November 2007


Apologies to regular readers for the lack of posts recently, I am afraid that with England not in action, and the rather obvious nature of what cricket has been played, I have been less than inspired to commit fingers to keyboard.
However, things are on the up. Am excited about the prospect of the England v Sri Lanka test series, particularly as England need to start re-establishing its test credentials.
Was delighted that Matthew Hoggard has performed well in the warm-ups and that most of the batsmen have had some time in the middle.
Given how poor the Kiwis were in South Africa recently, I would expect us to win that series, however Sri Lanka will be the big challenge. Murali will once again be the deciding factor. Nullify him and England could enjoy a very good winter indeed.

Yet more examples of the level of greed that has crept into the administration of cricket around the world.

Firstly, India’s cricketing authorities have threatened all manner of punitive measures against cricketers (both Indian and foreign) that take part in the rival Indian Cricket league competition this winter. Luckily, it seems as though a number of county regulars are going to ignore such threats and earn some decent money over the winter.

The ECB however has joined the BCCI in opposing the ICL project and has told players that England selectors will take their actions into consideration when chosing future squads. Is this legal? Mind you, given the way Chris Read and Vikram Solanki – two players reported to be off to play in India – have been treated by the selectors, who could blame them for taking an opportunity to boost their incomes and stick two fingers (Atapattu stylee) to the selectors. Even cricketers have bills to pay and families to feed.

The second example concerns Cricket Australia and could be matched by the Indians. The Aussies have declined to accredit photographers from news agencies, and in so doing prevent them from taking action shots from matches that are then sold on to newspapers and websites to illustrate match reports. The Aussies want a cut of the money made by the agencies that sell pictures to the papers. The difficulty this poses is that many newspapers choose to buy from agencies rather than sending their own snapper to matches as it is cheaper for them to do so. One agency snapper can supply a wide range of media, and if you look at the newspapers and websites you read, you’ll see the likes of AFP and Reuters credited in a huge number of snaps.

One likely result is that newspapers will stop running pictures from the cricket, and possibly devote even less space to the game than they do already. I couldn’t agree more with Martin Williamson, this will not help promote the game.

Were it not reported in a respectable publication, and in mid-November rather than early-April, I wouldn’t believe it. However, it appears as though cricketers may be playing with pink balls before too long.

According to The Times, John Stephenson, MCC’s head of cricket, has been researching different coloured balls for the past year. The hope is that a fluorescent pink ball will be more easily seen by a batsman than the customary dark red one, particularly in poor light.

A load of balls

Scientists at Imperial College in London will be working during the winter on developing this new projectile, which will be used in university and second XI matches at the start of next season and, depending on whether it retains its colour, in county cricket the next summer. The aim is then to use it in one-day internationals.

Major hat tip to the legendary Bob Light (aka Reagan Skegness), who has alerted me to the preferred method of discovering one’s West Indian cricketer name.

Apparently, one needs to take the surname of the sitting American president at the time of your birth as your first name, and the last English seaside resport you visited as as your surname.

That would make me Carter Torquay. Such a player would hit the ball miles and bowl at 100 mph, despite having had several rum and cokes and some Red Stripe on me boat (pronounced “boe-att”) the night before, and danced until dawn.

Reifer - his fire is not extinguished

Speaking of West Indian cricketers, the great Floyd Lamonte Reifer (in tribute to whom the Keele Reefer Association flies its flag) believes he can regain selection for the West Indies team, especially for one-day internationals.

Between 1997 and 1999 he appeared in four Tests and two one-dayers with little success and has not been considered since.

According to Cricinfo, Reifer believes his next chance to impress the West Indies selectors will come in the Carib Beer Series when the Combined Campuses and College make their debut early next year.

“I will be looking to score heavily and make a statement,” he said. “In the KFC Cup I played one of my best innings and that told me how much I had left in me.”