The Grimsby Town Appreciation Society is going to post on this site everyday until they get going....
For fans of underdogs the world over this one is a classic. And when England need six runs off the final ball of the innings against the Aussies (or Canada...) do not fear! There is always the chance of some helpful wind assistance...
England may have rejected its one day record wicket-taker (235 in 159 one-day internationals) but Yorkshire has seen sense and invited one of its favourite sons back to Captain the county side. Hurrah!
Sports governing bodies are the traditional target of ridicule for fans and the ECB and ICC are no different in this respect than the bonkers FA (and FIFA and UEFA), or incompetant Amateur Swimming Association.
While my particular bugbear with the ICC is their ridiculous ban on bringing alcohol into grounds (a move surely designed solely to raise even more revenue to ground owners - on top of the spiralling ticket prices) there is actually a list of complaints that a revolutionised governing body would look at.
The list would begin at a point marked "excessive fixtures"; would traverse the ridge of gamesmanship, discipline and poor officials; before reaching the summit of bad management and lack of control over the Test Playing Nations.
But this list can't be addressed until the new President of the ICC is and it appears that this decision is now stalled. So we, the wider members of the Collective, have an opportunity to get up the few but essential things the ICC should be doing better. So please have a think and put something in the comments.... I'll be coming back to this theme several times before the World Cup begins.
Everyone knows that the pace of life in the Caribbean is sedate in comparison to the hurly-burly on our crowded little outpost off the French coast. I had to laugh then when reading that the Windies still haven't finished some of the grounds for a World Cup which starts in less than a month.
And do they care? Do they f*ck. With typical nonchalance former Windies skipper Richie Richardson has declared that everything will be ready on time because in the Caribbean they always "do things at the last minute"
Meanwhile back in Blighty there's been another delay in the completion of Wembley which has been greeted with a typically shrill response by our media.
Like a sickly child who's had hands layed on them by a dodgy, shouty Texan preacher, this blog has come back to good health and is now dancing the flamenco once more.
I know that I should stretch the agenda beyond the Australians, their impending failure in the World Cup and a glorification in their recent failure against two mediocre one day teams. But just for one moment of nostalgia I'm going to look back on some of my favourite subjects: 1) Shane Warne. His brilliance. The fact he should be English 2) John Buchanan. His idiocy. His weak state of mind. His personal association with Chinese philosopher of war Sun Tzu. 3) Matthew Hayden. His ability to be a prick. English celebration in his failure to be the brute he imagines himself to be.
Fortunately for the rest of the Collective these happy subjects all roll into one so I won't bore on for much longer.
After today's Australian defeat (which resulted in Hayden scoring a massive 180 and then breaking his toe - a joyful moment) Warne has started to attribute blame. And its no surprise where the blame is going - our good friend Ned Flanders.
Still getting over the mental torture of being stuck in the Bush on the pre-Ashes Bonkers Boot Camp, Warne said: "From what I hear, the boys trained really, really hard, probably too hard and it affected them. They got tired for the finals [of the CB Tournament] and didn't perform really well so John Buchanan has to take responsibility for that. If you're playing international cricket, all you want to be is fresh and happy. You don't want to be trained into the ground. But that's the way he wanted to do it but it didn't work out. Hopefully it will hold them in good stead for the World Cup."
What a great attitude to playing the game: train once a while; don't play to often; smoke a few fags; text a lot. That is the way to 700 test wickets.
All Buckers could come back with was bluster: "I think that's nonsense. The notion of overtraining, I'd like to know what the definition of that is. This is a one-day side and Shane hasn't been around that for a while. There's been plenty of comment from people on the outside and I would say if it's constructive help that would be great, but at the moment I find it pretty unhelpful."
I love watching the Australian's in disarray. Its only a shame that New Zealand have slightly taken the shine off our victory.
Now you know you can write better than me so get in touch with Steve and join the Collective.
A number of you have expressed an interest below in contributing to this blog. I may regret doing this but if you want to contact me to find out about joining the Collective you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite Matty Hayden making the highest one-day score by an Australian, his team have lost yet another one-day game. This of course begs the question when on earth are Australia going to win another game?
Of course all this is relative and no doubt they will be strong contenders for the World Cup. However, my favourites for the tournament are the West Indies, who at17-2 on Betfair look VERY good value given their home advantage.
Australia today crashed to their fourth defeat in five games as New Zealand became the first team to beat them by 10 wickets in one-day internationals. Imagine my delight then at receiving an invitation to attend the following event:
Oh and Brett Lee is rated 50-50 for the World cup as well.
Despite the fact that we haven't been posting we are all still alive.
Personally, I ran out of steam a little because of a combination of work and disillusionment with the performance of the team.
However with the World Cup nearly upon us and the Summer not far round the corner I am sure that this blog will start to get more active.
In the meantime if you want to join the Collective and help to contribute please contact us. You can also check out all the 'hilarious' stuff we have written over the few months in the archive section.
A J Strauss lbw b J E C Franklin 19 M B Loye c S P Fleming b J E C Franklin 8 I R Bell c S P Fleming b J E C Franklin 2 E C Joyce c M R Gillespie b D L Vettori 47 P D Collingwood lbw b D L Vettori 10 A Flintoff c B B McCullum b D L Vettori 9 P A Nixon c B B McCullum b J D P Oram 6 J W M Dalrymple c S P Fleming b D L Vettori 0 J Lewis c S P Fleming b S E Bond 5 M S Panesar c N J Astle b S E Bond 6 J M Anderson not out 0
When Shane Warne continued to take wickets and score fifties right up until his retirement I remained convinced that at the age of 28 I still had a future in international cricket. "After all," I pondered to myself while working away at my desk, "I can bowl a googly and a leg break... and I've got an awesome flipper - the one that goes straight on". If I could play as long as Shane and then drag out the dregs of my career for a couple of extra seasons while I decline I would get 12 years at Test level - not bad for anyone.
