As pointless posts go, this is up there. I’m doing an open post for a T20 international played in the middle of September at Chester-le-Street. If we have a poster game for how entirely messed up the current cricketing environment is, this is it. Context? Who gives a stuff about context? It’s a one-off game that doesn’t really count for anything other than a game on the day. This is cricket not as a sport, with results counting for something or other, rather a cricketing version of a comedy series Christmas Special. It stands out, it doesn’t need to fit in with a narrative in the series, and it’s rather bleeding unnecessary other than to make some money.
That’s modern sport. Fuck the competition. To hell with what matters. It’s entertainment. Honestly, if they thought it made more money, we’d have the game as a bloody film event. What’s the downside for the loser? International friendlies in football matter more, because if you lose them, you lose ranking points that cost you seedings when it comes to tournaments. Draws are rigged in the international cricket scene, so don’t compare apples and oranges.
Most of the headlines have been devoted to the third ranked England cricketer in the Power List being left out at his home ground to give him a rest. Number 1. Ben Stokes is the most powerful England cricketer and in my view, it isn’t even close. He’s the highest paid overseas player in the IPL. He won the MVP last year, I do believe. If Ben Stokes decides he fancies earning a million or so dollars every year rather than play an early summer series against Pakistan, then we are in dire straits. The two players above him in the list, Joe Root and Moeen Ali do not have that power because they are not in line to play in the IPL. Stokes is the key to our test team not falling on its arse. He’s been our player of the season. I can’t say I’d be starting up his fan club as I’m not overtly keen on the approach he takes on the field, but as a talent, he’s as good as we’ve had for a while. (I’ve not got a copy of the list yet, but seen Lizzie Ammon’s photo which ends at 44, and with last year’s #39 not on it so far. This year’s #39 is Ian Ward. I’m interested what power he wields!)
There’s no newbies on show for England, who have lost 4 of their last 5 games to the West Indies, so there is little curiosity in the event. Jason Roy and Alex Hales will probably open. Tom Curran is as near as we get to a new international in the line-up. West Indies, who are fast becoming the equivalent of Fiji in rugby, look a formidable team, with new talents like Evin Lewis in the ranks (not that new, he has two T20 centuries already) and captained by Carlos Brathwaite (I remembered his name, but not a lot of his performances since that night). I’m sure it will be super fun as the temperature is predicted to be around 52 degrees and possible showers. Power List #1, aka Empty Suit, is probably thrilled, making cricket an almost winter sport, but I can’t help but feel that this is a bridge too far.
Until you consider we have a FIVE game ODI series to follow. It’s what the people want, after all. Take a thick coat, and enjoy the show.
UPDATE: Here is your top 50. And last year’s…
The Cricketer has just arrived. #39 last year has not put himself in the list this year.
There’s some super stuff in there. #39 emeritus sucking up to the ECB is one.
Booth +1, Botham +13?????????
Did I miss something obvious Botham did?
Durham figurehead and expensive ‘whine’ provider?
Ok, so, becoming figurehead of the definitively least powerful county in English cricket gets you a 13-place bump?
Hughes leaving himself off the list this year is shutting the stable door when the horse is over the hill and far away.
Andy Flower at #24 and Giles Clarke at #27. Yes. of course they are….
LikeLiked by 2 people
That is why Hughes will for ever be known as 39 for me. When he wrote the ludicrous boast last year he really believed it. He had no self awareness to realise what a pillock he was making of himself.
The fact he has removed himself this year is proof. Either that or he has done such a lousy job this year as 39th most influential person in English cricket that he has disappeared from the list. In which case he should sack himself!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Do share more! I can’t believe the they’ve done it again and led to one of the most memorable posts on these pages (although the Christmas Carol is still my favourite!).
Boy they really hate Durham down at ECB towers.
Relegate them, deduct points from them, give them a useless 20/20 in mid September, and if that wasn’t enough……. drop the local lad and hero.
You could not make up a bigger scenario in which they say F*** you to Durham, and their fans.
There is no sport in England that hates it’s fans (sorry customers) more than English cricket. The feeling is mutual I can assure them.
