This Piece Is For All The Fellow Outsiders…..

So 2016 is nearly over. We’ve had a hell of a year, seen the usual ups and downs of enthusiasm and anger, but now, combined with the last year of HDWLIA, it’s been nigh on three years of this full-on blogging lark.

champagne-cook

My thanks to everyone who has contributed throughout the year. To my two co-editors The Leg Glance and Sean B, to those who have written for us including PGP Chapman, Andy and Simon H. All of you are so appreciated by me you will not know. Chris has been a rock behind the scenes, when Dmitri (speaking in the third person) has his diva moments, while Sean’s pieces while both Chris and I were either away or totally snowed under were both top quality and kept the show on the road. Our newer writers added their own fresh perspective, and we’d love to see more. Simon has already provided some good stuff for the new Glossary.

In terms of hits we were down on 2015, but that was an exceptional year with an Ashes, a World Cup, and a major KP incident or two. This year had two lower profile home series, a more calm environment and some very quiet periods. We’ve seen a decided uptick in hits towards the end of the year, with December easily the busiest month, and we are really happy with where we are.Β  The blog is closing in on 3/4 million hits, has had its busiest month in 2016 and more visitors than ever. We have a decent core of readers, a wide range of hits, and interest is still there. Thanks for all the support.

So, now it comes to my annual “thanks for commenting” list. If I miss you out, please remember that it’s not as easy this year. This is chronological from 1 January to now, and entailed scrolling through over 700 pages of comments on our admin site, but I want to sincerely thank almost all of you for buying in to what we do. Even if you don’t comment, and we are aware there are a number of you who don’t, I thank you for reading and hope this blog makes you happy/mad and provokes a reaction or makes you think as a result.

So thanks to (and I hope I got you all)….

Rohan (the first commenter in 2016), BigKev67, ArushaTZ, Ian, Arron Wright / Nonoxcol (and for the offline support too), the bogfather (our poet / stirrer of hornet’s nest), Grenville, cricketjon, MDPayne87, paulewart (one of our regulars who went missing – hope all is OK, paul), the one and only Mark (a firm fave of our “haters”), Simon H (just an absolute rock on here), Gambrinus, Sherwick, jomesy, Escort (the spam filter’s favourite), MM, greyblazer/Neil (it is Christmas, goodwill and all that), benny (we must meet up next year, hopefully Southern Trains might have a service), D’Arthez (do not argue with this commenter! Seriously, many thanks), hatmallet, fungineer99, Marees, alecpaton, Tuffers86, Pontiac (one of my US commenters – hope things are well), metatone (my main retweeter, thanks sir), pktroll (who has met Sean – we should sort out Surrey v Essex this year if possible), Zephirine (a voice of calm reason throughout), Rooto (the Nice man), Larry David Niven, AB, Badger, amit/amitgarg (many thanks for your contributions during the recent series), “Iron Balls” McGinty (and I’m never, repeat never, going to ask), camelsticks/sopwithpup/M Echs, northernlight71 (our man on the Guardian BTL never afraid to stick the boot in), Nicholas (and his stack of old cricket magazines, hope you are well, sir), Tregaskis (the man with gravitas), emasl/Elaine Simpson Long (a long time follower, hope life is treating you well), Julie (our KP diehard from Down Under), Steve T, RPoultz (and why do you have that person in your e-mail address), the inimitable “man in a barrel” (we’ll do that Yorkshire post in the New Year), Bob W, Andy (thanks for that piece, feel free to think of some more stuff for us), BoredinAustria (still bored, eh?), Burly, Mike (not heard much from the last two, hope things are good), sidesplittin (I promise I’ll finish that Trent Bridge piece), Oscar da Bosca (again, long time no hear, hope things are ok), Alec, jennyah46 (always a voice of calm), Rufus SG, DmitriOld (who he?), chateleine, keyserchris (still have Day 5 to do), TLG’s main man Jasspass, Narelle, Leningrad Cowboy, Topshelf, Jamie, Mike Westerton (one comment, calling us oddballs and a hate filled bunch), BC (who did much the same), dlpthomas, Grumpy Gaz, alan, Sarah, Matthew, Nashville Pam, Danny, Clivejw, Ian Jones/Ianrsa, Dennis Freedman (with one n), Localboy (the sort of commenter that we probably get a load of, read but rarely say anything. But welcome when they do), dallia.india (a truly odd comment), fred / Deep Purple Fred (can’t wait for the Ashes next year), Vicky/ The Vickster (again, she’s gone quiet…..), Keeper99 (new this year, now a stalwart, it’s that easy), David, David Oram (our expert on all things West Indies, hope things are well in your current posting), my good friend CJDaniels (who revealed my real first name as Peter, by accident), Phillip Chapman, the great Maxie Allen (missed so much around these parts – certainly an inspiration), Oreston (another newbie, now stalwart – the mime artist), John Etheridge ( πŸ™‚ ), THA, Tony Bennett, volkerelle, Helen Grace, Russ Degnan, Tuntun, Phil A (a new Glossary, Phil, if we can tempt you back), cricketcage, Tom (our man in Hawaii, of all places. Humbling really…), sgtcookieblog, Andrew Nixon, Yossarian 1977, Anteater, Boz (if you are still reading, all best wishes to you sir), Adrian S, Distinct, zeitkratzer stockhausen, whiterose76, Simon K, Lawrence Booth, moggahooler (?), JacobSweetman1978 (who is localboy), Sir Peter (keep rollin’ and we’ll build this city), General Zod (ho ho ho), andyinbrum, James (although I think he uses another name – including LondonWasp), quebecer (at last), Rob, Lolly, Jez Moses, Geoff Boycott’s Grandmother, Random, Ed, another David, Harry Badger, jim ovens, Riverman21, nick, simplyshirah (aka Annie), lionel joseph, Glenn, Adam H, May, moosyn, Slats, Editor (Sam Blackledge), Blancrabello, Miami dads Six, Andrew Robertson, Jayman, Adelaide Exile, samisportsupdateindia31, Sri Grins and Silk.

Since putting the initial list together, I think we have another Andy, veturisarma, Scrim and nkumar to add. And possibly another Alec.

So, 2017, here you come. A quiet time for England, then full on for 18 months or so from May. It may be that we face a struggle to keep ourselves in the eye, but we’ll do what we can. With your support, comments, or even if you are one of our silent readers, you keep me going, and I’m sure I speak for Chris and Sean in wishing you all the best.

Happy New Year everyone.

Dmitri (Peter)

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100 thoughts on “This Piece Is For All The Fellow Outsiders…..