But then Steve Harmison retired from all ODIs at the age of 28. Oh my god. I'm buggered. That's it. It's all over. I've got nothing left.
However, with news of Paul Nixon's first England cap today at the age of 37, I realised that I'm back in the game.
Therefore, I have today decided to rescind my recent retirement from international cricket and make myself available to Duncan Fletcher and the selectors for selection in the World Cup and this summer's Test series.
You, too, can join the campaign for a decent Test team HERE.
In other news, Australia have scored 221/5 - the highest ever score in international 20/20 cricket. Same old, same old.
... let us just be entirely positive for a moment, and pay tribute to the Aussies. This team may not have quite had the stamp of greatness of previous teams under Messrs Taylor and Waugh, but it actually tried harder. And that, combined with the fact that it was still very, very good, added up to a consistently brilliant performance. Clark, Hussey, and Ponting were magnificent, and Symonds increasingly performed like he was from another planet.
And as for McGrath and Warne... Without overdoing it, I think more England fans should wake up to just how all-time great they were, and how rare it is to be able to see such greats, in any sport, in one's watching lifetime. Especially Warne. We are all going to miss him. After all, we all even love Maradona now.
Oh, yeah, and Langer retired, too. Can't think of anything nice to say about him.
Paul Collingwood is a nuggety cricketer who scored a decent double century on a dead pitch in the 2nd test but is patently not Test class. What possessed him therefore to sledge the greatest bowler of all time and inspire him to hit a match winning 70 odd is beyond me. Shane Warne's verbal reposte to Collingwood was brilliant and basically a pointer to why England lost this series pretty much from the moment we regained the Ashes at the Oval in 2005. If you listen to the Sky footage, you can clearly hear Warne asking Collingwood to tell him about the "MBE he got for making seven runs" (or words to that effect). Quality.
Below is an account of the ancient and cheery old British form of execution - for people who had been really, really bad - known as hanging, drawing and quartering:
The full sentence passed upon those convicted of High Treason up to 1870 was as follows : “That you be drawn on a hurdle to the place of execution where you shall be hanged by the neck and being alive cut down, your privy members shall be cut off and your bowels taken out and burned before you, your head severed from your body and your body divided into four quarters to be disposed of at the King’s pleasure.”
The hurdle was similar to a piece of fencing made from thin branches interwoven to form a panel to which the prisoner was tied to be dragged behind a horse to the place of execution. Once there, the prisoner(s) were hanged in the normal way (i.e. without a drop to ensure that the neck was not broken) but cut down whilst still conscious. The penis and testicles were cut off and the stomach was slit open. The intestines and heart were removed and burned before them. The other organs were torn out and finally the head was cut off and the body divided into four quarters. The head and quarters were parboiled to prevent them rotting too quickly and then displayed upon the city gates as a grim warning to all. At some point in this agonising process, the prisoner inevitably died of strangulation and/or haemorrhage and/or shock and damage to vital organs.
And this, it seems, in cricketing terms is pretty much what Australia have done to England this series. Brisbane was like getting dragged behind a horse, then that stopped and for four days in Adelaide we thought the worst was over. Until we got hanged on the fifth. We expired up there in Perth. But that wasn't the end of things. They chopped our manhood off in Melbourne, and decapitated us for good measure. Tomorrow they finally get around to burning our entrails and dividing us into four.
I've been checking out some of the stats for the blog this morning and these have confirmed what i have suspected for a long time: the majority of people who come across this site for the first time (perhaps an unfortunate turn of phrase given the context) do so because they have entered the terms "cricket" and "wag" into a search engine. In short, most of our first time hits come from people who are looking for naked pictures of Jessica from Liberty X or Rachel Flintoff.
Over Christmas the Collective dispersed to various parts of the country and this, coupled with general laziness, has led to a severe lack of activity on this site. (Although I notice that people have still been having a pop at Mad Dog in the comments section)
Anyway we (or at least I) have returned and normal service will be resumed - if only for for the last few days of the Test series and possibly the one-dayers.
Quite a lot has happened since our last posts, but one thing, reassuringly, has stayed the same: England's depressing ineptness. Imagine my joy then at trawling through over 400 junk e-mails this morning and finding the following from Cricket Australia:
Dear Cov On Monday in Perth the Australian Cricket team achieved a milestone it had been working towards for the last 14 months - reclaiming the Ashes. We've received some incredible support during that period, particularly from the record crowds that have been at the first three Tests of this series. On behalf of the entire team, I'd like to thank you for that support. Everywhere we turned in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth we saw our green and gold army behind us - you have been magnificent. As we head to Melbourne and Sydney, we're counting on the same green and gold support and are looking forward to playing some great cricket. So, thanks again Australia, you have been a big part of our Ashes mission so far. We'll see you soon.
Somewhere in South London in the Summer of 2006 the I Don't Like Cricket Collective was formed. Their sole purpose: to go underground and win the Ashes for England. Now the IDLCC is in deep cover behind enemy lines preparing the ground for an historic victory. Join the collective: you have nothing to lose but your wicket.