammed, Alastair Cook, Rahul Dravid, Trevor Franklin, Chris Tavare or Mike Brearley - none other than Jacques Kallis, who hit two unorthodox sixes in a match for Middlesex at Uxbridge during his stint as their overseas player in the nineties.
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