The Batting Armchair – Open Thread 5

County Championship fixtures on the way today. My mob are up in Yorkshire, where we try to avoid losing to the champions! Essex also host the Sri Lankans, so given we are going for this new point nonsense, and the Essex Mafia run cricket there must be something at stake to make this match have “context”. As you might have guessed, I’m not a fan. Of the Essex Mafia and the points system.

If you have any views on the upcoming England selection, put them down here. The name on everyone’s lips is James Vince. We know why he might be being pushed by Michael Vaughan, but Pringle has been banging this drum for a while. Seriously, is he any good?

We had a bit of a scare overnight with the taking down of Dennis Does Cricket. At first Dennis was blaming the BCCI, then it seemed to be some reason unknown. Of course, I’ll take D’s tweets on face value, and you have to admit that the blogging community is as welcome to the authorities as a fart in an astronaut suit, so I put up that post last night. Even if this wasn’t the BCCI, there are also hits on Rob Moody’s video channel (increasing copyright claims – see my last post on TV and cricket to see what I think of that) and AltCricket’s Facebook page. I’m not paranoid (alright, maybe a little) but I am also protective of what we have. We go down, we have a number of alternate sites we can immediately switch to. But that’s not the point. We write because we love the sport. The sport is all of ours, not the preserve of corporate fly-by-nights, no matter how much they think their love is proved by financial commitment.

Thanks for the hits this week, and thanks to a number of you who provoked me out of my slumber, as well as Newman and Fowler for a quite ridiculous article that stoked some of the flames, but interestingly, wasn’t overly re-reported. This seemed to have a “test the water” theory behind it. If so, not sure what to make of it from an outside “Outside Cricket” perspective.

Any other comments you might have, including how you’ll celebrate 10000 test runs for Alastair, then fire away. If you are going to a game, let us know how it went.

Cheers!

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Open Thread III – In At First Drop

While not quite as fierce as the first open thread, the second certainly had its moments, although not many of them were related to the actual cricket going on – though some posted in their match reports or views and they are most welcome.

So far a lot of the attention has been on the high scores for April and the proliferation of double hundreds. Ben Duckett’s 282 not out against Sussex on the opening week was joined by three first division double centuries – Jonny Bairstow making 246 against Hampshire, Sam Robson making 231 (and 106) against Warwickshire and Jonathan Trott compling an unbeaten 219 in the same match. There may be some concern that this “no-toss” rule isn’t providing spinning tracks, but roads. It’s a small sample size thus far (and I remember plenty of early season games at The Oval with large scores) but the portents are that the rampant green tops aren’t in evidence. It’s early.

This week’s matches are as follows:

Division One

Durham v Middlesex

Surrey v Somerset

Warwickshire v Yorkshire

Division Two

Derbyshire v Glamorgan

Essex v Northants

Gloucestershire v Worcestershire

Leiestershire v Kent

If anyone is remotely interested I’m thinking about going to Day 1 of the Surrey v Durham game next week, and more firmly, the first day of Surrey v Middlesex on 15 May.

Meanwhile, the IPL keeps churning along, spewing out fixture after fixture. I tried to get into it with the early matches, but I sort of share thelegglance’s attitude towards it. The content, thus far, hasn’t been gripping and emotional investment, certainly outside of India, is always going to be tough. It becomes a thin line between top class sport and exhibition stuff. Just an impression, but some of the intensity on the field isn’t there. But let’s keep an eye on it with this week’s matches:

23 April – Delhi v Mumbai

23 April – Sunrisers v Kings XI

24 April – Gujarat v Bangalore

24 April – Pune v Kolkata

25 April – Kings XI v Mumbai

26 April – Sunrisers v Pune

27 April – Delhi v Gujarat

28 April – Mumbai v Kolkata

29 April – Pune v Gujarat

Of course, with today’s IPL season-ending injury to KP, I’m even less interested in it than before.

There’s been a bit to talk about this week. The punts on Nick Browne (second division runs, eh) and James Vince in Newman’s article were very interesting. There’s the foiling of Giles Clarke’s ambitions, but even so, the brave old ECB will leave him on that unpaid gravy train for a while yet, and then there’s the boring crap about the helmet. Lord, it was a good story by Lizzie, but hell on earth, what a fuss.

Do you remember that terrible furore when one of our number said that the only way that the English medical team would learn is if one of our fast bowler’s career ended due to their mis-diagnosis or willingness to play with injections? Well, he put it a little less subtle manner and the you know what hit the fan. Now Strauss wants answers over Wood? I do hope that penny is finally dropping. Good luck Mark Wood on your recovery. I want to see you back when you are fit and ready, and as pain-free as possible.

Anyway, fire away on here. I would ask you to respect the conditions regarding the blog. I’ve let a lot of the semi-political stuff go. I really don’t like it, but I can’t be the dreaded censor. I just really don’t have the time.

The Open Thread 2 – You Take First Strike

The first open thread seemed to work well, so let’s go for it in week 2 of the County Championship and the second week of fixtures in the IPL.

First up, the matches….

County Championship – Division 1

Lancashire v Nottinghamshire

Middlesex v Warwickshire

Yorkshire v Hampshire

County Championhship – Division 2

Glamorgan v Leicestershire

Gloucestershire v Derbyshire

Sussex v Essex

and in the IPL

IPL – 16 April – 22 April

16 – Sunrisers v Kolkata

16 – Mumbai v Gujarat

17 – Kings XI v Pune

17 – Bangalore v Delhi

18 – Sunrisers v Mumbai

19 – Kings XI v Kolkata

20 – Mumbai v Bangalore

21 – Gujarat v Sunrisers

22 – Pune v Bangalore

The last thread went in many directions, and not many referring to the cricket. That’s fine. We are well catered for in terms of county blogs and such like. But still, if there’s something on your mind, then let’s have it here.

I’ve been out of commission all day today, having had to go to Germany for work, but was amazed at some of the stuff I was reading. Did someone really say Kumar Sangakkara struggles with English? Really?

You do have to wonder.

I’ve also got a piece on the Wisden Almanack to put up (it’s missed the boat a little, but still, let’s do it) but I’ll do that later tomorrow after this thread takes hold.

All the best.