  1. "IronBalls" McGinty December 31, 2016 / 11:41 am

    Happy New year one and all…this blog is the finest “cricket community” there is…a pleasure to read, and a privilege to be a small part of!
    Dmitri…I live in the wilds of Cumbria, it’s feckin’ freezing up here…brass ones drop off!! πŸ™‚

    Like

  2. OscarDaBosca December 31, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    Happy New Year to you all.
    I have been really quiet this year, all is well thanks Dmitri but it has been a tough year personally.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus December 31, 2016 / 12:18 pm

      Wishing you all the best. Love to hear from you when you feel like you can!

      Like

  3. Rooto December 31, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    I still haven’t got over the fact that our host isn’t a hard-looking black guy with a beard, called Dmitri. I was totally taken in…
    Never mind. I wish all three of you and all the readers here a very happy New Year. Wealth, health and happiness to you all, and the strength of character to carry on slogging through all the shit they send us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sean B December 31, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    Happy New Year all. Wishing everyone a healthy and successful 2017 (well apart from the ECB!)

    Like

  5. Tom December 31, 2016 / 1:47 pm

    Humbling? No, please don’t feel that way. I feel privileged to read and occasionally comment on the best cricket blog there is. You, your contributors (thelegglance in particular) and all those that comment here bring me back to the good old days when I played cricket. It’s like being in a virtual changing room before the match starts!

    Thank you again, and I wish you the very happiest 2017, Peter.

    Like

  6. thebogfather December 31, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    This poetic ‘hornet’s nest’
    Wishes you, Dmitri, and all here the best
    For here we find the true cricket lovers
    Who care for the game, worldwide, like no others
    And your inspiration to us all will never cease
    Until ECB/ICC/MSM realise the beast
    Of their greed and myopia is now quickly killing
    Our game, and so here at this blog we’re not willing
    To let them get away with their self-centered incompetence
    Here we find, love of cricket, with no relent or pretence
    And so it shall continue here, as we care
    Our game, not theirs, they’re so shamefully unaware
    Yet, in years to come, the TV and press media will succumb
    To the reality of worldwide on-line viewing display
    Being the only acceptable way
    To prevent the Death of our Gentleman…

    Wishing you all a more prosperous and enlightening 2017, with happiness and kindness
    Despite our immoral ‘leaders’ cricketing worldwide blindness…

    Keep A Smile!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thebogfather December 31, 2016 / 1:55 pm

      Oh, btw, I’ve just finished reading HDWLIA from beginning to end #HARDCORE lol πŸ™‚
      …and I can’t wait for the Mount OutsideCricketMore post!

      Like

  7. d'Arthez December 31, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    Best wishes to everyone, and I hope you all enjoy a good 2017!

    Special thanks of course to the writers of this great blog, for having us, providing us with a great space to discuss cricket and related matters (and occasionally break up a virtual fight).

    Like

  8. Zephirine December 31, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    You see, this is it. This is what makes this place different. I can’t think of anyone else who’d take the trouble to find out and thank all the commenters for the year – maybe one or two bloggers way back in the day when blogging was still new and they had half a dozen people to thank, but not nowadays, and not so many.

    The quality of the articles has continued to be really high and the passion still burns – even if sometimes it smoulders rather than blazing…

    So keep on keeping on, Dmitri, legglance and Sean. You are appreciated, really you are. Many thanks to all the commenters for your company! And a very happy and fortunate 2017 to all!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Mark December 31, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Happy New year to you all. Hosts and posters alike!

    Hope to read your news, and views in 2017.

    Like

  10. Benny December 31, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    A Happy and prosperous New Year to everyone here and many thanks to the three wise men who give us such perceptive and honest articles to enjoy. Shame the press no longer reaches such standards

    As Tom said, it’s like being in a virtual changing room or, as I often imagine, the local pub, where you chew the fat with like-minded sensible people, leaving the buffoons at the other end of the bar or, preferably, Outside.

    Determined to get back to the Oval next summer Dmitri with camera and beer money

    Like

  11. Sri Grins December 31, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    Wish you all a very happy new year and a wonderful time ahead. With the champions trophy slated to be held in England and sa tests, I am sure the latter half of the year would be busy. Who knows 9th January could turn out to be a red letter day ☺

    Like

  12. Rpoultz December 31, 2016 / 6:28 pm

    Happy new year everyone!!! Hope 2017 is the year that KP finally returns πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Elaine Simpson Long December 31, 2016 / 10:13 pm

    I have also been thanked over on the Full Toss. I am a tart really….
    And thanks Dmitri life is treating me well
    Long may you all prosper

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Julie December 31, 2016 / 10:17 pm

    Happy New Year to you all. Where would we be without our Outside Cricketers and KP is not going away.Just watch—-πŸ€—

    Like

  15. oreston January 1, 2017 / 3:45 am

    A very happy New Year one and all!

    Like

  16. pktroll (@pktroll) January 1, 2017 / 10:09 am

    Happy New Year to all on here. Always proud to interact with you. Dmitri, Surrey v Essex would be fantastic. Geoff Boycott’s Grandmother may wish to make an appearance too!

    Like

  17. SimonH January 1, 2017 / 10:50 am

    Welcome to 2017….

    …. with some nauseating Daily Mail hypocrisy:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-4078060/England-s-Keaton-Jennings-reveals-barbs-South-African-birth-bothered-didn-t-expect-huge-quantity-backlash.html

    Those horrible social media types who go on about people’s birthplaces, eh? Good job there’s nobody closer to home for the DM to highlight on that!

    They have another story about Mark Wood re-modelling his action under guidance from Loughborough. It’s pretty clear from his injury record that something had to be done. I was watching on Wood’s debut against NZ and Michael Holding said almost immediately that Wood’s action had a high probability of injury built into it. Unfortunately, the specific problem Holding focused on is not what Kevin Shine thinks is the issue. Holding thought it was the way Wood pushed off on a very short run for a fast bowler; Shine thinks it’s crossing his feet over in delivery stride. Who’s right? It could be one or the other, or both, or neither. There’s a lot riding on this.

    Like

  18. SimonH January 1, 2017 / 12:59 pm

    Mark Waugh following his inability to think of any cricketers from PNG with some epic Willey/penis double entendre-ing.

    Morgan just holed out for 8. There’s dancing in the Oliver Holt household tonight.

    Like

  19. BoredInAustria January 1, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    All the best for 2017 to this blog and all hosting and visiting.

    Still the best place to visit in terms of all things cricket with the most knowledgable crowd a and b tl.

    Thank you all for the passion and the effort. Keep doing whatever you have the time or inclination for.

