Posts Tagged ‘ricky ponting’
Here’s an artily murky photo of James Anderson. It was sent to me by Trion: Z, the manufacturers of the natty necklace he is sporting. They also generously donated one of their bracelets to sample. I’m not normally one for gratuitous product placement, but I am in favour of jewellery that makes you better at cricket.
Apparently it uses magnetic and ionic technology to help the wearer focus, energise, and generally feel more cheerful about life. I tried mine on for the duration of my flight to Sydney. Hardly the best conditions for a controlled experiment, but it has to be said that I skipped through the arrivals hall feel well and truly ionised.
To complete the review I dispensed with the bracelet for the return flight. I touched down a week ago and I’m still whack. It’s like my body doesn’t consider GMT good enough for it any more. My bladder is the most resistant of my organs to the time difference, it still thinks it’s party-time down under, waking me regularly through the night demanding that I urgently empty it. The days are spent finding corners to curl up in like a pissed cat.
I miss the bracelet.
One of the many favourable aspects of being in Australia over the festive period is that you don’t have strain too many jugular muscles to rubber-neck at the wreckage of their cricket. This is the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald the morning after the first day calamity at the MCG.
The article which is just visible on the left-hand side is about the floods in Queensland, where some people have died.
Australian cricket fans obviously don’t like Michael Clarke very much. Just one toss into his stint as skipper and he was on the end of a concerto of boos and catcalls as he walked to the crease at the SCG. But who else could fill the temporary vacancy left by Ricky Ponting? Certainly not Mike Hussey. Despite being one of the doyens of the squad, and one of the few tiny thorns in the English side during the series, Hussey’s claims to the captaincy have never been forwarded.
Everything about Hussey’s unsuitability for the role was revealed during a rain interruption on day one of the test match. A ‘getting to know you’ segment was played on the two large screens in the ground during which members of the Australian squad were asked who would play them in a film of their lives.
The raft of predictable Russell Crowes and smirking Brad Pitts ensued until it was Hussey’s turn. His eyes widened with panic, indecision etched across his face. He eventually was able to get the measure of the scenario, and then replied that he didn’t know. When he realised that this wasn’t an acceptable answer, he followed it up with a second response.
It’s a film I think we’d all pay to see.
Harris Sportsthoughts is back from Australia, replica urn safely in hand baggage, and with a huge scoop. I sent my Mum and Dad down to the SCG on the day before the test match, where they were able to secure an interview with injured Australian captain Ricky Ponting.
So here’s the line that will have sports editors along Fleet Street re-arranging their back pages. Mum reports that Ponting is surprisingly handsome, personable, with a nice face. Dad took some photos too. Mainly of his feet, he hasn’t quite got to grips with the digital camera yet.
Ian Chappell has described Ricky Ponting as past his “use-by date”. Given his execrable form and questionable conduct recently it is fair that his pretensions on the future captaincy should be examined, but to regard him in terms of a yoghurt does a disservice to his golden record as an Australian cricketer. Even if his face has soured to form the features of a puking kitten.
Perhaps Ponting should be relieved that only his cricketing actions have been critiqued. Peter English writing for Cricinfo today claims that there are doubts about Michael Clarke’s suitability for the role because of his ‘metrosexual tendencies’. But if a man wants to apply under-eye serum and watch Glee marathons that is entirely his own business. What are the fears? That he’ll replace the traditional baggy green cap with a more fitted version in a seasonal colour? Or he’ll replace the team song with something from the Olivia Newton-John back catalogue? We can only hope.
Like a couple of hoary stags in a South Australian deer rut, Ian Botham and Ian Chappell revived an ancient feud and locked antlers in the Adelaide Oval car park yesterday. The spectacle of two pensionable commentators taking each other forcibly by the lapels may be considered unedifying, but at least it provides a constant in this strange new Ashes dawn. England‘s successes on tour have been met with bleary-eyed jubilation in this country, but the rate of change from the normal status quo Down Under has accelerated to the point of nausea. So if some of the old guard want to stage their own Ian-only battle re-enactment from 1977 then all the more comforting.
