Posted by: iccwc | May 17, 2007

Today’s cricket in 100 words.

Lords Test, bloody cold, bloody rainy, started very bloody late. Too many Cooks would have made a lovely broth. What Owais of time Shah was. Sarwan’s first test as captain – average; My lunch – chicken salad. David Lloyd – hilarious, crabs – insufferable. Lord’s pitch wonky, a little like my mum’s extension. Mark Ramprakash scores 100 more runs than whole Lancashire team. Sussex look ‘Dooooomed Captain’. Think back to Australia series, cry a little. Think back to 80’s day-glo, singe eyes with molten peanut butter toast. Bored, browse youtube for cricket humour, and find below video. Better than the day’s play:

 

Posted by: iccwc | May 17, 2007

The Cricket…. Oh Esmerelda, the cricket….

Ah a new day dawns and as we open our eyes to the radiant…err… gloom. We awake to find that another English test summer is upon us. Like a David Boon hangover, we ask ‘Hasn’t it happened quickly?’ – a bit like an Andrew Flintoff calamity (**spot the cheap shot**)

But jokes aside, today does indeed mark the start of another English test summer. Evoking memories of picnics, freshly mown grass, gentle applause by landed gentry, willow smashing through clubhouses as the captain’s scored 0 again, we await the first ball to be bowled in anger at Lords this morning.

In reality both teams have plenty to prove. Neither nation’s showing at the World Cup was up to the standards commanded by their respective publics, and the last year’s results were nothing like their resources indicate they are capable of.

Both teams are being led into the sunset by new captains and one feels there will be an element of ‘Scratching around in the dark’ as Strauss and Sarwan find their feet as leaders at the highest level.

England and the West Indies have both rung the changes as they both seek to regroup following the World Cup.

England: A J Strauss, A N Cook, I R Bell, K P Pietersen, P D Collingwood, O A Shah, M J Prior, L E Plunkett, S J Harmison, M J Hoggard, M S Panesar

For the home side, Cook returns after a dreary winter with some good runs to his name at county level and Owais Shah has been brought in to replace the injured Flintoff after he failed a late, late, late fitness test at around 9.30am today. The Middlesex batsman impressed everone who saw him in his only other test in India a year ago. His 88 at the Wankhede stadium in March last year was a key innings as England secured victory by 200-odd runs in India. some will question why he hasn’t played since. Shah’s powerful and elegant in shotmaking, has seen him become a consisently high scorer in county cricket (with a couple of hiccups) since his transition from the Cambridge University side.

It’s great to see progressive selection at last from the England staff. Bringing in Matt Prior is a step forward, and there are many hoping that he will make this awkward position of wicketkeeper batsman his own following years in the shadows of Read and Jones.

With players out of form and out of action, this is the chance for Shah and Prior to shine – they might not get another.

West Indies: C H Gayle, D Ganga, D S Smith, R R Sarwan, S Chanderpaul, R S Morton, D J Bravo, D Ramdin, D B Powell, C D Collymore, J E Taylor

The West Indies squad will have an air of familiarity  to it for West Indian viewers. However some ‘tweaks’ have been made recently; Jerome Taylor was surprisingly under used in the World Cup and  Cricketing wildchild Runako Morton makes his seventh appearance in test matches, after nearly being banned from the game six years ago.

The main absence from the side is that of “Official Cricketing Legend” Brian Charles Lara. This test at Lord’s is the first match the Windies have played since his retirement, and all eyes will be on them to see how they adapt and if a chasm has class suddenly opened up…

Now get me  my paraffin…

In slightly sadder news, General Joseph Barton II, killer of armies, lover of women has been officially arrested as part of the investigation into his alleged assault on Citeh’s Ousmane Dabo on the first of May.

It’s another incident which is quickly categorising Barton as the most villified player in the Premiership following a sequence of bust-ups and allegations in his (relatively short) career.

September 2006 – Mooning at the Everton Crowd – Fined by FA.

March 2007 – Arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage.

December 2005 – Fined a club record £120,000 for stubbing out a Cuban Cigar in Jamie Tandy’s eye whilst dressed as Jimmy Saville during a Christmas party ‘incident’… Ahem – I believe this was the same Christmas that Bernt Haas nearly died from Alcohol poisioning at the West Brom party… Must have been snowing up north.

Barton is seen by many as the poisoned chalice of footballers, and the current £5.5million price tag that would release him from his contract at Citeh is seeming increasingly expensive. Everton are said to be in the hunt for him, but then again that’s not saying much.

Jose Mourinho was involved in a fight for a dog last night as police were called to his house. On first inspection you’d think that he’d had a night on the tiles with Rio and Kieron, but in fact the kerfuffle happened after police arrived at his 3 billion london pad with riot police and water cannons(I’m trying to make this blog more tabloid) and attempted to put his dog in quarantine.

As far as can be understood – There were no translators of ‘smooth’ in the locale – Jose’s animal has been travelling abroad illegally without having the necessary jabs needed to keep it rabies free.

