Thursday, 30 April 2009

AB takes Delhi to watch rugby

Apparently he thinks they'll be interested.

"We didn't do much off the field in Durban so now that we're in my home town on Saturday, I'm taking them to the big one, Loftus Versveld, for the Bulls' Super 14 match against the Western Force. We'll see how that goes!"
Probably went terribly. Gambhir wandered off and tried to prove his manhood once more with a couple of hot 40 year olds, Dilshan found himself converting to Rastafarianism, Sangwan burst into tears when everyone kept calling him "someone", Yo Mahesh rediscovered himself as a hip hop artist, Colly shaved his hair off and tried to smash Dan's glasses, Warner went around collecting volunteers who were willing to let him on for a stint at fielding, and Dirk... well, you don't even want to know what happened with Dirk.

Owais Shah didn't even go. He cried himself to sleep in his hotel room after receiving a call from the ECB.

Albie The Villain Wears A Visor

You heard it here first. Albie wore a visor. Disgusting.

Idiot. And no, the guy next to him isn't from Doctor Who.

Alright, setting all the petty stuff aside (although who does willingly wear a visor?), French Sydneysider has sent me the link to interesting articles on Albie, written from his bat's POV. But the most interesting parts of it are where it talks about things we wouldn't already know. Little insider things which aren't all that significant but I'll be damned if I don't comment on it.

The first is on the case of the missing equipment which Morne dressed up as a baggage handler to remove stealthily:

Albie had warned me to stay prepared because he wanted to go straight into action for the Super Kings. I even heard him imploring the person at check-in that even if nothing else did, at least his cricket kit needed to be waiting for him at the other end. I even felt them slap a “priority” sticker onto us.

The plot thickens... weeks after it occurred. Apparently he has size 10 shoes. That's irrelevant, but okay.

More importantly, it seems perhaps Albie is battling a minor injury. How I'd love to put his below par performances down to this:

He’s also not one for excuses, but I can tell you exclusively that my partner isn’t quite firing on all cylinders fitness-wise – he strained some ankle ligaments against Bangalore Royal Challengers. He’s baffled as to exactly how it happened; he just told me he suddenly felt a burning sensation after bowling a ball. There’s no real recovery time during the IPL, so he’s biting the bullet and playing through it – luckily a scan showed it’s not too serious.

But is it serious enough to make him play worse than he could be? Hopefully. At least then there's hope he'll be back to full strength and pounding balls once more.

And then there's Albie not voting in South Africa's general elections. If the same thing happened to me, I'd be slapped with a fine. Compulsory voting, folks. We gotta do it.

He didn’t have his ID book with him on his IPL travels, come election day itself, which was a pity.So he promised me he wouldn’t complain about the way the country is governed for the next few years!

What's wrong? Did the communists come into power?

Yes, unfortunately. Say goodbye to cricket.

"Albie assures me he loves the responsibility and the pressure of trying to be the match-winner -- even if, when you don’t come off, there’s the danger you’ll be branded as the villain by some people."

How To Win The Ashes - Part 2

England hand it to us on a plate.

England's West Indies Test squad: Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior (wk), Graeme Swann

Ravi Bopara muscles in on the Number 3 spot which was looking to be Ian Bell, Michael Vaughan or Owais Shah's pick. KP has somehow managed to avoid the spot altogether and made it look as though he was never having to consider playing at 3 to save face for England.
Graham Onions and Tim Bresnan are about to debut, but I'm sure Onions will have a stinker of a match. Geoff Miller's explanation behind these two selections was that

"They've bowled very, very well pre-season and they've bowled very well in the early part of the season. We need to find strong backup and one or two other seam bowlers who are of international quality and these two have out-bowled the others so they get their chance."

Onions is reportedly very pleased.

The ECB have done some good in leaving out Bell and Vaughan, but will you just look at the squad? The Ashes squad will be mostly similar, perhaps dropping some of the debutants, and with the inclusion of Freddie. None of those players going to the Windies look great. Maybe Strauss is on a roll, but honestly, who are they kidding? Hats off to not living in the past (i.e. 2005) and going with all those old fellows, but word is the Scots are already calling it shite.

Miller is excited about this new squad, and he thinks it's going to take England to great heights and open up closed shops and things like that. Didn't understand what that meant? Neither did I:

"I think it's exciting, we've been designated as a closed shop for some time now and this just shows to county cricketers that we are not a closed shop and we are prepared to open it up."

I'm sure I'm not the only person who didn't find that analogy all that great.

Monty will be opening up their shop.

P20 Jokes

Come on, you can do it.

"I'd pee on P20 before I deigned to watch it."
"K-Pee might do well in the P20."
"Piss off P20."

That last one would only work if you had an Italian accent. Oh, whatever. I don't really care anyway.

But it's a riot. Just how much T20 does England want to play? They're setting the event in June from 2010 in the hopes that the best foreign players from around the world will be available for the tournament.

England are reportedly looking to rob major banks in order to finance all these contracts for foreign players.

Giles Clark is all cheery about it:
"I'm sure it will be another exciting development in the domestic cricket season."
Or is he?


Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Way to go, Baz

Out first ball to KP. That's how you do it.

When Kevin Pietersen opens the bowling, you don't give him a wicket. It's the dishonourable thing to do. Brendon McCullum thought otherwise.

Maybe Bangalore will scrape a win in today. If ROFL's half the dangerous bowler he was against Australia, Kolkata might fall. But then again, Australia have proven themselves to be terrible at playing spin, and ROFL may turn out to be the most ordinary bowler yet. I don't think so, but it remains to be seen.

Ah, and now Brad Hodge goes. Kumble's spin proves too much for our compatriots.

Kolkata vs. Bangalore

The question is not who will win, the question is how much more of a laughing stock Bangalore will make of themselves.

I will be watching with bated breath, especially as we're finally getting a match live.

How To Win The Ashes

1. Phil Hughes.

2. A good spinner, if we can find one.

3. Phil Hughes.

4. An opposition experiencing internal problems.

5. Phil Hughes.

6. Mitchell Johnson.

7. Phil Hughes.

8. Shaun Marsh, fingers crossed.

9. Phil Hughes.

10. And for good measure, Phil Hughes.

Little Phillip is going to piss off a lot of Poms.

"Phillip Hughes - Aussie twang."

More Kamran Khan Stories

Time to edge in on the latest on the Kamran Khan story before all the news outlets start talking about the fairytale story of Kamran Khan again.

Mike Haysman writes of what is going on back home in Kamran's village during the IPL:
His eldest brother Shamshad Ahmed, who works as a driver on daily wages, had organized that four television sets were on hand and a generator was hired as the villagers gathered at Kamran’s residence to watch the match. When he captured the prize wicket of Ganguly celebrations erupted and fire crackers punctuated the air and signed off the moment. Soon after his brother was bursting with pride as The Royals were victorious following an emotionally draining tie enforced Super Over that was engineered by Kamran.
Everyone wants to know the feel good cricketing story of the year. This is it, folks. They'll be making it into a film next.

And then there's a little more on Kamran's journey to the top and struggle for recognition:
Kamran was an eighth grade dropout and along with his seven brothers and two sisters faced the stark reality of abject poverty and despair on a daily basis. Both his parents died when he was young but that never extinguished his dream of becoming a cricketer. He tirelessly trekked from city to city with his one set of whites and torn cricket shoes enrolling in cricket camps in the hope of recognition.
Are you feeling good yet? You should be.

"I'm going to go, go, go, there's no stopping me."

Shaun Tait and Freddie

Shaun Tait wants some IPL action too. But first he has to get fit, he says. And then maybe he'll get a few IPL games in after that.

I can't even bring myself to respond to him anymore. Tait is just a void in the cricket team. Sometimes there, mostly not, and only if he's in good physical and mental shape, which is proving to be a tough ask. He's a talented bowler, some may say chucker, but hey he's Aussie, right? We don't do chuckers, mate. Just ask Michael Clarke.

And as Tait recovers from his injury, Flintoff's surgery is over and has been declared a success. Good to hear, fuckers. They think he'll be back for the T20 World Cup, all fresh for another injury.

Rajasthan looking mighty again

On a day when everyone was making tasteless jokes about the swine flu, and swines were running in terror from butchers, the real swines came out and showed us how it's done. After an achievable 143 from Delhi, including AB doing his usual thing of being effortlessly good in every situation and hitting a 50, Graeme Smith oinked his way to 44 from 46 balls.
Everyone collapsed around him, save for King Kong, who came out to join his curly-tailed pink friend. The contrast was massive. Graeme was really feeling the fat getting in the way, as he waddled slowly to get to his slow 44 in true swine style. King Kong, meanwhile, was more interested in punishing Delhi's bowlers. Punish, punish, punish, with a 62 off 30 balls. What's that, Pathan would say, are you bowling a doosra? I saw that. And to punish you, I'm sending that away for a 6. Bang, down gave the gavel, the judge had made his decision.

