Ashes Rivalry – Tuffers v Dizzy – FanvFan

This summer isn’t all about Ricky Ponting v Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook v Philip Hughes or Graeme Swann v Nathan Hauritz. Instead, one of the biggest rivalries in this Ashes series is between Philip ‘Tuffers’ Tufnell and Jason ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie.

tuffersvdizzy

The former cricketers have been competing against each other all summer as part of Betfair’s FanvFan series. Both competitors attempt to drum up support for their respective nations before going head to head in a number of entertaining challenges!

There have been three so far and you can see them here – enjoy!

Challenge One: Tuffers and Dizzy compete on a pedalo.

Challenge Two: Tuffers and Dizzy take to the lawnmower!

Challenge Three: Tuffers and Dizzy try their hands at horse racing in the most recent event.

There we have it, three very entertaining videos I’m sure you’ll agree. Ian Bell’s cameo in the third challenge was especially good!

Next time, Tuffers and Dizzy take part in some ‘Zorbing’ in Leeds on the 7th August ahead of the fourth test match at Headingley.

Guest Post by Thomas Rooney, a sports blogger who writes about Ashes Test cricket.

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Kevin Pietersen Out Of Ashes Series

UPDATE 14:17 – BBC News website confirms that Pietersen will miss the rest of the Ashes series – BBC Pietersen Post. The ECB have confirmed that KP has had surgery on his Achilles and will be out of action for 6 weeks.

If you thought that was bad enough, the Beeb also suggest Ian Bell is likely to be drafted in as his replacement.

BREAKING NEWS: Kevin Pietersen is out of the rest of the 2009 Ashes series. After visiting a specialist about his Achilles injury, the decision has been made that he will not be able to take any further part in the Ashes battle.

More news when it’s available but this is a serious blow to England’s hopes of retaining the Ashes. Even though he’s not been in good form with the bat so far in this series, Pietersen is the one batsman that Australia fear because he has the ability to turn a Test match in one session.

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Flintoff Can Complete Ashes Series

After helping England comfortably wrap up the second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Monday, Andrew Flintoff has insisted that he will be fit for the remaining three matches of the series.

All England fans will be praying that this turns out to be the case because let’s face it, without Flintoff, the chances of Andrew Strauss’ men winning the Ashes are reduced significantly. Even from a winning position.

This is because Flintoff inspires players around him like no-one else in world cricket. He carries this England team at times and perhaps most crucially, the Australian team fear him. These are unique attributes for an English cricketer and they are what makes Flintoff such a special player.

During his last three Test matches before retirement, we will hopefully see him at his absolute best as part of a series victory. This would be the perfect way for him to bow out and the thought of this is probably what made his decision about retiring at the end of the series.

What are the chances of him being fit for the remaining three matches though? He has clearly had to push hard to make it through the first two Tests, so surely there is a chance he might have to sit out some of the remaining matches?

Well, as previously mentioned, Flintoff believes he will be available for the remainder of the summer. He says it was never his intention to ‘bow out at Lords’ and that he wants to be ‘part of an Ashes winning team come the last Test at The Oval’.

This is, of course, music to the ears of England cricket fans. Everyone knows that Flintoff is going to have to really push himself and his body to get through these matches, but the thought that he will do so is extremely encouraging for England.

It sums up his character and his personality perfectly. Flintoff’s fast and accurate 10-over spell on Monday morning defied all logic considering his knee problems and perhaps there is more of this to come this summer.

Andy Flower revealed that Flintoff won’t play if he doesn’t pass the relevant fitness Tests, but if Flintoff says he is fit, I would be inclined to believe it.

After the way he bowled on Monday, who would stand in his way? Bowling on one leg or not, Flintoff is the best bowler in this England team!

By Thomas Rooney, a sports blogger who writes about Ashes Test cricket.

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Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff Hatrick

I’ve been very lax in updating the cricket video in the sidebar. I’m a naughty boy. Spank me, matron.

However, update it I have and so the old video has been replaced with the video that is capturing the nation – the Freddie Flintoff Sure Man Pedalogate video. Oh that naughty Freddie. Cashing in on his West Indies drinking misdemeanours. Tsk, tsk.

Anyway, if you missed it, the old cricket video was Andrew Flintoff getting a hat-trick against the West Indies. Enjoy it and remember him before he becomes a show pony for 40/40 20/20 cricket.

Just in case you were in any doubt, here’s the vid in question:

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Monkey Man Ponting Is A Window Licker

Ricky Ponting is a window licker
Photo courtesy of DailyHaHa

So after three days of play in the Lord’s Test match, England are 521 runs ahead.

Let me just repeat that in case you’re stupid and/or Australian.

After three days of play in the Lord’s Test match, England are 521 runs ahead.

All the talk this morning was whether Strauss should enforce the follow through on and, in my opinion, he got it spot on. It looked more of a batting day than a bowling day and, in the end, that proved to be the case. There was a strong argument for putting the Aussies back in after the Cardiff Test – having dominated that match for so long, how would they react to being humiliated and made to bat again – but I think Strauss made the right decision and the Aussies are now looking down the barrel.

So. The next question. When to declare?

The fact is that England have now got a 521 run lead. Have I mentioned that yet? Anyway…England have got a substantial lead and history suggests that the cheese stealing convicts have no chance of winning this Test match. No team has scored more than 450 runs in the 4th innings to win a Test match. At Lord’s that figure is 344 (West Indies in 1984 if you’re interested and they did it for 1 wicket) so an Aussie victory is unlikely. Bizarrely, the bookies are being tighter than a gnats chuff and the best I could find was 11/1 with both totesport and Sporting Bet. If I were running a book, I’d give you 50/1 at this point but I guess that’s why I’m not a bookmaker…

Anyway, personally I think Ricky Ponting has lost the plot. His burning ambition to make up for the ’05 Ashes defeat has turned him doolally. As Will says over at The Corridor, in the warm up game at Worcester and in the first Test at Cardiff, Ponting has thrown hissy fits that even Naomi Campbell would be ashamed of. In this Test match he has been on the wrong side of a dismissal verdict – right decision but wrong choice of dismissal – and his dropped catch today couldn’t have been easier if he’d pulled his pants down, done a handstand and caught the ball with his chocolate starfish. The man is on the brink. So what to do?

Piss him off even more!

As a Test match opening bat, I would imagine that you like to get yourself mentally geared up for the new ball onslaught. As a number 3 (I still think of Ricky as a number 2 but there you go..) you are also having to mentally prepare yourself that you might be in second ball of the day so what would really grate your gears?

How’s about Strauss saying “We’re going to carry on batting today, Ricky” and send Fred and Disco Stu out to the middle at 11am. As a fielding side you must start wondering how many runs the oppo need before they declare and the top three batters are contemplating at least an hour in the field before they bat. So how would they feel that, if after precisely one ball from Muff Face Siddle, Strauss calls them back in and declares.

Can you imagine how Ponting would react?

Light the blue touch paper and stand well back.

The Aussies often talk about mental disintegration. Well if Andrew Strauss were to do what I’ve just suggested then Ponting will be not only disentragrated to the point of becoming nothing more than floating particles in the air above St Johns Wood but he may well be licking the windows of the tour bus for the remainder of his trip to England.

Any Aussies care to disagree with me? Well, to quote: Where the bloody hell are you?

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