England Win Something. Bloody Hell.

england-world-champions

Quite frankly I don’t know what to say. This is uncharted territory. England winning a one day tournament. Not only that but a Twenty20 tournament. Did someone forget to tell them that we’re shit at T20?

I didn’t see much of the tournament but did manage to watch the final yesterday and couldn’t help but feel I was watching a different team. I guess this was probably because I was. Andy Flower has assembled a squad of Twenty20 specialists who are very different to previous England Twenty20 specialists. This lot are actually quite good.

It’s not just that. From what I’ve read and from what I witnessed yesterday, there’s an energy and, more importantly, a belief in this group of players. Right from the outset, they believed they could beat Australia and beat them they did.

No. That’s not true.

England thrashed Australia.

It’s couldn’t have been more of a thrashing if Paul Collingwood had pulled down Michael Clarkes trousers and thwapped his bare naked rump with one of the stumps (preferably not the one containing StumpCam as we’d have then been “treated” to super slow mo images of Clarkes rusty sheriffs badge in the post match review).

OK so a lot has been made about the number of Saffers in the team and that Eoin Morgan had played internationally for Ireland but to the haters Aussies reading this I say pffffffffffft. No rules were broken and in the eyes of the ICC Morgan is as English as I am, to be sure, to be sure.

Regardless of all that, the England players deserved to win the tournament and deserved their post match celebrations. After all, they are the World Twenty20 champions so who could refuse them a good old fashioned English knees up of a braai and a few pints of the Black Stuff?

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Helmets for Umpires?

According to this article from Reuters, Daryl Harper is suggesting that Twenty20 umpires start wearing baseball style helmets to protect themselves.

Given the pace with which some of the players hit those shots, it’s becoming really dangerous for us. In one of the games, Sanath’s (Jayasuriya) shot hit me so hard that I was feeling breathless for a while. And (Matthew) Hayden’s hits have brushed my ears a few times as well.
Quote by Daryl Harper

Initially I thought this was a load of old bollocks but then, in a moment of clarity or, indeed, a rare moment of sobriety, I thought why not combine the helmet protection with some modern technology?

US F-35 fighter pilots now use a helmet which effectively allows them to fly the plane just by looking at data superimposed on their visors. They only have to look at a target and – whoosh – their goes another payload of friendly fire. So why not give the umpires a nice, shiny helmet to protect them from getting one in the face and also incorporate stuff like Hawkeye, Snicko, HotSpot and all that other stuff at the same time?

Not only would it protect the little loves from getting a nasty bump on the bonce but it would also improve their decision making. No more hanging around waiting for third umpires. No more LBWs when the ball has pitched outside the line. No more caught behinds off non-existent edges.

It’s genius, I tell you.

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Stanford Twenty20 Cancelled

A High Court ruling today suggests that the proposed multi million Twenty20 cricket match between the Stanford All Stars (i.e. the West Indies) and England is likely to be cancelled due to legal issues regarding the West Indies Cricket Board sponsorship deal with Digicel.

For the full info on the court ruling have a read of the BBC article and the one on CricInfo but essentially Digicel, the sponsors of the West Indies cricket team, have got their panties in a bunch and are unhappy that they’re going to receive little or no money from the $20 million head to head.

I’m not going to go into the rights or wrongs of the mini tournament Allen Stanford has organised. Well, not in this article, anyway, but I do have to ask the question on why this is an ICC recognised match in the first place. Let’s face it, folks, it’s nothing more than a glorified beer match. It’s not an international cricket fixture, for Gods sake.

I had no intention of writing about this whole sordid affair but todays news had me reaching…for the keyboard. Everything about this whole, sorry episode has me questioning the future of the beautiful game.

Oh bollocks. I’ve got one in my bonnet now so…

I find it obscene that any of the players, whether they be West Indians Stanford All Stars or England players are going to become dollar millionaires for playing a single game of cricket. It’s not even a proper fucking game of cricket. It says something for the tournament when the warm up game for the “main event” is a legends beach cricket match.

Now I’m sure that Allen Stanford has the best interest of the game at heart and he’s probably bemused by all this but come on. Enough is enough. How much more shit can we take about “player burnout” and then watch another meaningless cricket tournament on our pay-per-view subscriptions? IPL anyone? ICC Champions Trophy?

I’ve got a major beef with the ECB for agreeing to this match. It spells bad news for the future of cricket and I can’t understand why they took this on especially since they’re cash rich with the renewed Sky contract. I used to advertise Sky on this site but I’ve stopped now because, in some ways, I see Sky as being part of the problem.

Ball bags.

It’s late at night. I’ve had a few beers. I may not be as coherent as I should be and I’m sure that this post will pose as many questions as answers but, in essence, I’ll be more than happy if this dreadful whoring of cricket never happens.

Image credit: Duchessa

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