Ashes November 20, 2010

All's well with IPL 4

But not with ITV which has the gall to show Ashes highlights for free
12

Tuesday, 16th November IPL fans will be pleased to hear that preparations for the next installment of the world’s favourite Indian cricket league have been unaffected, despite all of the litigious shenanigans of recent weeks. There have though been one or two changes to the format. IPL 4 will consist of an initial round-robin stage of legal actions, counter suits and disciplinary hearings, at the end of which the last franchise to be disbanded will claim the title. In the event of two franchises being banned at the same time, the one with the fewest of Lalit Modi’s relatives on its board will be declared the winner.

Wednesday, 17th November Giles Clarke’s ongoing campaign to ensure that no one can see the England team play cricket today suffered a setback. It emerged that ITV will be showing highlights of the Ashes for free. Yes, you heard it right, for free. It’s a scandal. Fortunately, the highlights will be on the middle of the night and viewers will have to apply to the ECB for a special exemption certificate if they want to partake in this act of wanton selfishness. And of course, it’s on ITV, which is itself something of a deterrent.

The big question is who will be in the studio? Normally, the advantage of employing ex-internationals is that they can offer us valuable insights. But this is the Ashes. The only thing that the likes of Alec Stewart and Graeme Hick can tell us about playing against Australia is how to lose in the shortest possible time. They probably won’t even show up until the last Test, when, with the pressure off and expectations suitably low, the men from the nineties will turn in a stirring, but ultimately futile display of punditry.

Thursday, 18th November The Ashes offers many opportunities for spin-off publications and I see no reason not to cash in. I am currently working on my own book, entitled “Deconstructing the Soundbite: Semantics in the Post Modern Sporting and Media Milieu. For Dummies”. There is no shortage of material. Take this from Troy Cooley:

“Mitch brings a nice set of skills to our team and we accept that with his action, he’s not going to get 100 balls in the right area at the right time.”

What does this tell us? Firstly it reveals the enormous admiration Cooley has for the tattooed slinger. He looks upon Mitch as a figure of prodigious strength and power, reminiscent of the mythical giant Briareus, capable of bowling 100 balls simultaneously. But at the same time he is preparing us for the possibility that not every one of Mitch’s 100 arms will be functioning with optimum accuracy and that low flying aircraft in the Brisbane area should take particular care next week.

Friday, 19th November Harbhajan isn’t happy, a situation that is not good for India, for Indian cricket or for the furniture in Bhajji’s apartment. According to India’s premier allrounder, most of the pitches in that part of the world are like roads. Coincidentally, many Indian roads are like five-day old pitches. Perhaps some sort of exchange programme between groundsmen and road maintenance engineers might be the answer?

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Saqib on November 20, 2010, 23:46 GMT

    Friday 19th November comment about Indian roads being like 5 day old pitches is hilarious! Keep it up!

  • Sen on November 20, 2010, 23:14 GMT

    My favs "the one with the fewest of Lalit Modi’s relatives on its board will be declared the winner"; "is how to lose in the shortest possible time"; "many Indian roads are like five-day old pitches" - You are going to get an earful or rather an inboxful.

  • D N Prahlad on November 20, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Dear Sirs,

    This only proves that Harbhajan has either never played on roads or has forgotten his road playing days.

    I have spent significant time playing with tennis balls on roads and I can testify that all roads are great turning wickets but they turn a bit slowly and a good road bowler finds it tough to play on turf wickets as there is not much of turn on turf wickets.

  • Ali Shah on November 20, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    "The only thing that the likes of Alec Stewart and Graeme Hick can tell us about playing against Australia is how to lose in the shortest possible time."

  • Adarsh Nalam on November 20, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    Guess all of us have to churn out pieces to deadlines in spite of writer's block. Contrived and barely funny. Stark contrast to your usual pieces but this was genuinely excruciating.

  • kundan on November 20, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    gud, better, best...the last one (though scathing), absolutely true :(

  • CricketPissek on November 20, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    well done andrew.. i must admit i've never been a fan of your articles, but this was short and snappy and i loved it! harsh but true statement about ITV :-D

  • Rohan on November 20, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    lol

  • AV on November 20, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    "Coincidentally, many Indian roads are like five-day old pitches. Perhaps some sort of exchange programme between groundsmen and road maintenance engineers might be the answer?" Pure gold.