If you want some real stats, you'll be interested to know King Kong hit 1 in every 5 balls for a six. What's that? FUCKING AWESOME? I agree. It was getting so bad for Graeme down the other end, he had to have a little chat with King about the importance of playing slowly and not trying to steal the limelight, playing for the team not for your own glory, etc.

"Now now, Yusuf, no need to be reckless. I'm the more senior player here, I think you should slow down and save face for me. Me being the team."

King Kong didn't listen. Who's the swine now? he cackled, as he sent another one over the boundary rope and drove Daniel Vettori to tears.

It wasn't Dan's day with the ball, unfortunately. But he had a cracker of a day with the bat. 29 off 28, matching AB every step of the partnership. That was the best part of it. Showing AB he wasn't the only one with magic powers, although Dan's are more of the Avada Kedavra kind. During his stint at the crease, Dan was angry. Argh angry, and not like a pirate, but like a dog that's just been shot up the ass.


Very punny, Dan. Don't you agree?

Ultimately, King Kong rules the night, although Munaf Patel did some extremely good stuff in his 4 overs which only went for 14. He even picked up 2 wickets, including our favourite Kiwi skipper's. Sehwag and Gambhir were out of it the whole time, and they have been this entire tournament. A hard night partying with the ladies and drinking contests with Jesse Ryder are to blame this time, but last time, their failure can be accounted to wanting to get off the field fast after an overdose of Viagra to impress the cheerleaders. Needless to say, the cheerleaders weren't impressed with Gambhir, and had to pretend to be interested in Sehwag, before booting them both onto the field for a bat. Failures.

AB was disappointed with his performance. Only 1 six. Disgusting. 50 off 40 balls? Equally as disgusting. He was destined for a century if the umpires hadn't been such massive gits, and if Warnie hadn't appealed. So when Warnie himself was gotten out for a duck in the Royals' innings, AB had a little laugh and smirked to the leggie's face. Take that, Warne. AB had his revenge. He also ensured his captain didn't get many away so AB could remain the top scoring saffa in the match. It's the little things in life which please AB.

See that expression on AB's face? I do. He can't hide his secret glee.

Inside Albie's Home

My favourite groupie Kameelperd has sent in a video of something she quickly recorded on Albie.

It is Albie showing us around his house. The one he is building.

More on Delhi's loss and Phil Hughes and OTHER EXCITING STUFF later.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

No Captaincy For Jacques

It's all a downward spiral for Jacques' IPL hopes. Now Ray Jennings is saying the captaincy is still being decided upon, even though they had pretty much made it clear he would be captain after KP left.
What did it? The pathetic bowling or the equally-as-bad batting? I am very interested. What tipped Bangalore over the edge? The 4 straight losses might have had something to do with it. And the fact that Jacques is just a fat fuck who doesn't even deserve the title of "Best All-Rounder in the World" but who still has it heaped on him regularly.

Or maybe they were truly terrified by the thought of captaining by consensus. Imagine that. No Dravid, no KP, just Jacques and a whole bunch of young Indian players, plus a Dale Steyn, Ross Taylor, Anil Kumble and maybe a Jesse Ryder. Sounds like a great decision-making committee. So many Kiwis they'd probably fuck it all up. But Kumble is the one good thing about that. I'm sure they could trust him, even if he's say the Deccan Chargers hadn't played in the spirit of the game because they WON, DAMMIT. Alright, that's a low dig. But I don't care.

Then again, who else does Bangalore have now? Nobody, that's what. They're fucked, and I'm not saying that lightly. They are well and truly fucked, and nobody's going to save their asses after KP hops on his private jet for England and slides down giant mountains of cash in his new mansion with glee.

Ray Jennings isn't even sure if he wants to play Jacques. That's desperate. If I were Ray Jennings, I'd play Jacques just to have a laugh, and then put all my money on the other team winning. That isn't how it works, unfortunately.
After that, they'd have to bring in Boucher, just to be a second senior player in the team and to make sure Jesse doesn't flip and Hulk everyone to bits. Jennings has said that if Jacques does play then of course he, wait for it... might be captain. So the only way for him to not possibly captain is if he doesn't play. And it seems as though Jennings is seriously considering that possibility.

Hallelujah. And not the sad one, the happy one.



Spotted: Albie looking like a faggot. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. I'm all for LGBT rights, guys.

The photo on the right is the main offender. The one on the left is excluded from my claims.

I've hung onto this picture for a while because I forgot about it, but then my groupie reminded me of it. Isn't that what groupies are for?

By the way, there's also some shocking photos of Albie with a certain saffa player who I won't mention now. It's likely people have seen the photos before but I will comment on them when I find the time.

Aussie Traitors

You heard right. Aussie traitors join the likely-to-be-shit American Premier League or whatever it's called.

It's Jason Gillespie and Damien Martyn. Just when everyone had forgotten about them, bang, they resurface in a rebel league which will likely never grow to the size of even the ICL, let alone the IPL.

So Gillespie and Martyn.


Johannes Albertus fails us

Maithreyi wanted to know Albie's full name - there you go.

I had high hopes, high expectations, and appropriately he failed me AGAIN.

This is like the shittiest IPL ever. And I know we've only had one before.

What happened to my ALL-ROUND SUPERSTAR?

Dhoni: "The bowlers are letting us down." WELL YES THEY ARE. So is your middle order batting.

And meanwhile, Australia is beating Pakistan in ODIs. And actually playing spin.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Live streaming and Albie

I'm watching the game through some very dodgy live streaming online because apparently One doesn't think broadcasting the IPL live is good enough.


Thank god for Hayden and Oram.

RAINA IS ON DRUGS. HE GOT GILLY OUT. Anyway, this is a joke. DC will still get there with plenty to spare.

Spicy noodles and Malcolm Turnbull

This is my second un-cricket related post in 3 days, but I have to say, one of the best things about Twitter is that Malcolm Turnbull can tell you:

having spicy noodles for lunch at Ramen Kan in Bondi Junction.


"Secretly eating spicy noodles in parliament."

Deccan vs. Chennai

I don't know how much I can stress this, but Chennai have to win.

They have to win, or the Chargers will have won all of their games until now. And that's just a dangerous imbalance of power and success.

Something tells me maybe Chennai can pull it off. They're not a bad team, they're one of the strongest. But they haven't played since that loss against Delhi. This Saturday, Chennai will face Delhi again. Can they beat them?

Freddie's not going to be there today. Apparently the players were disappointed because they just loved his cheery spirit. It's fake, I'll tell you. The players are probably glad to be rid of that grin and those super expensive bowlers.

By the way, does "whistle podu" just mean whistling for your team? Is there some sort of reason behind it, cultural or otherwise?


Batting With Broken Fingers

Continuing with the story of our martyr, Alastair Cook batted in the second innings of the match against the West Indies for his county. And this time he fared well:

"It is still sore but it is definitely getting better. It was much better than yesterday. Perhaps I hit more balls out of the middle of the bat because it was the balls I didn't hit right on Saturday that caused quite a bit of pain. Maybe it is just getting used to batting again."
It's been three weeks since he fractured his finger, and he just wants to be able to play the first Test against the Windies in May.

I wouldn't play 3 weeks after breaking my finger but I guess my eyes aren't pretty enough.

The Moment Saeed Ajmal Was Done For

Ducking Beamers has posted the video in which Ajmal's bowling action is first questioned, by none other than Shane Watson:

Watching Watson try to play spin makes me feel very squeamish.

So many suspect bowlers

Saeed Ajmal is next, after a string of perhaps 3 in the past month (SA, Oman, UAE). Ajmal was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action in the 2nd ODI.

Is he a chucker? His doosra is suspect. It's just as well the umpires and the ICC cracked down on this. Everyone's all too willing to call bowlers chuckers but actual evidence and testing is the right way to go. A fair game's a good game.

"Yes! Suspect!"

Do you know Younis Khan went home with half his match fee after that ODI? I didn't. The rest of the players were also fined 20% of their match fee for slow over rates. Hurrah for cracking down on slow over rates.

Hello Irfan

It was good to see him back, wasn't it? If Punjab were going to win, I'm glad it's him who won it for them.

Of course, Sangakkara did a lot with the bat, but Irfan Pathan was an all-round superstar. See what I did there.