    Still bored – at the moment in Romania

    Like

  20. REDRUM106 January 1, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    All the best for 2017. Long time reader of this blog and it’s predecessor. I despair at the fall in standards and quality of coverage of the great game, even dear old TMS is going downhill faster than Franz Klammer. This blog stands out as a beacon in the gloom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oreston January 1, 2017 / 8:30 pm

      I caught a bit of the BBL action on Channel 5 this morning. Suffice to say the commentary and punditry left a lot to be desired. For one thing there was just way too much of it. Three japing ex-players (who ever decided it had to be three?) in the commentary box was bad enough, but literally every second over they cut away back to the studio where there was a pundit panel consisting of a presenter and another two cricketers, Michael Carberry and James Taylor. Now I like both, but as players of the current generation they’ve had that particular variety of media training which seems designed specifically to mitigate against the possibility of actual meaningful communication. So while their jaws moved and vocal noises were emitted, I couldn’t tell you a damn thing either of them said. Oh, I think there might have been something about Andre RusselI’s limp (which I could see with my own eyes and the commentary box team had already done to death) and maybe some cliche about Ian Bell being a “class act.”

      I’d like to know quite what the point of all this is. Do the broadcasters imagine that our attention span is now so short, and our minds all so enfeebled, that we’ll get bored and drift away between overs if there isn’t some blighter yapping? At the present rate of expansion I estimate that by the year 2025 (which will doubtless be five years into the new popular 10 over format, when old timers will be waxing nostalgic about the leisurely and expansive 20 over matches they enjoyed when they were younger…) there will be more pundits on duty at any one time in televised cricket then there are actual players on the pitch.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark January 1, 2017 / 9:44 pm

        It’s one of my big bug bares of modern sport. The infection of endless ex players into the meja to give so called “expert” opinion. According to Gary Lineker only ex players know what they are talking about. Because they have done it. On that basis why should Mr Linker be handed a silver spoon of doing TV presenting? After all, he was a footballer so what can he possibly know about TV work? (If it’s good for the goose Gary, it’s also good for the gander.) I would suggest that Mark Chapman does a much better job presenting Match of the day 2 than the cliche drenched Saturday nigh job presented by walkers golden boy. And Chapman isn’t an ex player.

        Tv work for ex players has become a racket. A gravy train for the already very well off ex players. Obviously football is rather different from cricket in terms of finance, and I certainly would not want to hamper James Taylor’s move into that field after his horrendous illness. The man deserves some sympathy and a leg up in another diled. But for too many ex pros it’s money for old rope. They are set on bland from their media training, and have nothing to say of any interest.

        Ex managers are a particular favourate of mine. Seeing as at any moment they might be back in work at one of the clubs they are supposed to be punditing about they say nothing, because tomorrow they may be managing the vey said players they are being paid to talk about. If the media want comedians in the commemtary box, there are much better ones available. And at a fraction of the money.

        Like

      • oreston January 1, 2017 / 11:16 pm

        Don’t get me wrong, Mark – I wish James Taylor all the luck in the World. There’s a man who needs and deserves a new career and his writing at least is less bland than his on screen persona (is it just the media training, or is there some kind of alien chip implant they’re all forced to have?) Lest we forget, Carbs too has been facing some pretty full-on health issues.
        I’m sure we’re in agreement though as my point was more generally about the rapidly approaching state of “peak pundit.” Televised cricket and sport in general is now overly “pundocentric.” It has become a “pundocracy”, if you will.

        Like

      • Mark January 1, 2017 / 11:52 pm

        Oreston, I agree with you about peak pundit. There will soon be more pundits than overs bowled.

        It’s like that Monty Python sketch sending up Whickers world. Whickers Island. “The problem is there are just too many Whickers.”

        Speaking of Match of the day 2 what the frig is Mark lorro wearing? Did he win that shirt out of a cracker?

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez January 2, 2017 / 4:44 pm

        It not only happens in sports. Sorry to delve a bit deeper, but it is a wide-spread phenomenon.

        The same happens with just about any social phenomenon, whether it is party politics, elections, terrorist attacks, reports on traffic jams etc.. The so called experts keep yapping platitude after platitude, and they do not add anything of value to anything a person with a shred of common sense could not have come up within 2 minutes themselves. It is a fear of silence (sedatephobia). They cannot say anything controversial, because – gasp – that might reflect bad on the powerful.

        When people actively try to control what people get to know (PR bollockese), it serves to disinform and misinform, and it may not even be intentional (I am giving the benefit to Taylor and Carberry here).

        Well thought out and considered responses, that actually inform are getting increasingly rare – almost seems like a relic of the past. And just one out of many reasons why common people are increasingly becoming distrustful of the powers that be.

        Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus January 2, 2017 / 11:26 pm

      I usually say hello to newbies a bit more quickly than this, but nice to see you on here, and nice with one of my fave phrases!

      Thanks for the kind words. Keep commenting away….

      Like

  21. Deep Purple Fred January 1, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    Happy new year Dmitri.

    In a world increasingly resembling Orwell’s 1984 in its relationship to truth, this blog does a great job of attracting and supporting critical thinkers. Well done to you and your little team for both the integrity and the quality of what you are doing.

    Unlike Rooto I had long begun to suspect that, unfortunately, you probably weren’t really a hard looking black guy with a beard, you weren’t really Samuel L. Jackson moonlighting. However I’m disappointed to learn your first name. I don’t want to know anything more about you, nor anyone else here. It’s a wonderful thing to engage with people for their words, stripped of all the other signifiers we normally use to filter our judgment.
    Long live internet anonymity (except for the NSA of course, who probably know your underwear size).

    It’s been a great innovation to have avatar colour and design reflect the quality of the commenter. It allows me to filter the wheat from the chaff quickly.

    Looking forward to reading what happens to England next, and other commentary on world cricket events.

    Like

    • quebecer January 2, 2017 / 2:15 am

      “It’s been a great innovation to have avatar colour and design reflect the quality of the commenter. It allows me to filter the wheat from the chaff quickly.”

      Pfffffff.

      You just can’t get over that Younus Khan thing, can you?

      Like

  22. quebecer January 2, 2017 / 12:51 am

    I’d like to wish everyone a (fashionably late, as always, Dmitri) Happy New Year.

    On top of the usual compliments that are paid to this blog (all deserved) can I just say that the match reporting here has become, in my opinion, better than anywhere.

    All the best to all my old sparing partners who led me over to here, and surely, Dmitri, I get back in the credit column for my fashionable lateness by getting Sri Grins here, you old big black fella you.

    Like

  23. d'Arthez January 2, 2017 / 7:48 am

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/story/1075059.html

    Thakur and Shirke removed from their posts by the Supreme Court of India. Will be interesting to see who will come in their stead, and what their programme will be.

