Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Larger-than-Life Cricketers

March 16, 2009
Shane Warne takes a sharp catch midway through his bowling action.

Shane Warne takes a sharp catch midway through his bowling action.

Shane Warne

Proof that God is omniscient. He knew that if he shaved his beard off and inhabited the body of a tub-thumping Aussie beach bum, then no-one would recognise him. Well… it almost worked. Drop Warney for being overweight? Only if you were actually carrying him.

Virender Sehwag

Born the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ball, he has resented the shape it made him ever since, and is determined to take it out on all balls everywhere all the time. Conveniently enough, this kind of behaviour is actually encouraged at the top of the Indian batting order.

Inzy stairs his nemesis in the face.

Inzy stairs his nemesis in the face.

Inzimam Ul-Haq

The Sultan of Multan. He ran about as well as six AT-AT walkers sellotaped together, so he made the ball do the running for him. “Why don’t you run to that man at the back of the crowd and check that he can catch?” he would say.

Ryder of the Valkyries.

Jesse Ryder

A top order, crease-inhabiting hay-maker who likes to kick things off with a certain ‘B. Mac’. Described by Adam Parore as “too fat” to play for New Zealand. Is he? Yes. But they let him, despite repeated and alcoholic misbehaviour, and they reap the rewards. Shares his first name with the boy from ‘Free Willy’, but that’s Ryder’s only connection to the film, which also stars a seven-tonne, sleek-skinned, black and white whale.

Is it a bird, is it a Dwayne?

Is it a bird, is it a Dwayne?

Dwayne Leverock

More stones than a cairn and an unlikely hero of the 2007 World Cup. The celebration after his famous catch (above) was even better. He is one of Bermuda’s better players, averaging just over 30 with the ball in ODI’s. He was the Bermuda Sun Sports Personality of 2007, apparently, no doubt fighting off stiff competition for the island’s champion head-steadier.

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February 27, 2009

Whoops!

Dead ringers.

February 9, 2009

Bad Boys XI

January 6, 2009

Here is my current World Bad Boys XI.  This lot have all been in disciplinary trouble at one time or another over the course of their careers and no doubt there is more to come.  The big shock: only two Aussies.

1. Hayden (Aus) – A big mouth but not enough runs in the last 12 months to back it up.

2. Smith (SA) – An even bigger mouth.  Expect an uneasy partnership with No. 3.

3. Pietersen (Eng) – An ego, a history of stupid haircuts and almost universally disliked outside of England.

4. Ryder (NZ) – Alcohol problem and tendency to lash out at windows.

5. Marshall (WI) – Failed drugs tests.

6. Symonds (Aus) – Prefers fishing to cricket.  Don’t mention monkeys.

7. Boucher (SA) – Not really that bad but I needed a wicket keeper.

8. H. Singh (Ind) – His own biggest fan. Disliked almost as universally as Pietersen.

9. Flintoff (Eng) – Drunk on the bus, the Fredalo debacle.

10. R. P. Singh (Ind) – Petulant twerp.

11. Akhtar (Pak) – Where do I start…

So, its a four way tie between the Aussies, the Saffers, the Poms and the Indians.  Any notable absentees?

dunny1

World’s best in waiting.

January 6, 2009

This teasing text landed in my inbox over Christmas from [insert witty callsign here]. It was certainly something to think about whilst munching on a turkey over Christmas.

“1. Katich
2. Vaughan
3. Amla
4. KP
5. Ryder
7. Flintoff
8. Swann
9. Morkel
10. Edwards
11. Johnson
12th man Oram

Predicted best world XI (test) for 12 months into the future.”

There are some notable omissions, and some surprising inclusions. How can Sharma be forgotten? How can it be forgotten that Ryder is in the team? Why is Oram so forgettable generally?

Can we agree on a Heaven Eleven for one year hence?

Let’s find out.

Hayden’s last stand?

January 6, 2009

I’m writing this literally as play begins on the fourth day of the third Test between Oz and S.A., as the one they call Haydos places his order for over 100 shots at the last chance saloon. I’ll be giving real-time, local time updates on his progress.

10:35 He adds a couple to go to 20 not out off 27. The pitch is beginning to flake. This is where great players come up with the goods.

10:40 After surviving some early Morkel pressure in the previous over, he reaches a quarter of a century via a firmly-struck four to signal his intentions. His intentions have never really been in doubt this series, though. It’s just a question of whether he can still back them up.

10:49 He’s certainly not shying away from the strike – he’s faced 19 of the 28 balls bowled so far. 26 from 38. Digging in.

11.03 Spank you very much! 12 runs from the last over and the pressure’s back on Morne ‘Big Unit’ Morkel. That followed two consecutive maidens; he’s not only broken the shackles but lassooed them around Morkel’s ankles!

11.15 Out! 39 runs scored, and predictably it’s Morkel who wins the battle. For the second time in this Test, he drags one on and he’ll have to drag himself off knowing that this may be it. He still looks the part, but the greatness has deserted him. Is it just bad form, or has a very good thing come to an end?

Haydos is evicted from the saloon distinctly sober. There’s barely room in this team for the one barrel-chested philosopher.