  • Satwik on November 20, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Pitches and roads! right on the money boss! I can't believe i never saw the similarity before. great 16th, 18th and 19th.

  • Saqib on November 20, 2010, 23:46 GMT

    Friday 19th November comment about Indian roads being like 5 day old pitches is hilarious! Keep it up!

  • Sen on November 20, 2010, 23:14 GMT

    My favs "the one with the fewest of Lalit Modi’s relatives on its board will be declared the winner"; "is how to lose in the shortest possible time"; "many Indian roads are like five-day old pitches" - You are going to get an earful or rather an inboxful.

  • D N Prahlad on November 20, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Dear Sirs,

    This only proves that Harbhajan has either never played on roads or has forgotten his road playing days.

    I have spent significant time playing with tennis balls on roads and I can testify that all roads are great turning wickets but they turn a bit slowly and a good road bowler finds it tough to play on turf wickets as there is not much of turn on turf wickets.

  • Ali Shah on November 20, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    "The only thing that the likes of Alec Stewart and Graeme Hick can tell us about playing against Australia is how to lose in the shortest possible time."

  • Adarsh Nalam on November 20, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    Guess all of us have to churn out pieces to deadlines in spite of writer's block. Contrived and barely funny. Stark contrast to your usual pieces but this was genuinely excruciating.

  • kundan on November 20, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    gud, better, best...the last one (though scathing), absolutely true :(

  • CricketPissek on November 20, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    well done andrew.. i must admit i've never been a fan of your articles, but this was short and snappy and i loved it! harsh but true statement about ITV :-D

  • Rohan on November 20, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    lol

  • AV on November 20, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    "Coincidentally, many Indian roads are like five-day old pitches. Perhaps some sort of exchange programme between groundsmen and road maintenance engineers might be the answer?" Pure gold.

  • Satwik on November 20, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Pitches and roads! right on the money boss! I can't believe i never saw the similarity before. great 16th, 18th and 19th.

  • Sravan on November 20, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Ha ha... Hiliarious..especially the last point about the roads in India... and India's premier allrounder?? satire at its best... :)

  • Pradeep Roger on November 20, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    Nice one especially the last line..."Perhaps some sort of exchange programme between groundsmen and road maintenance engineers might be the answer"....loving it Andy :)

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  • Pradeep Roger on November 20, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    Nice one especially the last line..."Perhaps some sort of exchange programme between groundsmen and road maintenance engineers might be the answer"....loving it Andy :)

  • Sravan on November 20, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Ha ha... Hiliarious..especially the last point about the roads in India... and India's premier allrounder?? satire at its best... :)

  • Satwik on November 20, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Pitches and roads! right on the money boss! I can't believe i never saw the similarity before. great 16th, 18th and 19th.

  • AV on November 20, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    "Coincidentally, many Indian roads are like five-day old pitches. Perhaps some sort of exchange programme between groundsmen and road maintenance engineers might be the answer?" Pure gold.

  • Rohan on November 20, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    lol

  • CricketPissek on November 20, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    well done andrew.. i must admit i've never been a fan of your articles, but this was short and snappy and i loved it! harsh but true statement about ITV :-D

  • kundan on November 20, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    gud, better, best...the last one (though scathing), absolutely true :(

  • Adarsh Nalam on November 20, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    Guess all of us have to churn out pieces to deadlines in spite of writer's block. Contrived and barely funny. Stark contrast to your usual pieces but this was genuinely excruciating.

  • Ali Shah on November 20, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    "The only thing that the likes of Alec Stewart and Graeme Hick can tell us about playing against Australia is how to lose in the shortest possible time."

  • D N Prahlad on November 20, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Dear Sirs,

    This only proves that Harbhajan has either never played on roads or has forgotten his road playing days.

    I have spent significant time playing with tennis balls on roads and I can testify that all roads are great turning wickets but they turn a bit slowly and a good road bowler finds it tough to play on turf wickets as there is not much of turn on turf wickets.