Mark The Week

My blogging world, as you may be able to tell, is in a little bit of turmoil. I am hopeful that I will soon be able to at least reinstate the old blog (on a different URL) for you all to refer to as needs be. I am sure most of you might know that I deleted the original URL, but all posts are backed up. I may have more of an idea on that in the middle of next week. That will also dispel one of the better guesses as to why I deleted it – the ECB suing me for libel – which hasn’t happened, but that would have put a few stripes on my shoulder if they had….. although let’s not go there.

So what’s to talk about? The guys on here are doing the greatest job in disrobing the pretence of equanimity by Dave Richardson. The two games this week between UAE and Ireland and Afghanistan v Scotland were fantastic entertainment. The latter may even be game of the tournament as Afghanistan pulled victory out from nowhere with a joy unconstrained. For that is what sport is about – watching great matches whoever plays them. There’s too much focus on the “big teams” who rarely put on great games it seems. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, only Scotland have played one of the four best teams so far – New Zealand – and UAE v India tonight will be important, because an associate giving India a run for its money would be incredibly important. Australia v Scotland could also see some rancour from those who just want to see the big boys playing each other.

We can have this debate in full after the World Cup group stages in particular, but it’s pretty clear what side of the debate is in the ascendancy at the moment. Games between the full test nations have been, with one disgraceful exception, a case of bat first, hammer the opposition. So while we’ve watched a double hundred by Chris Gayle, and the second passing of Hurricane ABe, the fact is that chasing any sort of target has been unachievable by a full test team against another one. D’Arthez is all over this on the comments.

Elsewhere we have had the leaked document – how jolly unfortunate that was – from the new bigwigs at the ECB. Clearly thinking the unthinkable, we are presented with the sort of “we’ve got to change things” bollocks that is less about the future of the game and more about some sort of legacy for the marketing geniuses and new head honchos. I’m sick to death of this sort of nonsense. Test cricket should not be touched, and yes, I’ve heard all that death of test cricket twaddle for the best part of 20 years and funnily enough it is still here. 40 over ODIs are a load of bilge. Yes, the 50 over format doesn’t appear to be loved, but that’s because the matches are so frequent that often many players are rested, they are played on roads, especially at some notorious venues for bowlers, and when the main competitions come around, there is some sort of ODI fatigue. Three day county championship cricket is a classic example of if you hang around long enough the old ideas come back around. As for franchising in, you didn’t seriously think this load of brain boxes were going to replace the county stuff, did you? This is pure League Cup to FA Cup jollop.

So Colin Graves, elected of course (hang about, did I miss this election?) to the head position in the ECB was disappointed this was leaked. He’d better get used to that. He then says that he didn’t want to be accused of leaving any ideas out, which is, of course, utter twaddle. The new David Collier is obvious one of those sorts who thinks you think the unthinkable, and I’m just getting the impression based on nothing in particular, that he’s the cricket equivalent of this bloke. (note NSFW – well the very last word is).

There’s so much wrong with the document that I can’t fathom why it was leaked 🙂

Meanwhile on press row, there is a world out there where paul newman gets nominated for cricket reporter of the year (last year of all years!!!!) and George Dobell doesn’t. Yes, that thing you saw flying out of the window was that organisation’s credibility. Of that grouping, if Nick Hoult doesn’t win, then there’s a bit of a stitch up. But at the end of the day, they can do what they please….

I have had just fleeting watches of the Cricket World Cup, but have all the games played so far on highlights. I also ran off a game last night, and just happened to have the whole of AB deVilliers 162 not out live. I think I might be watching that a little.

I’ve also done no analysis on the competition as yet. I think a lot of us had Ireland as the first associate to defeat a test team, and some of us went a bit OTT on the run outs! I’ll look to see what I can do on that this weekend.

But what I’ve seen, and what I’ve read of this World Cup, I’ve enjoyed it.

Looking forward to being able to live blog through tomorrow night’s game. Not sure I’ll be around much for the games tonight and tomorrow morning (sleep and chores).

Thanks, as always, for the comments. I do read them all. Top stuff.

2015 World Cup – Games 20 & 21 – New Zealand v Australia & India v UAE

A small change as I put both the games together for the comments thread. The first game, starting at 1 am our time, I do believe, is seen as a clash of the form teams. I fancy Australia, who have not played for a fortnight, might get caught cold, as the Black Caps, already with three games under their belt, have been very impressive. This is the best chance for the home team to win, so I’d suggest a home defeat may have a huge effect.

The second game couldn’t be more of a contrast. India have discovered World Cup form while the UAE, who have won many friends with their play against Zimbabwe and Ireland now meet a full test nation foe (I don’t really consider Zimbabwe to be that) and we’ll see how competitive they are.

All comments below….