    Meanwhile the PCB is looking into suing the BCCI for breaching a MoU (by now two series between Pakistan and India ought to have been played; the BCCI basically never responded to the proposals since the MoU was signed). Oh, that MoU came into existence as the Big 3 bribed for votes for the revamp giving them all the power.

    Needless to say, that those non-played series have left a hole in the PCB’s budget.

    Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty January 2, 2017 / 9:11 am

      Which also raises the oft asked question as to when Giles Clarke will be dragged in front of a parliamentary committee??

      Liked by 1 person

      • oreston January 2, 2017 / 5:58 pm

        That story, that Clarke would be summoned to appear before the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee to account (among other things) for the Big Three stitch-up, was widely reported in August 2015 and again at the end of February last year. It might have been mentioned again last autumn in the wake of the shenanigans over Durham but basically we’re still waiting. I’m sure Clarke has friends (well, cronies at least) in high places, but even that might not explain the delay. Somebody please do correct me if I’m wrong, but Commons Select Committees so far as I’m aware have no actual powers to compel individuals or organisations to attend – let alone to give truthful evidence. The thing only works because of the fear of media scrutiny and of looking bad on the 10 O’Clock News if you’re shown receiving a grilling and giving what look like dodgy, evasive answers. With cricket safely removed from TV and absent from the national conversation 98% of the time it’s entirely possible that Clarke and the ECB feel no pressure to co-operate and have decided simply to blow a big fat raspberry in Parliament’s face, safe in the knowledge that there’ll be no backlash from the tame MSM. Cynical, Moi?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark January 2, 2017 / 10:15 am

      I don’t think India will play Pakistan in test matches while Modi is PM of India. He has invested a huge amount of his persona in Hindu nationalism. I don’t want to go into the rights and wrongs of politics, but it is is what it is. There is no desire on behalf of very powerful people in India to have anything to do with Pakistan.

      But of course there is absolutely no politics in sport……………

      Liked by 1 person

      • RufusSG January 2, 2017 / 2:08 pm

        Sadly I think you’re right. The FTP currently has Pakistan down to tour India, off the top of my head, some time around October/November this year, but unless political relations between the two countries thaw significantly in that time I think there’s absolutely zero chance that tour will take place.

        Like

      • amit garg January 2, 2017 / 4:26 pm

        There’s a big section of Indian society that absolutely backs this policy. The case of keeping politics and sport separate isn’t easy to argue when there are bombs going off and attacks on the armed forces. Every issue can be politicized – I am not old enough to know the history of banning South Africa for apartheid, but was it anything if not politics? Unfortunate as it is, to see India not play against Pakistan, especially given the history and quality of game these two teams are capable of, I can’t really see how anyone in India will agree to a game against them without improvement in the situation at the border…

        Like

      • Mark January 2, 2017 / 5:17 pm

        As I say I don’t want to get into the politics, and I can quite understand why people don’t want to play sport when bombs are going off, and terrorism is taking place. I have never believed in the mantra put out by some people that sport and politics should never mix. What these people really mean is ……sport and politics (that don’t effect me) shouldn’t mix.

        The very same people who chanted this idea ahout apartied in SA where quite happy for sport and politics to come to a head for the 1980 Olympic Games when they wanted to pull the GB side out of going to Moscow. They also suddenly found a relish for cancelling tours when Zimbarbre was going to shit in a hand basket. I always wondered what they would have thought in the 1980s if the English football team had arranged to play an IRA invitational 11?

        I very much doubt we would have heard……… “sport and politics shouldn’t mix.” Being spouted.

        India run world cricket. Whatever the ICC may think. And they will play who they want, when they want. As always, just follow the money…..He who pays the piper calls the tune.

        Like

  24. d'Arthez January 2, 2017 / 10:32 am

    In Cape Town, Sri Lanka won the toss. Lakmal took care of Cook in the first over, and then Amla and Elgar rebuilded with a 66-run 2nd wicket stand. Kumara breached the defences of Amla, and Duminy, the ever so reliable Duminy, could not even bat out the over.

    Seriously, Duminy is averaging less than 30 in his last 25 Tests (that was since he got injured in Australia in 2012) as a specialist batsman. Philander, in the same period, averages 28 with the bat. When, oh when will South Africa actually start playing with 11 players, rather than 10 and one who bothers to perform once a year at most?

    Like

    • d'Arthez January 2, 2017 / 10:39 am

      And as a specialist batsman (batting positions, #1 through #6), his average over the same period has been 25, with just one ton (in Australia). At 7 or lower it is a reasonably respectable 37. Still not good for a frontline batsman though. But at least not walking-wicket-esque.

      But expect Cook to be dropped when AB is back, because Duminy is hitting them well in the nets.

      Like

  25. SimonH January 2, 2017 / 10:49 am

    Second Test between SA and SL under way just two days after the last one (anything other boards can do, CSA can do just as badly).

    One concern is that SA haven’t rested Rabada who’s apparently in the so-called ‘red zone’ for his recent workload. Please, please don’t break him…..

    One small subplot of the game involves whether Hashim Amla can get his average back over 50. He’s been above that level since Nov 2012 but fell 0.1 below it after the last match and he hasn’t made over 60 since the last Test against England (or a slightly less dramatic sounding 10 innings given how little SA play). Given that he’s closing in on 34 years old, there’s bound to be some talk about his age rather than other factors in his slump (like losing a bit of patience outside off-stump because of all the one-day cricket he’s played). Just getting out for 29 hasn’t helped!

    Current players averaging over 50 in Tests (min 10 matches): Voges, Smith, Root, Younis, Mominul, QDK, ABDV, Kohli.

    Like

    • d'Arthez January 2, 2017 / 11:49 am

      I would expect that T20 is playing a bigger part in Amla’s reduced batting returns. For years he hardly played T20s, but with the declining Rand he has tried to cash in a bit on his (ODI-)skills.

      Like

    • Sri Grins January 2, 2017 / 3:46 pm

      QDK is terrific. I enjoy his Gilchrist like approach with the bat & is a decent keeper. Ishan Kishan & RR Pant have a contemporary role model to aspire to.:-)

      Like

      • SimonH January 2, 2017 / 5:02 pm

        QDK passed 1000 Test runs today and is the 5th fastest SA batsman to do so in terms of innings (behind Smith, ABDV, Barlow and Graeme Pollock – not a bad four players!).

        I wasn’t a great fan initially – but am now a convert after watching the innings in Hobart. He’s the stardust in this SA batting line-up which would otherwise be fairly prosaic (with ABDV missing and Amla out of form).

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus January 2, 2017 / 11:49 pm

          Exciting player, bloody talented, and will maybe transition, as AB did, into being a batsman only in due course.

