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, 27 June 2015

A brief optimistic Ashes preamble.......personally, I blame New Zealand.

Ahhh, good times at the Oval...just before the pitch was watered
A friend of mine (well at least I say he is, I don't think he would ever own up to it in public) mentioned the other day that there seems to be something of a correlation between my periods of non-blogging and the occasional success of the England team. Now assuming that he is correct in his assumption it means that this particular article may well be the one determining factor in who actually wins the Ashes this year - blimey, that's some responsibility that I have at my fingertips.

Of course, I think he is talking complete rubbish........well at least I hope that he is. However there may well be some individuals who might agree with my pal and think that I am indeed shaking my fists and tempting the cricketing fates by resuming my musings on god's own game. Thankfully I don't believe in fate, luck or any form of cosmic serendipity - what will be will be. Ah screw it, we had periods, many periods, of acute crapness in cricketing performances before I came along. What could possibly go wrong with me being a tad more optimistic about England's chances against the Aussies that I was a couple of weeks ago?.............hold that thought.

If you haven't fallen asleep by this third paragraph (and I wouldn't blame you if you had) you may be wondering why my recent pessimism has been replaced with a sense that maybe, just maybe, we might not get the living crap beat out of us this summer by Mr Johnson et al? The problem is that a few weeks ago, just before the ODI series against apparently the most popular man on the planet, Brendan McCullum and his ever so popular team, the New Zealand-black-caps-everybodys-2nd-team-Kiwis, I was comfortably fearing the worst. What was I fearing the worst about? I hear the voices ask, well just about every damn thing from an England cricket standpoint. Let's face it, after the chaos of the last Ashes calamity down under, the world cup earlier this year and and cataclysmicly inept lesson in how to reappoint then sack a previously failing coach, well things were pretty dire from an England point of view.
I'm still in shock....
I feared England's tried and tested mantra of being utterly clueless and shambolic (and that was on our good days) in the shorter form of the game against the New Zealand-black-caps-everybodys-2nd-team-Kiwis was going to quite simply make a bad situation well and truly worse for my summer (yes, it's all about me of course). In turn it would lead to more soul searching in the media (Sit down Sky, I'm not talking about you, you particular shower of commentary ****) and the wider public which would inevitably climax in a proclamation from the ECB that "We're all doomed and were all going die at the hands of the Australians!!!!" In truth I was already pessimistic after the short tour of the West indies in which we inevitably made them look like a half-decent pub team. This pessimism then became a near suicidal "the end of the world is nigh!" feeling when the Aussies then went over to the Caribbean and actually showed us how to kick the crap out of a poor team. Yep, I was comfortable in my pre-Ashes pessimism.

That was until the limited overs squad went and spoiled everything.

Not only did we decide to jettison our time-honoured ability to not only lose a ODI series, but to lose it in an extraordinarily inept and convincing manner. No, no, no, instead we decided to win the series and not only that, but to win it with a form of cricket that was both exhilarating and a joy to watch. We were attacking, aggressive, innovative and fearless in our approach to winning - that's right, I said winning. None of that bravely snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, no running off to find a cricket ODI rule book in order to look up the definition of this strange phenomenon called a 'Batting Powerplay' and certainly none of that thinking that scoring sixes is for puff pastry pansies. No, we won with a change of style and approach that was as surprising as it was effective. It certainly confused the most popular man on the planet, Brendan McCullum and his world cup final team, poor sod.

If that wasn't enough we then had a go at that slog in the park 20 over malarkey and strewth almighty, we only went and won that too with that cunning and very un-English method of trying to win cricket matches. It was all very confusing.

Hoping we can wipe the smiles off those cheeky chappie faces.....
Of course the big question is whether brave Captain Cook and the players from the Test match team who didn't play in the ODI series (i.e. most of them), can take up the mantle of 'lets do it to them before they do it to us' and show some mettle in the upcoming Ashes series. The newly regained optimist in me says that we can, or at least I believe that we may not now get the kicking I thought at one time was in store for us. I'm feeling good about our chances.

Having said that, I've just read that Mitchell Johnson yesterday blitzed three wickets in a seriously quick spell in the warm-up match against Kent. Bugger.

Still, I like this blind optimism that I have. Personally I blame New Zealand.