Finn in the running

A slightly more respectable position going into the final day. Finn’s figures respectable from the first innings; batting solid bar Carberry, who has done enough anyway to land a spot opening next week. Need to skittle the last six wickets and then knock off the runs off pronto, unless the weather has other ideas.

Spent most of last night trying to explain to a Native New Yorker why cricket’s slow, complicated side is precisely why we love it. Might as well have been talking to a Martian.

Sydney warm up

From 93 for 5 to 271 for 5. Not great to wake up to. All the talk last night was which of the three giants will get the place. Finn, Rankin or Tremlett? Vaughan suspects Tremlett. But most importantly Michael Clarke has given his verdict.

Where is that soundbite? It is hilarious. Aussies – gotta love ’em.

As Vaughan said when chatting with ‘The Cat’ – “Who does he think he is – Jose Mourinho?”


Broady two two..

Made my way up to bed last night after a fairly average QuestionTime (fave bit was Benjamin Zephaniah telling Nigel Farage his ancestors were migrants too) to listen to Aggers. I thought it was meant to be sunny in Australia. Two days of rain. You can get that in Manchester. 

An article in the Evening Standard by Dan Jones was quickly glossed over. Everyone is waiting for the action. Cricket hacks at the moment are like Firemen waiting by the Pole.

Instead of any Radio 5 Live to drift off to, there was an interview between Vaughan and Broad. Vaughan was quite punchy in his questions, intimating Broad Junior would be good at Poker, we all know why, and could Broad be the first to take 500 test wickets, and make 5000 test runs.

Er no.

But, he’ll make 200 and 2000 this series, unless he bats like a donkey.


Why Clarkson is wrong.

I’ve been reading ‘The World According to Clarkson’ over the past few weeks. It’s good, it’s very good, and I like the fact that he calls a spade a spade. He can write. He’s no Conrad, but he knows that too. I have really enjoyed being 28 again infact. All the articles are from 2002/3. The book even has a ‘3 for 2 Books etc’ sticker on the front. The History of the High Street hey. I tell ya.

I found myself thinking – Yes, I remember where I was when I heard that Concorde had crashed. Belfast. I remember where I was when I saw the last three fly in over London : Goldsmiths College, New Cross. The articles, so current then, so soon consigned, like hopeless lovers, to history.

But I do have a bone to pick with the man. As Botham strides around Sri Lanka, and Bell and Trott are gathering runs, and the National team head down to Hobart, I want to confront the petrol head on his dislike of the Greatest Game known to man.

I was pretty disappointed in ‘Jeremy 12 cylinders’ when I came across his article from Saturday 8th December 2002 titled, “Cricket’s the National Sport of Time Wasters”. Now, I have to admit, between 1989 and 2005 I was starting to despair too, but I didn’t throw in the towel so easily. Where’s your Brit Grit ’12 cylinders’?

I take the point that there was an era (Eddie Hemmings springs to mind) when Cricketers probably didn’t look majorly athletic. But, not now. No, no. Our boys are a lean, mean winning machine. We’ve only lost one test under Captain Cook’s 16 tests at the helm.

I’ve re-read his article thrice now, and apart from the fact that he actually hardly mentions cricket, and moans more about George Bush, Monopoly and his kids (that would be a neat photo) than the noble game, he does have one main bug bear :

It takes too much time.

Like all impatient 5 year olds, Jeremy is a card carrying member of the ‘Immediate Satisfaction’ generation. I was called this for a year by my Mum when addicted to Nesquik Chocolate milkshakes. But it’s true, just as all good things come to those who wait, a 5 day game of cricket (yes – with comfort breaks) is a fine sport.

And the reason will be found in his own words, just as he likes (short) novels which have a good story and evoke feelings of hope, Test Match cricket is precisely the same : a good story which will evoke feelings of hope.