Wednesday, July 20


Mark Nicholas offers a spooky, and entertaining, list of coincidences that might just get your hopes up a little more, if you’re an Englishman.

In a piece that fervently wishes for England’s cricket team to take this season by the scruff of the neck, Sue Mott in The Telegraph tell us that Sebastian Coe is the favourite in the BBC Sportsperson of the Year stakes, and then reveals some (to me almost startling) facts.

Ian Botham was the last cricketer to win the BBC poll, in 1981. But the Sports Journalists' Association award that same year went, ironically, to Seb Coe instead. Len Hutton was the last cricketer to win the SJA poll in - wait for it - 1952.

1952? Contrast this with India, where some cricketer receiving an award every year is de rigueur.

Simon Hughes paints a gentle portrait of Andrew Flintoff. For me- more than anyone els, even the searing hot KP- I’d love to see Flintoff take this series by storm. He genuinely has the ability to, and if he can the series will be immeasurably richer.

There’s more on Flintoff in this piece, that also has this from Bob Woolmer:

"I've always felt that the way to overcome Australia is to wear down their
bowlers," Woolmer said. "They only have four main bowlers and they aren't as
young as they were. To win, England have to wear them down as the series

I quite agree, actually. The Australians must not be allowed to dictate the pace of the game, must be made to feel uncomfortable, and that will only happen if they are forced to play a game different from their own. This here, though, might a bit much to hope for:

England's best chance of winning the Ashes is to play the long game, to keep
Australia in the field and ensure that Glenn McGrath tumbles exhausted out of
bed on the second morning of the fourth Test after a wearing summer and thinks:
"I'm not sure if I want to do this any more”

...and more of Woolmer’s advice for Englishmen here

A fantastic cricketer says he will continue his walking habit, and responds to an attemptedly tricky question thus:
When asked what he would do if Australia were two short of victory in the final Test with one wicket at hand he replied: "I wouldn't nick it."
...and you know what? I believe him on both counts.

In other news, it is interesting to note that some people in Pakistan- news editors- are possibly still suffering from a long forgotten Toronto India-Pak series hangover. They still think of ol’ Ganguly as an all-rounder


Ashwin Ramachandran said...

I think Gilly's attitude, both with the bat and in the field is refreshing for cricket. It just shows that you can be hard-nosed and bad-ass but you needn't tease the umpire when he's got a tough job to do.

As for the poms, they would have to really torture Mcgrath if he has to think he couldn't do it anymore. I wonder if it will happen after 10 years.

akr said...

That's the thing, ashwin, that makes him one of my favourite cricketers. To go with his phenomenal talent, there is an obvious enjoyment of the game and the desire to play in true spirit.

Bharath said...

I remember a similar list of coincidences that came out before the World cup final as to why India would win it.... albeit they were cricketing coincidences!

Ah! If only those coincidences could have convinced Ponting to drop dead(or at least sprain his arm) that day!

akr said...

sigh. 2003 remebrances are not what I need this dreary morn....but then, there is Lords Day 1 to look forward to...:)'