Although, I cannot believe Punjab's bowlers were good enough to defend that pathetic total. Kudos to them. Irfan did the good stuff at the start.

"I'm the king of the world!"

The only thing he's missing is a Kate Winslet.

And I'm extremely pissed off that they're still showing racing instead of the IPL. The first match was broadcast when the second one had begun so NONE OF IT WAS LIVE. Fuckers.

And on the previous match, fat Jacques is out first ball. I laughed for a long time.

KP's face after he got out was priceless. You could tell he was furious with himself for being such an idiot. Which he was.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

KP's Switch Hitting

Well, it got him out.

How appropriate.

I'm sorry, but you don't try to switch hit against Dan. It's just wrong.

Oh well, the 37 that did come were pretty.


It's been a while since I've done a Spotto. This one's my favourite of the photos linked to in a previous post:

Courtesy of Richie, Spotted: Boucher pulling off the wicketkeeping gloves and putting on the boxing gloves.

At the expense of Albie.

Where is Sybrand?

I hate having obscure best friends. They're exactly that: obscure. Apparently our favourite ambidextrous serial killer hasn't become the next sensation in the cricketing world. After that warm-up match against the Rajasthan Royals, he has all but disappeared from the circuit.

Meanwhile, Napoleon Einstein has been sent home by the very people who spelt his name incorrectly on their website and following that, there has been no news on him.

Vaughn van Jaarsveld is also off the scene, and the last time he was seen was during the T20 and ODI matches, on the sidelines.

All three of my best friends, all little kids, are nowhere to be seen. I demand answers.

The results before the game

Think about the two games today. Think about who will win.

Bangalore are up against Delhi. That's some sort of joke. Delhi will win, unless a miracle occurs.

Then there's Punjab against Rajasthan. Rajasthan haven't been looking flash hot this season but they are incredibly dangerous and they won that last match against Kolkata in a difficult contest. If everything goes right, everything that is, Punjab might scrape out a win. Their best chance of winning lies in their batting, and if they can set up a very convincing score against the Royals, and bowl well enough to bring down Rajasthan's top & middle order, Punjab will be in it. Of course, that's assuming Punjab bat first, but it could also work if they bowl first.

We'll see. I'm actually going to miss these two matches, and I'm glad it's these two I'm missing because they don't look to be that big of a contest.

My First Groupie

At least, I hope so. I've always wanted a groupie, it seemed like the kind of thing only rock stars could have. But if Damith at Flyslip can have groupies, then surely I can?

Hello Kameelperd. You've never commented here but you have a post dedicated to me, tell me you're my groupie. Then I'll be cooler than Steve Harmison, and that's certainly an achievement of some sort.

Say hi sometime, I treat my groupies nicely. Even if they're evil Morne fans.

Of course, not groupies in the literal context of the word. That would be a little disturbing.

The Fairytale Story of Kamran Khan

My monopoly on Kamran Khan stories is over. Suddenly all the news outlets are talking about "The Fairytale Story of Kamran Khan".


At least I'm still the go-to person for White Mischief Gals. But that is little consolation in the face of losing Kamran's story.

Over. Just over.

Interview With Delusional Ricky Ponting

I just happened to catch the last 10 minutes of a who-knows-how-long interview with Ricky on WWOS. Slats was firing some questions sent in from viewers, and Ricky answered them. There were a few amusing things he said.

On why Phil Hughes isn't in Australia's ODI side:
"I think he's more suited to Test cricket. Besides, our one day side is at full strength, with Shaun Marsh, obviously he's gotten an injury so he can't play, Shane Watson, Andrew Symonds, Michael Clarke, the Two Husseys..."

Full strength? And the two husseys or the two hussies? It sounded funny at the time.

On why Australia appears to lack decent spinners:
"The lack of spinners in Australia is really due to the wickets in Australia. They're not suited to spinners so we don't have that many. Spinners are finding it hard to play on Australian wickets."

That is the best excuse anyone could ever come up with. Ricky Ponting, you stupid bastard, you are a genius at inventing excuses. It's very much like the English team. Quick, blame the loss on the wicket! Punter's learnt something from our enemies, it seems. I wonder how we produced the best legspinner in history on such wickets.

"I think it's terrific... But my wife was horrified to read in newspapers that people think our wives and girlfriends need counselling."

It's funny because as Ponting was speaking, they cut to a montage of various Aussie cricketers with their wives and girlfriends, including Lara Bingle looking much like a vampire as usual.

When asked whether Australia is a "good side or a great side":
"I think... a good side."

Hahaha, great way to round it off.

And Ponting also reckons they'll go for a spinner in their Ashes XI. The question is, who will it be?


AB backtracks on No.1 claim

You misunderstood when he said he wanted to be the number one bastman in the world. What he really meant was:

“I think it is everyone’s dream to become the best player in the world. If it’s not part of your dream then you shouldn’t be playing. That’s what I meant by saying that.”

But there's something more fishy going on between him and Jacques Kallis:

“A lot of time with a guy like Kallis in the change room. He’s got a lot of experience and he has helped me a lot.”

There's something fishy going on between AB and everyone.

Graeme Smith and AB are good friends.

White Mischief Gal Spills the Beans

If you had to pick any profession for our Mischief Gal blogger Rebecca Lee, what would it be?

Okay, this is enough thinking time.

She's an attorney.

I know.
“I went to Florida State University, and Cumberland School of Law, and I am actually a practising attorney. I have passed my board. I can do my work on the internet. I do a lot of boring contract stuff. Some people try to make us out as dumb girls, but cheerleading is on its way to become an Olympic sport, and so it’s quite a serious sport."

Just like cricket is on its way to being an Olympic sport.

But alright, don't judge a book by its cover, etc. A lesson learnt for everyone.

Alastair Cook does a Graeme Smith

The man with the mascara batted for Essex against the West Indies yesterday with a broken finger. He played for 2 hours and made 46 runs in that time.

With a broken finger. Why did he bother?

Apparently he looked to be in pain at times. Well, you would be. BECAUSE YOU PLAYED WITH A BROKEN FINGER, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

"Look at me, all self-sacrificial and Jesus-like."

Washed out by Deccan Chargers

Here we go, the second match of the day was abandoned due to rain. Thank god, because I actually wouldn't have been able to watch it. Channel ONE decided to show us the Chinese Grand Prix between the two matches. Fuckers. I had things to do and places to be so I eventually sacrificed the game for a bit of sleep.

But Mumbai vs. Deccan Chargers. Throughout the game, the commentators kept talking about how great the Deccan innings was, but I never felt it to be honest. They seemed to get a boundary every few balls and a hell of a lot dot balls in between. It was a choppy innings and when they initiated their collapse I was still a little bored by the match.

Mumbai came on and for the first 10 overs, looked right on track. RP Singh took the wicket of Jayasuriya and decided to show us his hairy chest which I wasn't particularly a fan of. Deccan were looking worse for wear but the strategic time out did it, and they won by 12 runs.

Malinga the Slinger was looking good, as was JP Duminy, but in the end, the West Indians won the day. Fidel Edwards and Dwayne Smith were priceless in the win against Mumbai.

So while the commentators were chatting about Sartre and other equally cricket-related things, I noticed a few interesting things on the field:

Gilly looks terrible in the blue uniform. It just makes him look creepy. Of course, his wasn't the worse uniform of the night. The Mumbai cheerleaders won that category. WTF were they wearing? They looked like they'd decorated cossies with tinsel.

The Deccan Chargers' fielding coach Mike Young makes Anzac Day sound like a joke.

Quote of the day:
"This is his day today. Before he left, someone put their hand on his head and said 'This is your day'." -Indian commentator on Herschelle Gibbs. I couldn't pick who the commentator was, but it was a funny quote.

Ad of the day:
Brad McEwan and ONE Technology on the Nintendo DSi:
Brad: *into recorder* I love Sports Tonight.
Harvey Norman dude: You do. I love watching it.

And then Brad goes all suggestive on us and says: "Well, there you go. The Nintendo DSi. Plenty of fun in a small package."

Cheers, Brad.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Who Plays Who

Deccan vs. Mumbai
Chennai vs. Kolkata

Will we see more Gilly theatrics? I hope so. They'll be up against the best bowling attack in the tournament, so their relatively small top and middle order will have to get some real work in against Mumbai.

Will we see a weaker Chennai? That's an interesting question. Theoretically, Chennai should be a weaker side in their lacklustre bowling department with the absence of Freddie, but as we all know, he hasn't exactly been doing them any favours with his bowling. Last match we saw Balaji come out with the best figures. I don't think that will be happening again, to be honest. I'm inclined to think Chennai will play Oram tonight. He was unimpressive in the first match, but then again, it was only one match. He's sat out the rest and maybe it's time he played.

