October 6, 2010


Now on sale: Ricky Ponting wind-up doll

Andrew Hughes
Ricky Ponting pulls strongly during his 78, England v Australia, 4th Test, Headingley, 1st day, August 7, 2009
Ponting: temper, temper  © PA Photos


Friday, 1st October Watching little Ricky lose it with Zaheer today was just like old times and particularly welcome at the headquarters of Hughes Cricket Toys Limited, where we are well into the marketing phase of our latest product. Sales of the Graeme Swann “Catch a Kitty” board game have slackened of late, so just in time for Christmas, we are delighted to announce the launch of the Ricky Ponting Wind-Up Doll.

Kids will have hours of fun with this pint-sized plastic replica of old Punter himself. Push his buttons and hear him splutter with rage before unleashing a string of semi-audible Aussie expletives. Or twist his nose out of joint and watch him stomp round and round in circles, brandishing his plastic bat until his baggy green slips over his eyes and he falls over. Get ‘em now while his captaincy lasts.

Sunday, 3rd October The cricket in Mohali hasn’t been bad, but the real action is in the booth, where we are witnessing a fascinating clash for the Hogg-Shastri Lack Of Objectivity Trophy.

Stout Brad is clearly a graduate of the Ian Healy school of commentary, though with more roaring. He has so far managed to refrain from launching into the opening bars of "Advance Australia Fair", but you feel it could happen any moment.

The Ravster is of course, a smoother operator than his commentary chum. He gets the job done in subtler fashion. Take, for instance, the issue of the catch that dismissed Dhoni today. The big guy declared surprise that a catch that had clearly been taken was given, on the grounds that you usually can’t see that kind of catch clearly on replay even though this time you could. Nice work, sir.

Monday, 4th October It appears that the list of suitors for the Olympic Stadium now includes Essex County Cricket Club. Now I don’t mean to be unkind, but given that the stadium in question holds 80,000, I’m not sure that the tiny band of Essex regulars will quite do the facilities justice. Still, in the same spirit, I have made my own application to use the Olympic Stadium for a couple of family picnics in May 2013. I have offered to do my own catering and promised not to let my daughter draw on the plastic seats.

Tuesday, 5th October I’m glad that it was India’s youngest spinner who secured the winning runs because up until then it had appeared to be “Pick on Ojha” day at the PCA Stadium. First, Siva claimed he looked like he was going to cry whilst waiting to bat, and then, while standing at the non-striker’s end, he was on the receiving end of that rarest of phenomena: a VVS verbal tirade. The four-letter earful had commentators baffled and Ojha looking like a guilty puppy who knows he has done something wrong but isn’t sure what.

By the end, the stands that had been empty for much of the game were heaving. I like the attitude of the Indian crowds. Test cricket may be the most enthralling flavour of the sport. But it isn’t enthralling seven hours a day. Sometimes it is duller than listening to David Gower reading the shipping forecast. Rather than arriving two hours in advance with three packed meals, a thermos and a scorecard and sitting there all day, it makes far more sense to turn up when it gets exciting, then pop home to feed your parrot or clip your toenails during the quiet bits.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by Ellyanna on (September 6, 2011, 16:01 GMT)

Didn't know the forum rules allowed such brillniat posts.

Posted by Kenelm on (September 5, 2011, 13:27 GMT)

This is the perfect way to break down this infomration.

Posted by Martin on (October 27, 2010, 11:54 GMT)

Hahaha! 'Ricky Ponting Wind-up doll'! You may accuse me of recklessly brandishing oxymora, but that's actually quite a funny pun.

Posted by ghostkiller on (October 9, 2010, 9:21 GMT)

funny article Andrew xD aha I thought Shastri was a terrible commentator a few months ago too but he's really improved and striking a balance. Very sedate and informative during test cricket and ear-splitting in 20/20's o-, keep up the good work Ravi!!

Posted by sab on (October 7, 2010, 22:56 GMT)

Does your punter doll spit on its palm too :P Very well written article Gr8 job again!

Posted by Chris on (October 7, 2010, 19:27 GMT)

Ponting and Dhoni needs to find form


Posted by Jon on (October 7, 2010, 13:10 GMT)

Does the Ponting doll come with an Gary Pratt accessory, for pushing him over the edge?

Posted by sam on (October 7, 2010, 5:52 GMT)

Really agree with Andrew, about Punter,Indian crowd and Ravster may not be in that order........, the gem however is the silly pup Ojha, go man go regale us with more such stuff.

Posted by Raju Iyer on (October 7, 2010, 4:26 GMT)

Lovely writing, keep it up , mate!

Posted by Naveen on (October 7, 2010, 2:27 GMT)

Guys, Andrew is right. Though it was Arun Lal commentating with Brad Hogg when the Dhoni catch was taken by Watson, soon after that there was a change in commentary and Ravi Shastri took over and he clearly said that 'I've never seen any umpire give that out'. It is this statement that Andrew is referring to. P.S: Thank me Andy....

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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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