Cricket: More Than a Game

The Ashes have been interesting, but down here we have an appalling power contest.

Cricket South Africa and the Gauteng Cricket Board are in a huge dispute over events with the IPL. What it boils down to is no major international cricket at the Wanderers. All the good Champs trophy games have been moved to the rubbish and tiny centurion stadium.

The Bullring is one of the great grounds of the game, and it's in my backyard. No way I'm going to Pretoria.

When you say IPL, DeVil, do you mean that they were arguing about the split of the income for this past season, or are there plans to play more in SA ? I presume that the Champs trophy is the SA domestic competition ?

Day 3 of the 3rd test abandoned without a ball being bowled. If there's any more rain tonight then Day 4 will probably wash out as well - the soaker machines aren't picking much water up, but the water table must be very high after so much prolonged rain.

davet010 wrote:

When you say IPL, DeVil, do you mean that they were arguing about the split of the income for this past season, or are there plans to play more in SA ? I presume that the Champs trophy is the SA domestic competition ?

No, when I say Champs trophy I mean the ICC Champions Trophy, that was moved from Pakistan. Wanderers has a few junk pool games and no semi-finals. And the English tour to SA has had all the Wanderers games moved.

What happened with the IPL was that the deal was made very quickly, and problems emerged with individual grounds and unions. The IPL wanted suite holders to clear out and give them free access for the duration of the competition, and a few grounds resisted. Wanderers resisted for the longest until eventually a decent deal was offered to them.

Since then the Gauteng Cricket Board have attacked Norman Arendse, CSA chief for making a sloppy deal, which really was inevitable in the rush. CSA has hit back by refusing to answer any questions and has decided to make an example of GCB.

It's a handbag fight of disgusting proportions, neither side is willing to take the high ground.

I think this was a good toss to win. Let's hope we make the most of it.

Come on, England!

Haakon7 wrote:

I think this was a good toss to win. Let's hope we make the most of it.

Come on, England!

Well, Cook made another superb knock of, err....10 before getting out. He must have incriminating photos of ECB executives in compromising positions (including, it's rumoured, pictures of Geoff Miller watching players north of London) to keep his place, because the bloke has the concentration powers of a particularly impatient gnat.

So that's Bell at 3 (30-40 runs then a lazy dismissal), Collingwood at 4 (same, but within the 15-30 band) and Trott at 5 (who knows). If Strauss doesn't get a ton, England are up the creek.

Nice to see Punter laughing and smiling now he thinks that he won't get tomatoed off the plan back in Oz...though to be honest, if Australia draw 1-1 with an England team largely lacking their 2 best players, then the initial relief at having retained the Ashes will soon be replaced by a more considered knifing of his captaincy, particularly as he's not exactly popular.

Mixed bag on the first day.
I didn't think the Aussies bowled particularly well, but they've got 8 in the bag, so it couldn't have been that bad.
Bell never looked comfortable for his 70-odd, and we could have used more runs from Cooke & Colly. It was difficult to form an opinion about Trott for me. He didn't look phased by yesterday, but he didn't look particularly steady either. Maybe his second inning will be more telling.

350 doesn't mean we're out of the game, but they put on a quick hundred and we're up the ravine with out anything to row with.

Cook and Collingwood would both be gone if they could find anyone to replace them with, but this stupid Kolpak stuff means that it's difficult to see people coming through to challenge them. The only other people who seem to get focussed upon as potentials are bash and thrash merchants like Napier.

There's some movement in the pitch, and even Warne was saying that 350 wouldn't be too bad a score on this pitch...however I think he was meaning that in a 'you won't get beaten with 350 in the first' as opposed to 'you'll win the test with 350 in the first'.

While this series has had its moments and drama, I just don't think that either team has been as good, and certainly Sky's hyping of the Big I Am and Fat Fred has rebounded on them somewhat.

Crikey, I didn't expect that.

Nor did I.

What a day. Given the way the pitch has playted, I think 300 is a competitive lead, and 400 might be putting the game out of the Aussie hands completely. More likely Strauss & Trott will get knocked over for a couple and we'll be struggling to put anything decisive together.

Is it just me, or is the standard of umpiring been particularly poor in this test ? I thought England could have had a couple of wickets before the Aussies got to 10, and that decision for Stuart Clark's dismissal was laughable.

Bet Punter's had a sleepless night...all he can hear is the knives being sharpened...




Get in !!

Awesome!! Now we're number 1, thanks England.

What a beautiful day. We've got a couple years to savor it now. I don't know that I like our chances going back down to Oz.

I was out playing a six-a-side in Reading yesterday, so didn't get to watch it, unfortunately. However, the organizers had the good sense to use the official scoreboard to display the Ashes score and had TMS blasting out from the stereo.
Needless to say there was a collective cheer for Freddie when Ponting was run out.

Great stuff.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Awesome!! Now we're number 1, thanks England.

That'll be a tough tour - there's a fair few of this Ashes team who won't / shouldn't be going on it (Flintoff & Collingwood, probably Cook, Bell and Bopara if they don't buck their ideas up).

