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?”

Swannack rekindles a family affair

After nearly 30 years away, the Surridges are back in the bat-making game

SWANNACK_07_16_S2_685The bat. Less a piece of wood, more a member of the family. Often it’s your mum, getting you out of trouble. Sometimes it’s a sibling pressing all your buttons. But occasionally, just occasionally, it can be your partner, an extension of you, finishing your cricket shot sentences for you, loving you not in spite of your flaws, but because of them.

It’s a unique relationship. This is true for no-one more than Charley Surridge, great great grand-daughter of Percy, great niece of Stuart, daughter of John. Having the founder of a 150-year-old brand, the captain that won the County Championship five times in a row, and the creator of one of the most famous bats to have graced the game, might seem daunting to some, but Surridge is embracing the challenge head on. Continue reading “Swannack rekindles a family affair”

The revolution will not be televised

Ostensibly an upstart commentary service, Guerilla Cricket might just be a handy barometer for the sport

Guerilla sofa“Shit!”

Something has poked The Bear. It’s the sound rig. The first toss of the Ashes happened 15 minutes ago. In Australia, chinos pass final judgement. In this small London room, blazered regulars look confused. A Sofa sits empty in front of a screen surrounded by microphones. Their wires lead to the rig.

Finally it clicks. The sound sparks on just in time to hear BT Sport’s besuited Michael Vaughan offer up his summary opinion to the viewers.

“Cook and Root need to score runs.”

The room sighs. It deserves better.

Three wise men take their seats on the sofa. The TV is muted and a languid calypso tune starts up. Before we know it an audibly excited voice bursts from the furniture, via the rig and through the speaker stack.

“Good morning, good evening, good dusk, good dawn! I’m Guerilla Hendo joined by Grubby78 and Not Fred Titmus – we are in the bosom… the womb… the cleavage of London’s Groucho Club!”

Welcome to the world of Guerilla Cricket. Continue reading “The revolution will not be televised”

The Unsportsmen podcast: ‘Best of 12?’

IMG_0522I’m back with Tom and Aaron, The Unsportsmen, this time turning the tables on them following England’s fightback in the ODI series.

The big questions tackled this edition include:

  1. Do England make Australia look good or Australia make England look bad?
  2. Would have just playing the ODI team in the Tests have got us a better result?
  3. Why can’t Jason Roy hit it off the square in the BBL?

Tune in to the podcast…

…here (iTunes)…

…or here (in browser).

Continue reading “The Unsportsmen podcast: ‘Best of 12?’”

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

McCullum
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

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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”