LikeLiked by 4 people
One of their favourite sons has just been paid 75k to bowl two overs though!
I don’t suppose it escaped anyone’s attention last week that Bransgrove was rewarded with a second consecutive Test v India in 2018, and the two remaining venues north of Nottingham make do with a T20 and an ODI.
But you may not know that, of 17 Tests India will have played here since 2002, only one was played north of Nottingham. The Indians have played at Lord’s, Oval and TB in every single tour in the 21st century.
Wasn’t it Manchester that Sachin introduced himself to an English & world audience with his first test hundred at 16/17 in 1996?
Don’t want any more of that nonsence!! Good job cricket has advanced since then.
Rod Bransgrove drops out, I believe, from 38 (one above our main man).
I find this very funny.
#39 emritus saves some of his best stuff for Tom Harrison…
As mates of mine might say “have a fucking word….”
LikeLiked by 1 person
So Hughes’s list works just like the honours system then!
“Other buggers efforts”
He follows the integrity quote with this in his lickspittle homage to Costcutter Yorkie:
“Graves has effectively persuaded the 18 turkeys to vote for Christmas, though they will undoubtedly get a return on their sacrifice.”
LikeLiked by 1 person
And then there are the Editor’s Notes.
Some egos didn’t need inflating, did they #39 emeritus?
Here’s a little quiz question. In this month’s Cricketer who said this about who?
“…and he, not just a coach of the highest pedigree but an esteemed and proven humanitarian, agreed….”
I’m going Occam’s Razor with my first bid and saying Selvey on Flower.
You’d never guess that Selfey would devote a whole page on the Pakistan matches, would you?
A massively important step forward, bringing cricket back to a cricket loving people. Which had to be shifted to avoid a clash with the Caribbean Premier League finals.
History is nice, but money is money.
Insufferable. I have to say I never knew about Flower’s humanitarian work, and if anyone was going to tell us before surely it would have been his leading courtier.
Surely he doesn’t just mean the black armband gesture that was so much easier for him to leave behind than it was for Olonga?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh good, the Rose bowl can give Cook another 3 hour standing ovation for not scoring a century.
Actually, if the last 2 series against India in England are anything to go by a home test against India is not a great spectacle. The ODI games will likey be more of a contest.
Where is Bransgrove on 39s little list?
He’s either 45-50 or has dropped off it altogether:
Ah, he’s dropped off altogether (I couldn’t see all of it on the view I was looking at).
He really doesn’t like Lawrence Booth, does he? Was it because he dared to criticise Hughes’ beloved Giles Clarke in public and isn’t signed up to the Ashes/T20/nothing else vision of world cricket?
It really is the most insufferable of circle jerks.
Hugh Morris? Stop laughing at the back.
It is probably one of the most pointless lists in history. But by making it, and elevating it in his own magazine it becomes all about 39. Even Lizzie is looking out for it. If only for comic value.
LikeLiked by 1 person
It caused a ripple last year. They brought John Etheridge on to the panel to give it some gravitas. It pricked egos.
It was comedy effing gold. It produced a ripple of hilarity. We loved it. Articles write themselves.
LikeLiked by 1 person
At 38 it’s Richard Thompson. Is that the same Thompson who was in Fairport Convention? He is one of the worlds greatest guitar players, but top 50 important cricket figures?,He loves cricket, and was was interviewed by Agnew a few years ago, but really? Perhaps there is another Richard Thompson?
At 13 is Virat Kholi. Which is interesting seeing I thought it was an English list. 39 trying to pander to the Asian vote I suspect. He has Mooen Ali at 6. Nice guy, but 6th most influential?
Michael Vaughan, Nasser, and Clare Conner come in ahead of Trevor Bayliss. That’s got be Slightly worring. Atherton comes in behind Nasser and Shinny toy. That can’t be right.
Its a bit of a dog’s breakfast.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Mmm… cricket and music.
In today’s world of test cricket fighting for survival, Roy Harper’s “When an old cricketer leaves the crease” could not be more apt.