          Watching Amla is horrible. It looks like a permanent decline into mediocrity. I’ve never wanted to be more wrong.

          Like

      • LordCanisLupus January 2, 2017 / 11:57 pm

        Both Ranji Trophy semis look keenly poised at this stage. Is it going to be the case that they play all the games and Mumbai wins it again?

        Gujarat definitely in the prime position against Jharkhand, while first innings may not be crucial in Tamil Nadu v Mumbai.

        One question, Sri. Why all the matches played at neutral venues this year? Is that normal?

        Like

      • d'Arthez January 3, 2017 / 6:26 am

        I think the neutral venues was agreed upon last year by the BCCI, after a proposal from the technical committee dealing with such issues. This was supposedly meant to limit pitch doctoring by the home side (geez, where have we heard that before?).

        The problem seems to be that the host associations in some cases can’t be bothered to prepare the pitches to begin with.

        Like

      • Sri Grins January 3, 2017 / 9:22 am

        The neutral venues has been a very good idea. Earlier hosts used to make full use of the home advantage in Ranji. The BCCI wished to assess talent better.. Has its negatives in terms of fan support & crowds given the distances in India but so far seems to have worked well in cricket terms

        Like

      • Sri Grins January 3, 2017 / 9:26 am

        Jharkhand has taken a 18 run first inn lead. They have jaggi & ishan kishan. Ishan is a bright talent. From same state as MSD

        Like

    • d'Arthez January 2, 2017 / 4:27 pm

      South Africa end the day on 297/6, with de Kock still there unbeaten on 68. Abbott is the nightwatchman on 16 from 21. Elgar played an extremely valuable innings of 129, with the next highest score in the top six being 38 (Faf).

      So, it looks like Duminy is being bailed out again. But that has to stop. Against Sri Lanka in South Africa the team might get away with it, but against a team like England in England that is doubtful to say the least. I’d rather have them play say Chris Morris than Duminy. Certainly no worse bat on current evidence, and might have an impact with the ball – certainly would reduce the injury risk for Rabada.. Even Wayne Parnell (I am no fan of his, but at least in the last Test he played he looked good, before he got injured) might be a better option.

      Like

      • Scrim January 3, 2017 / 6:01 pm

        Not sure you can bring this up without mentioning the quotas? 6 non white including 2 black African. You have Amla, Bavuma (best fieldsman in the world, by the way), Philander, and Rabada who pick themselves, and Maharaj looks decent as their spinner but they also have Tahir or that young leggie who debuted in the last test in Australia. I don’t know what other non white batting options they have, but I guess Duminy is the best they can come up with. Morris isn’t an option. I guess you could go for Parnell but he isn’t a top 7 batsman and they aren’t exactly lacking with their fast bowlers.

        The commentators love Duminy though and keep banging on about what great form he is in – 1 good innings in Perth, I think that’s all?

        I’m all for the quotas and think they will be best for South African cricket in the long run, but it will give them some problems like this, and some players leaving for county cricket in the short term.

        Like

    • Sri Grins January 3, 2017 / 9:21 am

      The neutral venues has been a very good idea. Earlier hosts used to make full use of the home advantage in Ranji. The BCCI wished to assess talent better.. Has its negatives in terms of fan support & crowds given the distances in India but so far seems to have worked well in cricket terms

      Like

    • SimonH January 2, 2017 / 3:49 pm

      No real analysis of the origin of the problem, no solutions, tedious pet theories, smuggled in excuse-making for England and a liberal dose of Andy Flower quotes.

      Peak Selvey, really.

      Just to take one point he makes – Pakistan’s win at Lord’s was down to “extra preparation time”? Really? Pakistan had two f/c games against half-strength Somerset and Sussex sides. To give two recent comparisons, England had three warm-up matches on the “difficult winter” and India had two warm-up matches when they toured England in 2014. So how is that “extra”?

      Oh all right, another point – he paraphrases this from Flower, “He is, he says, from the old school, which believed that cricket tours embraced interaction with the public and cultural inquisitiveness”. How many observers of England under Flower would say that “interaction with the public” or “cultural inquisitiveness” were some of their most noticeable qualities? Was none of this down to Flower? “Don’t blame me I’m only the coach”.

      And another one – notice how he puts the Ashes’ win of 2010/11 down to brilliant preparation of the seamers. Funny how England ripped up the seam attack they started with and blundered upon the Tremlett and Bresnan combination (who they then squandered). But then Selvey can put the 2010 T20 WC win down to Flower and not mention the contribution of the player of the series.

      I particularly enjoyed how almost all his evidence comes from his one England tour and from quotes from his mate. It’s risible journalism. How about interviewing some players who played across the change in touring and might have some insights into it? How about questioning some administrators who sign off these tours?

      Liked by 1 person

      • RufusSG January 2, 2017 / 4:37 pm

        Perhaps I was too kind!

        You’re right that it comes across as excuse-making in places (an attitude that has frustrated me with many teams on failed overseas tours) but nevertheless the issues he suggests are real ones, even if he perhaps places too much weight on them. I agree with your last paragraph in that he hasn’t really looked deeply into how these problems come about by interviewing so few people, especially those in relevant disciplines, in the course of putting the piece together.

        Also, I’m not sure he’s necessarily arguing that more detailed and intensive acclimatisation on foreign tours is always the right approach – he gives a few examples when it worked and other occasions when it made no difference (even with Flower’s England). If he is, it’s a strange way to do so.

        Like

      • Mark January 2, 2017 / 4:46 pm

        So another outfit has given Selvey a job. There really is never any consequences for writing drivel. Just as long as it’s what the right kind of people want to read.

        Flower “He is, he says, from the old school, which believed that cricket tours embraced interaction with the public and cultural inquisitiveness.”
        Really? Remember the 87 page diet sheets? So much for cultural inquisitiveness and interaction. And that was not even Bongo bongo land, but the cultural backwater known as Australia. Do they even have cheese and mobile signals?

        Notice also the strange attempt to compare to a military operation……”Modern tours can be raiding parties or lengthy sieges, but wherever they are, they are never less than intensive. Flower…..”It is in and out now, get the job done and away. There is little chance to make that connection any longer, and I think the game is the poorer for it”

        Nowhere in this piece does Selvey point out this is exactly what the modern players want. In and out as quick as they can, and then back to their families. This allows the authorities to to then have ever more series that means more TV contracts, and more money for the players. In an out “raiding parties” to use corporal Selvey’s description allows the whole gravy train to keep going, and have the players back in Blighty shearing their sheep or what ever else they do. Flower himself complained about all the traveling when you have a young family. I don’t remember the problem being cultural interaction, but just wanting to get home to the kids. The photograph of course has a giant picture of Cook. No doubt to make you feel sympathetically towards the plight of his beloved England captain who is under pressure.

