The Cover Ring – A cricket news round-up

Apologies first off for the relative scarcity of posts at the moment. With no (England) Test matches on, there’s no real-time updates to be had. We’ve got a list of topics as long as both of our arms we want to get through, but we’re a bit limited what with having jobs and exams and all that jazz. Anyway, here’s a quick look at interesting things that have been happening in the cricketing world of late:

Runako Morton killed – We start with some sad news from the West Indies. Former batsman Runako Morton was killed in a car crash on Sunday when his vehicle hit a pole. He was 33. Whilst never a particularly successful player at the top level, he had an international century under his belt, which is more than most of us can say. Morton joins the list of cricketing lives cut short far too early.

Allen Stanford guilty – How about something a bit more cheerful after that last story? Former billionaire and general ne’er-do-well Allen Stanford has been found guilty of fraud to the tune of $7 billion, which, as the calculator reliably informs us, is a number with rather a lot of noughts after it. For a man who put up $20 million for a glorified mercenary slogathon and who could only have treated the hallowed turf of Lord’s with less respect if he’d flown over in a crop-sprayer and deposited large quantities of Roundup on it (and that’s before we’ve even got to the incident with Matt Prior’s wife), it’s easy to say with hindsight that Stanford had something of a dishonest, nay criminal, look about him. However, we can honestly say we took one look at that moustache and saw him for what he was from Day 1 (of course). Never mind, Allen, we’re sure you’ll be able to pay the inmates of your Texas federal penitentiary to form a cricket team to take on the rival state penitentiary, although the prize money might be a little less. And you’ll all be dressed in authentic one-day coloured clothing as well, what with all those orange jump-suits…

Ryder suspended (again) – Loveable (?) overweight batsman Jesse Ryder has got himself into another scrape after going out drinking with teammate Doug Bracewell during the ODI series against South Africa (both players were out injured at the time). Ryder was dropped from the Test squad as a result of numerous previous infractions, the most notable of which required reconstructive hand surgery after the booze fairy told him to plunge his hand through a window pane in 2009. International sportsmen (we’re looking at you as well, Danny Care, or indeed most of the England dwarf-tossing squad) should realise the privileged and high-profile positions they are in and not be such bloody idiots.

New Zealand v South Africa kicks off – It’s time to get out your pet Kiwis, black attire and Antipodean accents, English readers, because for the next few weeks, we’re all New Zealand fans! All NZ need is one draw in the three-match series for England to retain their #1 spot in the Test rankings ahead of the English summer, so we’re rooting for Jesse Ryder and co. to do their thing and pummel the… oh yeah, right. Well we’re sure they’ll do well, even without clown-in-chief Ryder.

England squad announced – This is old news now, but we haven’t had a chance to comment on it yet. After an awful series against Pakistan, Eoin Morgan was omitted from the squad to face Sri Lanka, and we’d just like to say that in our infinite wisdom, we (kind of) called it (don’t congratulate us all at once). Meanwhile, Samit Patel has been given a chance to get fit under the beady eye of Andy Flower, while journeyman pro (a phrase it is impossible to utter without sounding massively condescending) James Tredwell has been included to remind Graeme Swann that a cheeky grin alone isn’t enough to merit a Test place – rather like Top Gear always have that boring-but-functional car that follows the presenters around on foreign trips in case their crappy contraptions blow up.

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