The first session of the First Test has often proved a pivotal passage of play in Ashes series Down Under. Even the first ball; Steve Harmison’s wide to second slip in 2006, or Michael Slater smashing Phil DeFreitas through cover point for four in 1994. It tends to “set the tone”, as the pundits like to say – and the tone in the Sky Sports commentary box these days is like a dressing-room banter free-for-all.
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Saturday 25 June 2011
Elsewhere, personalised car number plates are considered an amusing accessory or a mark of distinction. Here, the distinction they mark is between Britons who consider them vulgar and Britons whose enjoyment of life is untroubled by such concerns, plus some splinter groups claiming them as a memory aid, or an investment (the record price is £500,000).
Sunday 12 June 2011
Friday 07 January 2011
Thursday 06 January 2011
Michael Beer may have finally taken his first Test wicket on day three but not everyone was impressed. Stuart MacGill – a fine leg spinner whose Test chances were restricted by playing in the same era as the incomparable Shane Warne – believes he's not even the best tweaker in Australia. "I don't mean to be disrespectful," MacGill told The Sydney Morning Herald. "Based on his experience, he's acquitted himself quite well but he's not a bowler who at this stage can bowl a team out. Nathan Hauritz is far better equipped to do that. I don't think Beer gets as much work on the ball as a [Jason] Krejza or even a Hauritz on his day, and he doesn't have as much control as 'Haury' or even Xavier Doherty.
Wednesday 05 January 2011
Alastair Cook and Ian Bell were both beset by moments of controversy on their way to the hundreds which put England within sight of Ashes history.
Wednesday 24 November 2010
In one of the stories about the origins of the informal name of the Brisbane cricket ground it means “fight talk place.” That is apparently the translation of the word Woolloongabba, actually the name of the suburb where the ground stands and known to all and sundry as The Gabba.
Wednesday 24 November 2010
Thursday 18 November 2010
Australia are a poor side and could be ripe for the picking by England in the Ashes series starting next week, according to former England skipper and all rounder Ian Botham.
Sunday 30 August 2009
What constitutes an all-rounder has been the subject of some animated discussion. It was fuelled, of course, by the retirement from Test cricket of Andrew Flintoff, having scored 3,845 runs and taken 226 wickets. Nobody, unless they also doubted that wood came from trees, would question Flintoff's authenticity as an all-rounder. But then came Daniel Vettori's achievement in becoming (in front of two men and a dog in a Test in Colombo) only the eighth player to have scored 3,000 runs and taken 300 wickets, a club of which Flintoff is not a member. Vettori is demonstrably an extremely accomplished cricketer. Captain of New Zealand, he has played international cricket for 12 years and his left-arm spin has prospered in a country which is not conducive to slow bowling. For most of the time in the second part of his career he has batted at No 8, though he has scored more runs at No 9, where he first batted, than anybody else. Vettori is not alone in being a specialist No 8 and Shane Warne, Chaminda Vaas and Shaun Pollock all to some extent made that position their own. To reach the landmark speaks of durability as well as accomplishment. Vettori, at 30, must have a chance of joining Kapil Dev as the only man so far to have scored 4,000 runs and taken 400 wickets. But it might still not be enough for him to be recalled as an all-rounder, great or otherwise.
Thursday 27 August 2009
Sunday 28 June 2009
Monday 01 June 2009
Thursday 21 May 2009
Sunday 01 March 2009
Forget the cricket, the week's most memorable presence in Barbados has been Giles Clarke. He has variously attempted to charm the media, thank his wide circle of supporters (9,000 emails, he claims), and mock his enemies.
Sunday 21 December 2008
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
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