Heavenly and not so heavenly radio…

blockeverythingmolesworth recently alerted me, with some alarm, to the Talksport IPL commentary which featured (and I quote): “a jingle for a tools catalogue with something that sounded like the Euro ’96 Vindaloo song as its backing music. That’s just for starters.” In the spirit of intrepid journalism, I decided to categorically not check this out and opted instead to listen to some white noise interspersed with the sounds of foxes screeching, in the sure and certain knowledge that this would be more tolerable.

News followed soon after that Talksport had been awarded commentary rights for the T20 Blast and Royal London One-Day Cup (is nothing sacred any more, ECB?). With the BBC facing yet more cuts, we’ve got every available appendage crossed that TMS doesn’t go the same way any time soon.
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Two mildly satisfied and cautiously optimistic England cricket fans

Crikey – only three posts in the last year. Well, sorry about that. We haven’t died or anything. We’re still here.

Anyway, there will continue to be cricket-related rubbish to read here. It’s just not as funny when England are actually good. Peter Moores’s bumbling ineptitude was hilarious in a slapstick kind of way, but now we’ve got a boring Aussie in charge who seems to be able to make a winning team without ‘looking at the data’ for more hours than there are in a day, or so it appears. They’ve won the Ashes, they’ve won in South Africa, and now presumably they’re going to shock everyone by winning the World T20 (actually, steady on, that might be a bit much).

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Anderson and Jadeja to get clip round ear and detention

The ICC today announced that James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja would, after all, be punished for their unsightly spat at Trent Bridge. Chief executive Dave Robertson issued the following statement:

“Following the report of the judicial commissioner, it has been decided that, as Anderson and Jadeja conducted themselves like a couple of idiotic schoolboys, they will be punished as idiotic schoolboys. Both will have their heads banged together and, additionally, Anderson will receive a clip round the ear.”

Richardson further announced that the two players will receive detention for their actions: “They will be made to sit facing one another, writing ‘I will not behave like a 12-year-old’ out a thousand times. Any kicking under the table or sticking out of tongues will result in a further detention. Both will be banned from afternoon games until they’ve completed their punishment. They will also have their tuck allowance removed for two weeks.”

In one respect, however, Richardson was disappointed with the decision: “I have elected not to appeal the decision of the judicial commissioner, though I must profess myself disappointed that he was not comfortably satisfied that either Anderson or Jadeja deserved a damn good thrashing. I had got my old birch rod out of the cabinet and everything.”

 

WASP the hell?

Sky Sports had a new gimmick in its T20 coverage this evening, the WASP percentage, which it kept wheeling out on the bottom bar (which is increasingly resembling the flight deck controls of a quad-engined airliner).

What’s the WASP percentage, you ask? We had no idea, only that it seemed to go down a bit as Ian Bell flailed and missed a ball. Was it perhaps the Weight Analysis of Samit Patel, adjusted ball by ball as Samit worked his way through a packet of crisps, sat on the sofa watching the game? Was it the Willow Accoutrement Smashing Potential, a real-time assessment of the overall state, composition and moisture levels of the batsman’s bat, trying to work out whether it’ll crack in two if he tries the Dhoni helicopter shot? Or maybe it was just a rough calculation of what proportion of the overweight, slightly sunburnt and increasingly drunk middle-aged men in the crowd were currently in danger of having a yellow-and-black buzzing insect land in their pint?
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English cricketing eccentrics, No. 3 – Jack Russell

I should nail my colours to the mast at the outset – Jack Russell was one of my cricketing heroes growing up. As a young wicketkeeper, watching him swooping around behind the stumps for Gloucestershire at my home ground at Cheltenham was inspirational. I even hung around to get his autograph at his testimonial game in 2004 and I have one of his wonderful prints on my wall. So the description that is to follow is borne of affection rather than ridicule. Why give this disclaimer, you ask? Because Robert Charles ‘Jack’ Russell is quite an odd fellow.

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Frankly the hat has aged better than the kit.

