New Zealand v England – some thoughts on the T20 series

We’re continually looking at our watch waiting for the New Zealand – England Test series to start but in the meantime we’re having to make do with what the cat dragged in, namely the T20 series. We haven’t managed to watch an awful lot of it owing to being busy socialite types (at least that’s the persona we’re trying to perpetuate), but what we have seen of it has been absolutely woeful. Here’s why:

Playing cricket on rugby grounds may get people through the gates but it is a crime against sporting decency. We recall a couple of ill-fated exhibition games played at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, in 2002, which rewarded teams with (in addition to usual fours and sixes) eight runs for getting the ball into the second tier, ten for the top tier and twelve for hitting the roof. It went down about as well as a horsemeat and sawdust ‘beef’ burger and quickly sank without a trace, although T20 followed the next year and was rather better thought out. However, the New Zealanders, being about ten years behind everyone else, seem to have only just cottoned onto the idea and are playing cricket on grounds with 20-yard boundaries. It’s an utterly cynical degradation of cricket – when the merest tap can sail 30 yards over the boundary for six, there’s something wrong. In the first game, there were sixteen sixes in England’s innings alone. Donald Bradman only ever hit six sixes in international cricket. Nuff said. It’s dire.


The State of the Union

So, here we are.

We’ve been cluttering your inbox / news feed / Google search results for over a year now. We were rather too busy to mark the occasion with a proper, flag-waving ceremony, complete with lip-syncing major artist, but now the time is ripe to look back over the last year. A lot of interesting stuff has happened to England cricket in that time, so we thought we’d take our own, probably not all that unique, look at that.

The catalyst for this blog, as the web address might suggest, was England’s utterly abject subsidence to Pakistan a year ago (a Pakistan, we note, that got bowled out for 49 this very morning). We can still picture it now, rather too vividly for our liking (you see it’s imprinted on the inside of our eyelids and we still lie in bed at night in a cold sweat thinking about it) but if you’re not quite as haunted by it as we are, the full, horrible evidence can be viewed here. It was a spur of the moment thing – a combination of anger and embarrassment coupled with the need to vent those emotions led to our establishment.