August 11, 2010

England

Sulky Stu’s sweetie-related tantrum

Andrew Hughes
Stuart Broad remonstrates with the umpire after a caught-behind appeal was turned down, England v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Edgbaston, August 8, 2010
“You know you’re going to have to give me all the licorice ones, don’t you? Else I’ll tell Dad”  © AFP
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Saturday, August 7th I understand that Pakistan’s representatives at the ICC are seeking to amend the outdated rules on catching. Specifically, they will ask for the whole of Law 32 to be struck from the Laws of Cricket on health and safety grounds. A spokesperson for the PCB claimed that players risked a nasty bruise if they attempted to catch the ball, and abuse from television pundits if they dropped it, and that this constituted a violation of their right not to be laughed at in the workplace.

Sunday, August 8th Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better for English cricket, it has been revealed that John Buchanan is to help the England players with their Ashes preparations. And big JB is already throwing up some fascinating ideas. For instance, the England management are said to be very keen on his five-captains-per-series proposal and are seriously considering the theories outlined in his bestselling pamphlet, “Setting Your Field the Feng Shui Way”. This innovative approach does away with the traditional method of placing fielders in areas where you expect the ball to go and instead focuses on arranging them at auspicious points on the field, to maximise the flow of cricket energy. Andrew Strauss has already implemented some of these suggestions, refusing to have more than two slips for long periods of the second Test on the grounds that negative energy usually escapes in the direction of third slip. As, from time to time, does the ball.

Monday, August 9th The fallout from Edgbaston continues. It has emerged that during the tea interval yesterday, England’s prettiest fast bowler approached the ECB’s head nutritionist to ask whether it might be okay if he had some sweeties. Upon being refused on the grounds that f had some sweeties, he wouldn’t want his tea, Sulky Stuart stuck out his bottom lip, stamped his foot and stormed out of the dressing room, insisting that it wasn’t fair, and furthermore that he hated everyone. Broad was later fined half his pocket money and grounded for the rest of the week; punishment that his captain Andrew Strauss feels was over the top. “As everyone knows, it’s the summer holidays and forcing a young lad like Stuey to stay indoors when all his mates are hanging around outside the chip shop is harsh. Adolescent petulance has always been part of his game and if we made him behave like a grown-up, he wouldn’t be able to bowl as fast.”

Tuesday, August 10th The latest from the Pakistan camp is that coach Waqar is contemplating some radical changes ahead of the third Test. The word is that the top six in the batting order will be dropped and replaced by Mohammad Yousuf. It is believed that top-secret analysis of Pakistan’s performances so far has demonstrated that dropping all these specialist batsmen is likely to have very little effect on the outcome of future games in terms of runs scored or catches taken, whilst it will offer significant savings in hotel and laundry bills and free up much needed bickering space in the dressing room.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by cricket pundit on (August 12, 2010, 11:27 GMT)

the point on a serious note along with your satire should ring a roar in the ears of pakistan cricket stake-holders. i doubt that they ever hear or read such things. butts/baris/saeeds and others in pakistan's cricket know this much about cricket that if you say the last point with a straight face to them, they will surely say, "oh, you are right, let me discuss this with the other people, changing 6 with one is really a great idea, great saving"!! you see, this is bound to come. try this, andrew, but with a straight face and serious eyes. good luck!

Posted by Gav on (August 12, 2010, 9:43 GMT)

ah.. Broady being such a petulent character and the quick rush of countrymen to protect him will only make England more satisfying to beat. Not that I think Pakistan will.

Posted by Taimur Khan on (August 12, 2010, 9:37 GMT)

Why is everyone lampooning Baby Broad? Looking like Dorian Gray in nankeens, he probably needs to prove his toddlerhood. Had it been Richards at the other end, he'd 've gotten spanked for sure. He still comes across more like an English Rose than Freddie Trueman, no matter how many balls he hurls. The hapless Pakistanis...in the four tests they've played this summer, the tail has comfortably outscored the top six (cannot remember anyone in the top 6 crossing the 50 mark except when Farhat rode his luck to 69). Butt, Farhat and Malik have no clue of their off stump, the Akmal brothers are clearly designed to dance down the dust bowls of the sub continent while the debutants manage to drag their way through the teens before holing out. The batting cannot flatter a poor county side and their feilding displays can be a winning entry at any bloopers contest. The new keeper is better than the man with the iron gloves but so is Geoffrey's mum. Bowlers are world class but its not enough!

Posted by Yassar on (August 12, 2010, 9:06 GMT)

Some hilarious comments there. On a serious note it is sad to see that Pakistan so far have not been able to give England a proper challenge as a result of incompetence by their cricketing administration. They are on the right path if they want to kill cricket in Pakistan.

The Pakistani bowling has been magnificent. Real talent. Hopefully with Yousuf now back in there may be a bit more of a fight with the bat. Would be good to get Younis back in as well.

Posted by Raja (CF) on (August 12, 2010, 7:19 GMT)

Wonderful piece of writing, Andrew. As usual. You've also come up with a brilliant name for the petualant, spoilt brat. From now on, he will be known as Sulky Stu. :-)

Loved the Feng Shui reference too. :-)

Keep writing. I love reading your articles.

Posted by Satwikrossbones on (August 12, 2010, 5:19 GMT)

First time reader of your column! Great Piece. Love the bit about village cricket in your about me section. In reply to comments, we've got two guys supporting broad!! seriously guys, i mean, i know you are entitled to your opinion but please dont let personal favourtism make you defend broad's actions. thats what the officials did.

Posted by bharat on (August 12, 2010, 5:15 GMT)

@Bill_Oddie: How successful is a bowler who gets tonked everywhere except in England? And moreover he is not a swing bowler. He is a "hit-the-deck" bowler who is supposed to be Englands go-to-guy everywhere else in the world. Comparing Mark Ramprakash with Stuey is not done. One is a batsman and the other a brat. Compare Caddick with Broad and probably you have some basis.

Posted by raghavendra on (August 12, 2010, 4:07 GMT)

"refusing to have more than two slips for long periods of the second Test on the grounds that negative energy usually escapes in the direction of third slip. As, from time to time, does the ball"

now we know why some captains set non obvious fields.

Posted by Len Rogers on (August 12, 2010, 1:54 GMT)

Aaah! Stuart Broad. Unfortunately, his tantrums show more talent than does his cricket. Isn't it interesting, the better the player, the better the behaviour (mostly). Stuart has the choir boy looks and the maturity to match it. Sorry, Stu, but petulance when the going gets a bit tough shows the opposition your weaknesses. Imagine the chatter he will get on the grounds in Australia. 'Can I have a sweetie, Stu?' 'Hey, you nearly tripped over your bottom lip again, Stu.' 'Hey, Stu, your mummy said to make sure you ask your daddy for a hankie when you cry.' Ozbuck

Posted by Rick on (August 12, 2010, 0:53 GMT)

To Tom, the passion that Broad showed was more apt for the WWE. What would have happened if the batsman had replied with throwing his bat back at Broad or the non-striker taking a swipe with his bat. This kind of passion is not good for the game.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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