Ashes July 30, 2009

The official (Confectionery Stall) Ashes quiz Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the Official Confectionery Stall Multiple Choice 2009 Ashes Quiz
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Welcome to Part 2 of the Official Confectionery Stall Multiple Choice 2009 Ashes Quiz. Following last week’s four questions about the Lord’s Test, this week’s exam focuses more on the Edgbaston Test, which, if predictions about the weather and pitch prove true, is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting matches ever played in the Birmingham area which straddles July and August 2009.

Pencils at the ready...

5. Who is going to win at Edgbaston?

(a) England

They’ve already broken one hoodoo – not having beaten Australia at Lord’s since Greta Garbo was still a proactive conversationalist.

In the oldest of all cricketing proverbs: One Brings Two. They will surely now break another hoodoo – not having beaten Australia in the next Test match after beating Australia at Lord’s since 1890. It will help if the team can follow the example of the majority of the English media, and forget how they only managed to escape from the jaws of defeat in Cardiff by first coating themselves in mayonnaise and climbing into those jaws.

(b) Australia

Mitchell Johnson has set himself up perfectly for a startling return to form, catapulting England out on a docile pitch before slugging a match-winning century. Australia’s batsmen are averaging almost 10 runs an innings more than England’s in the series so far, and, as Michael Clarke himself said, his team is never more dangerous than when the chips are down. Recent history suggests this is almost as big a lie as his claim that this Australian team is as good as any he has played in, but you have to admire the lad for saying it anyway.

(c) No-one – it will be a draw

Rain is forecast, the pitch is reportedly flat as a demotivated pancake, and, more pertinently, both sides should have learned from their mistakes of the first two Tests, each of which were played on friendly batting surfaces, and each of which required batting of catastrophic ineptitude to lead make a positive result possible.

Even so, the runs-per-wicket for both sides put together (43) is so far the highest ever in an Ashes series. It will take something special for either side to force a defeat out of themselves.

Furthermore, in the West Indies, England proved masters at accidentally playing for the draw when they need to play for the win. They should therefore have no trouble playing for the draw when they actually need to play for the draw. Three stalemates would be enough to match the glorious 1926 and 1953 one-nil-out-of-five triumphs.

(d) No-one – it will be a tie

There has never been an Ashes tie. The last Edgbaston Test was the closest the two teams have ever come. There have been 321 Tests between these nations. Statistically, with only four results possible, around 80 of those should have been ties. It is long overdue.

6. All cricket fans will be hoping that Edgbaston is not scarred by further umpiring controversies of the sort seen and giggled/whinged about (delete according to hemisphere of origin) at Lord’s. What is the long-term solution to disputes such as the Hughes-Strauss-Koertzen-Ponting-Ball-Grass-Referral Incident?

(a) End all arguments by removing caught from the list of dismissals.

This will also encourage more exciting, aggressive bowling. Fast bowlers would be forced to bowl yorkers in an attempt to dismiss batsmen bowled or lbw, and bouncers in an effort to make batsmen retire hurt. In this age of breakneck modernisation, it could also herald a return to underarm daisy-cutters − cricket re-embracing its roots.

(b) Take the fielder’s word for it – we’re all adults, and it’s only a game.

The batting team must, however, be entitled to demand an instant on-field polygraph test to ensure the catcher is telling the truth. If it transpires that he has fibbed, he should be paraded around the boundary, booed and pelted with biscuits shaped like Colin Cowdrey.

(c) Alternating decisions – one out, the next one not out.

This new system was trialled at Lord’s – refer one, don’t refer the next. Statistics say that such a system will even out over the course of a series, or, at least, over the course of the rest of cricket history.

(d) Dye the entire outfield with a bright purple pigment.

This is a simple, error-proof solution to demonstrate conclusively whether or not a ball has bounced before thudding into a fielder’s hands. Only the 22-yards between the stumps would be left unpurpled. The ball would be thoroughly cleaned by the umpire before each delivery. After a disputed catch, the umpire would inspect the ball. If the purple pigment is visible on the ball, the ball would have been shown to have bounced, the catch would be duly disallowed, and the umpire would tut at the fielder concerned and start muttering about how the entire planet has lost the plot.