Be glad if it’s a musician – not too bad a musician either. SA’s list would be filled with corrupt politicians. They just have to be involved everywhere.
To play devil’s advocate, I’m not busy today and I wouldn’t mind putting on 4 cardies and watching Gayle, Lewis, Narine, Hales and Roy do their thing for a few hours.
However, it does feel like Lords, the Oval, Headingley etc get treated to a 5 course meal while Durham get a burger and fries. Mind you down here in Sussex or in the new champion county, you don’t even get a sausage.
Thinks: missing a T20, where you’d bowl 4 overs and potentially only bat for 5 minutes doesn’t strrike me as much of a rest. Missing a 50 over game or two would seem more beneficial.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Why a top 50 list for power? who is interested in this list? A bit puzzling
Virat Kohli? 13 in an english cricket power list?? or is this for the entire world?
The good thing is that he got the spelling right. Too many people still write kholi. :-). I guess they must be following a rose smells just as sweet saying.
Oh look, it’s Ski Sunday. No it’s not ….its cricket.
It was the St Ledger today. Last big flat race of the season, and we are starting a cricket competition. Should be fun!!
You have to hand it to the Durham faithful. They have turned out in numbers. Then again it beats Christmas shopping.
Whatever we think…. This is what the public want. They can’t get enough of it.
The commentators are all wrapped up in blankets now. Should be lovely in about an hour!
WI making a mess of this. What once looked like 200 is now struggling to be 170.
Shame Rashid didnt play in the test match at Leeds on the last day. But Nasser informs me he’s a 20/20 bowler.
So that’s all right then.
I think Bumble has gone off with hypothermia
And it’s raining now.
Cold and wet. The perfect combination………for football.
Off for rain now. 167/8 with an over to go.
I wonder if Sir Ian Botham is there?
September evenings are always pretty cool. Might have made more sense playing it in daylight hours, but, of course, the great god football is in the way.
England pulled that back, but West Indies gave it away. That Gayle run out was schoolboy stuff. Club cricket (bad) stuff.
Going to try a little Over by Over on this game. It’s something we are thinking of trying on some occasions. Maybe during the Ashes? I’ll do it in the comments today.
Pre-game – first query. Do you think Simon Hughes wrote the lines for the Kia adverts? And why does he remind me of Nick Knight.
0.1 Willey swings it, and Gayle nicks it through the slips for 4. Hussain is pants on fire enthusiasm as if this is some great world affair, rather than a knockabout. Lloyd telling us it’s going to be a lot of fun. More promoters than commentators. West Indies shirts remind me of some Northampton Town cast offs.
1st Over complete – 7/0 (Gayle 5, Lewis 1)
1.1 Joe Root on in a reprise of the World T20 Final. 3 dot balls to Lewis with the third nipping back a little into Lewis. The fourth was belted over cover for 4 as Root gave it some air. The boundary was the only run making shot in the over.
2nd Over complete – 11/0 (Gayle 5, Lewis 5)
2.1 Willey bowls again. Two dot balls to start the over. The next 6 will be his hundredth apparently, and then, on cue, he hits the third ball over midwicket for six. The next one gets belted straight over long off for another six. Bumble gets someone who is obviously listening to TMS rather than Sky so we don’t get a reprise of his tiresome talk to a supporter twaddle. 13 runs from the over.
3rd Over complete – 24/0 (Gayle 18, Lewis 5)
3.1 Tom Curran on and starts with a nice straight one to Gayle which he defends. Second ball gets belted over long on for another six by Gayle. Hussain wants TC to hide it outside off stump. 4th ball of the over goes for 4. Gayle looks to move down the pitch, TC bowls it short, and Gayle lofts it over square on the offside for 4. Lewis miscues last ball of over, for what looks like a 4, and it’s confirmed as such.
4th Over complete – 39/0 (Gayle 29, Lewis 9)
4.1 Chris Jordan next into the firing line. Gayle a bit uppish to the first ball, but gets a single to long on. Second bull full toss gets walloped through cover for 4. Gayle lofts the fourth ball over extra cover for a one bounce four. Last ball of the over is massacred over extra cover for 6. That tree trunk swung to great effect.
