I hope readers will forgive me for returning to a subject covered yesterday. I mentioned that attendees at the royal wedding on 29 April would include Alex Loudon, boyfriend of Pippa Middleton (younger sister to Kate). I said this represented a triumph for the doosra – the off-spinner's wrong'un – because Loudon was a purveyor of this delivery in his playing days, having learnt it at Eton from Gurik Mann, son of Gurdas, Punjabi pop star and actor extraordinaire.
There was disbelief on the sports desk at this improbable tale. But word reaches me of an email conversation between two near contemporaries of Loudon's at Eton. Having been alerted to the story, one wrote to the other: "Love it. I remember Gurik teaching and showing everyone the doosra in the Upper Club nets."
So it is true, chaps. The author of those words, incidentally, later succeeded Loudon as captain of the First XI, and once even led a winning team at Lord's. I regret to relate, however, that according to my mole on the playing fields of Slough, despite this chap being a fine off-spinner and an even finer gentleman, he never mastered the doosra. So we can assume he won't be among the dignitaries at Westminster Abbey.
Colly hits the groove
Good to see our boys limbering up well in practice. This routine seems to be led by Paul Collingwood, who is getting somewhat long in the tooth. Could it be he is using his colleagues to convey Beatles-style messages about a future career in a boy band? Does he, I wonder, hope to join crooner Graeme Swann's band, Dr Comfort and the Lurid Revelations? Whatever it is, let's hope they don't need much help (geddit?) to beat Bangladesh today.
Centurions run riot at Kandy
Records tumbled at such a rate in Sri Lanka's match against Zimbabwe at Kandy yesterday that it was hard to keep up. Sri Lanka amassed 327 for 6 off their 50 overs, and Zimbabwe were bowled out for 188 in response. Along the way, Upul Tharanga's 133 and Tillakaratne Dilshan's 144 marked the first time both opening batsmen have scored a century in a World Cup match. It was also the highest ever opening partnership in the tournament. But with 282 on the board, they fell just shy of the 286 record opening partnership for one-day internationals. It was opening batsmen's day: the 116-run stand between Brendan Taylor and Regis Chakabva was Zimbabwe's first century opening partnership in a World Cup.