The pigment would have to be re-applied to the outfield between each over, to ensure a fair and even covering at all times. Batsmen would not be allowed to coat their bats in the purple pigment.

Traditionalists will of course bleat about how cricket has always been played on a green surface, players will complain about getting purple all over their clothes and faces, and groundsmen will whinge about the added workload and potential toxicity of a substance that may have to be radioactive in order both to be sufficiently purple and not to cause interference on TV pictures.

Surely, however, reaching a fair decision is more important than any of these minor quibbles, in this day and age?

7. Last week, I promised to ask the question: How much will England miss Kevin Pietersen? On reflection, this can now be more productively phrased: Which of the following true statistics about Ian Bell is the most misleading?

(a) Ian Bell averages 25 against Australia

The widely-accepted idea that Ian Bell has ‘never really done it against Australia’ is true in the sense that he has never really done it against Australia, but false in the sense that the statistics point unerringly to him doing it in no uncertain terms this time.

Whilst only a mathematical Luddite could dispute that Bell averages 25 in his 10 Ashes Tests, and has been out in single figures 11 times in his 20 innings, it should also be remembered that he averaged 17.1 in 2005, but a much more respectable if scarcely abacus-shattering 33.1 in 2006-7.

This represents a 93% series-to-series improvement. If the Warwickshire Whirlwind continues to ski the right way up this graph, he will average 64 this year, 124 in 2010-11, and 240 in 2013, by when he will be universally recognised as the greatest player of all time.

It should also be remembered that Bradman scored six ducks against England, so he wasn’t all good either. And, in the 2006-07 series, Bell scored more runs than Strauss, Cook, Flintoff, Panesar, Prior, Bopara, Botham, Barrington, Compton, Hutton, Hammond or Hobbs. Or Gilchrist or Langer.

(b) Ian Bell averages over 40 in Test cricket

This puts him above, among others, England stalwarts such as Stewart, Atherton, Hussain, Lamb, Gatting, Greig (both Tony and Ian), Fletcher, Woolley and even Hutton (Richard, admittedly, not Len). He averages 48 in the first innings when games are shaped, averages 47 batting at No. 4, 74 with Strauss as captain, 45 in England, and 43 in third Tests (although he’d better perform at Edgbaston – he averages 18.5 in the fourth and fifth Tests of series). And he averages 297 when Kevin Pietersen is not in the team.

Against this, he has mostly played on nice and friendly pitches, it’s a batsman’s game these days, averages mean less and less in modern Test cricket, he filled his boots against Bangladesh at the start of his career (see Pietersen-absent stat above), filled them again against a fairly weak Pakistan attack in 2006, since when he has scored three centuries in three years. And you can dress a statistic us as smartly as you like, but it doesn’t guarantee that it will be dancing cheek-to-cheek with truth at the end of the evening.

In summary, Ian Bell could have done better, Ian Bell could have done worse. Bearing in mind the class of his best innings and finest strokes, however, the overall feeling is that Ian Bell’s career has so far been like a fillet of prime sirloin made into an adequate stroganoff. Neither inedible, nor incredible.

(c) Ian Bell averages 1.3 catches per match in Ashes Tests

This compares domineeringly against Kevin Pietersen’s figure of 0.3. So he is effectively worth one extra innings per Test. Which means that Bell’s batting average of 33 is in effect almost identical to Pietersen’s 50.

8. Which part of their game will Australia have to improve most to avoid repeating their disappointing performance at Lord’s?

a) Bowling.

b) Batting.

c) Rudi Koertzen.

And, finally, as a tie-breaker in case the scores are level:

9. Will there ever be another Test pitch with genuine pace and bounce in it?

a) No.

b) Probably not.

