Posts Tagged ‘champions trophy’
So the Harris Sportsthoughts Twenty20 World Cup preview grinds to an apologetic halt on the eve of the tournament. Group D, you’re up:
We are now able to add Twenty20 cricket to that tedious list of sports that England invented and are now a bit rubbish at. Built in the image of the national football team, England only perform as well as the opposition put in front of them. Hence last year, England were shamed by the Dutch, before defeating defending champions India and future ones Pakistan. If they could courageously exit in the semi-finals on penalties to Germany having had Kevin Pietersen sent off, then they surely would. Currently undergoing an operation to become fully South African, which means they are even more likely to plummet out of the tournament in hilarious style. Has anyone seen England and South Africa in the same room? Oh yes, today in Bridgetown.
The West Indies are the home team, which counted for not very much during the last World Cup in the region when most of its support was loitering ticketless outside the grounds trying to listen to what was going down. Might be amazing, might be awful. Which is an improvement on last year’s Champions Trophy, where a second string side were only going to be awful.
Ireland have recently made a habit of taking a scalp in the preliminary stages of major tournaments, before clogging up the second phase with their mediocrity. Quite capable of repeating the trick (see England above). Are destined to be forever plagued by strange men in synthetic orange beards.
I somehow managed to get live SkySports on my mobile yesterday. The capacity to watch actual sport on your phone is the greatest technological advance since the videprinter. It’s a revelation.
The picture is obviously rubbish and the commentary feeds through about a second before the image – my physics teacher told me that light travelled quicker than sound but anyway – and after about 15 minutes the massive absurdity of it overwhelms the little handset and it gives up the ghost. But I as I whizzed down the M4 last evening I could still ascertain that England were in the process of booting out the South Africans from their own tiny tournament. I hasten to add that I was in the passenger seat, there are rules about driving while watching ODI cricket.
It was all a bit much for me. I felt like Marty McFly in Back To The Future 2 and that bit when the giant holographic shark comes out from the cinema to chomp him. TV phones and a classy performance from an England one-day team. I just undid my seatbelt and rolled out onto the hard shoulder outside Reading Services.
It’s been too easy to bash Andrew Strauss with the ‘conservative’ stick. He’s had the same conservative haircut for his whole whole career and probably since he first went up at Radley. He has a conservative voice, the kind of voice that you might hear say something like ‘now look here, my good man’. He probably votes Conservative. He may be wholeheartedly looking forward to next summer, beating the Bangladeshis and the Pakistanis under the benign gaze of Prime Minister Cameron.
But inserting the opposition in a ODI knowing that your side will have to chase under lights is not conservative, albeit on a pitch that was well suited to his seam attack. And when I say attack I mean Jimmy Anderson. No-one inserts these days, it’s so passé. Arguably he could have gambled and bowled Anderson straight through his allocation such was the difficulty that he was presenting to the Sri Lankan batsmen.
That’s what I would have done. But then I vote Liberal Democrat.
If this blog was an geranium it would have wilted away through neglect long ago. Well I’m back to sprinkle a watering can of words over this moribund little venture to see if we can revive it. I apologise for this break in service, but I offer these feeble excuses:
1. I’ve been playing golf in Scotland. If you like your golf courses wild and wooly and smelling quite a lot of cowshit then I can definitely recommend the east coast north of Inverness to you. It may be a few degrees short of the Arctic Circle but worth a pilgrimage.Try Brora for a start.
2. The domestic cricket season is dribbling to a close and I don’t know even know what date it is in the international arena after interminable nonsense that was the one-day series between Australia and England. I suspect that this is all part of an evil plan hatched by the ECB to murder 50-over, a plan which has already been excecuted on the county circuit and is now being implemented globally. I hadn’t even realised that the Champions Trophy had started so it was unlikely that I was going to write about it.
3. I’m finding the Premier League season strangely underwhelming at the moment. I think it’s because of the choking abundance of uninspiring fixtures. The kind of match that will have you dribbling into your sofa a third of a way through Match Of The Day. Now that the Football League Show is transmitted directly afterwards on BBC it’s possible to wake up and have no concept of whether you’re watching top flight or Championship football.
The fun doesn’t stop here for Andrew Strauss and England. Next it’s a tour of South Africa and a five-test series via er South Africa for the Champions Trophy. Which is great for about half the team because it won’t be a tour at all. It will just be going home.
I won’t begin to guess who is going to win. England beat Australia. Australia beat South Africa. So England will beat South Africa. Or not. I don’t know. My gut tells me South Africa. But my gut told me that Australia were going to win this series. My gut doesn’t know that much about cricket. My gut doesn’t know much about anything. If you asked my gut how to get to the post office it would give you directions to the fishmongers.
Guts are good at digesting food and absorbing nutrients. They are not good at predicting what is going to happen on cricket tours.
I’ve asked my brain what is going to happen in South Africa. Unfortunately it couldn’t tell me. I don’t know anything anymore.