Chennai's batting is looking alright. If Dhoni's keeping again, hopefully they'll take Parthiv Patel off. He isn't exactly the best choice for the powerplay in those first 6 overs, especially when he isn't of use as a wicketkeeper. It doesn't make sense to keep him on.

Haydos is looking good, and is currently the leading run scorer in the tournament. I wonder if after the last match, when he was given his orange cap in the innings break, the IPL organisers had wrestled it off Dravid.

Dhoni also needs to get going today, as does Albie, and whoever comes in at 6. Raina will also need to put on a decent performance. I am nervous for Albie. He needs to put on a big score today to convince everyone he's up and going. And he won't have Freddie to comfort him after the game if they have another devastating loss.

Kolkata... well, we'll see. They could well be a threat, but if Chennai perform to their potential, it shouldn't be too difficult to silence them. Look out for Mendis if he plays. Chennai's reliance on foreign players means they will be the most vulnerable to Mendis' crafty bowling, having not played him before.

Not cricket

This is a cricket blog, but sometimes it's okay to talk about other sports. So I turn my attention to the footy.

Holy fucking shit, Essendon won. The Bombers somehow pulled off a miraculous win. That is one of the closest and best matches they've had in a while. Patty Ryder did some seriously amazing stuff with his last minute rucking, and his tackling. Jack Anthony from the Magpies got them so close but not close enough.

Shit. Nerves are still running high after that one. Great match.

But let's not forget the real reason those players were out there today: to celebrate Anzac Day and the spirit of our Anzacs. Great men who fought for our country, some surviving and some not, and those very many men and women still out there today representing Australia.

Australia is behind all of them.

Reasons You Will Hate AB

So I ripped that title off a friend of mine, but it's time to talk AB.

Achettup loves AB. He has adopted AB as his very own.

I am shocked. Shocked is what I am. Because it is almost impossible to like AB that much, he's just too damn perfect. He's like that person everyone knows who excels in a million different areas effortlessly, while others have to dedicate themselves to this one thing and really earn it. And to top it off, he's humble and accredits it all to God.

Fuck that shit. I know I'm not the only person who gets irritated by that, and people will say "you're just jealous" and "stop whining he's awesome" but no, I don't know how anyone can stand AB.

If the guy were just a class batsmen, that would be enough. Watching AB bat probably sends half his fans into orgasm. You know what, throw in his excellent fielding and that will be enough.

But no, AB is also a decent wicketkeeper. He doesn't want to be one, of course, he wants to be the No. 1 batsman in the world. And he's 25. If he keeps it up, he actually will become the No. 1 batsman in the world, and the best fielder to boot. Jonty Rhodes himself has described AB as one of the 4 best fielders in the world.

Half his fans, while they try to pass it off as strokeplay, love him for his appearance. Because AB is actually a good looking player. After watching Jacques Kallis bat for a bit, people are crying for a look at AB. He wears pink bandanas and passes it off, and according to Morne Morkel, AB spends a lot of his time in front of the mirror. According to schizophrenic Andre, AB is the best dressed South African cricketer.

That's not it, because AB has more left in him. He also plays golf, rugby and tennis and would no doubt have had a successful career in one of those, but he chose to play cricket. What a relief. And he played 78 Test innings before he was out for a duck. So for 78 Test innings, AB contributed to his team's score. He was a real player. That 78 is the record, by the way. AB is just so amazing.

AB can also play the guitar and he's a singer. He's even released a single to prove it, and plans to release an album in the near future if he can. He wants to have a singing career when he retires from cricket, just to keep up the brilliance.

Sound like a huge list of achievements? It is. But humble AB believes it is all the work of Jesus. According to him, "Jesus is the man" and all his success is due to Jesus. His faith means more to him than playing for his country. He's a good, honest, religious man. His favourite book is also the Bible, and he gets weird when I talk about Albie. AB is also a positive person, and has invented a motto which describes his attitude to life: "Stay sharp!" He's just so positive all the time, and proud to be a Protea.

So after all that, is it possible to actually like AB? The guy is so effortlessly perfect at everything it begins to grind at your nerves. How do the other players stand being around him? You'd automatically feel like a failure, if it weren't for AB constantly encouraging you to stay sharp and maintaining his personality as a nice person constantly. Some players have nothing, but AB has everything. He has no weakness, he's just good at everything that comes his way. He could probably learn to fly a plane in two days.

You can't like him.

But when AB gets caught in a strip club, like our good old PM, then we'll talk. It does wonders for your likeability factor.

Kent and Clark's replacement

Stuart Clark, after being called up for the ODI series against Pakistan, has suggested the replacement player for him for Kent.

Guess who?

Wayne Parnell.

Yeah, an Aussie recommending a saffa take their place. That's disgusting. I'm not exactly the most loyal Aussie fan, but if I were Stuey I sure as hell wouldn't be suggesting Kent replace me with an up-and-coming saffa player. I'd throw around a few Australian names. Doing a little something for the country.

Parnell will play for Kent until towards the end of May, when he returns to South Africa for the Proteas training camp ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Not gonna be wearing green, m'boy.

Freddie, Freddie, Freddie

What the fuck, not another injury. It's his knee. Torn meniscus which now requires keyhole surgery. The ECB think he'll be out of the game for 3 to 5 weeks. Hugh Morris is onto it, already prepared with a list of reasons why this isn't such a big deal:
"Andrew has been extremely unlucky with injuries but if there is one saving grace it is that the injury has occurred now rather than on the eve of either the ICC World Twenty20 or the Ashes."

So England breathe a sigh of relief. He'll be there for the Ashes. They'll need him, especially after little midgets are going around hitting centuries in their domestic tournament. But with Freddie, England's chances of beating a rubbish Aussie team are a little higher.

KP is also weighing in on the issue:
"I didn't know about it (injury). I saw him bowling last night but it is a huge, huge blow come the summer in England."

A huge, huge blow.

Chennai will be glad to see the back of Freddie.

Dravid can't do everything


Dravid walks out, but he's gone a short while later.

Kallis somehow gets 62 off 46 balls.

Ravi Bopara does the job for Punjab with his 84 off 59 balls.

And Irfan Pathan was good with the ball, wasn't he? Two wickets in the last over counts for something.

And KP gives another shit performance.

Roy you bloody beauty

And Michael Clarke has gone from being one of Australia's best players of spin to being absolutely terrible.

Australia won, I can now stop hanging my head in shame. Symonds got 2-12, picking up 2 wickets in one over, and came back later to put on a measured 58 run stand. Australia are glad to have him back.

Hopes was also great in the batting department, scoring 48 when it was needed most.

Evil Doug even managed to suffocate Pakistan, only going for 26 in his 10 overs.

Sing 'Winner' to the tune of 'Thriller'

Fake IPL Player shits on everyone again

His last few posts have been pretty boring, but it's hard not to admire this guy's tenacity. He's up and running again after a short break.

I guess the Fake IPL Player hasn't been caught.

The reliability of yesterday's source has been questioned, just so you all know. That's only become apparent quite a while after.

No fear, because now it could be anyone again. Seeing as most of the focus has gone off his posts and onto his identity, this is the real story. He said it himself; he's only gong to post things that every other player knows, to preserve his identity.

I like it. So on with the fakeness.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Ireland for Test cricket

I didn't mention it before and now I'll just talk about it briefly.

Ireland want to be considered for Test status. They think they've proven themselves in all formats of the game and the ICC should consider this. Their managers have come out with comments saying Ireland should play a test match against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe and prove their worth.

Maybe becoming a Test nation is the next place for Ireland to go.

Go Boyd Rankin. I just needed to work that in there.

Devastated Albie has cost Chennai dearly

Just when you think you can probably pass the loss off to something like bowling, VB Chandrasekar comes out and pegs it as that dropped catch:
We are a good side but one fielding error in the two games we have lost has cost us dear... Our real chance to pull back was lost with Albie flooring AB.
Immediately after the game, the two losers of Chennai had a "moment":
Albie looked devastated with a bad day in office, but I was happy to see Freddie walk across to sit by his side. Albie looked comforted momentarily. Surely, it was a lesson in team sport.
Comforted. Thank god it was only momentarily. Now he can go back to hating himself. Because he's South African and we all know the best way to make a South African perform is to rip their guts out and remind them of just how shit they are and how badly they're going to be pulverised the next match.

So next match, Albie will either come out swinging or he will be broken.
Freddie will just smile and comfort people. I bet he doesn't really care whether he does well or not, it's just a lot of money for very little work. It's Albie who will feel the real pain.