To be honest, this Australian line up has been poor in the bowling department, and the series as a whole has been interesting primarily because the skill level has been equal, rather than it being good...Australia's first innings batting and second innings bowling performances in the last test were just inadequate, and basically gifted the Ashes to England.

yeah, the Aussies are not the behemoth they were. there's a big part of me that feels bad about their fall. What's really amazing is that the country that invented the academy system has shown a scary lack of depth.

Our team should be interesting, the older players like Kallis and Boucher have spent the off season working on their fitness, they still want to be around for the next World Cup.

Congrats to the Poms.

Outplayed Australia in a number of things, but from our point of view; the series that got away.

We had more century makes, more top run scorers, top wicket takers yet we still lost. Statistically it's been odd, yet it all comes down to two things. 215 in the second test, and 160 in this test.

I think Australia is still paying for having a phenomal team for so long, it's been interesting to see the change in the team. Our bowlers didn't adjust to the different pitches, the selectors picked poorly for the final test and the batters collapsed too many times.

Looking foward to the Poms over here next year.

When England lost, they lost bad, but still think that the bowling attack was generally superior - particularly as Johnson was apparently drugged on the way to England and replaced by someone they found in a Shepherd's Bush bar cleaning the pumps.

Echoing what Erebus said, I guess the problem with having a team like that early noughties Aussie one is that it's difficult to bring people into the squad and have them around the fringes of the team, whereas in other team sports you can do that as there are subsitutions allowed to bring people on for a 20 minute runout as required.

One good thing from the English perspective this time is that there's none of the ludicrous hype as at the end of the 05 series. There's a greater sense of realism about the true ability of the side, and about who is dispensible and who isn't. The tour to SA should give another test of that this winter.

Give Australia time. In a couple of years when there squad gets some more experiance I'm guessing they will be a steam roller again. But I have to say it. Now you know how New Zealand felt with the All Blacks coming out of the 90's

Well, consider that England beat that 'development' side without

best player (the Great I Am)
75% of second best player (Fat Fred)
a second opener (Cook is bobbins)
a decent number 3 (Bopara is bobbins)
a decent number 5 (time to call it a day, Paul C)

then the next Ashes might be interesting

Like I said earlier, I think the settled nature of the Aussie juggernaut of the late 90s/early 00s means that there wasn't a great deal of opportunity for development of younger players, and I also think a few lingered on past their real sell-by date.

Ok, I know it's just dirty one day cricket, but the ICC Champions Trophy starts 2 hours from now. South Africa vs Sri Lanka.

Any predictions?

Sri Lanka and India are always dangerous in 50 over games.

Australia will be confident after their annihilation of England in the one dayers, but it's hard to tell if that was due to England's sucktitude or Australia's quality.

SA are number one, but their history in tournaments is concerning. Word is that the team has been working very hard behind the scenes, especially the senior players who want to be in the team for the next World Cup.

England made only one minor tactical error during that series - they kept picking people who are, and always will be, completely pony.

So yes, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Luke Wright, Owais Shah and whichever gonk happened to be opening with Strauss....I mean you.

England have absolutely no chance at all, so that's unlucky for any Brit who's paid good money to go to SA just to watch cricket.

I'm not particularly excited by the Champions Trophy, but I'm sure we'll see some good cricket. I'll probably watch the big games and miss ones like tomorrow's Pakistan v Windies.

I'd imagine Sri Lanka will pull it out again, but as you say, India's always dangerous and I think South Africa is in a good group for a run at the trophy. I personally think the Aussies will struggle against better sides than England, but there's alot of young talent in that side, any it might be that this summer has/will pull out a gem or two for the long term.

I wouldn't mind seeing a couple big upsets like Pakistan turning over India or Kiwis flipping Sri Lanka just to make it interesting.

Parnell has had the worst first session I've ever seen him have, glad that Steyn got Jayasuriya, definitely going to be an interesting game.

Kallis has had a rough first over too.

ouch! My concerns about Sri Lanka were well founded, and our guys were extremely rusty. Hope that gives them some focus.

Oh hell yes. Is anyone else watching this?!

Absolutely crazy.

EDIT: Two hours later, we can only add one wicket to those first five overs. Disappointing follow-through from England.

That was surprising. I really didn't expect England to beat Sri Lanka.

Neither did I...but Sri Lanka played terribly. Was watching the England innings when Wasim Akram came on as commentator, he just said that if you look at the body language of the SL players, they'd already lost...yet I would have thought that they'd have been bouyed by their fight back from 17-4.

And I'm sorry, but even though he played for my home county (Lancashire), Muralitharan is still a cheating, chucking sod.

Oh man, we're in trouble. Morgan was fantastic, and a shame that Shah didn't get his century.

I wonder if the soap opera that led to SA playing all their games in Centurion hasn't damaged our campaign.

2 questions

1) Who are these strange invaders who play properly paced innings, and can hit the ball a long way ?

2) What did they do with the England one-day team ?

Quick, paging David Vincent !