First game of cricket. AUS/ENG v. INDIA


The sun shone as Australians, Englishmen and Indians slowly wound there way to an Athletics track at Sichuan University last Sunday morning. Andrew White (Arthouse, Chengdu) co-ordinated the fixture. Aus/Eng won the toss and elected to bat in the 15 overs per side slogathon. Yours truly was given the honorable opportunity of opening the batting and the picture below tells the tale. First ball. The only scoring I did for the rest of our innings was with a pen and paper.



Yelps form the Indians. Disbelief amongst the quietened Caucasians. Thankfully Garry and Mike steered the ship, with Andrew spanking 74 in double quick time.

We posted 140. 9 an over. Decent.

Not decent enough. The Indians proceeded to blast our bowling onto the Football field, where a Chinese football match was being played.

“What kind of sport is that?”

“Dunno – I think it’s from Bangladesh.”

They have a point.

India won the match by 8 wickets in the end, which was probably a fair reflection. Still, it was great to smell the linseed oil once more.

To the next match…………….

mmexport1444974566445        mmexport1444974537276


Every now and then a Cricket film comes around.


I watched this last week with my Dad. It was a very British thing to do before coming back to China until Christmas. It was truly bizarre to be sitting in a Soho cinema, mid Summer, mid afternoon, and overhearing conversations about the MCC from the seats infront. Britain truly is a very special place. We’d both heard about the film via trusty TMS, and so found some time to go.

It was good to see some Cricket Twitterati names in the credits. And why would there not be? The age of 20/20 is well and truly upon us, and the question on everybody’s lips is, “Can Test matches survive?” The filmmakers, one Brit, Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber, an Aussie, interviewed just about everyone surrounding the IPL and focused on how Indian Businessmen are ‘Doing-a-Packer’.

Does it matter? Things change right? The paying public decide, no? If players want to play IPL cricket, who are we to preach. Someone has to put food on the table surely? Before we get on our high horses, lets look at the options for Chris Gayle. I think if I had his talent, there is no place I’d rather be.

It is about mentalities and how they are changing. Even our own Geoffrey Boycott has been known to favour the idea of four day tests. It is difficult to appreciate just how empty test arenas can be during an Ashes summer, but cricketing teams need to be viable and accountable. Times have changed.

Having said all this, I do still firmly believe there is a place for Test match cricket. It is a testament to how wonderful the game is that there can be so many formats, all of which can interest. But essentially there are just two men in the heat of battle, with a fair few onlookers, ready to pile in at any moment. All formats can thrive and survive.

My last word goes to the Chinese. Currently there is pitiful little invested in the sport within the country. According to the film, $20-30,000 a year. Should the sport become an Olympic Sport, the Government would plough in $20-30 million a year. And there you have it. Thoughts on Cricket becoming an Olympic Sport – now that is another story altogether!

During the footage in the film, I just loved the Chinese Umpire extending his arm to give a player OUT. Just wonderful. I think he even ‘Atten-shunned’ his heels as he raised his arm.

See the film It is good. Whether you care to get involved with #changecricket is another matter. But, it was a four year labour of love, and is definitely worth a look.


Ashes Summer

Ashes summers are always special, particularly when we win. I returned to England for a Summer holiday with the English Cricket Team already in a commanding position against the old rivals. I barely got any information on the Cardiff test whilst exploring the Gorges of the mighty Yangtze. I had the occasional glance at Wimbledon, but it was more or less a surprise, and a pleasant one at that when I got back to London to find that we were set to win. A few hours later and we’d taken the first test. Bravo.

The Lords test beckoned. I like Lords. I like the spaciousness. One day, if I live to be a ripe old age I may even wear an egg and bacon tie, but for now, I can still wear shorts and be the South Londoner that I truly am. What a nightmare the test turned out to be. A good toss to win. We lost. When you only take one wicket in a whole day, you are going to do well to come back. We never even had a look in. I went on the Sunday with Dad. We saw our national team skittled for 103, and lose by a massive 405 runs. A sorry days cricket.

Disheartened. How on earth we managed to claw back with such drive still astounds me. Geoffrey Boycott is right, the Australians were pathetic, but credit where credit is due. Finn, Anderson, Stokes and Broad have all stood up when needed. There have been some overwhelming swing bowling performances. I am already looking forward to the box set.  We trounced the Aussies!

The only Australian batsman who really showed any fight was Warner, and look where he has been playing : the English County Circuit. It just shows, local knowledge pays. And so the Ashes were regained some 6 days after the shockingly huge defeat at Lords.

Level Pegging.

Love it when the teams get the same totals in the first innings. Doesn’t happen too often. Catching up with the ENG v NZ 2nd Test at Headingley intermittently via the Chinese mobile on BBC.COM. What a test. Another nailbiter?

To see Cook become the leading English run scorer and Anderson, the leading English Wicket taker in the very same test match is unprecedented. Quite something. In recent history can’t have happened frequently at all.

I will be trying to stream the match later. C’mon England.

355 Strauss KP

Reggae in my ears. Rastas and Old sea dogs on the pontoons. Island girls with smiles. Caribbean sunshine and blue seas. Hours away from our Transatlantic crossing. Picking up news on the interweb about English cricket.

What a shower. Boycott, he who never tweeted and lambasted those who did, is taking to the platform to Hashtag his desire to see KP back in the ENG team.

355. That is the bottom line right now.

Yes, KP should have been playing for Surrey this time last year, but the question the selectors have to ask themselves are :

1. Are we really good enough without him?
2. Is 34 really over the hill?
3. Is it totally impossible for differences to be ironed out?

John Lennon knew Yoko was for him when he saw her work of art ‘YES’. In Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast) manner, NO NO NO, would do me and about half a million ENG cricket fans just fine.