        The publication may change, but the drivel continues as usual…..

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus January 2, 2017 / 11:53 pm

          I shut down How Did We Lose in Adelaide at 5pm on a Friday night. I’d launched Being Outside Cricket within an hour.

          Where the hell is Selvey’s blog? He announced it months ago. It’s not hard, sir. I’ll give him a hand if he wants.

          Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH January 2, 2017 / 6:21 pm

        Selvey articles are like rich food at Christmas – kind of addictive even if you know that you’ll feel sick afterwards!

        Of course he’s right about the difficulties of winning away but it’s hardly a new insight. Is it a point he’s ever made when England are winning at home? I don’t recall him saying things like “poor old Pankaj hasn’t had much acclimatisation” but more like “what a magnificent 95 that was – probably worth 150”.

        It isn’t impossible to win away these days – India won in SL and WI, SA won in Australia, Pakistan won in SL, Australia won in WI. There have been plenty of instances where away teams have been able to draw away series which a focus just on winning away ignores.

        There are some interesting issues about preparing to win away. How many warm-up games would be good? What goal should we be aiming at ? He doesn’t say. It’s just as – and possibly more – important that players are already familiar with conditions before they tour. This is where A teams are crucial – but Selvey doesn’t mention this because in reality England are better off here than almost any other team (WI A went 18 months without a single game not long ago).

        Perhaps that article was a disinterested exploration of a current issue – and not the construction of an alibi for Comma and Cook that I think it was. Perhaps the timing a week before the famous de-briefing is a coincidence. Perhaps.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol January 3, 2017 / 9:15 am

        I like how the only source *apart from* Flower and his own tour of India is Greg Chappell. Regular Guardian readers with critical thinking skills in the ascendant over sycophancy will be wearily familiar with his reliance on all three. Only surprised Saker wasn’t crowbarred in as well.

        His finest moment re Greg Chappell was of course this beauty, a dictionary definition of the elephant in the room:

        https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/jan/07/hashim-amla-burden-south-africa-captain

        Like

  26. amit garg January 2, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    BCCI hit with adverse ruling from the Supreme court in India and Thakur removed as the head. New year could not have begun with more strife for BCCI. Lets just hope that the court appointed officials do a better job…. till then ECB will have to forget about being paid…

    Like

  27. alecpaton January 2, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Thanks for a great year of blogging.

    FYI: I think I’m all three Alecs that comment on this blog (I only use my WordPress login at home).

    Like

    • Mark January 2, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      Michael Lewis has already done all the heavy lifting on the topic of these two Israeli psychologists. No need to waste time on FICJAM trying to steal all the glory.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus January 2, 2017 / 11:41 pm

        If I could bring in my own US sporting reference – honestly, Ed Smith chucks them in hoping no-one knows about the sports – I turn to a book I just finished reading about the 1990s Dallas Cowboys.

        Dallas had a beat reporter called Skip Bayless who followed them around. Hell, in the 90s, not knowing who he was I came across one of his paperbacks in the much missed Sportspages and bought it. Bayless is now one of American sports biggest TV shock-jocks. He’s a three ring circus act, making hay out of having a go at LeBron James. Anyway, the author of this book, Jeff Pearlman says “the biggest disaster in Skip Bayless’s life would be if someone removed the “I” key from his keyboard.”

        And the name of Ed Smith immediately popped into my head.

        I mean, really…

        “My reading of this book, linked to a tension in my own life, centres on the complex nature of confidence. How confident should you want to be? Temperamentally confident, I have become increasingly intellectually sceptical. So I sometimes feel that the exterior and the interior of my personality were built by different architects, in opposing styles. Reflecting on my time as a cricket captain, I wish I’d done the job at a younger age, earlier in my twenties, when I was much more inclined to think I was right.”

        Tension in his life? Whether to own up or hope we all forget the plagiarism incident?

        Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus January 2, 2017 / 11:44 pm

        P.S. – Michael Lewis is as over-rated as they come. Moneyball is a fraud.

        Like

      • Mark January 3, 2017 / 9:45 am

        In fairness to Michael Lewis he is a great storyteller. He didn’t invent money ball or shorting credit default swaps as in The Big Short. He just tells the story, usually very well.

        Unlike FICJAM, who always makes it all about him.

        Can you imagine him and Selvey in a pub?…..”when I was in India……in the 1970s”. …….”Yes, but when I was in Athens studying the Ancient Greeks to see how this could help my captaincy skills……” ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

        Like

      • SimonH January 3, 2017 / 11:24 am

        Has anyone noticed any “intellectual scepticism” in FICJAM’s writing when he’s considering the free market? I must be dreaming he wrote piece after piece about how the market can solve all of cricket’s ills and how the game should be handed over to entrepreneurs.

        Also, can anyone find anybody else around the Middlesex set-up during Smith’s disastrous time as captain who thinks that Smith’s insufficient self-belief in his own rightness was the main problem?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark January 3, 2017 / 11:43 am

        His appointment as captain was everything that is wrong about cricket hierarchy. He know doubt deludes himself that he was chosen because of the purity of the free market. IE He was the best qualified person for the job. But was he the best possible captain on pure cricket grounds? Going to Cambridge and getting a first class honnors degree doesn’t mean that you are neccesarlly cut out to lead.

        However, it always pulls the wool over the elites heads, who hand out the top jobs in society. The right sort of people always seem to end up as captain of county cricket clubs. Usualy Oxbridge educated, and usually batsman.

        Middx probably thought they had another Brearley on their hands.

        Like

  28. pktroll (@pktroll) January 3, 2017 / 8:38 am

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2017/content/story/1075163.html I don’t know if you guys have picked up on this yet, but some really disturbing news out of SA. Kyle Abbot due to give up international cricket to become a Kolpak at Hampshire. It may be that there’s some room for manoeuvre given that this agreement was a few months ago before he got back in the SA test team, but at already 29 years old he may fancy a few years of bigger wages. I’ve even heard rumours that the talented Rousouw (spelling) might do similar. Bad times if this is so.

    Like

    • d'Arthez January 3, 2017 / 10:47 am

      Think we discussed the whole Kolpak malarkey a few months ago, without going into specifics. I argued that while it may be beneficial for the counties in the short term, I am not so sure about the benefits for international cricket.

      I suspect the one going could be Rilee Rossouw. Now that Abbott is establishing himself permanently in the Test side and doing so well, his market value (due to broadcasts of international games) is going to shoot up. Since he is also a very good limited overs bowler, he is likely to be cashing in seriously in IPL and maybe a few other leagues.

