Allen Stanford Invitational XI

February 22, 2009 by
Mr. Popular

Mr. Popular

1. Allen Stanford
2. The Goddess Apate
3. Robert Maxwell (L-H bat)
4. Frank Abagnale
5. Charles Ponzi
6. The Talented Mr. Ripley
7. Richard Nixon
8. Ronnie Biggs (Wk)
9. Victor Lustig
10. JT LeRoy
11. Janus
12. Judas
13. Allen Stanford


Please don’t rain!

February 19, 2009 by

Wicket, wicket, take a wicket.

Make them play and soon they’ll snick it.

360 still to make,

Seven wickets still to take.

Eye of hawk and leg before,

Splice of bat and knowledge of law,

Dubious pitch, with lack of zing, 

Flintoff’s hip and Swanny’s spin,

For the series soon to level,

Like a hell broth, be spicy and dry!

 – Hamlet (The Antiguan Folio)


February 18, 2009 by

This may have been a blessing in disguise for England. A very good disguise.

A bit like Manchester City, we are a team that has a damagingly disparate complexion and no clear identity or philosophy at the moment. No-one is sure about the selection policy or the leadership, and no-one is certain that we will win against any opposition. This makes it hard to establish any real belief in what we are doing.

If we had lost the first test against the Windies in mediocre fashion – by fifty runs or so – then the usual, tedious explantations and solutions would have been trotted out. As it is, it can be written off as a freakish anomaly, too unlikely to take seriously. It is, at the very least, a refreshing way to lose. It was further buried out of sight in the sandpit farce, and now we are building a healthy lead on the fourth day of the ‘third’ test in the sunshine. If only we could deal with all our losses like this!

Murali takes 502 wickets in a single match!

February 9, 2009 by

“India triumph despite Murali feat,”

the Beeb have misleadingly reported. What they mean is that India went over Sri Lanka with the heavy roller before peeling them off the outfield, propping them up with protective equipment and steamrollering them all over again. There was no ‘despite’ about it.

We are invited to believe that Murali achieved a superhuman feat of wicket taking, against which the Indians epically prevailed. Murali’s return of 1 for 60 in his ten overs was average, to say the most. To say the least, it was poor. To say less than that, it was below par.

Sehwag and Yuvraj were magnificent. Above par, even at the height they set the par. It was another smash and grab run raid from the top order, and another alarmingly mature display from Dhoni. In the one day game, at least, the heart of the Indian innings is being transplanted to him. He more than anyone is the difference between Australia and India – a leader cut from the same cloth as the rest of the side. And Indian tailoring is much better than Australian.

Dead ringers.

February 9, 2009 by

Kenya believe it?!

February 1, 2009 by

Zimbabwe are hammering Kenya into the ground like a stump right now, with Elton Chigumbura the hardened steel face.

But the thing that I find most overwhelming is not the dizzy totals being posted by Chig and his mates. It’s the number of O’s in the Kenyan team.

Look at them all: O, O, o, O, O, o, o, O, O, O, O, o, O, o, o!

A way is sure!

January 27, 2009 by
Owais Shah, who art in the eleven, allowed be thy name...

Owais Shah, who art in the eleven, allowed be thy name...

Pietersen has just hit 103 in England’s first warm up match against the West Indies, but there was a bigger story to be found just one place further down the order. Pietersen scores runs with the same unrelenting predictability that he makes his ‘word-strings’. Owais Shah’s inclusion in the England test team is as predictable as chaos itself.

Like Joe Pasquale in a bar during a powercut, he has been flashing his credentials in vain for a long time. He has just top-scored with a ‘fluent’ 125 not out before retiring hurt with a scratched cornea.

“Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?”

– Jesus: ‘The parable of the Miller’.

Jesus went on to say: “Pick Owais Shah over Collingwood and Bell. Then we will win at cricket. This is the word of Boycott.”

Amen to that.


England prepare to go West

January 21, 2009 by

England have got one or two points to prove on the pitch after all that has gone on off it. Fortunately for them they get to do it against the West Indies rather than any of the gathering forces or waning superpowers elsewhere in the world. Martin Johnson’s new-look England had to establish themselves against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 2008 and, unsurprisingly, were triply penetrated.

Strauss has carefully reminded us that the West Indies are full of “dangerous cricketers”. Assuming this means that they are dangerous at cricket rather than actual criminals, he is right. He also correctly identifies the chief suspects in Shiv, Gayle, Sarwan and Edwards. However he neglects to mention that the rest of the team should not trouble a brow. Until Bravo comes back, that is.

Besides their captain, Sidebottom and Pietersen will be Bucknored (the extreme opposite of ‘ignored’) as the former returns from an Achilles injury and the latter from a pride injury. England desperately need some kind of a bowling attack to gel during this series, and Sideboob must surely be key to that. Pietersen faces a new challenge. We all know he can cope with the pressure of responsibility, but can he cope with pressure arising from the loss of it?

Muttiah the Mighty.

January 19, 2009 by

Like a viking god, Murali entered the mortal fray and wielded his willowy hammer. In a blaze of sponsors logo’s, surplus joints and eyeballs, he bent fate to his will and salvaged an incredible victory for the Lions, who for the second time looked to have been tamed by the Tigers.

Credit to the Wizard of the Willow, but also to the losing side (just).

Zimbabwe have just beaten Bangladesh in the first ODI. The power struggles continue in Bangladesh, but at least the Shak put in another hearty display! 3 wickets for 11 runs in 10 overs, and the only six of the match before he was caught for a disappointing 15.

I’m considering signing him for the Hawk-Mouth invitational XI, to be based on nothing but whimsy and personal preference…

Shak that thing!

January 16, 2009 by

“Shakib returns, there are fielders in the deep.” – J.R.R. Tolkein writes for Cricinfo.

And the very next ball Sanga’s caught and bowled! A huge moment in the match after the Lawyer’s anchoring 50.

And the next ball but one, Kulasekara’s out too!
Unbelievable, and they’re now odds-on favourites to win the game!