‘Eccentric’ is almost certainly the best word – he doesn’t like the phrase himself, insisting that all the things he does are “logical and natural”. That may be so, but it bears some of the hallmarks of being obsessive-compulsive. All of Russell’s strange behaviour had sensible roots, but he would take everything to its logical extreme. For instance, he liked his “flowerpot” hat and found it comfortable. Fair enough, but Russell’s logical extreme? He wore it in every match in his career bar his debut, endlessly repairing it with old cricket trousers, leading to a George-Washington’s-axe-type conundrum as to whether it was still the same hat by the end. Such was his dedication to it that he threatened to not play in the 1996 World Cup if he wasn’t allowed to wear it (the ICC were insisting on compliant blue caps). In the end, the authorities conceded defeat and Russell was given dispensation to wear the hat, so long as it had the Three Lions stitched on it. Such an ancient hat needed careful looking after – it was starched, stitched and carefully dried using a biscuit jar and tea cosy to hold the shape. However, away from home, he had to make do with more makeshift arrangements, on one occasion in 1994 putting it in the oven to dry. The hat predictably caught fire and required emergency repairs for it to live to fight another day.
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From the Archives: (i.e. we forgot to post this before) Film Review Roundup: The Adelaideville Horror

Out this week on DVD following the grand premiere in December, the Adelaideville Horror is based on the true story of a group of eleven young men who get holed up in an unfamiliar location. With their only means of defence a few pieces of wood, they are slowly picked off by a crazed killer (Mitchell Johnson).

NEWS FLASH

Police are hunting a Queensland man who launched a crazed and brutal attack on a bewildered group of English tourists in full public view. He has been named as Mitchell Johnson, 32. Johnson is described as being 6 foot 2 inches tall, stocky, with black hair. He has a number of tattoos on his arms and a horseshoe moustache. He was last seen wearing a white shirt and white trousers. Police released this last known picture of Johnson (right). The public have been warned not to approach Johnson, who is known to be armed with a potentially lethal projectile. All of the English tourists have now been released from hospital, although several are still being assessed for potential psychological damage.

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Johnson is described as “extremely dangerous”

We have managed to speak to a few of the victims within the past few hours. Matthew Prior, 31, told us, “The first thing I knew is that this big bloke with a moustache was running towards me at full pelt, before hurling something red at my head. I still don’t know what it was but it looked like if it had hit me, it could have killed me. I’d say it was travelling at over 90mph. I don’t know why he would do that but I was very scared. I wasn’t hanging around. I’ve never seen such aggression.”

Monty Panesar, 31, said, “He just kept coming back, again and again. He hit me on the head and the arm. It was all I could do to defend myself. I’m shaken, I really am.”

According to Panesar, one of the men still receiving treatment is Stuart Broad, 27. Broad is apparently so traumatised that the only discernable words he has uttered since the incident is, “There’s something wrong with the screen. Something wrong with the screen…”

Chief Inspector Jeff Crowe, who is leading the police operation, described Johnson as “extremely dangerous.” “The motive for these chilling attacks is still unknown, although we believe it may have been done for some kind of fun. We are also trying to trace several other similarly dressed men who may have been in the vicinity at the time of the attacks.”

Anyone who may have witnessed the attacks is encouraged to sob into their morning coffee before contacting the police.

Well-known Comedy Group Reunites

In a move that has shocked the cricketing world, the legendary comedy troupe, Monty Panesar’s Flying Circus, have to decided to re-form for a hilarious, high-jinks filled tour to Australia.

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How it might look

With their legendary slapstick humour and unpredictable shifts in comedic tone, MPFC were in their heyday during the 1990s, when their side-splitting antics, featuring dropped catches, woeful batting collapses and left-field selection decisions left everyone apart from England in fits of hysterical laughter. Over the last few years, however, their appearances have become fewer and further between, last being seen in public in January 2012, with the seminal ’72 all out’ episode.
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That T20 / ODI series report in full

Nobody cares. Is it over yet?

The Over: The Ashes – Third Test

Here’s our entirely original thoughts on the eventual puddle at Old Trafford

1. Nearly everyone is saying fairly nice things about Michael Clarke’s captaincy, at least to some extent, but we can’t quite fathom his tactics in this one. Put quite simply, he had to win this game or The Ashes were gone. He knew that the weather forecast for the last two days were iffy at best and yet he batted on for 36 overs. If he’d been really bold, he would have forfeited his second innings and set England an enticing 160 to win. Now that’s a bit outlandish, we admit, but he could easily have knocked off 50 in no more than 10 overs and made it 210. That’s a serious score to chase in a fourth innings, regardless of the weather, and based on the evidence of Monday, it would have been a real struggle for England. We’ll say again, Australia HAD to win, even at the risk of losing. They didn’t even give themselves half a chance.

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