It’s a vague pity that onlookers chose to intervene and prevented something more visceral developing. My suspicion is that based on having more faculties intact, Botham would have won through on a points decision. But Chappelli would have put up a good scrap. Better than his countrymen at least.
Ricky Ponting may bridle at the excesses of the English sledging, but what is a player supposed to do if a clumsy, angry-looking man wearing a toupee comes running towards them? Perhaps Ponting would accept a special dispensation to allow players to sledge opponents with tonsorial supplements? If there is any doubt about whether the victim is follicly enhanced then simply refer it to the third umpire who will examine the ‘hot spot’ footage to make a judgement. Like so:
P.S Rain – you are not my friend any more.
If Ricky Ponting and Andrew Strauss were boxers and the first day of the current test was a fight, then the Australian captain‘s flouncing complaints about the English sledging would be equivalent to moaning that “things had got a bit physical” in the ring, or “someone might get hurt”. Sledging is now an integral part of the game. The Australians invented it, the laws were codified by the Marquess of Stevewaugh in the late 1990s. There are degree courses offered in it. They teach it in schools to try to get the kids off the streets where the more brutal and unsupervised forms of sledging can lead to serious mental disintegration. The children are taught that the only boundaries that exist in sledging concerns insults regarding an opponent’s mother, wife or sister. Anything other than that is allowed, or ‘fair dinkum’ to use the correct jargon.
Doug Bollinger is the current poster boy of the Australian sledging movement. His whole whitewashed face is one big sledge against humanity. It is the only reason he has been selected. It definitely isn’t for his bowling.
The second day of play at the Gabba was more palatable than the first. Not just because of the scoreline, but also because the Australian hero today was far less abrasive. Watching Peter Siddle take wickets is similar to having your eyes scrubbed with a nailbrush and soap. If Mike Hussey hits a boundary, it’s more like being slapped in the face with a Curly-wurly.
Hussey has a hunted look like an maltreated kitten, it makes you want nice things to happen to him. If he was one of your friends, you wouldn’t mind him meeting your mum. He’d ask her where she got her scarf from. Your sister would take a shine to him. You might even let him take her bowling. He’d talk about cricket with your dad, who’d offer him a can of Guinness and a cheese bap. He’d eat it and then remark that it was the best cheese bap he’d ever eaten. Your dad would ask if he could call him Mr. Cricket. He’d say sure.
Mr. Cricket was a title handed to him apparently by Graeme Swann‘s older brother Alec while they were at Northamptonshire, designed to mock his unquenchable enthusiasm for the game. Seems that shit banter runs in the family. Liking cricket is not a reason to tease someone. It’s better than being Mr. Bestiality. Or Mr. Siddle actually.
My friend Bonald is an England fan who has lost his appetite for Ashes cricket. Like an elderly monk who loses his faith on his deathbed, it potentially couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Bonald hopes that England will lose the opening match in order to reignite his interest. It’s roughly equivalent to punching yourself in the face just to feel alive. He’s also keen for Doug Bollinger to inspire the Australians at the Gabba.
If Bollinger isn’t selected tomorrow, then Peter Siddle will play instead. Both men are vital for Bonald and most England fans in stirring such a loathing that vanquishing them becomes paramount. Bollinger and Siddle share that brusque, angry, whingey way of playing of cricket, but it’s not just attitudinal flaws that gets up the nose, it’s also an aesthetic thing. Bollinger with his red face like a puking baby with his silly little baby wig. And Siddle with his self-regarding facial hair and offensive dentistry.
If this isn’t persuasive enough, then try looking at the below photo and then shoving your fingers down your gullet, inducing Pavlovian waves of nausea every time Bollinger appears on your screen. Once you start actively disliking these people you might start enjoying it, like a hobby. You’ll keep a picture of them on your bedside table just so the last thing you do before you go to sleep at night is hate Peter Siddle a bit. Just don’t be too overenthusiastic, you’ll end up simply liking them.