Posts Tagged ‘cricket’

I read this piece but couldn’t bring myself to watch the video interview because the teaser still is way too tragic.  (If you forget, he is the infant Pakistani bowler implicated in the spot-fixing kerfuffle in England this past summer.)  The upshot is: his career is destroyed, and he’s pretty much just an unfortunate kid who may lack moral fiber but is probably merely young.  I don’t blame the ICC, and I do not exonerate Mr. Amir (if he is indeed guilty), but he is a victim of a broken sporting culture, and that must be addressed sooner rather than later or the sport will die.  He should not be treated specially because he is a particularly fine bowler, but he should serve as a wake-up call to cricket (and, if we’re being honest, also general sporting) authorities.


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He’s been rubbish with the bat this series, so perhaps in the near future he will cease to bring us joy as a Test cricketer for England.  For this reason, I am going to ride the excitement as long as possible.  Also, check out this vertical!


Collywobbles!  Sometimes they work!

Update: And he just caught Smith off Jimmy Anderson, so it’s party time again!  Hooray, Colly!  Figure out how to bat again, please!

Also, dear Aussie cricket commentators: “début” is not pronounced “daboo.”  Please correct.

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And England retain the Ashes.

This is my favorite photo from the series.

Aren't they cool?

They look tragically unhip, but so, so happy, so I’m willing to let it go.  They’re doing the sprinkler.  It was a thing this series, for no reason at all.

This is my other favorite photo of the series, because my love for Paul Collingwood is deep and abiding and I like profoundly dull things like fielding.  Especially when it’s exciting as it is here!  Ricky Ponting is being dismissed, in Perth, I believe.


And the serious part of the post consists mostly in this: Mr. Ponting will probably lose the captaincy and I don’t really see why.  Certainly he should have batted better, and his tirade against the umpires was embarrassing and childish.  But there was no captain in the world who could have made this Australia squad beat this England squad.  Alastair Cook was in good nick, and so was practically everyone else, and Mitchell Johnson had a good match in Perth only after being dropped after the first Test for being totally woeful.  Effort would not have helped; wanting it, whatever that means, would not have helped.  The England team have just been better this winter (except when over-confident and complacent in Perth).

It’s entirely possible I’ll be proven embarrassingly wrong and England will collapse pathetically in Sydney to draw the series.  It’s largely what I expect, since I support England cricket.  But I will say that they are the better team, and while you can and should give Andrew Strauss credit for that, it is not entirely Mr. Ponting’s fault that Australia have not taken the Ashes back.

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And at least we have moved forward from matches in which England batsmen score double tons in Australia and still lose (see: Paul Collingwood, Adelaide, 2006).  That second innings was superb and far better than I expected following the first, so fair play to Messrs. Strauss, Trott, and especially Cook and his 235 not out (which brought his total for the match over 300, incidentally).

The internet, shockingly, has rather failed us on cute pictures, either from his first century, or the second one, so here’s a nice one that will make you feel better about the mildly grim weather we’ve been having:

That's a lot of runs there.

Most importantly, what should Cooky’s new epithet be?  We’re sticking with an S, because I use “SAC” in my head.  Yup, I do.

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This is insane.

It is also not at all frivolous.  Here’s a piece on the Pakistani cricketer who is seeking asylum in the UK because he received death threats for refusing to throw matches.

Boggles the mind, puts things in perspective, yadda yadda yadda…  Mostly: crazy and terrible.

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The thing that makes me the most upset about the Pakistani cricket corruption kerfuffle (apart from how it landed cricket in the real news for the worst possible reason) is that Mohammad Amir is basically screwed.

Let’s say he did cheat, and is found guilty.  Well, then he faces at least a substantial if not permanent ban.  Which he should.  And a substantial ban may turn into a permanent ban, because taking two or so years off at the beginning of your Test career is often not strategic.  This is a shame, because he appeared to be an electrifying young bowler, and we always need more of those.  The best argument for Test (or: proper) cricket is bowling that excites.

Let’s say he didn’t cheat, or is found innocent.  He will still have a cloud hanging over his head.  This is unfair, I’m not saying it’s not.  But it’s the way it is.

Look, the kid is young, and not nearly as much to be blamed, if he is guilty, as his older teammates.  Yes, he should have known it was wrong.  In fact, I’m sure he does know it’s wrong.  But he’s not in a position to stand up for himself.  Should and could are not the same thing.

Plus, I’m pretty sure he’s adorable.

Even if he does need a haircut. And is twelve.

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Still no Third Man.

So, if you want to, I’m sure you know that England struggled mightily with Bangladesh’s tail-end last night, and then seem a bit rubbish at batting themselves.  I think we can take it as read that I have mocked Alastair Cook’s inability to set a field or, you know, catch.  At this point I feel kind of bad about it.

I just wanted to share this photograph, which I think is indescribably hilarious.

Oh, dear. Not again.

Well, not quite indescribably.  Clockwise, from top left: Kevin Pietersen, not watching the ball run away to the boundary, even though he did plenty of that last night.  What is he watching?  Why isn’t he watching the ball?  It is clearly behind him.  James Tredwell, running after it, almost certainly in vain.  Graeme Swann, head in hands, wondering why he’s the only one who bothers to show up for these matches, and probably not feeling all that guilty because no one particularly troubled to field off his (Swann’s) bowling.  Matt Prior, whose expressive use of wicketkeeping gloves is unparalleled.  Look at that pathos.  And worst of all, poor Paul Collingwood, about to go pointy nose to turf, the best of a bad lot, but still inadequate.  Perhaps KP’s stylish indifference is a better solution.  It doesn’t seem much less effective.

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