The deadline for completion of the quiz in order to win the chance to captain your country in a Test match is 1st January 2019. Answers to follow at some point before then.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jackie on August 3, 2009, 4:49 GMT

    I wish you put the same or similar effort into 'The Bugle' blog as you do this one. Go Australia! Hopefully they pick Stuart Clark for the next test. Andy, say hi to Tom for me.

  • Ikrana on August 3, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    @James, It's satire, my friend. You like Zaltzman, read the blog, don't like, leave it alone.

  • Seani on August 2, 2009, 11:05 GMT

    6(d) seems like the only way forward for the 5-day game; our attempts to daub only certain parts of the surface with red advertising will be seen in retrospect as a fence-sitting prevarication once the purple fields are revealed for future test matches. The side issue of how to deal with the now invisible new ball cherry will need to be dealt with, and meanwhile the crowd will need entertainment in between deliveries (unless it develops a ball-wiping spectator fetish in the meantime) - so my suggestion is that we run a continuous world cup 20:20 competition on an adjoining ground.

  • Keshavaram on August 2, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    5 c 6 c 7 b 8 b 9 b G R E A T Means Getting Really Exicited About Tomorrow

  • Anonymous on July 31, 2009, 23:26 GMT

    The answer to Q7 is definitely, incontrovertibly B.

    The answer to question 8 was proven beyond all doubt to be C when Koertzen denied Johnson the most stone-dead lbw I think I've ever seen.

    I'm English, and frankly I wanted Bell to be out, because the references to "rub of the green" are getting tiresome. And Bell is as out of his depth as ever.

  • p on July 31, 2009, 21:43 GMT

    Struggling to write this as broke my ring finger warming up the keyboard. I haven't caught your style of humour yet, bit low for me but Strauss probably has. Not bothering to answer your multiple guess questions as my averages in Ashes quizes are poor: 7.03 if I put a) each time; 7.08 putting a) b) c) etc in rotation and 13.90 if I phone up TMS. I did get 240* in your Eskimo v. Norfolk tour match quiz by asking my Mum. If I may make a personal comment or two, you need to get a haircut and a job; get one and you'll get t'other. It'll mean I won't have to read any more of this rain-break filling guff and return to doing something more useful instead, like swearing on radio and hoodie-hugging.

  • Brian Lara still rocks!!! on July 31, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    Haha Andy Z, you've done it again! Rudi Koertzen is definitely the part of the Aussies' game they most need to work on to avoid a repeat of Lord's (Question 8). Honourable mentions to the suggestion of using bright radioactive purple pigment to judge if a ball has bounced before being "caught" - especially by Andrew Strauss! James, I guess your sense of humour (if you ever had one!) chose to desert you while reading what is clearly a humourous article! Hint: Try laughing and enjoying the article instead of critiqueing the maths! Go Andy Z! You all right, mon! ;-)

  • David on July 31, 2009, 0:53 GMT

    James, James, James ... you would be wise to heed the famous words of Confucius, who said something along the lines of: "Man who write abusive comment on internet forum end up with egg on his face." If I can break it to you gently, everyone who's read your comment has shaken their head in amazement that you could so spectacularly miss the point. Satire works by making outrageous claims with a straight face. AZ knows the 25% stat is outrageous; this blog is satirical; therefore he boldly made the claim. The ignorant person is the one who took him seriously.

  • Michael on July 30, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    Regarding the following excerpt from Question 5: "There have been 321 Tests between these nations. Statistically, with only four results possible, around 80 of those should have been ties" The idea that 80 of 320 games should have been ties seems to require that the probability of getting a tie is equal to that of other possible outcomes. Whereas history shows otherwise and logically it doesn't follow that this should be the case.

  • Bazza on July 30, 2009, 15:43 GMT

    Have to agree with Simon, it's easy. Ask the fielder if he caught it. Should the unthinkable happen and a fielder is caught in a terminological inexactitude, he should be put into stocks under the Grace Gate and pelted with Jubblys and Pontefract Cakes!

  • Jackie on August 3, 2009, 4:49 GMT

    I wish you put the same or similar effort into 'The Bugle' blog as you do this one. Go Australia! Hopefully they pick Stuart Clark for the next test. Andy, say hi to Tom for me.

