EXCLUSIVE: Ballance email leaked

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?

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?”

Weird dismissals: coincidence or something else?

To bungle one odd dismissal may be regarded as a misfortune; to make a hash of two looks like carelessness

A different kind of catching

Brisbane Heat captain, Brendon McCullum: “Tonight I think the Hurricanes, or George, missed an opportunity. I just get the feeling, speaking from experience, that this is an opportunity that he will in time wish he had made the other choice.” [Image: Ben Sutherland, 2015]

LeRoy is a sleepy town of around seven and a half thousand people and falling in Western New York State. On a road trip from Manhattan to Niagara Falls, you would breeze past it on the left and Rochester on your right.

You probably wouldn’t stop, unless you had a strange fascination with gelatin-based desserts; of the two things LeRoy is famous for, the first one is that it is the home of the Jell-O Museum.

The second is vocal tics. Starting in August 2011, in quick succession 14 students at the local high school reported a bizarre set of medical issues. They included verbal outbursts, tics, seizure activity and speech difficulty. Amidst growing interest from the media, and a flurry of local and national interviews, patients’ symptoms worsened and the ‘illness’ spread to six further locals.

Continue reading “Weird dismissals: coincidence or something else?”

ICC player eligibility changes pose silent threat

Changes to the ICC’s international player eligibility regulations have gone largely unnoticed, but their impact could be significant

Alan Isaac (L), President and David Richardson (R), CEO of the ICC at a press conference held at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai, UAE in January 2014 (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Headbutts make headlines in the same way that un-sexy regulations don’t.

More hoo-ha than usual surrounded the start of the 2017/18 Ashes series. Glenn McGrath didn’t even need to make his customary, only-semi-joking whitewash prediction. Ben Stokes threw his winter away, David Warner revealed his self-motivation tips, and we later found out that Jonny Bairstow and Cameron Bancroft had enjoyed a minor tete-a-tete.

These pre-series shenanigans may have set the tone for the Ashes, but it is another development, which flew largely under the radar, which could have a lasting impact on cricket. Continue reading “ICC player eligibility changes pose silent threat”

Why always Tim?

Steve Smith’s choice not to enforce the follow-on in the 2nd Test has “divided the cricket world”, but it’s obvious who is really to blame

AdelaideHave you ever heard of Svlad Cjelli? You may know him better as Dirk Gently, a two-book creation of Douglas Adams. The only downside to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is that a character as interesting as Mr Gently does not get his full 15 minutes. Continue reading “Why always Tim?”

The Ashes: a pleadiction

When the clock strikes midnight, weeks of prediction will be put to the test. But what then?

The gift of cricket

“I never make predictions, and I never will” Gazza once said. It’s a sensible strategy; beyond making a simple quantitative, measurable assertion (“Australia will win”), most predictions unravel swiftly as the session / match / series script evolves. That’s why we watch sport in the first place.

Given the weeks of build up, and the coin toss being only a few hours away, any prediction I might make will be just a drop in the ocean of punditry that we have swam across. [For what it’s worth, Australia 3-1, Smith and Hazlewood as destroyers in chief] Continue reading “The Ashes: a pleadiction”