Rajan's Wrong-Un: Happy 60th, Phil. Now how about an England comeback?
World Cup Diary
Tuesday 08 March 2011
I hope readers will join me this morning in wishing a very happy 60th birthday to former England bowler Philippe-Henri "Phil" Edmonds. In recent years, he has made headlines through his mining interests in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. But in his playing days it was Edmonds who was the charming tyrant.
A probing left-arm spinner, he took 5 for 28 on debut, but swiftly earned the ire of Mike Brearley. Born to a Belgian mother in Lusaka, standing 6ft 3in and awarded a first at Cambridge, he read the Financial Times in the dressing room and spent many a lunchtime phoning his stockbroker.
Edmonds once missed a tour because he hurt his back getting out of a car, and his wife's revelatory tour diaries went down better with fans than the England bosses. With Monty Panesar still shorn of spark, and Michael Yardy looking ineffective, Big Phil's services are needed now more than ever. Might he be prised out of retirement if the price is right?
Yuvraj proves the pick of the lefties
Talking of left-arm spinners, what a thrill to see so many opening the bowling in this tournament. New Zealand's Daniel Vettori, West Indies' Sulieman Benn, South Africa's Robin Peterson, Zimbabwe's Ray Price, Bangladesh's Abdur Razzak and England's Yardy have all taken the fresh cherry. Never has a World Cup exhibited such a vast canvas of left-handed legerdemain. And perhaps India's Yuvraj Singh, who took 5 for 31 against Ireland over the weekend, isn't far behind either.
Canadian joy, Bangladeshi discord
It's easy to underestimate what a thankless six weeks this can be for tournament whipping boys such as Canada. So even though it came against fellow trundlers Kenya, congratulations to the maple-leaf brigade for their five-wicket win, chasing 198, yesterday. Such victories are rare for them, and the sweeter for it.
Meanwhile, not much sweetness among the players and former players of the co-hosts, Bangladesh. Their captain, Shakib Al Hasan, has been banned from writing his newspaper column after a row with former players over the team's World Cup performance. Shakib responded to criticism from ex-captains and other leading players by complaining that they sounded like "common fans".
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more
Germany vs Argentina World Cup final 2014: Five reasons why Argentina will win the World Cup
Thomas Vermaelen to Manchester United: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger thwarting Louis van Gaal over transfer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 final preview: German team ethic tests Lionel Messi's ability to meet the challenge
World Cup 2014: Robin van Persie gives his bronze medal to eccentric Netherlands fan moments after being handed it by Sepp Blatter
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 Japanese plant experts produce 10,000 lettuce heads a day in LED-lit indoor farm
- 3 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’