      Case in point would be the Australia – West Indies series of last year, where most of the leading West Indians were playing in the BBL, rather than for the West Indies. That could be happening soon with England – South Africa as well, with some of the South African born and educated players (Jennings for one) representing England, while those who are not good enough to be “bought” (basically that is what these deals amount to) by the counties representing South Africa. It will make for one-sided cricket. Hardly good for the international game.

      Like

      • SimonH January 3, 2017 / 11:07 am

        The Guardian reported that an unnamed member of the SA tour party to Australia who didn’t play a Test was lining up a Kolpak. Rossouw fitted that description but so did three other players. Is there any other evidence about Rossouw? I thought as he’d established himself in the SA ODI team he was the least likely to be the player involved. Morkel seemed a more probable candidate although perhaps he is enough of a “name” to earn good money in franchises.

        By the way, the English press’s coverage of the goings-on at the BCCI is non-existent.

        Like

      • d'Arthez January 3, 2017 / 11:25 am

        The others were Morne Morkel, Dwaine Pretorius, and Dane VIlas. The latter is extremely unlikely (he is not that good, and England seem to have a glut of wk/batsmen).

        Morne Morkel is possible, but he has not been dropped (struggling with injuries). And certainly strongly in contention for a spot, as his returns had hardly tapered off (65 wickets at a tad under 27 from his last 20 Tests – hardly suggesting that his time is up). This is before looking at wicket characteristics: it is not like Philander, Abbott, and Rabada are all similar to Morne Morkel. So Morne certainly brings different things to the party, and that in itself is valuable.

        That leaves Dwaine Pretorius. Certainly a decent player, but hardly a big name (surprised he was called up for that tour to be honest).

        I argued elsewhere that if they drop Duminy, and play an extra bowler, the batting won’t be weakened significantly (that is how poor Duminy has performed in the last 4 years). So any wicket that favours pace, could possibly see South Africa play a 5-men attack (4 pacers and Maharaj). And with Steyn’s Test future extremely uncertain, I can’t see how Morne would have falled behind Morris, Parnell, or anyone else in the pecking order.

        Like

      • SimonH January 3, 2017 / 11:37 am

        D, I sincerely hope you’re right about Morkel. I think this SA attack will need him when they play on less seamer-friendly wickets. They’ve had a run of games on wickets that have seamed and/or swung and it’s making this attack look better than it is. They’ll end up pushing Rabada into the “enforcer” role and he’ll lose the ability to pitch it up and move it (plus he’ll probably break down injured).

        I was astonished on the TV comm at the end of the last Test when they were discussing resting Rabada and they all considered Parnell more likely to play than Morkel. Their reasoning was over Morkel’s lack of proven match-fitness (as if Parnell hasn’t any record of injuries!).

        I agree that I’d like to see SA play a five-man attack at times – but if they aren’t going to do it at home against SL, when are they going to do it?

        Like

      • d'Arthez January 3, 2017 / 12:24 pm

        If it were up to me, Duminy would have been axed from the Test side a long time ago (and probably retained for the ODI side). He simply does not get the returns needed in Tests, especially since his injury sustained during the tour of Australia in 2012. Since then he averages 25 with the bat in the top 6. That is simply not good enough. “Allrounders” would have been dropped for such lean batting returns, Duminy gets promoted for proven incompetence to #4. Moeen Ali in particular must be wondering how easily Duminy retains his spot.

        Amla is having a lean patch too, but even then his record since the tour of England (scoring his runs at 28) is better than Duminy’s as a specialist batsman over the last 4 years. And unlike Duminy, Amla has proven himself all over the world. So obviously, the clamour is for Amla to be dropped …

        Honestly, if there were concerns about the workload of Philander and Rabada, it would have made sense to play the extra bowler (if they were that desperate to play Philander and Rabada). To reduce the workload, and in case of an unfortunate breakdown, to still have 4 frontline bowlers available. It is not like Duminy’s batting would be missed that much. And it is not like Duminy has bowled that much either (average bowling of 11 overs / Test, and that is skewed by his workload in the UAE and Sri Lanka; average return since his injury is about 37/1 per Test).

        Picking the extra bowler (instead of Duminy) would have reduced the pressure on the batsmen too, because the bowlers will be fresher, and thus more likely to pick up a wicket. But expect Stephen Cook to make way for AB de Villiers when AB is back from injury, and the whole batting order to be rejigged to suit Duminy. Otherwise the selectors might be forced to make a sensible selection decision … and we can’t have that.

        South Africa need to retain Morkel – the guy is a workhorse, and his stats look worse for that.. If they don’t, congrats to the ECB for retaining the Basil d’Oliveira Trophy.

        Like

      • d'Arthez January 4, 2017 / 5:42 pm

        Seems like Rossouw and Abbott will be going to Hampshire.About 15 more South Africans for Hampshire to buy, and then pretend they’re not the Surrey of yesteryears … After stabbing another county in the back to retain First Division status, they’re now stabbing another country in the back, so that the overpaid useless idiots who run cricket can celebrate brilliant victories in the international arena, by literally bleeding the opposition dry of quality players.

        Happy for them that they did not bid for the Tests against South Africa, though sadly for them they have squandered some money to get a T20I.

        It would be far cheaper to organize a warmup for England, and use the political machinery of the ECB to grant it Test Status, especially when the ECB approved captain (now who could that be?) forces Stephen Cook and Hashim Amla to bowl unchanged for 300 overs, so that St. Alastair can rack up some records against the best attack of all time?

        It will even reduce the costs, since England can just pop in at the Rose Bowl to play South Africa. Saves the Home Office some hassles with the visas as well for the players and the tourists who might want to pop in to watch a quality series – because honestly who’d come for that?

        Needless to say, congratulations ECB for effectively killing of what could have been the most interesting series of the year, through your own intransigence, fear of good governance and greed.

        Sorry if this comes across as over the top, but seriously, it seems that the ECB is doing everything in its power to kill the international game off everywhere, but in Australia and India. Well done ECB!

        Like

  29. SimonH January 3, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    Anyone with a DT Premium account able to relay why Vaughan and Boycott think 2017 is going to be “the most important year ever for English cricket”.

    Like

  30. Mark January 3, 2017 / 12:45 pm

    Gawd knows! I guess it probably has something to do with it being an Ashes year. It’s the only series that count for some people. Cooks redemption and all that nonsesne. Can’t see Boycott being too bothered by Cooks redemption though. That’s Nassers territory.

    Maybe it’s all this francise cricket, and the financing of the game. Who knows? We live in a world in which the meja tells us daily this is the “best ever” or the “most important year in the history of mankind about everything.”

