Cricket is for poofs – Official!

For years I’ve been trying to convince various ex-girlfriends that cricket is, in fact, a manly game played by finely tuned athletes. “It’s just as dangerous as rugby” I would tell them as I recalled various injuries I’d witnessed on council pitches across leafy Buckinghamshire.

“But it seems…I dunno…a bit gay” they would reply and no matter how hard I tried to convince them otherwise, they would always assume that there was another side of my nature which I wasn’t telling them. A more, how shall I put this, feminine side.

It appeared that my love of cricket meant that short of flouncing down the road in a rubber basque singing Judy Garland songs, I couldn’t be gayer if I tried.

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Bob Woolmer murdered

I am saddened and shocked by the news that Bob Woolmer was murdered but, unfortunately, not surprised. My initial reaction when I heard the news that he was dead was one of suspicion. It’s no secret that there has been a problem with match fixing in Asia in the past and that the criminals behind it are not the kind of people who would want details of their involvement to become public knowledge.

Pakistan has just lost to Ireland and were out of the World Cup. Woolmer was about to publish his autobiography and possibly lift the lid on the Hansie Cronje affair. Less than 24 hours later he’s found dead in his hotel room? It was too much of a coincidence but I hoped that my suspicions would be proved wrong but, sadly, the confirmation that Jamaican police have started a murder enquiry has left me feeling sick to the stomach.

Malcolm Speed of the ICC has confirmed that the World Cup will continue as scheduled. Why bother? It doesn’t matter who wins, the 2007 cricket World Cup will always be remembered as the one where a decent, honest man was strangled in his hotel room.

Like the guys over at King Cricket, I question whether a site like this which tries to take a light hearted look at the beautiful game really has any place in a world where a man is murdered because of a cricket match.


Freddie Flintoff and Pedalogate

I tried controlling a pedalo under the influence once. I fell off too. They can be tricky buggers to manoeuvre, you know. It’s all in the rudder action. If you point the gear stick forward, you turn to starboard (or to the right for you non-nautical types) and if you pull the gear stick towards you, you turn to port.

From what I’ve read and heard today, Freddie was clearly turning to port. And whisky. And rum…

A lot has been said about the professionalism, or lack of it, shown by this current England squad since winning the Ashes in 2005 and I think Freddie has been made an example of. He’s one of the senior players in the squad and he should be setting higher standards both on and off the field. There’s nothing wrong with letting off some steam but this latest incident highlights that there’s a serious booze culture within this team that is affecting performance.

Ian Botham says on the BBC Sport websiteDid people complain when we won the Ashes in 2005?“. No they didn’t because there wasn’t a competitive cricket match being played 36 hours later. There are plenty of stories of Botham going out the night before a big game and performing the next day but the game has moved on since then. The game is more frenetic. The players need to be fitter and more mentally focused.

I’m disappointed in the news but not overly surprised either. I just hope that this signifies a change in the way the England management deal with things behind the scenes. A lot of people have spent a lot of money to travel to Australia and the West Indies and the players owe it to them to start putting in some professional performances. On and off the park.

Flintoff Dropped!

According to the news on the BBC website, Andrew Flintoff has been dropped from the England team for todays games against Canada!

Andrew Flintoff has been dropped by England as they take on Canada in a must-win World Cup match in group C.

The vice-captain has been omitted for a breach of team discipline.

The news comes amid reports he fell off a pedalo and got into difficulties in the water, hours after England lost their World Cup opener to New Zealand.

England have refused to comment on the claim but four other players were fined for breaching team discipline after they were seen out drinking.

Blimey! Now I’d read the “reports” that he’d been found half pissed in the sea in his underpants but didn’t believe them to be true but it looks as if Freddie has gone one step too far this time…

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Pakistan craic under pressure

Happy St Patricks Day!

Today Ireland pulled off the biggest shock in World Cup history by beating Pakistan by three wickets. The defeat means that the much fancied Pakistan team are now out of the competition and Ireland have a very good chance of making the last 8.

It wasn’t a fluke victory by any stretch of the imagination. Ireland outplayed Pakistan in all departments. This came hot on the heels of another stunning result as Bangladesh beat India by 5 wickets.

Canada are playing England tomorrow. Could there be another shock on the cards? You know? Like an England win?

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