5th Over complete – 55/0 (Gayle 40, Lewis 14)
5.1 Tom Curran finds his first ball dispatched over his head for a six by Lewis, and the next is flicked slightly behind square for 4. Third ball elevated, looked like it might be a catch, but sails over the Bairstow’s head for 6. A single from the remaining three balls.
6th Over complete – 72/0 (Gayle 40, Lewis 31)
6.1 Powerplay over, Liam PLunkett on. First ball flicked down leg side for four by Lewis, who is catching Gayle. Is this a run out? Gayle runs like I do, and is run out and goes for 40. Lordy, I’ve seen glaciers move more quickly.
WICKET 77/1 – CHRIS GAYLE run out 40
In comes Marlon Samuels. That run out is even worse on second look. Schoolboy ball-watching, as he prodded it into the offside. Jason Roy did well, but Gayle’s atrocious there. Samuels off the mark off the last ball.
7th Over complete – 80/1 (Lewis 37, Samuels 1)
7.1 Rashid on. Samuels prods the second ball for a single. Third ball is hit over extra cover for 4 by Lewis. Ambitious LBW appeal on the 4th ball. Still no 2s in the innings. Last ball hit over extra cover again for another 6. It wasn’t particularly well hit, but that’s the modern game for you.
8th Over complete – 93/1 (Lewis 47, Samuels 3)
8.1 Plunkett bowls his second over and starts off with a bouncer. Three dot balls to Samuels. Bowls a rank ball fourth up and Samuels puts it away behind square on the offside for 4.
9th Over complete – 99/1 (Lewis 48, Samuels 8)
9.1 Joe Root back on for his second over. Wide off the second ball, single off the third to Lewis. They might be moaning about the cold in the com box, (Lewis completes his 50 in 26 balls with a single), but you are being paid fellas. Poor sods who paid for the tickets…. Root bowls another wide in a quiet over that went for just 7 runs.
10th Over complete – 106/1 (Lewis 51, Samuels 10)
WICKET – EVIN LEWIS Ct Root B Plunkett 51 – 106/2
10.1 With the first ball of the 11th over, Lewis smears a ball to Joe Root, not getting the elevation or placement and Root takes a reasonably routine catch at mid-off. In comes Chadwick Walton. Walton gets off the mark first ball, as brother texts me to tell me Harry Redknapp has been sacked. Walton’s second ball goes over long on for another 6. Lordy.
WICKET – MARLON SAMUELS Ct Root B Plunkett 10 – 115/3
Similar mishit to Joe Root who is mid-on to the right hander as opposed to mid off for Lewis. Looped more than Lewis’s, much more simple catch. In comes Kieron Pollard. No clue what happened there – Pollard not ready? Nonsense. Pollard gets off the mark with an unconvincing prod.
11th Over Complete – 116/3 (Walton 9, Pollard 1)
11.1 Rashid back on after going for a dozen in his first. 2nd ball is flicked leg side by Pollard for 4 to a very fine leg. David Lloyd has his cup of tea. Bet that didn’t cost him £2. Quiet over as Pollard plays carefully.
12th Over complete – 122/3 (Walton 10, Pollard 6)
12.1 Plunkett back for his final over. Beloved just texted me a picture from a New Jersey beach.
WICKET – 123/4 KIERON POLLARD Ct Curran B Plunkett 6
Short ball, pulled with what looked like a miniscule effort but carried almost to the boundary as Curran takes a decent catch above his head at deep backward square and keeps himself inside the ropes. Plunkett’s third wicket. Rovman Powell in next. Got to say I don’t know a lot about him! He gets off the mark on his third ball. Has a highest T20 score of 44. Walton takes a single off Plunkett’s last ball, and Liam ends up with 3/27 in his four over spell.
13th Over complete -125/4 (Walton 12, Powell 1)
13.1 Rashid starts his third over, Walton lofts into the midwicket area, and that might be our first 2. Nope. Just a single. 3 balls into the over, and two singles only.
