June 2007


In April The Village Cricketer tipped Luke Wright as an England star of the future in its masterplan to win the next cricket World Cup. Last night he came of age (headlines below). Get him involved.

Guardian: Wright’s stunning century lifts Sussex after Key comes unstuck
Telegraph: A thunderous innings by Luke Wright
The Argus: Luke Wright powered to the third-fastest hundred in Twenty20 history

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There is a group on Facebook with 209 members (not much t’tinternet on Ilkley Moor) called I’m better than you because I’m from Yorkshire. In the words of the only decent Yorkshireman ever (Boycs), what roooooooobish! The only good thing that is better in Yerrrkshire than the mighty red rose county is the tea…. You want the proof? Here, ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Good win for the mighty Lancashire, especially when you consider we don’t have Flintoff, Cork, Mahmood, Chapple and Anderson playing.

What would Boycs say…..

“What’s going on, Lancashire thrashing Yorkshire? That’s good cricket that is. Yorkshire playing with bad technique, bad technique that is. Lancashire batsman could smash Yorkshire booolers with a stick of rhubarb! Yorkshire are rooooobish!”

 Boycs

So far so good. The Village Cricketer’s masterplan to win the next cricket world cup has been validated (at least in part) by the appointment of Paul Collingwood as captain of the ODI side. The rest of our proposed squad does include a number of the players included in the England group to face the Windies. These include Prior, Bell, Pietersen, Broad, Anderson and Panesar. It is also fair to say that Bopara and Flintoff would also be in the side but for injury.

Although some of the TVC’s hot picks have been ignored, TVC is confident that Benning, Godleman, Pettini and Wright will also feature at some stage for England over the next four years and will have opportunities to secure a place. Am prepared to give Cook and Mascarenhas a chance, but am surprised by the selections of Trott and Yardy. Prove me wrong!

Squad for one-day series against West Indies: 
Collingwood (Durham capt), Prior (Sussex, wkt), Cook (Essex), Bell (Warwickshire), Pietersen (Hampshire), Shah (Middlesex), Mascarenhas (Hampshire), Trott (Warwickshire), Plunkett, Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Broad (Leicestershire), Anderson (Lancashire), Panesar (Northamptonshire), Yardy (Sussex).

Speaking of Paul Collingwood, remember this?

What do Darren Maddy, Ian Westwood, Jim Troughton, Alex Loudon, Jonathan Trott, Tim Ambrose, Tim Groenewald, Heath Streak, Lee Daggett and Dale Steyn have in common? Answer, all of them are worse batsmen than Warwickshire and England batsman Ian Bell, and all played ahead of Bell in the Warwickshire side that lost to Hampshire by 40 runs in the Friends Provident Trophy semi-final today.

Of the starting line-up, only the Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara could claim to be a better batsman than Bell, and according the ICC ODI rankings, Sangakkara is the 17th best in the world. Bell, who is the 27th best, was told to sit this one out, and Warwickshire got beat – and deservingly so. The world’s best ODI batsmen, Kevin Pietersen was on the opposition, along with Shane Warne (possibly the best bowler ever) and Stuart Clark, possibly the best international bowler over the last year.

Warwickshire may well have thought it best to stick with a winning side, but you can’t possibly tell anyone that including a man averaging 35.46 in 44 ODIs at the expense of Westwood, Troughton or Trott would not improve the side. Fat Boy Spin was confused anyways, and very complimentary about the man he called The Sherminator.

Bell snubbed

The Indian cricket team has been issued with a list of DOs and DON’Ts for the forthcoming tour of England. The team, which will be led by captain Rahul Dravid, have flown into Belfast to start an 80-day tour, and will be given £50 a day for expenses in Ireland and Scotland, and £47.50 a day when in England. Read more here.

The first test between England and India starts at Lord’s on July 19. In London £47.50 could buy you:

Zone 1&2 travel card (can be used on Night Bus too): £5
Two pints of lager in London pub: £8
Slap-up feed at Standard Indian Restaurant, Bayswater: £20
Entrance to Brown’s nightclub, Farringdon: £5
Pedalo on the Serpentine in Hyde Park: £7.50

Pedalo fun in London town

So, a 3-0 victory over the Windies, would probably have been 4-0 but for bad weather at Lords. Were England fantastic, no, were the Windies poor, yes. Chanderpaul, Sammy and perhaps Bravo apart, the Windies were a pretty woeful bunch. Was this the worst Windies side to visit England ever? I reckon so. Cricinfo reviews the papers and scores the players here.

The ODI series should be more even, but I would be very much surprise if the Windies win more than just the one match.

So Michael Vaughan has stepped down as England’s ODI captain. The Village Cricketer calls for Paul Collingwood to take charge. The squad and new captain will be announced on Friday. Selectors, please heed our previous callings!

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