Fake IPL Player = Ranadeb Bose

So it's almost official, but nobody's saying his name.
There must have been hundreds of people who pegged him days before this almost-there confirmation of the Fake IPL Player's identity.

Gulu Ezekiel writes for the New Indian Express, and pretty much says it all:
He is smart — educated at one of the country’s top schools — articulate and bitter as well. And he has reason to be, after being one the most successful bowlers in a recent domestic season.

The motive can be traced to the Kolkata Knight Riders camp in the IPL’s first season. After being kept on the sidelines for half the event, the player in question along with five others was asked to leave the team hotel in Kolkata and no longer be part of the franchise ostensibly on the grounds of cost cutting.

He had lashed out at the time at what he perceived to be shabby treatment and swore never to wear KKR colours again, being particularly critical of the team owner and the coach. It is no surprise then that KKR decided to dispense with him this year and he was picked up by a franchise from the North.

The name will be revealed within 24 hours but it's pretty obvious, if this article is correct which it seems to be, that Ranadeb Bose is your man.

And it looks like Ezekiel has received word that perhaps Lord Almighty was the one suppling KKR insider info to RDB. Oh dear. How exciting.

Kamran Khan for all you suckers

Everyone wants to know about Kamran Khan. Everyone.

Apparently many people were impressed by his antics in the last match and are now intent on googling as many variations of "Kamran Khan cricketer" as possible. You'd think there's very few, but there's actually a lot of ways you can plug that into a search engine.

But my favourite one is: THE STORY OF KAMRAN KHAN

Upper case and all. THE STORY OF KAMRAN KHAN. Sounds like a fable, of a mighty hunter and his valiant efforts to save the king from a lion. But it isn't. Anyway, it turns out that if you were, in your uncontrollable state of excitement, to search THE STORY OF KAMRAN KHAN, and wait with bated breath, the first result that would turn up is "Kamran Khan has a story".

Apparently there is a god.

To Albie - Love, AB

Heloo Albee I em just riting too tell yoo thenk yoo for helping me get cenchery in metch. I em gladd yoo ar thinkeng abowt yoor felloo south afrikans we ar best freinds YAH. Okay no Mornay is mai best freind but yoo ar sekund best aftar this thenk yoo. I will tell Mickey and Greame yoo ar grate and yoo shud be in Test team. Mornay is lost cais now eniway he is STILL not bak on team. So shaimfull dont yoo think? He is still mai best freind becos wat if he is sudenly gud! Eniway we haf too live toogethar so I hav too like him. End Jesus onli luvs those who luv everione else so I em just being gud christain.

Wat i em reelly sinding email for is too say thenk yoo for droping cach I now yoo did for me becos we ar good freinds but I em beter luking off corse! ha ha thet is a joke ORR IS IT???? I was reeding bibel yestiday end it sed too take victry with levil hed end too be nice to loosers so I em riting too yoo becos yoo lost end yoo ar the looser.

Yoo showd reel south afrikan spiritt end so did i even tho I hit yoo for six so meny times!! ha ha thet was funy wen I hit thet six end yoo wer probebly thinking oh no I wish I was AB!! Its okay lots of peepel went too be me. I em handsum and hav gud hair end I em gud at bating end feilding end wecketkeeping end sumtimes I boll too. I can also play teniss end golf end rugbi so I am all round starr dont yoo think? I also sing end play guitar end qwalifyed for Olimpycs in 16 defferent sports but didnt go so I cud play with yoo end mai SOUTH AFRIKANS!! I thenk we can agree I em qwite amaizing rite?

Alrite Albie I hav to go giv intervew with all famus newspepers end magezeens. Everione wents to talk too me becos I em amaizing! Bye, thenk yoo for not caching me end also for bolling were I cud hit it for six. Also thenks for not batting gud at the end wining mach for yoor team. Thenks Albie yoo ar grate even better then Greame! Yoo shud be captin of south afrika after I am of coorse! ha ha funni joke.

I hav too go but remimber too STAY SHARP!!

I actually just found the offending words from AB following the match. I think it fits in well here:
"It was a scratchy innings, especially the first 50 runs. I was a little bit of lucky to get to my century and thanks to Albie for giving me a chance."
That's what you call kicking a man when he's already down.

Weird Fake IPL Player emails

In the past day, I have gotten 3 emails asking me who the Fake IPL Player is. They're all from different email addresses but it's quite clearly the same person sending them. The way it's written and the similar grammar and misspellings of words is a dead giveaway.

The last email goes a bit crazy in Caps and the entire thing is frenzied:

Taank you. The other two are longer but along the same lines.

This is really weird. I feel like the aliens are coming to get me.

To whoever it was, I don't know. Sorry.

North for Marsh?

Shaun Marsh has pulled his left hamstring again and is heading home. So Marcus North is coming in.

Australia's chances of winning this series look a little slimmer.

Sane Thoughts on Chennai

So I’ve had a bit of shut-eye and somehow that is supposed to help my judgement of the Chennai vs. Delhi match.

I guess, and I hate to say this, it seriously hasn’t been Albie’s week. In fact, the last time he orchestrated a giant run chase in the death overs like this was in January, and while he did it several times, he has lacked a certain something in the following months.

I think it was Anthony Hudson who said “Out of the entire tournament, if there was one person you wanted in that situation, it was Albie Morkel.” For once the stupid git is actually right.

But fuck, that dropped catch did nothing to help them. Or the bowling.

Come to think of it, Freddie didn’t do much to help them either. He was the most expensive bowler, picked up no wickets, left the field after a similarly low score, but yes, he did take that low catch. Doesn’t matter, because he also failed Chennai.

From the outset Albie looked nervous. He just couldn’t get any of the balls away. The Delhi bowlers did very well, but I’ve seen Albie smash spinners to bits, and he was up against Dirk Nannes there. You know, Dirk Nannes. Any other day, and Albie might have hit 16 off the over.

But he didn’t. Instead, Albie looked like a depressed little ghost out there. He didn’t even seem to want to be on the strike, didn’t go for 3 runs to get himself on strike, let the tail end face a lot of those final deliveries. And there were a shitload of run outs. When Gony came on, there was the feeling that perhaps this match could be saved. But no, he was run out.

David Warner was on crack.

And Albie just didn’t really care. AB had broken his spirit. To be fair, maybe we shouldn’t expect him to succeed in situations like this every time, but he’s done it often enough for people to genuinely expect it.

So somehow during the course of this post, I have gone from blaming him to pitying him. Great.

If Albie does well in the next match, all is forgiven.

Super Over

What a super match.

The real stars of the night:

King Kong
Kamran Khan
Chris Gayle
And alright, Ganguly.

Moment of the Match

Forget dropped catches and AB succeeding at something [again]. Let's talk the one funny point of the Chennai vs. Delhi match:

Pradeep Sangwan.

I don't know about you, but it was pretty damn hilarious to hear the commentators repeatedly saying his name in such a way that it sounded as though they were saying "Someone".

"And he's going to face someone."
"Someone is coming into the attack."
"Someone's proving to be quite the success story here!"

It amused me for a moment at least. Something to lighten the mood after a certain collapse.


Mendis has taken 2/16 so far.

So far being the key words here. He might just have another trick up his sleeve.

Kolkata will now know for certain that they should have played him earlier. Still, better late than never.

Shaun Marsh Heads Home

Yeah, that's right, that injury? The one you saw flare up again in the last match?

Well, it's taking him home. The world is a cruel place today.

Albie you stupid idiot

Drops AB on 50. AB goes on to make 100 off 51 balls. Albie fumbles an absolute sitter after taking a similarly easy catch of Sehwag earlier.

Even the wicket of Dilshan doesn't make up for that horrendous dropped catch.

Apparently AB was the one who got my memo to Hayden telling him that Jesus was literally inside him. His strike rate was almost 200.

A small part of me was disgusted by AB's maiden IPL century (and the first ton of this IPL season), but fuck, that was a good century. 6 sixes, something like 5 fours. Quite a few off Albie, not sparing him the way Albie had spared AB. AB might not be a powerhitter, but he's classy and makes it look effortless.

Delhi posted 189/5.

The immense relief I felt when Hayden came on, rearing to go, was reminscent of the Australia of past. You'd think it was Gilly down the other end judging by the number of times I've felt this way before. Harsha Bogle thinks Hayden's Australia's answer to ODI openers. And he's not that far off in terms of ability.

