Outside Edge

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The Independent Online

'Test match special' isn't what it used to be, claim its critics, so all hail Christopher Martin-Jenkins for reviving the Radio 4 programme's grand old tradition of corpsing. In the 52nd over of the First Test at Lord's, CMJ intoned: "Vettori lets it go outside the off stump... good length, inviting him to fish." So far, so prosaic. But he then continued: "Vettori stayson the bank, and keeps his rod down, so to speak." Cue audible sounds of mirth from the rest of the 'TMS' team, before CMJ dug himself deeper by squeaking: "I don't know if he is a fisherman, is he?" My, how we laughed. Well done that man; more of the same, please, in the many dull passages of play.


The number combination, coupled with the phrase "The Perfect Season", that the New England Patriots are still applying to register as a trademark. Hmm, they seem to be in denial – perhaps some-one should remind them that they lost Super Bowl XLII four months ago, making it an 18-1 season.

Drinking habits of the week

Britain comes a lowly ninth in a Beer O'clock survey of 15 European countries conducted by, quelle surprise, a brewery firm. On average we don't have our first pint until 6.14pm, and our last at 10.37pm. The Danes are way out in front, with comparative times of 4.14 and 10.44. And only one in 10 Brits drink at lunchtime these days, half the figure for the French. If the Rangers fans in Manchester for the Uefa Cup final last Wednesday had been polled, though, it would have been a very different story.

Good week for

Mark Cavendish, Manx cyclist, won the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia... Anne Keothavong, British tennis No 1, won the ITTF Tour event in Lebanon to guarantee a place in the Wimbledon draw... and Alex Arthur, Scottish superfeatherweight, became the WBO champion after Joan Guzman relinquished the title.

Bad week for

Scott Harrison, former WBO featherweight champion, lost his bid to regain the boxing licence he was stripped of in 2006... Barry Bonds, record-breaking baseball hitter, faces further charges relating to alleged steroid use... James Willstrop, English squash player, lost the British Open after having match point... and Ivan Lendl, 48-year-old former tennis No 1, failed to qualify for golf's US Open.

Foolish footballer of the week

just a thought: if you're travelling to a vital play-off game, try not to break your arm in three places arm-wrestling on the team coach. Yes, Lee Thorpe of Rochdale, this means you, but at least it gives us an excuse to trot out our favourite freak footballers' injuries again. The Norway defender Svein Grondalen missed an international after colliding with a moose while jogging; the Spurs striker Robbie Keane ruptured knee ligaments reaching for his TV remote; and Manchester City's Darius Vassell missed several games after attempting to lance a foot blister with an electric drill. Make up your own jokes about "electrifying pace" if you must.