Saturday, August 22, 2009

In which cricket causes me to re-evaluate some things

Telly! I am watching the cricket highlights for only the second time all summer. It is good to see a rampant England, the team promises to be a fine one post the retirement of its talisman. Andrew Flintoff may not be everyone's cup of tea and although not the best all-rounder England has ever had, he's still a fine player. He has the right attitude. He's a hero to a certain section of male society, often for the wrong reasons, and I can only hope that the livelier elements of his followers look past the fireworks and his fondness for a pint and learn. The handshake from Ponting as he came out for his final innings was a case in point; he's held in immense respect by his opponents because of the spirit with which he plays the game and that one moment was a distillation of everything sport should be about. It's something you won't see much of in football (Bristol City not doing the decent thing and allowing Palace a soft goal last week for the "non-goal" everyone bar the officials saw scored for instance) and why, despite having always followed it, you will probably never see me in the crowd at a game. The competition is on the field of play, it's not to be taken into everyday life. There really is nothing quite so boorish as a nutcase football supporter. It's only a game.

As for Ponting, can't say I've ever been a big fan but he went up a huge amount in my esteem after taking a full on drive in the mouth at silly mid-off. No helmet and it takes a brave man to field there without protection although I can imagine Brian Close wondering why he didn't head the ball to slip if he couldn't get his hands to it. I did a fair amount of time fielding there when I was playing, something to do with having good hands apparently, and was lucky enough never to get hit although as a batsman whenever I was given a close fielder I tried to hit him to get him moved. Fair's fair, I would have bought him a drink after if I had.

I also have to eat some humble pie. It is well known in some quarters that I am not the world's greatest admirer of multi benipped songstrel Lilly Allen of that London village. I don't much care for her professional yob father and some of her own antics have left me a bit cold in the past. However, she was the lunchtime guest of Test Match Special on the wireless today as it has been well publicised recently that she has come out as a big fan of test match cricket. The interview revealed, quite unexpectedly, a decidedly charming young lady and her quite touching reaction to being presented with a book signed by Graham Onions, for whom she has declared a crush, fair brought a quiver to my lower lip. I dare say a full character reassessment ought not to be made on the basis of a 31 minute conversation with an apparently awestruck Jonathon Agnew, but I'll return my judgement to the reserved box for the time being.

Apologies to the colonials and the ladies amongst my many hundreds of followers, for whom this must be exceedingly tiresome. This was also my 400th post and I really had nothing much else to say.

7 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

Thank you. I will go along with most of that.
I will attempt to pick fault with your next essay.

11:16 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Pity you didn't get the chance to watch the second day's play too. Hope we both get to see the Aussies being wiped out this evening.

6:31 am  
Blogger Malc said...

I'm with you on Ponting, although there have been persistent rumblings about his captaincy in Australia. I've a lot of time for Aussie sportsmen/women. Far from being arrogant, they back their own ability and are, by and large, dead honest about their own performance and that of others.

8:49 am  
Blogger Malc said...

And while you're probably right about Palace's "goal", I'd have had a lot more sympathy had it not been at the expense of that whining serial cheat Warnock.

word ver: nowspew

8:52 am  
Blogger vijayanand said...

Ashes Test which will be a deciding game, there were rumors that Flint off may reconsider his decision Flintoff had earlier made up his mind to retire from Test cricket after the current Ashes series, citing the frequent injuries as the reason is firm in his stand. He however did not rule out the possibility of playing four day cricket at national level as a part of Lancashire team. However the eminent all rounder will be continuing playing cricket as far as fifty over game and twenty-twenty version are concerned. Flintoff is a part of IPL Chennai Super Kings team.

11:44 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Vicus, I was going to say something about Ponting spitting real blood and bits of tooth and staying on until a scheduled break in play...

Dave, I did actually manage to see some highlights in the pub later

Malc, Matthew Hayden pointed out something in that "Austrayan" captains, when they resign invariably do not play again for their country (although I think I can remember Ian Chappell playing under Greg) which may affect his decision somewhat. Both captains had their shortcomings. As for Neil Warnock, I don't know much about his cheating but he's always come across no worse than any other manager and a lot better than many. Doesn't every footballer and manager cheat? I had a friend who was a qualified ref who blew up once, fed up when one player persistently took the ball to the corner flag. When the player queried it he was told he was cheating. And he was. He argued the toss and got sent off!

Vijay, his decision is puzzling. If it's his body he's after protecting, several explosive games close together wouldn't seem the best way of doing it. A World Cup tournament would see him bowling more overs than he's bowled this summer so I'm puzzled y his logic. We don't mention 20:20 here, the last 6 weeks of proper cricket being the reason why.

3:06 pm  
Blogger Ian said...

Apology accepted.
In sussing out Fllintoff's "puzzling" decision, may I suggest you take into account how each option affects his bank balance.

1:12 am  

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