  • Ikrana on August 3, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    @James, It's satire, my friend. You like Zaltzman, read the blog, don't like, leave it alone.

  • Seani on August 2, 2009, 11:05 GMT

    6(d) seems like the only way forward for the 5-day game; our attempts to daub only certain parts of the surface with red advertising will be seen in retrospect as a fence-sitting prevarication once the purple fields are revealed for future test matches. The side issue of how to deal with the now invisible new ball cherry will need to be dealt with, and meanwhile the crowd will need entertainment in between deliveries (unless it develops a ball-wiping spectator fetish in the meantime) - so my suggestion is that we run a continuous world cup 20:20 competition on an adjoining ground.

  • Keshavaram on August 2, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    5 c 6 c 7 b 8 b 9 b G R E A T Means Getting Really Exicited About Tomorrow

  • Anonymous on July 31, 2009, 23:26 GMT

    The answer to Q7 is definitely, incontrovertibly B.

    The answer to question 8 was proven beyond all doubt to be C when Koertzen denied Johnson the most stone-dead lbw I think I've ever seen.

    I'm English, and frankly I wanted Bell to be out, because the references to "rub of the green" are getting tiresome. And Bell is as out of his depth as ever.

  • p on July 31, 2009, 21:43 GMT

    Struggling to write this as broke my ring finger warming up the keyboard. I haven't caught your style of humour yet, bit low for me but Strauss probably has. Not bothering to answer your multiple guess questions as my averages in Ashes quizes are poor: 7.03 if I put a) each time; 7.08 putting a) b) c) etc in rotation and 13.90 if I phone up TMS. I did get 240* in your Eskimo v. Norfolk tour match quiz by asking my Mum. If I may make a personal comment or two, you need to get a haircut and a job; get one and you'll get t'other. It'll mean I won't have to read any more of this rain-break filling guff and return to doing something more useful instead, like swearing on radio and hoodie-hugging.

  • Brian Lara still rocks!!! on July 31, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    Haha Andy Z, you've done it again! Rudi Koertzen is definitely the part of the Aussies' game they most need to work on to avoid a repeat of Lord's (Question 8). Honourable mentions to the suggestion of using bright radioactive purple pigment to judge if a ball has bounced before being "caught" - especially by Andrew Strauss! James, I guess your sense of humour (if you ever had one!) chose to desert you while reading what is clearly a humourous article! Hint: Try laughing and enjoying the article instead of critiqueing the maths! Go Andy Z! You all right, mon! ;-)

  • David on July 31, 2009, 0:53 GMT

    James, James, James ... you would be wise to heed the famous words of Confucius, who said something along the lines of: "Man who write abusive comment on internet forum end up with egg on his face." If I can break it to you gently, everyone who's read your comment has shaken their head in amazement that you could so spectacularly miss the point. Satire works by making outrageous claims with a straight face. AZ knows the 25% stat is outrageous; this blog is satirical; therefore he boldly made the claim. The ignorant person is the one who took him seriously.

  • Michael on July 30, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    Regarding the following excerpt from Question 5: "There have been 321 Tests between these nations. Statistically, with only four results possible, around 80 of those should have been ties" The idea that 80 of 320 games should have been ties seems to require that the probability of getting a tie is equal to that of other possible outcomes. Whereas history shows otherwise and logically it doesn't follow that this should be the case.

  • Bazza on July 30, 2009, 15:43 GMT

    Have to agree with Simon, it's easy. Ask the fielder if he caught it. Should the unthinkable happen and a fielder is caught in a terminological inexactitude, he should be put into stocks under the Grace Gate and pelted with Jubblys and Pontefract Cakes!

  • Rsh on July 30, 2009, 15:29 GMT

    Just back from office (another dull day) ...on my toilet seat with my iphone and reading this...and laughing like hell at Question no. 7.

    Amazing stuff mate. keep it up.

  • Stuart on July 30, 2009, 14:19 GMT

    A stat that seems to be lacking from your analysis is the throwing-a-wobbler average of Dicky Ricky.

