Sorry not sorry

The Smith-Bancroft press conference didn’t just unmask Tapegate, it exposed the culture that leads to the kind of sad events we saw at Newlands

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Steve Smith: in the spotlight (Photo: Naparazzi, 2014)

“Can you turn these lights down a bit please?” asked Steve Smith. With his baggy green pulled tightly down over his face, he knew he was in fire a rough ride. Might as well do what he can about the brightness, even if he could do nothing about the media glare. ‘Control the controllables’ as the mantra goes. Next to him, Cameron Bancroft’s thousand-yard stare told its own story.

Press conferences can often be tedious affairs, especially those after a routine day of cricket, thanks to the media coaching that the modern player undergoes (“right areas… the boys worked hard… we’ll come back tomorrow…”). But when they follow the extraordinary, and especially when they involve players on the defensive, they can be thrilling. Continue reading “Sorry not sorry”

So. Farewell then Kevin Pietersen.

The eulogies are in, but Kevin Pietersen will influence English cricket for many years to come

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A man of mystery (Photo: Andrew Sutherland, 2013)

In perhaps the least surprising episode of an extraordinary and unpredictable career, Kevin Peter Pietersen has hauled his coffin up to the loft and gone to run with the rhinos. There was little shock when it came, hinted at for many months, and there were no prizes for guessing that confirmation arrived via social media.

Writers have gushed over his impressive statistics and assessed the headlines that followed him throughout his stellar career. But it is not clear that we are any closer to knowing the true measure of the man. Even EJ Thribb (17½) himself might struggle to complete this article’s headline. Continue reading “So. Farewell then Kevin Pietersen.”

EXCLUSIVE: Ballance email leaked

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Gary in his element

Thanks to some Pulitzer-worthy investigative journalism (OK, like all cricket scoops, the doc was accidently put under our hotel room door) we have some exciting news. The Straight Hit has obtained an email that will shake the cricket world to its core…

…Gary Ballance’s handover notes to England’s next Test drinks carrier.

The scapegoat for England’s Ashes failure, despite not playing a game, Gazza nevertheless remains the consummate modern professional. Read on… Continue reading “EXCLUSIVE: Ballance email leaked”

Live long and prosper?

2018 is shaping up to be a pivotal chapter in the history of the game, so what does cricket’s story arc look like?

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T’Kuvma: probably plays a mean cut shot

No-one, as far as I’m aware, has ever studied the crossover between cricket badgery and Star Trek fandom. But I’ve been to early season county games in the cold wet English spring; judging by the crowd, I’d bet that there is a decent overlap.

If you’re not a Trekker, then you might have missed Discovery, Netflix’s latest addition to the Star Trek canon. The first series deals with the beginnings of the interstellar beef between the Federation and the Klingons, long before Captain Kirk first faced a bat’leth-wielding crinkle-head. Continue reading “Live long and prosper?”