WICKET – 127/5 – CHADWICK WALTON Ct Willey B Rashid 13
Rashid bowls a filth ball, Walton top edges the ball out to deep midwicket and Willey takes it. England getting back into it. Here comes Stokes killer Carlos Brathwaite. Good over from Rashid, just three from it.
14th Over complete – 128/5 (Powell 3, Brathwaite 0)
14.1 Jordan back on after an early horror over.Powell takes a two. Wow. Nicks the next one to third man for 4. West Indies need a decent finish, you would think. 8 off the first four balls, Brathwaite off the mark. He goes home after this match (not playing ODIs?). Seems extraordinary. Said the are cricket’s equivalent to Fiji.
14th Over complete – 138/5 (Powell 11, Brathwaite 2)
WICKET – 138/6 – CARLOS BRATHWAITE Bowled Rashid 2
First ball of the over, Rashid bowls a straight one, Brathwaite goes too far across and is bowled behind his legs as he tries to sweep. Remember the name. Sunil Narine comes in and leading edges his first ball for a single. Tempo dropped, and West Indies a bit bogged down. Big shots drying up, as Rashid bowls his last ball and….
WICKET – 142/7 – SUNIL NARINE LBW Rashid 2
Big attempt at a sweep and Narine is nailed bang in front. Tim Robinson sends him on his way. Rashid finishes with 3/25
16th Over Complete – 142/7 (Powell 13)
16.1 Curran back, Ashley Nurse is the new batsman. Powell takes a single off the first, Curran beats the bat with the second. A horrible wide off the third – Tom did this for the ‘rey this year and his rep as a death bowler is a little overstated. Nurse off the mark to a slower ball. Last ball is belted hard, but just for a single to deep square leg. 5 from Tom’s third.
17th Over complete – 147/7 (Powell 15, Nurse 2)
17.1 Jordan starts his third over with a wide. Boundaries drying up. Nurse hauls the second ball for a single to square leg. Another wide. Jordan not impressing here. Rain alarm says there isn’t a lot of rain around CLS. Powell smashes a six off Jordan’s slower ball to break the shackles. 9 off the first three balls. LBW appeal off fourth legal delivery is turned down (given as a run – didn’t look like he hit it). Single off the last ball.
18th Over complete – 158/7 (Powell 22, NUrse 4)
18.1 TC on again. Rain falling. Plunkett drops a difficult chance at long-on from the opening ball of the over. Nurse gets a single. Loopy full toss goes for 6 as Powell smashes it over square leg. That’s a bit Jade. TC gone for 44 off 3.2.
WICKET – 165/8 – ROVMAN POWELL Ct Jordan B Curran 28
Curran gets Powell to miscue, and the ball goes a mile up in the air. Chris Jordan peers through the gloom and the heavy rain to take the catch comfortably. I say that, it must be like a bar of soap. Taylor in next. Gets off the mark first ball, as Nass lapses into “they’ve all got natural ability” drivel. And with that the umpires have taken the players off with 18.5 overs and the score 167/8.
That’s been hard work! Any feedback welcome. At least test cricket might be more sedate!
Some comments. The Ward / Key combination on commentary was just the ticket. Enthusiastic without being pants on fire. Informative without being over the top. I moan a lot about commentators but they were brilliant. Take Key away from Freddie and he’s really on his game.
On Chris Gayle “to be honest” watch. They are coming back out. I can’t continue because the Beloved is ringing me!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I like the idea of interactive feedback amongst friends. How about posting after each over or two? It could be easier to get different threads and ideas developing. You could also more easily outsource in the middle of the night during the Ashes (though I realise that this form of commentary could very quickly go off-reservation and you’d get twats like me posting in their own versions of events).
Anyway, I’ve not followed the match at all except here, so that’s one more vote for non-mainstream media!
No other blog I know of in England did match threads. We set the tone on HDWLIA and BOC for that. We would probably do the OBO on key dates – weekends, maybe the first day of the Ashes. Might not be all night but it’s something we are looking at.
