A little bit about me and my little blog

This is by far not the first cricket blog to be written and it certainly won't be the last (or necessarily the best). But it's mine.

This is mainly an excuse for me to carry on about a sport that has been something of an obsession since I was knee high to a middle stump. An obsession which has never left throughout the many highs (behave, there have been some) and lows (and boy have there been many of those…..) of being and England cricket fan in the years since.

The views and opinions in this blog are entirely my own. Sometimes light-hearted, occasionally irreverent, hopefully never offensive.

What gives this fool the right to have an opinion on this great sport? Where are his credentials I hear you ask? Well I think my catch at mid-on in the inter-house final at Heath Grammar school in 1981 speaks for itself…..

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Tour of New Zealand 2013 - part 3

So we win the 'having a quick slog with your mates in the park on the way home from school' series 2-1 against the Black caps with a quite stunning batting performance from our two openers. Er, and that's about what I have to say on the matter, because for the life of me I just cannot get excited about T20 or even ODI's….. and believe me I've tried over the years to fall in the love with these formats in the same way that I love Test Cricket.

Our magnificent T20 team….and Samit Patel

I know there are some that will say that I'm missing out on the excitement of seeing six after six being hit into an ever delirious crowd, call me an old sulky britches, but if I see another replay of a member of the crowd cheering hysterically when they catch/drop the ball I may have to stuff my copy of Wisden down my own throat.

But wait, just wait, because people tell me that the excitement isn't done with yet. For today our One day team only went and won that series 2-1….. blimey, there's a bit of a pattern forming here methinks. Indeedy, there's certainly nothing to be sniffed at the England team winning cricket matches so don't misunderstand my negative attitude to the New Zealand tour so far. After all, like many of a similar age to myself, being an England Cricket fan from the mid 1970's onwards ( I was stuck in front of the cricket on TV at a very early age) has been something of a mixed bag - with the mid 1980's being a particular bag of poo. There were times during various 'blackwashes' and numerous Ashes debacles, not to mention some 'so close but not close enough' world cup finals that I sometimes wondered if we would ever actually beat someone other than Zimbabwe ever again.

Our magnificent ODI team….bloody hell, those bowlers are tall

Don't get me wrong dear reader, I LOVE the fact that we've won again, just don't get me to try and love these two formats of the game. I could bore you, as I bore most people about how I think that T20 is the spawn of Satan and that all it's incarnations will eventually kill-off the Test series format so that we may just get to the stage that the only series played is the Ashes… but i won't. I could bore you with the talk of the increased piles of money that it brings into certain quarters of the game (and individual countries) and the betting and corruption problems that that could bring with it……but I won't. I could bore you with my complaints that there is now a sizable contingent of modern-day cricket fans that actually believe scoops, ramps, helicopter shots and switch hits are all classic legitimate ways of getting runs in cricket which in turn makes a well crafted single something of a cowards shot. Indeed, I read only recently on a twitter feed that this particulate 'Tweeters' disinterest and lack of respect for the women's game was seemingly based on the fact that they wouldn't have the strength to score many sixes, therefore making cricket "nothing but a game of ground strokes". No matey, give ME strength. But I won't bore you with all that.

What I will say is that I dearly hope we keep winning in all forms of the game, but Test cricket is the only format for me. I have tried on numerous occasions to explain to my American friends in particular how a game can last for five days and still not reach a winning conclusion - I think without much success to be honest. I have tried explaining how saving a match to a draw can sometimes be as exciting and nerve wracking as any chase for one day victory….. Do I hear the first  Ashes Test match match at Cardiff in the 2009 series?

A fan's camerawork - slightly shaky, but a fine snapshot of the atmosphere and tension.

For me, it's precisely because it can last for 5 days that i love Test cricket. I love that fact that there is time for the pundits (sit down Nick Knight, I'm not talking about you) to actually discuss the various nuances of the players and the game rather than comment on whether the fat guy in the crowd managed to catch M.S Dhoni's 26th six of his T20 innings……. I love the fact that an hour can go by without much having happened, to the casual observer, but in reality the tension has been increased with every dot ball. That the increasing sub-plot of conflict between a bowler and batsman can finally come to a head until the bowler may try to knock the batsman's head off,  with just a dead-eye stare from the batsman in reply. …...I love the fact that after 4 days the match may seem like its wandering aimlessly to a draw or defeat but then a bowler or batsman can appear and throw the game on its head ( how many games have we seemed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?!). …….I love the fact that witnessing an opening batsman have the shakiest of starts and eventually work his way towards a hundred, whether patiently or with contemptuous aggression, is truly a sight to behold………..  I love the fact that I find 'traditional' cricket shots such as a glorious cover drive should really have pride of place on an Internet porn site……..

Yes T20 & ODI's may be fun, but Test Cricket is truly where it's at…….in my humble opinion.


  1. Hang on a mo.... England usually manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!! I'll see your Cardiff 2009 and raise you Adelaide 2006 (ok that was from the jaws of a draw)

    1. Yeah Liz - bugger, the pitfalls of trying to proof-read ones blog whilst watching the Rugby! I meant defeat from the jaws of victory :-)…… oh god, Adelaide 2006, from the Test series that we never talk about, right!

  2. Yes, wiped from the annals of history. Well according to the ECB anyway. Having sat through all 5 days of the pre-match build up in Cardiff, it was noticeable that there was no reference to THAT series!! Cardiff 2009 - to think I very nearly didn't go on day 5. I was tired having done all the previous days and it was all going to be over by lunch!!
    Goooooo Waaaales......

    1. Lucky lucky you for seeing it in person! I watched the whole of the 5th day on tv, though unusually for me I listened to the Sky commentary instead of TMS - and Mr Bumble in particular was getting very excited. Can't wait for the summer!