  • j on July 30, 2009, 13:49 GMT

    The final question was the best of the lot.

    (and result to be published before dead line, which is in 10 years time . :) ... keep it up

  • khalidnizamani on July 30, 2009, 13:48 GMT

    There are qustion is who win the ashes,in that position of because last result is very intresting it england had won and aussies now in some kind of underpressure ,but we can underestimate australia they are great fighter i hope they came back ,came back very strongly,edgbaston is the great territoray of this war,because they do everything to win here other wise very hard for them to defend their title,let,s hope we see a great kind of cricket coming of 5 day,s

  • Bingo Haley on July 30, 2009, 13:33 GMT

    What a Monty Pythonesque picture: "coating themselves in mayonnaise and climbing into those jaws." Ha ha! I really love reading your pieces, Andy!! Keep it up!

  • James on July 30, 2009, 13:29 GMT

    "There has never been an Ashes tie. The last Edgbaston Test was the closest the two teams have ever come. There have been 321 Tests between these nations. Statistically, with only four results possible, around 80 of those should have been ties. It is long overdue." your an idiot. thats the most nonsense thing ive ever read and i don't even want to finish the article thats written by someone so ignorant and stupid. there isnt a 25% of a cricket game being a tie. what a ludacrous thing to publish. how on earth did you get a job writing articles? although i guess better doing this than anything to do with maths

  • khaki on July 30, 2009, 13:22 GMT

    andy zaltman is friggin BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • saad on July 30, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    It will be a tie and England will take the series with 2-1 or 1-0.This series will never tie this year iam 100% sure.

  • Shane on July 30, 2009, 12:10 GMT

    Austraila will win the third Ashes test and they will fire the england in all matches as ponting will be back in his form.

  • Muzaffar Ali on July 30, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    5.C 6.B 7.A 8.A 9.A

  • Fazeel Javaid on July 30, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    5c 6b 7a 8a 9b

  • Sri on July 30, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    Funny stuff Andy, enjoyed Bell's statistics the most. As far as predictions are concerned, it should be an England Ashes win if we go by the mathematical series Aussie win (2002-03) England win (2005), Aussie win (2006-07).. the next one in the series is obviously England. On the other hand, if we go by the immediately preceding mathematical series covering the Ashes years 1990- 2001, an Aussie win cannot be ruled out.

  • AHSAN on July 30, 2009, 11:03 GMT

    i think england will win the ashes this year i think i am preetty sure Haroon

  • AHSAN on July 30, 2009, 11:03 GMT

    i think england will win the ashes this year i think i am preetty sure Haroon

  • Martin on July 30, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    5(b), on the 5(a) argument that one brings two. When did Oz last win at Edgbaston? 6(d). It would stop fielders throwing the ball away having 'taken' a catch. 7. There are lies, d*mned lies and statistics, so who cares? 8(c). Who's saying that their performance was disappointing? I found it utterly encouraging. 4-0, anyone? 9. Define genuine. But you won't need a tiebreaker, I'm obviously the clear winner.

  • Dame Margaret Pling on July 30, 2009, 10:48 GMT

    No more pitches with pace and bounce? The very thought! I miss the days of batsmen hopping to leg every delivery and never getting off the mark in the first half hour. Whatever happened to proper fast bowling? In the Malay Peninsula we used to hold net sessions on inch deep rubber matting, prop up the villagers and knock 'em over like skittles until they couldn't get up. Kept us in the region for another thirty years and here we are now with the country in rapid decline, a population of sixty million and no decent fast bowling. Who wants to see wretched Australians batting forever just because they can? Where's the sport in that? What we need at Headingley is a strip of jagged concrete under an inch of whangy rubber and half a dozen seven foot tall bowlers with arms like medieval siege engines, bad tempers and the ability to park the ball in Australian throats best out of three. If we can't produce those, what are our schools for? That's the way to redress the balance. Nurse! My cocoa.