AB caught Parthiv Patel, already the golden boy of the IPL. You can almost see the commentators smiling at his sunny disposition. He kisses his hands after taking the catch, probably thinking he's humbly kissing the Lord's hands. AB then goes and takes a great catch for Raina's wicket. I bet he thinks he's amazing. Someone bring Sybrand on.

Flintoff's happy face in the intro shot could give AB a run for his money.

Then it's Albie's turn to redeem himself. He dropped that vital catch earlier, didn't he? Albie looks around nervously, gets frightened by overhead cameras, has his very few fours stopped by a persistent AB (the commentators are all over the bastard, talking about back rubs and massages) and eventually does SHIT ALL to help Chennai win. 13 off 14. I BITE MY THUMB AT YOU, SIR.

And seriously, someone needed to get David Warner the fuck off the field. Goddamn substitute. Who was he there for, anyway? I think I missed that when I walked out for a while.

Fucking shit. I blame Albie.

And when I've had time to think about it, I might just blame Freddie too.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

CSK vs. DD & KKR vs. RR Predictions

So many acronyms my head hurts.

Watch me predict:

Chennai will win.
Rajasthan will win.

Too bad for Kolkata, really.

Boy, he sure is cute!

"But the Mischief Gals sure did get the crowd into a frenzy. Can't wait to get on the ground again today evening for our next match and watch Rahul Dravid. Boy, he sure is cute!"
From the lips of a White Mischief Gal herself, Rebecca Lee. I came across the diary of this BRC cheerleader thanks to Ducking Beamers, and well... okay, I can't really say anything. It's all a little too weird.

I still don't understand this concept of winning by runs or wickets.
It's not all that different in other sports, really. Winning by runs is essentially equivalent to winning by home runs, and instead of getting 3 chances to do it, you get 10 in cricket. Not much to this "concept" at all.

I'm just surprised Cricinfo is getting one of the Mischief Gals to blog at theirs a bit. You think you're on the outside, but no, now you can see into the minds of these Mischief Gals. It's all very stereotypically American cheerleader. Not that I was expecting something different.

The woman in the front is not 40.

Another dig at Buchanan

Wow, these come on coming. And they're not even subtle in the slightest.

Sports editor of India Today, Sharda Ugra, wants to see foreign players and coached playing a smaller role in the IPL, which is, after all, meant to be for Indian players.

But she's not about to stop at simply making a suggestion for Indian coaches, she's going to be make a comment about a particular coach, omitting the name of this foreigner:
"Some of the foreign coaches have not even played Test cricket, that's why they don't know how to respect talent at the international level. No wonder, players like Ganguly are being ill-treated."

No need to be tactful there. By the way, Ganguly's sending over a giant cheque to Ugra for a quarter of his lifetime earnings.

Drool, fool, burp

Alright! Here's how you blog about cricket, ladies:
Cheerleaders may attract more men to the IPL but who brings the girls in? Here are XI IPL hotties who get the ladies giggling and tossing their hair.
Now, while I'm not going to deny that a good looking sportsman will bring in the female viewers, it's quite an extraordinary sight to imagine ladies "giggling and tossing their hair" either at a player on the ground or at their television screen.

The article is some sort of strange combination of relevant insights into players and drooling over this theme team. It's right at times and just completely wrong at other times. Take, for example, the description of Dan Vettori:
Contrary to popular belief, us girls aren't fixated on men with rippling muscles and washboard abs. No, not if Dan walks into the room. His bespectacled look and slow, deliberate manner of speaking are guaranteed to make you go "aww" and wish you could take him home to Mum.
Half of that is right. The other half is just plain weird.

Not to mention AB making the cut. On looks alone, yeah alright, if you happen to look at the right time.

Brett Lee makes "pretty girls look like hags". Not sure what the intention of that was.

Dale Steyn is "blond". Not in my world.

And apparently Sangakkara the cricket makes the list. The list of men who make girls "giggle and toss their hair". Would you giggle and toss your hair for Sangakkara? I wouldn't. If anything, I'd ask him to play Twister. He looks like a Twister person.

If you were going to make a list like this, there were better options for it.

The article is something I'd expect to see in a women's mag or on Cricket Australia's website, not on Cricinfo.


Fake IPL Player "a bit of a joke"

I know there's people out there who don't want to read about this, but at the moment it's worth mentioning, because we aren't going to hear about the end of this until, well, we reach the end. Which is an unveiling of who this person is.

But another person from KKR has decided to comment on this curiosity. Coach Matthew Mott told Cricinfo:
"It's a bit of a joke in the squad. There is something going on, but I have only read a bit of one (blog entry) on someone else's laptop, so I can't say whether it's close to the mark or just someone making good guesses. It has been raised but at this stage we're treating it with humour. I'd still be interested to know who it is, though."

Sounds a bit scripted, like he's been told to be as offhand about Fake IPL Player as he can possibly be. You know, downgrade the significance of it.

But then again, this could be a sincere, honest comment. If that were the case, we could all go on knowing that Fake is exactly that, a fake. And that nobody needs to take their comments to heart. It's all just a random person having a bit of fun. One of the reasons this has blown up to be bigger than ever is that KKR's Joy Bhattacharya felt the need to comment on this, and to make a pretty decisive judgement about it.

There's plenty of people saying that there's no need to speculate on who the Fake IPL Player is, and that we should just go on enjoying the posts. But you can't deny that until it becomes clear whether this is a real insider or not, the way we view the blog will be affected. KKR's weighing in on the case just takes it further.

Identity, in this case at least, is important. And it's human nature to want to know a general idea of who this person is.

Aussie WAGs get Relationship Training Camp for Ashes

The funniest story of the week, by far.

Cricket Australia has come up with a gem. In order to reduce the stresses on long-distance relationships while the Aussie men go on their prolonged tour of England, their WAGs have been invited to a "pre-Ashes training camp" at a beach resort.

A beach resort, darlings. Sounds full on. You know, like a "training camp". Why not a "zen mental wellbeing" camp? It sounds more appropriate, and also more appropriately full of shit.

Oh wait, the players are also going to be there. So that's where the "training" comes into it. Next month, on the Sunshine Coast, the players will train for the Ashes and World Cup, but what's more, they will have regular sessions with relationship counsellors alongside their wives or girlfriends.

Cricket Australia's operations manager Michael Brown is right on top of this spa retreat:
"It is a great opportunity for us to take a more holistic approach to welfare, management, relationships and (to) work with some experts."

I think I've read that in a pamphlet somewhere.
"This is not just about taking the girls up to the camp and talking to them. It's about helping the families spend some more time together before their husbands leave again."

It's a shame this wasn't around when Warnie and Simone were still married. It could have done a lot for their relationship. One whole text-free camp.

I wonder if Brett Lee's going to turn up.

Pakistan protest World Cup

You know, not being allowed to host its share of 14 matches for the 2011 World Cup, etc. They've lodged an appeal with the ICC about it. But it's a far more level-headed protest than you'd think, even if the result will obviously be the same. Pakistan just wanted the ICC to wait 6 months before coming to a decision about this.

They've even decided to pick out faults in each of the other hosts countries regarding security fears:
"India shifted their cricket league to South Africa over security fears.
"We could not tour Bangladesh because there were security fears in March.
"The situation in Sri Lanka was not good either, so from the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt (to) our director general Javed Miandad, everyone has said that ICC must reconsider the decision."

I'm not sure how any of that weighs up next to a direct terrorist attack on cricketers, but okay.

It's also necessary to point out that part of the reason for the IPL's shift to SA was because people were wary about touring the subcontinent following the Lahore attacks. It's a bit rich to use this in your defence.

I understand that last year's Mumbai terror attacks and a general sense of unrest is also to blame for the IPL's shift, not to mention the lack of security for the IPL due to general elections, but the attacks on Sri Lankan players in Pakistan were part of it.

Needless to say, I doubt the ICC is going to reverse their decision. I'm not sure that's what Pakistan even want. What is the goal behind lodging an appeal? That the ICC say "Alright, we'll wait 6 months" and end up cancelling it anyway? It's a bit hazy.

Phil Hughes' Aussie twang

Twang twang twang. Test Match Special's blog has got a piece on our very own Phil Hughes ahead of his first match for Middlesex. There's a video too, in which Hughes talks for a bit with his Aussie twang, and Andrew Strauss tries not to scream in horror at Hughes' chance to get a headstart in England ahead of the Ashes.

At least, that is what I like to think is going on in Strauss' mind. If I were him, I would be plotting ways to accidently injure young Phil. What's that? Strauss collides with Hughes while running between wickets. Oh no, his bat accidently embedded itself in Hughes' body and surgeons are currently working overtime to extract it from his intestines. Nobody can figure out why the bat was sharpened to a point.