I’m relatively confident everyone knows what they are doing here, and if we get newbies, all the better.
I’m confused. Does this make Rashid – after his poor county season – officially a ‘big game’ player? Does it get any bigger than this, according to the ECB?
And that is why anyone who thinks Roy should open in test cricket is smoking some strong stuff.
LikeLiked by 1 person
The lobby for Roy earlier this summer wanted him at No.5 which is where he’s been batting in the CC.
Nobody’s been arguing he should open in Tests that I’ve seen.
Have you ever heard Peter Kay do his bit on DJs at weddings? You can’t understand a frigging word they are saying.
Bwwwidieiskjjjjj nnhhhhjhhksdgd ujjjjmmkkmshhn. Mjsmssnsjshshhshsnn hahnsnsnnnjsjmm Marc Bolan……hpnhhhjjhjjjhj jhhjmmkkkkuuuuuuuuussssddd mmsjhjjmmm
Sounds like they have that DY here.
Crickbuzz: “Walton stays on the floor, grimacing in pain as the physio comes out to take a look. Meanwhile, some upbeat music keeps the crowd entertained”
You really do wonder. When are the lions coming?
Urgent! Calling Quebecer! Are you watching?!
When they invented 20/20 they claimed it would be quick and easy. They would speed it up. I see now it has managed to copy the glacial pace of test cricket.
Call with the Mrs lasted nearly 50 minutes. Had 6 overs and a 10 minute break. 6 overs in 40 minutes.
I know boss. People strolling on and off the field. New batsman ambling on. How long before they can’t get the 40 overs in on time? Then the authorities will give them an extra half hour.
I’m waiting for the first….”nobody cares about the over rate, it’s the entertainment that matters.”
My suspicion is it gives the DJ another excuse to play Sweet Caroline for the 100th time.,
No-one cares about catching the train home.
Also, not the first time David Lloyd appears to be talking with his mouth full.
They are injecting Accrington beer into his system to keep him conscious.,
I reckon they were waiting for you to continue your OBO…
LikeLiked by 1 person
I have to say I quite like Robert Key. He has quite a dry sense of humour. Can’t be easy being in a box with Freddie and the Nassers of this world,
The good news is that Bumble has recovered from frost bite. Whatever they put in his tea seems to have solved the problem.
Bumble is doing his Captain Oates routine now.,….
” I’m going outside……..I might be sometime.”
Bloody hell, I’m bored. This is drivel.
I want the next match againts WI to be in mid November in Scottland, maybe Shetlands…
This is our future. Enjoy it.
and it will probably be a T15, over 4 days…
Yes. This is the two World Cup 20/20 final teams. If you didn’t enjoy it , this is the best they have.
Packed it in. What happened to our raison d’etre of putting the foot to the floor and damn the consequences. That was timid guff, Hales excepted.
They are building, building, building.
It took almost as long as a days test match cricket.
I reckon there is a place for building Cookie into the batting line up. The needed some adventurous captain to throw caution to the wind and throw….anchor. And the Irish rum rations seems to have run out… And maybe we need some discipline in the ranks with some training camps to allow the dressing room spirit to Flower…
On a serious note. Well done to Brathwaite to have kept his team on the field and a well deserved victory in alien conditions.
Yeah, there needed to be more acceleration. The WI team mindset is more ‘ok, so there are 7 players on this team any 2 or 3 of which have a substantially good game we’ll win.’
That the two successes happened basically in the first 8 overs of the WI innings had a lot to do with how it all went down.
Well I never, look who’s the new cricket correpondant at the Observer…. (okay, it could be worse and it’s not Pringle).
By the way, in all the blaming of resting Stokes and Ali for the defeat (and I agree resting the former for this particular match was atrocious PR), nobody seems to have noticed that England had 9 members of their T20 Final team playing compared to West Indies having just 3 (Gayle, Samuels, Brathwaite). Two, perhaps three, of that Final team would be no longer worth their place on merit (Lewis for Charles, Narine for Benn, perhaps one other) so this is essentially a half-strength West Indies’ team in T20.