  • Merri on July 30, 2009, 10:43 GMT

    If Strauss declares with Bell on 297, I guess there will be some investigations about him having been phoned by a Mr. Alex Coe. Good luck to all three nevertheless.

  • Jonathan Hall on July 30, 2009, 10:33 GMT

    By .3 of a catch do you mean the kind of catch that Strauss took?

  • Haroon on July 30, 2009, 10:25 GMT

    australia will win the ashes this year i think i am pretty sure.

  • Gazzypops on July 30, 2009, 9:50 GMT

    I'm pretty confident I've got all these right. I took the Confectionary Stall Ashes exam four years ago and the test is definitely getting easier. It's like A-levels except there's no obvious application in the workplace. In fact, this quiz is exactly like A-levels.

    Anyhoo, I wonder if anyone fancies offering Ponting or Strauss a leather jacket following a third day of rain in order to force some kind of result...

  • andrew schulz on July 30, 2009, 9:48 GMT

    I'll work on the answers sometime in 2018. I like question 7. But don't quote Pietersen's average of 0.3 catches per Ashes Test. Look at his ratio of drops to catches, which is about 3:1, and his total of misfields and overthrows, which is getting close to 3 figures. Bopara looks vastly promising in the overthrows department too.

  • andrew schulz on July 30, 2009, 9:47 GMT

    I'll work on the answers sometime in 2018. I like question 7. But don't quote Pietersen's average of 0.3 catches per Ashes Test. Look at his ratio of drops to catches, which is about 3:1, and his total of misfields and overthrows, which is getting close to 3 figures. Bopara looks vastly promising in the overthrows department too.

  • Simon on July 30, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    Good effort Andy. I do like the description of a talented player with a disapointing career being described as fillet of prime sirloin made into an adequate stroganoff. I will be stealing that analogy and using it whenever appropriate. One other suggestion about ending dubious catches is havig Hotspot cameras trained on the slips. This would pick up any instance of the ball hitting the gound. Admittedly that would be costly as there would have to be 6 such cameras at every ground and it would only pick up slip catches but well worth considering. Or adapting the Hawkeye technology like they have done in tennis. Or the old Cyclops thing that beeps when the ball hits the ground. Or just be honest in the field and accept the umpires decision when it is given

  • Alex Coe on July 30, 2009, 8:45 GMT

    I've just put a tenner on Bell scoring exactly 297. If it comes in I'll pay off the mortgage. If it doesn't, well I think you owe me a tenner.

  • The_whole_22_yards on July 30, 2009, 8:39 GMT

    Brilliant, as usual, Mr Zaltzman. In particular, your keen grasp of mathematical statistics to predict a tied test at Edgbaston. Question 5 is the only one I can answer with certainty -- the answer is b). Keep up the great work!

  • Ankur Aggarwal on July 30, 2009, 8:29 GMT

    'the biscuits shaped like Colin Cowdrey' comment was rude but funny. Moreover Bell's stats are typical Andy stuff.

  • D.V.C. on July 30, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    I've read all the questions but don't really know the answers and with time running out, I'd like to answer C for all of them (even question 9).

  • Growltiger on July 30, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    Answer to 9 is (c) yes, provided it stops raining before the Oval

  • God's Child on July 30, 2009, 7:49 GMT

    It just keeps getting better and better; Andy you beauty!

  • AD80 on July 30, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    Mr. Andy - you made me laugh on an otherwise dull day at the office. The build up of your questions is great, and the last question answers it all!

  • Arnab on July 30, 2009, 7:20 GMT

    AHAHAHAHAHA! had me laughin aLOT brutally honest answers, mixed with some brutally ridiculous, i love that ur not showing any bias towards any side!

  • nava on July 30, 2009, 7:05 GMT

    Andy, you beauty! Bell didn't know so much about his own performances I'm sure!

  • Prasad DOLE. Cape Town. on July 30, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman cricket record is outstanding. It is certainly better then what I did not achieve. I was clean bowled 4 consecutive balls from the same bowler in a selection match. The bowler was selected but was so euphoric with his achievement that he never ever could bowl near the stumps again.