What a shame.

The article's a good read. But my favourite part is where the usual journalistic descriptions of first impressions of an interviewee come into effect:

He looks exactly how you would imagine an average 20-year-old Australian from upstate New South Wales would do.

Oh, a bogan?

But no, it is something far more poetic:

Diamond earring twinkling from his right ear. Healthy covering of three-day stubble. An Aussie twang which would make Ricky Ponting sound upper class.

"An Aussie twang which would make Ricky Ponting sound upper class". Seeing as everyone sees fit to describe the accent as "twangy", perhaps we should just label people "twangs". Phil Hughes is a twang.

There's also a suggestion that Hughes could be the clone of Michael Clarke, which is well founded in some ways. But Shane Warne's not either of their dads so they can't exactly be from the same family.

Aussie twang.

Weird Al ahead of Delhi match

Clever pun there, I have to say. Albie is being a little weird about secrets and what to disclose about his SA compatriots to Chennai team mates in this year's IPL:

"We've been given specific instructions by our boards not to reveal all our secrets, especially with the World Twenty20 coming up in a couple of months' time."
Okay, I get that. But then he starts spouting vague phrases which make my head spin:

"It's not that we don't talk, but we don't reveal all our strategies. That is as per instructions from our boards. We cannot show off all our secret weapons and there's not much we can do about it. It's true not just for me, but for the others as well."
WHAT SECRET WEAPONS? I think I'm missing out on something infinitely awesome here. Do South Africa have an arsenal of WMDs ready to be unleashed on other teams for the World Cup? Have they been feeding Duminy radioactive slime in order to power him up even more? Has Graeme Smith invented a batting shot which will blow everyone's minds away? Is Sybrand coming into the team to show off his ambidextrous fielding abilities?

I really want to know.

I bet AB's been telling Delhi all about Albie's weaknesses. Dan in particular. HI ALBIE IS BETTER AGAINST FAST BOWLERS OKAY? But little does he know that Albie is also excellent against spinners. Just not as excellent. Which is the point. Damn.

What is AB's weakness? Players saying the Lord's name in vain? That must piss him off.

Or is Graeme his weakness?

KP cited for dissent

I guess this is why Bangalore's Fly Kingfisher Fair Play Award points were looking so odd after that match with Chennai.

KP was cited for dissent for having a few words about the lbw decision he was given in the match. He faced a disciplinary committee for the incident and was eventually deemed to have had a level one breach of the IPL's code of conduct.

Pietersen said after the match:
“I think I got a little nick on it, but such is life.”
I find that inexplicably hilarious. And sort of awesome. He came out of it looking like the reasonable player.
However, Lalit Modi is flexing his Supreme Powers and has warned all players
“We will take all necessary steps to ensure that the game is played in the true spirit of cricket."
That sounds like Kumble, only stupider. He also had this to say about cricketers in general:
“Cricketers need to realise that they are huge role models for an entire generation of youth."
I don't know about anyone else, but the one thing that frightens me more than little KPs running around is children having Lalit Modi as a role model.

"Hee hee, my trophy."

Mighty losses

So Australia lost.

And Bangalore lost.

I won't mention anything about that first loss, but Gilly was absolutely smoking out there. So was Rohit Sharma, of course, but Gilchrist was amazing. We'll be seeing a lot more of this in the matches to come.

Jesse was out for a duck. Something is seriously wrong with him. KP was out on 11, but he took 2 wickets so he's probably secretly pleased with himself. But not as pleased as Dravid who's showing he's the real rock of the team. He made 48, and Kohli made a half century to save face for Bangalore.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Unamusing Australian Collapse

I swear it's not even funny.

Well, it is a little. Pup is funny. But the rest isn't.

122/9 is mindblowing. Shaun Marsh still isn't feeling good, our man Echidna couldn't do it, and really, Haddin and Watson were the only ones doing anything.

So much for supporting Australia through this series. Goddamn. What a measly opening performance.

Credit to the Pakistani bowlers. Afridi is on fire. 6/38. Good going.

Shuk Rah Khan's Royal Ways

I love Ryan Campbell too much not to henceforth rename Shahrukh as Shuk Rah. What shits me about this is that someone emailed ONE saying they were incorrectly pronouncing "Punjab" and the hosts took that on board (for all of 30 minutes. After that Wingard returned to "Poonjab") but that nobody has seen fit to send in an email about the frightfully disturbing "Shuk Rah Khan".

I'm taking it upon myself to do it. Watch Thursday night's action on Australian screens and hopefully Wingard will tell us about Campbell's royal error.

Speaking of royal - excellent segue there - I'm shitting myself watching SRK in the stands observing his team. While Ganguly is blinking out "Fuck you all" in Morse code, Shuk Rah sits in his throne having a smoke.

But wait? Is the camera on him? In that case, he'll casually drop his arm and wave a royal wave to the crowd that would make Queen Elizabeth damn near proud. Just look at his posture, his quiet confidence, his shit hair. In fact, he'll not only wave to his fans, he'll blow a quietly sentimental kiss at them.

Fuck. Isn't he amazing? His kids must love it, what with the passive smoking and all. Their grey little lungs are jumping for joy.

Random trippy photo to break this post up a little.

Seeing as I didn't really post on it, I'll just mention how awesome Irfan Pathan was with the bat last night. Top job from our Top Bloke.

Parthiv "highly underrated"

From the lips of VB Chandrasekar himself:
Parthiv has been highly underrated and his contribution to the Super Kings is an object lesson for other youngsters in the team to follow. He is a real fighter and the pull over square-leg off a quick Steyn bouncer was a perfect response. It opened my eyes to the fact that how little credit he has received for the crucial role he has played.

Not to rain on his parade, but if you call manically swinging at every ball that comes your way and barely getting bat on any as a "highly underrated" performance, then we seem to be interpreting this very differently. The only reason it was highly underrated was because nobody realised the true comedic value of chubby Patel trying in vain to pull those shots.

Nobody except me.

Fake IPL Player Goes Commercial

I tried so very hard not to post this. I almost feel stupid doing it, but I felt I just had to get this out there.

At the moment, I am 80% convinced this person is not a player at all, and probably not support staff either. Maybe a journo, because they went out of their way to come up with a way to indirectly negate this option, and we all know they're quite clever.

But lately they seem to have gotten more lax in preserving their identity, in general. Some of the details in their last posts seem odd and consistency is becoming a little more see-through. The places they frequent and that fact that they seem to have some prior knowledge of the cricket blogging circles, or at least the good people at BCC!.

And the ads. You have to provide details for that kind of stuff. If you were a player, perhaps you'd be a little more paranoid about something like that, especially when you're posting about how big a deal this is to management. It just doesn't seem like something you'd do. If you did, you'd have to have the biggest balls in the entire Indian cricket team. And well, I suppose that wouldn't be altogether too difficult, but let's not get into that kind of stuff here.

Of course, this is all assuming there's a player behind this. Which I doubt.

So again, I can't even believe I'm posting this. I'll try to stop, but it's too much of a curiosity for me to stay away from it. In the meantime, I suppose enjoying the hilarious posts is enough.

Mount Everest Match

It went ahead on Tuesday and they played the full T20 match at Gorakshep in Nepal.

Apparently Team Hillary beat Team Tenzing. Good stuff.

More Fake IPL Player

Do they have 'Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader' in India?

Anyway, here's hoping this guy keeps smart and doesn't get caught. It doesn't look likely to happen either.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Ganguly's first over

Two wickets, he is mighty pleased with himself.

Take that, John.

The other players are trying desperately to suck up to their Dada.

Whatever, peasants. He doesn't need your grovelling.

Who's your Dada now? Ganguly says.

Kolkata are about to play

And it's likely to be yet another dreary match, with the opposition being Kings XI.

I can't wait for more "Shuk Rah Khan" and tonight, there's bound to be a lot of it from Ryan Campbell.

Wonder if the Fake IPL Player made the cut. He's generating a lot of buzz. People are going mad googling him. And I mean really mad.

Who is the Fake IPL Player?

Everyone wants to know, everyone's speculating, and it's damn near impossible to figure this one out.

At first I thought it might be anyone. It didn't get too specific and some of the stuff written would have been easy to infer about the team. In fact, at first, the Fake IPL Player was pretty darn hilarious.

The Sheikh of Tweak. Vinnie Dildo. Lord Almighty. And so forth. Very amusing takes on players and happenings.

But then things took a turn for the, I suppose, darker side, when it became clear that this was perhaps upsetting an already upset team. The Knight Riders' CEO Joy Bhattacharya denied the blog was coming from a player within the team, claiming it was "sick and perverted". Which it hilariously is.

