Monday, 15 December 2014

Aaron Sorkin and cricket- has Josh Bartlett got a sweep shot?

As a child, it is ( I think) quite common to imagine oneself as something or someone else, in a sort of aspirational way. A grown up, a cowboy, a super hero..whatever. In my case it was either a wizard or a detective.

It's unusual, or rather unhealthy, to do the same a an adult. Perhaps"unhealthy" is a bit harsh, but certainly  not entirely healthy. 

The only two other things I have ever , since I came into man's estate, wanted to be at any moment in time are David Gower and a character in an Aaron Sorkin script. Any character will do (and they are all the same -but then so are all Brian Lara's flicks off the hip for four and no one's complaining about that). Life would be so much better if Aaron Sorkin wrote it- a not unusual opinion among middle class liberals of my type.

While accepting that I wouldn't have anything particularly original to say about the WS Gilbert of modern TV (google it) I did think I met get a blog post out of the recurring half arsed cricket references. Rewatching Studio 60 reminded me to punt it on the site.

Then I googled this and realised that others (and proper,talented others like Jarrod Kimber) had got there years before me. Apart from reminding me of Dorothy Parker's poem about Wilde ("I never seek to take the credit/ We all assume that Oscar said it") it reminded me that winter nets will soon be upon us. 

At these I always try to sweep the spinners and I always get bowled round my legs. Knowing I don't have that particular shot, I safely tuck it away for another year and don't try it again until the next lot of meaningless winter nets.

I can't decide if this is a good thing or not, but it is a thing and I can't alter it.

Thursday, 6 November 2014


I drag this blog out of retirement ( if not obscurity) to comment on KP's book , because I think Blogspot stops you using "cricket" in the name if you don't comment on it somewhere on your blog.

The Books and Cricket party line is pro KP and even more pro the Book itself.  Notwithstanding all the juiciest bits had been leaked and read before I opened the pages ( or whatever the Kindle version of doing that is) I just really enjoyed it. It is biased, whiny and scarcely credible in places, but the bit you can't fake or ghost is just how much KP loves and understands cricket. A lot of people have rightly pointed to the Dravid email as a highlight, but KP himself comes across every much the cricket geek when it comes to talking about batting , tactics etc. I was never an unqualified KP fan the way a Tom Holland is, I like a bit more of the rapier than the battle axe in my batting crushes , but I did spend a disproportionate amount of time on YouTube watching KP knocks after reading it- and my mark waugh / gower/martyn/laxman quota has gone down correspondingly. That will be a temporary phenomenon, but is a phenomenon nonetheless.

It is a bloody good read- and you can put that on the cover if you want.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Golden Grahams

I have always been ambivalent about Graham the elder .

As a Cavalier in the great civil war with Gower I ought to dislike him according to the usual tedious, package deal online posturing. With (massively much) better cause, I ought to be indignant about the rebel tour. Even at the time though I just loved how he scored masses of runs. Plundering county pies, then seeing off the Windies, Wasim and Waqar in their pomp and even at near as damn it to my present age, scoring consolation hundreds off Warne. I copied the baseball stance in an idle moment arsing around in the back garden in the mid 80s and got stuck that way when the wind changed.  There was always an integrity about his batting that I couldn't help love.

Graham the younger , likely to be his replacement as batting coach,  was a more straightforward player from where I sat. The arc of my responses to him reflects received opinion. First, I profoundly resented what I regarded as  biased over-promotion of him and Stewart at the expense of far more deserving candidates ( Matthew Maynard, er..John Morris?).  Then  when I saw them both play for England , after a decent interval of scepticism, I acknowledged  that they were actually quite good.  While I never entirely warmed to Stewart ( my fault not his - as if anyone would care) Thorpe assumed a place in the pantheon of  the relentlessly and un-fussily good along with Gus Fraser, Mark Hughes, Dan Lydiate, Kirsty McColl and Shiv Chanderpaul (just below the ruling deity Allan Bateman). I've been a unqualified fan since- even one Partridge-esque autobiography didn't kill that. As if couldn't like him even more, if you look at the Thorpe story on the Guardian site he's using one of those retro Duncan Fearnley bats for a coaching session with England. A good Duncan Fearnley is the tool after all...straight out of Surrey.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Being quite excessively excited about:

1 First game of the season on Saturday
2 Glamorgan sitting at top of their division of the County Championship ( after 1 game...and probably not any more as I type this)
3 Going bat shopping with my daughter after her posh new Kookaburra cracked

In no particular order

I am tempted to add a reference to the start of the IPL here. I don't really mind it . In fact when I am away with work, turn on the TV in some mediocre provincial hotel when I've got a spare hour or so, and find the middle of the second innings on, it is a perfectly diverting way of spending an hour or so. I've often thought all the criticism of T20 and the IPL is basically the same as used to be said about 40 over (indeed all limited over) cricket and the old Sunday League , which latter seems to be turned into a treasure of the game by the most reactionary of pundits - the same people who were bemoaning it as the ruin of the game 30 years ago. Maybe more on that another time.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Clerihew corner- the Du Plessis edition

Is a laugh
But his sense of humour is nothing like as silly as,
That of....

Nah, got nothing....

Clerihew corner

Ravi Jadeja
Is not one for a wager.
When he needs cash,
He charges for photos of him twirling his moustache.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Clerihew corner

Virat Kohli,
Scores quickly,not slowly,
And he is certainly regarded as a monumental pain,
By Dale Steyn.