  • Shashi on July 30, 2009, 6:44 GMT

    "Will there ever be another Test pitch with genuine pace and bounce in it?" Good one !!!!

  • Graz on July 30, 2009, 6:31 GMT

    Love your work Andy, wish I could get your Ashes podcast in Australia.

    5.C 6.B 7.A 8.C 9.C Only in Australia and South Africa

  • RAKESH DHAKA on July 30, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    england is going to win third test

  • rajesh on July 30, 2009, 6:08 GMT

    hi andy..this is first time i m commenting...i m a big fan of ur blog...i just love ur sarcasm and wacky stats...how do u manage to collect such arbit stats?....amazing ....this was a brilliant quiz...for ur 5 Q...i just hope we have a tie!!...and the options u gave for 6 Q was just mindblowing!!...continue ur good work

  • Adam on July 30, 2009, 6:05 GMT

    5. (e) Match abandoned without a ball bowled. 6. (d) However, coating the outfield with a green pigment and dressing the fielding side in jungle camouflage may alleviate aforementioned problems. 8. (a) Australia does not have Shane Warne to constantly sledge Ian Bell about his appearance and will see him revert to his normal average. 9. (e) All of the above.

  • Aubs on July 30, 2009, 5:58 GMT

    Considering this is a comedy article, the options for question 9 sure made me depressed. The truth cuts deep sometimes.

  • RAHUL on July 30, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    Awesome!!!Especially t one that calculates bell's avg as 240 by 2013...does it also mean he is gonna avg almost 500 in 2015???Imagine

  • J Llo on July 30, 2009, 5:31 GMT

    In answer to 8: I wouldnt be surprised if Rudi Koertzen is found in the morning with a stump through his heart, Fosters scattered round his hotel room, and Australia going on to win 3-1.

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  • J Llo on July 30, 2009, 5:31 GMT

    In answer to 8: I wouldnt be surprised if Rudi Koertzen is found in the morning with a stump through his heart, Fosters scattered round his hotel room, and Australia going on to win 3-1.

  • RAHUL on July 30, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    Awesome!!!Especially t one that calculates bell's avg as 240 by 2013...does it also mean he is gonna avg almost 500 in 2015???Imagine

  • Aubs on July 30, 2009, 5:58 GMT

    Considering this is a comedy article, the options for question 9 sure made me depressed. The truth cuts deep sometimes.

  • Adam on July 30, 2009, 6:05 GMT

    5. (e) Match abandoned without a ball bowled. 6. (d) However, coating the outfield with a green pigment and dressing the fielding side in jungle camouflage may alleviate aforementioned problems. 8. (a) Australia does not have Shane Warne to constantly sledge Ian Bell about his appearance and will see him revert to his normal average. 9. (e) All of the above.

  • rajesh on July 30, 2009, 6:08 GMT

    hi andy..this is first time i m commenting...i m a big fan of ur blog...i just love ur sarcasm and wacky stats...how do u manage to collect such arbit stats?....amazing ....this was a brilliant quiz...for ur 5 Q...i just hope we have a tie!!...and the options u gave for 6 Q was just mindblowing!!...continue ur good work

  • RAKESH DHAKA on July 30, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    england is going to win third test

  • Graz on July 30, 2009, 6:31 GMT

    Love your work Andy, wish I could get your Ashes podcast in Australia.

    5.C 6.B 7.A 8.C 9.C Only in Australia and South Africa

  • Shashi on July 30, 2009, 6:44 GMT

    "Will there ever be another Test pitch with genuine pace and bounce in it?" Good one !!!!

  • Prasad DOLE. Cape Town. on July 30, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman cricket record is outstanding. It is certainly better then what I did not achieve. I was clean bowled 4 consecutive balls from the same bowler in a selection match. The bowler was selected but was so euphoric with his achievement that he never ever could bowl near the stumps again.

  • nava on July 30, 2009, 7:05 GMT

    Andy, you beauty! Bell didn't know so much about his own performances I'm sure!