The dog was subsequently seized under the Animal Health Act of 1981 and Rabies Order Act of 1974. The resulting melee, not disimilat to a normal Saturday kick-around for Jose, led to a ‘man’ being arrestes on suspicion of obstructing police work. The man in question hasn’t been named by police, but they released a description of the man saying:

“A 44 year old male with silver in his hair and a glint in his eye, with an oddly Russian sounding accent was arrested in Soho (not 100% about location as yet) last night.”

Below is Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction to the news that he must return to Portugal immediately to have his own Rabies jabs updated:

cristiano-ronaldo-biography-2.jpg

The Case continues….

Who said that nothing happens once the season is over?

Firstly everyone’s favourite ‘most hated manager’, Neil Warnock has given up the whinging for the forseeable future. He officially resigned his post at Sheffield United today during an 11am press conference. Using traditional footballing cliches he said absolutely nothing interesting regarding his decision:

“I believe that this is the right time for me to go, “I’m proud of what I have achieved at this club, but the decision is best for everyone.”

Go on Neil, enlighten us expectant football fans further?

Read More…

This isn’t quite how god intended football to be played…

As the boys on RAWK said, no wonder Kewell is injured all the time….

Blackburn v Tottenham. I missed it sorry, due in no small part to an untimely blink, but what I thought WAS hilarious was Hossam Ghaly’s childish spat with the floor at ‘The Lane’.

Now, forgive me if I’m wrong, but footballers tend to be regarded as somewhat feminine (Unless you are one Joseph ‘Das Terminator’ Barton the 1st) . Hossam Ghaly, a spectacularly average player is annoyed at his substitution. What does he go and do? He throws his shirt on the floor next to Martin Jol like he’s trying to swat a moth. Badly.

So by doing so, he’s fuelled the ever burning pyre that states that footballers wear pink panties cuddle Teddy Ruxpin’s in bed, and he’s probably gone and got himself a lovely fine. Well done Hossam, well done.

A good night all in all…

Be warned: This is not a vitriolic post full of nationalistic pride, nor is it a ridiculous outburst at the scandal of England’s World Cup showing. That might come later, possibly following alcohol consumption…

As most of you will have already heard, Michael Vaughan is missing the start of the summer tests because, simply, his fingers are constructed from sellotape and crisps. This leaves the new England camp in something of a dilemma – who do they turn to?

England semi-success Dominic Cork has been one voice calling for Flintoff to hop off the pedalo and return to the ships helm. Given that Cork and Flintoff are a) best friends and b) team mates we can probably discount Cork’s temporary stance as Cricketing sage.

Flintoff’s performances as captain have been nothing short of woeful. The experience has clearly left him devoid of energy and will. It should be seen as an indictment on the ECB that it can take one of the world’s great cricketers, put him through the bureacratic mangle and on the other side produce a shadow of his former self.

Lacklustre in all facets of the game Flintoff needs to be granted the time to improve his currently flawed game, not his currently flawed captaincy. Being blessed with national pride does not a captain make.

Who are the other options for this test series?

Collingwood.

Perhaps his affable manner and consistent performance put him in the think tank, but I’m not entirely sure Collingwood is human. Look at the evidence: Go go gadget catching hands, monosyllabic voice, and an ageless face like that android thing in Star Trek. Terrifying.

Trescothick.

Even though he’s in the form of his life, playing with clear head, sound mind and fuelled by razor clams, donkeys, buildings and whatever else they eat in Somerset, but apparently he’s entirely unable to appear for his test side.

I imagine, knowing Marcus as I do, that he’s very sensitive to the current plight of the England side, and doesn’t want to upset them by scoring more than the rest of the team combined.

Pietersen, Bell, Hoggard, et al.

A bunch of bloke-ish, lout-ish, image conscious idiots, culpable for their team’s failure in the last 12 months. Living off past glories and getting paid too much money for doing such little work has affected the spirit of the England side. They absolutely need to change priorities…

Strauss.

Well, there’s no one else left…

Hello interweb,

After something of a sabbatical due, in no small part, to underhand bourgeois tactics by my employers, ICCWC is relaunching as of… TODAY!

I am faced with a problem. Now the World Cup is over, the acronym ICCWC is going to be irrelevant for a period of four years, and frankly that’s going to make me look like Daryll Cullinan – and no one wants that.

If anyone can think of a funny acronym that fits the theme of this blog then let the whole world know about it.

Your prize? 4 free drinks at the Twenty20 cup final. Tickets, transport and spending money are all not included. But if you can find me… You shall be plied with ale like it’s milk and honey from ancient Egypt’s hallowed firmament.

So, what do you reckon?

Posted by: iccwc | April 28, 2007

Sincere Apologies

I’m sorry to all those people who have been coming back for updates. I’m afraid due to some incredibly frustrating work arrangements I haven’t been able to post at all in the last month. I shall endeavour though, to cath up and provide some insights into what I believe have been the relative successes and failures of this world cup.

Can readers note that this Blog will transform into a traditional cricket blog from the conclusion of the ICC World Cup, so just because the tournament has finished, it doesn’t mean the rumours, chat and discussion stops.

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