There are differences between the take of events on the blog and what Joy claims. In fact, the treatment of the Lord and his reaction as depicted by the Fake IPL Player is altogether too close to what is likely to be the truth, an uncomfortably close-to-the-bone description of the goings on following the captaincy issue.

The writer then went on to give a little disclaimer:
All characters appearing in this work (blog) are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and unintentional.

You know, seems intelligent, and much of the writing suggests this. Is definitely Indian, can speak English well, and must be an insider of some sort. There are slip-ups in spelling at times but it's got a well-educated feel to it. Or well aware of pop culture.

But who is this Fake IPL Player? When it became clear that the writer had a considerable idea of what was going on in the team, it seemed it could be a journo doing the honours. But they've denied this too, although they have said that other journalists suspected it was one of their own behind this.

And now apparently management wants to catch the player "within 24 hours" having narrowed it down to a list of 4 young Indian players, of which the Fake IPL Player claims to be none. The description of the ongoing secrecy in the team and the falling out between management and players has an all too ominous feel to it. Simply put, this writer doesn't appear to be making this up. They're getting their info from somewhere.

I don't really know some of the more obscure Kolkata players so I can't weigh in on who it could be. But whatever it is, in the last day or so, this hilarious blog has transformed into more of a mystery. Our very own blogger mystery.

KKR are claiming the opposite of the writer. In their version of events, SRK comes around for a coffee after the loss, and the players sit around chatting to each other. Sounds like a right old tea party.
In the Fake IPL Player's take of events, SRK doesn't come around at all, and the team is tense. The Lord is quiet, Coach is taking time off from the players on his laptop, and so forth.

A mystery, then.

But I think I've cracked it. The Colonel did it, in the library, with the wrench.

Tit for tat, fit for fat - CSK vs. Bangalore

What an interesting match for all of 10 overs. To be fair, it wasn't anywhere near as boring as the opening match, and in comparison, it was like the diamond standard of cricket. From the start, fellas:

The entire Bangalore team turns up to the toss to present the orange and purple caps for Most Runs in Competition and Most Wickets in Competition respectively. It's Dravid and Kumble, but as we find out later, Haydos must wrestle the orange cap off Dravid during the innings break, because he's sporting it later.

KP is nice enough to say 'The great Jacques Kallis is back." What rubbish. If you haven't already guessed this is what the title of this post is referring to: tit for tat, fit for fat. Because Jesse Ryder is actually fit.

Hayden put down first ball, goes on to make 60 odd. He's also dropped in the 10th over, but it's a far more difficult catch and out of everyone's range. Still, KP is murderously angry and he mutters a few things to himself, before putting on his "pleased captain" face and clapping encouragingly at the other players. At least the guy is trying.

Dale Steyn looked to be on ampethamines as usual. The trademark manic facial expression, frenzied walking, twitching, making weird faces at batsmen. The shortened prison inmate haircut.

Kallis is fittingly hit all around the ground, and goes for 20 in his first over. Hayden does most of the damage. Good man. Although, I have to say, Jacques Kallis was looking good out there, like sexy good. Haha, okay, I won't even joke about something as disturbing as that. My bad. Apologies.

Matty Hayden brings up his 3rd IPL 50, getting 53 off 22 deliveries. That's the fastest half-century for any CSK player ever.

The commentators have chats to Stephen Fleming and other players, asking them about the time out. It's hilarious to hear everyone dodging the truth and lying through their teeth about it. It has never been easier to hear the underlying thoughts behind someone's words before. They all think it's shit, but aren't at liberty to disclose this opinion. Frankly, it's a load of bullshit. I can deal with ads thrown in between overs, after wickets, after no balls even, because it's only disrupting my viewing of the game. But when advertising starts to intrude on the game itself, that's crossing the line.

We saw it again today with Chennai losing their momentum during the tactical time-out. I believe it was Tom Moody who said after Punjab's loss the other night that "We had seven and a half minutes to lose the momentum". That's the best anyone has ever put it. I'm going to burn an effigy of Lalit Modi because he's the figurehead of the IPL and therefore responsible for this outrage.

How good were the CSK cheerleaders? Not good, exactly, but more interesting than the others. They pwned the White Mischief Gals out there with their new moves. You could see them chatting away with each other trying to come up with some Bollywood-esque moves to match the music. Chennai Super Kings also had a drummer, who was there when Murali was presented with the MoM award.

After the time-out, Kevvy comes in and two wickets are gone in the next two balls. Bowled Parthiv Patel and Haydos run out next ball because of Suresh Raina. I wonder if KP will continue bowling to batsmen who aren't ready. Just a thought.

Cut to Ray Rennings who believes Bangalore can "confidently chase 180 or 190." My ass.

Dale Steyn drops Suresh Raina in an absolute sitter. He was actually doing a favour for his own team, because Raina continued to occupy the crease at a very ODI 28 off 29 balls. What the fuck does he think he's playing? Ryan Campbell went on and on about this during the ad breaks, as though he was the only person who didn't prefer Raina to perhaps Flintoff or Morkel. I do agree with it, but fuck, I'd love for Campbell to shut his trap.

Thank fuck Raina is out at the end of the 19th over, allowing Albie onto the field alongside Freddie. Albie hits the first ball for 4, great shot, and the next one is a definite 4 but it's saved by Robin Uthappa who is keeping. Dale Steyn is given a totally ridiculous wide call which pisses him off a little, and rightly so. But he has his revenge and bowls Albie on the last ball. 5 off 3. Imagine what he could have done with 29 balls. Fucking Raina.

179/5 after 20 overs. The highest T20 score ever at Sahara Park in Port Elizabeth.

Then Bangalore are on and there's the usual shindig of the entire team collapsing, save for the Wall.

Balaji feeds Jacques Kallis a couple of half volleys, which Kallis easily sends away for 4. What the fuck is wrong with Kallis? His strike rate is over 100.

Albie's on, and he pretends to appeal, even managing to conjure up fake indignation when the umpire calls wide. Good times. In his next over, he gets Jacques Kallis out lbw. Great. Someone needed to get the fat prick out. Kallis leaves with 24 off 19 balls, a miracle by his standards.

As with every match, there's a stupid glory shot of the IPL trophy. I bet nobody saw Lalit Modi humping it earlier on.

Then KP's out lbw off Murali. He's pissed. He thinks he got bat on it. Simon Taufel thinks not. It's okay, because KP will have his revenge later on, during the tactical time-out. KP tells Virat Kohli to hit the ball directly at Simon Taufel first ball of the 11th over. Kohli obliges his angry captain. Taufel is none the wiser as to who ordered the attack on him.

Dravid tries to put up a stand but runs out of partners and is eventually caught by Flintoff. Bangalore are bowled out for 87, losing by 92 runs. Shameful.

Presentation ceremony, KP calls Hayden a "genius". Wow.
Dhoni thinks "we definitely need to improve on our bowling". I'm not too sure about the "definitely". That's an odd thing to say after your bowlers have been brilliant.
Murali is MoM for his 3 wickets for 11. Okay, that's good. He thinks Haydos should have gotten it.
Hayden walks away with the orange cap he claimed off Dravid.

KP Watch:
Looking out for KP's hugging, I saw him hugging bowlers with one arm as he spoke to them. That's all for the night, however. He was tense the rest of the time.
I'm going to fess up here and say that I want KP to do well in this tournament. I don't know why, but I'm backing him as well now. So there you go. I never thought this day would come.

Ryan Campbell's expert advice of the night:
"He perhaps had a very good set of manboobies last year." -On Robin Uthappa, and yes, "manboobies"

Giving fashion advice to Dravid, outing his "light blue undershirt beneath red uniform" as a fashion no-no. This was a joint Wingard and Campbell discussion. They also gave a bad fashion rating to the purple and orange coloured caps.

"The doosra - the one that goes the other way - was fantastic."
Thanks for that explanation, Einstein.

"I got caught up in the glitz and glamour of Shuk Rah Khan."

Campbell thinks that Chennai should conspire during the tactical time-out to "run out Patel".

Ryan Campbell is "not too convinced with Patel, especially when they have Morkel and Flintoff down the order."
Now, I know Ryan rates Albie as one of his top 3 T20 batsmen, and is strangely enthusiastic about seeing him on the field, WHAT THE FUCK? Why the hell would you send Albie or Freddie in to open the batting? Christ.

Ad of the day:
Lazypatch duvet suit - walking around with a bodysuit which is essentially one giant blanket. Only you can't escape it because it's also a bodysuit.

"We are friends."