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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ashes squad of "losers and malcontents"?

Well, the English selectors have spoken and named their anointed 16 for the Ashes.

Online newsletter Crikey has pooh-poohed the omission of Michael Vaughan, describing him as "the winner of the 2005 Ashes" and adding:

Look at the losers and malcontents they have picked before him.

Andrew Strauss (captain) James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravinder Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Andrew Flintoff, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Adil Rashid, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann

A bit strong methinks given the contributions made by other squad members in the 05 series and subsequently. To my eye, and I've watched a fair amount of England cricket on TV in the last few months, there are one or two surprise inclusions eg Ian Bell and perhaps Monty Panesar, but it should be possible to field a competitive eleven from the 16.

A little light relief. See if you can match some squad members to their less than complimentary descriptions in Crikey:

1. "that weird little boy who doesn’t make runs".

2 "a rough Essex lad who didn’t go to a public school".

3. "the portly all rounder who can’t tuck his shirt in."

4. "a singer in a terrible pub band".

5 "a guy who looks like he should be a drummer in a terrible cover band".

If you want to cheat or check your answers see

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pakistan and England World T20 champs

Congratulations to the Pakistan men's and England women's teams for winning their respective World T20 championships.

I didn't expect to but, as with the IPL, I watched quite a lot of the men's tournament and much of the small amount of the women's which Sky/ Foxtel showed.

Some observations

# Great to see spin bowlers, eg Ajanta Mendis, play such an often positive part in many matches.

# Also good to see some excellent wicketkeeping on show, notably James Foster of England with an honourable mention to the feisty Irishman Niall O'Brien. Some excellent catches were also taken in the field.

# The Duckworth-Lewis method is inappropriate for these ultra short matches, especially when one team has an absurdly low number of overs and 10 wickets to chase a modest score. I thought that West Indies beat England in what the D/L rules turned into a walkover.

# Without seeking to detract from the winners' achievements (or to excuse Australia's early exit from the men's tournament) it must be acknowledged that upsets are more likely when there are fewer overs bowled.

# The Sky/ Foxtel TV coverage was generally good, though some commentators in the women's matches, eg Ian Chappell and David "Bumble" Lloyd, at times forgot (eg "man on the boundary", "batsman") that they were not describing the men's game.


Which player appeared with a black eye?
Answer here .

Cricinfo summaries



Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Brief Australian encounter with World T20

In the ICC World T20 Australia lost its first game to an unfancied West Indies

Sri Lanka defeated Australia and thereby eliminated them from the tournament.

As Ricky Ponting said after the game Australia have now lost five international T20 fixtures on the trot . Well short of world champion standard.

No excuses: it's clear that our national team just hasn't adapted to the new format which even purists like me have to acknowledge has its own appeal. The 20 over a side format means that upsets (eg England's loss to the Netherlands ) are more frequent but class should still trump good luck most of the time (even if Ireland seem to have ridden their luck and that of their draw well enough to move on to the next stage).

Results from Cricinfo.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Symonds' Australian career finished?

Andrew Symonds has been sent home from England.

Controversial all-rounder Andrew Symonds has been banished from Australia's Twenty20 World Cup squad in England for breaking team rules.

Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland told a press conference in Melbourne tonight that an alcohol-related incident resulted in Symonds being sent home.

Mr Sutherland said the breaking of a number team rules by Symonds in the past 24-48 hours was "the final straw".

"In isolation the breaches that I am talking about are not serious, but in the scheme of things, in the scheme of history, they are enough for it to be the final straw," Mr Sutherland said.

"I'm disappointed in Andrew but at the same time I'm disappointed for Andrew.

"There's no joy in me standing here tonight and advising you of this and in fact I'm quite sad about it.

"But at the same time we must balance the interests of Australian cricket and the Australian cricket time with those of the welfare of individual players."

Unfortunate it may be, though having watched Symonds perform so well in the IPL I wonder how upset he really is. He has probably earned more for a short stint with the Deccan Chargers than he would for his stint with the Australian team.