    Like

  31. SimonH January 3, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    Three wickets for Rabada reduced SL to 60/4.

    Much as I share the Kohli love, I’d have been very tempted to make Rabada my player of the year. He took 81 international wickets last year at 24. Only Ashwin took more wickets and he played more Tests and more at home. Only Starc of seamers with 50 wickets had a better average and nobody had a better SR.

    The thing about Rabada is that he’s not yet 22. He’s younger than Craig Overton or Pat Cummins (let alone such “inexperienced” cricketers as Chris Woakes or Mark Wood).

    Like

    • d'Arthez January 3, 2017 / 2:25 pm

      Maharaj and Rabada have added one more each. Sri Lanka 78/6, after South Africa had posted 392.

      WIll take a hell of an effort from Sri Lanka to take it well into day 5 here.

      Like

    • SimonH January 3, 2017 / 2:30 pm

      SL now 78/6 and sinking. This is nothing like the pitch SA served up for the England tour.

      A bit more on Rabada – only nine other seamers have taken 50 Test wickets before they’re 22. Rabada has a lower average than all but two of them (Waqar and Streak – although Wes Hall had 46 at 17 in just 8 matches). Nine spinners have also taken 50 wickets at that age and only Alf Valentine had a better average than Rabada’s. It’s worth adding that Rabada’s career includes away tours to the top two ranked countries so it isn’t as if he’s had an easy schedule.

      Waqar had 121 wickets at 19 before he was 22. Blimey, he was some bowler.

      (P.S. I’m not copying stats’ tables into posts anymore because WordPress eats them).

      Like

    • pktroll (@pktroll) January 3, 2017 / 3:06 pm

      I had hopes that this Sri Lankan side would show a bit more fight on this tour. Unfortunately it has rather gone to type for them. I weirdly sort of think that there is a team that is trying to get out, as there look to be some talented and improved quicks and some batting potential. Sadly it is looking far from that way though.

      Like

      • SimonH January 3, 2017 / 3:12 pm

        Philander gone past 150 Test wickets and now got his average down to below 22. Remember how it used to be argued bowlers couldn’t average under 25 anymore?

        Only four SA bowlers got to 150 wickets quicker – Steyn, Tayfield, Donald and Pollock. Only Pollock had a better average.

        Like

      • Silk January 3, 2017 / 3:41 pm

        Young Pollock (Sean) was some bloody bowler, as I recall.

        Older Pollock was canny, but young Pollock was FAST and some combo with Donald at the other end.

        Like

    • Sri Grins January 3, 2017 / 4:44 pm

      Yes. Rabada is a great talent. He would deserve the test cricketer of the year as much as Ash though I am glad my hometown boy got it . After 2017 April, Ash has no home tests & so very glad he really capitalized on them. Interestingly, he & his wife blessed with another baby girl just a couple of days after the Chennai test .

      Like

      • Cricketjon January 3, 2017 / 5:44 pm

        That’s excellent news Sri Grins

        Like

      • BoredInAustria January 4, 2017 / 8:15 pm

        That is better planning than the Sheep Farmer that managed to miss him sitting at home in the new year with no work obligations and waiting for the new chef to arrive by a good few months…..

        Like

  32. Escort January 3, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    Happy new year to all πŸ˜€πŸ˜€. Great achievement today for David Warner.

    Like

  33. pktroll (@pktroll) January 4, 2017 / 10:28 am

    Amla’s footwork is pretty much non-existent now? I don’t recall it always being like that and he looks all over the place currently. Still SA are over 400 ahead and Du Plessis is looking good.

    Like

  34. pktroll (@pktroll) January 4, 2017 / 10:41 am

    Oh before I forget, I see no mention of some bloke who happens to have scored 60 off 37 today? I guess many of us don’t have access to BT Sport and won’t have watched. Any of you who have wish to comment?

    Like

    • SimonH January 4, 2017 / 11:15 am

      I’m watching play in CT – but I guess the line, after just ignoring it, will be one of the usual diatribes against the standard of the BBL.

      I notice that five of the six bowlers ‘he’ scored the runs against have international honours (and the one who hasn’t, off-spinner Chris Green, probably will have sooner rather than later – he looks a very good white-ball spinner). I also notice that all of the top six of ‘his’ team have international honours and nobody else made more than 35.

      Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) January 4, 2017 / 11:22 am

        Yeah, I’ve been watching the CT game too. Again, I get the feeling that this SL team really could be better than it’s sum currently is off their own soil but it just isn’t happening atm.

        Like

    • dlpthomas January 4, 2017 / 12:44 pm

      It was a good innings – played himself in and then accelerated nicely. Then upstaged by Morgan for a great finish. I’m not a 20/20 fan but it’s also been nice to see Bell get some runs.

      Like

    • whiterose76 January 4, 2017 / 12:52 pm

      It was a cracking game actually – I’m skiving at home with the kids for one more day before school starts again. On a Thursday!
      Pietersen struggled a little early on against Fawad Ahmed, but was is noticeable is how calm he stays – which was not always the case. He batted within himself at a run a ball until he had about 20 before starting to take the seamers apart. He also talked the commentary box through his innings and tactics. However after Watson took an excellent return catch to get him out, the Stars batting just faded away, meaning the Thunder had a target to chase. Morgan timed it brilliantly and won it with a last ball six straight down the ground off Hilfenhaus.
      The only negatives were a bad hamstring injury to Andre Russell and Mark Waugh continuing to pollute the commentary box. He was such a wonderful batsman to watch as well…
      Happy new year to everyone (very belatedly) by the way. This blog keeps me sane and long may it continue.

      Like

  35. SimonH January 4, 2017 / 10:41 am

    Has he said this to his mate Henderson?

    Like

    • Mark January 4, 2017 / 11:08 am

      Oh there is so much material here, but I haven’t got the time this morning.

      All I would say Mr Selvey……..is knowing fuck all has never stopped you before. And another year of failure for Cooks England, and you’re still blowing kisses to the worst captain England has ever had.

      No wonder the Guardian couldn’t wait to get shot of you. You know fuck all about the things you do get paid to write about. What’s the definition of a fraud?

      Like

  36. simplyshirah February 8, 2017 / 7:07 pm

    Dear Dmitri. So sorry I missed this one. Became crook in December and only just now coming up for air. Wish you all the very best Dmitri and your family and all those you love. Sending all my very best wishes to all the gang. Where would we have all been without your blog. Wonderful stuff. Loads of love and good wishes to you all for 2017. Belated but well meant.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus February 9, 2017 / 9:27 am

      Hope you are feeling better Annie. There’s always a barney on the way with our cricket admin and journos. We’re just pointing them out.

      Like

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