March 29, 2011

New Zealand are the new Australia

Andrew Hughes
Kyle Mills bowls in the nets before the ODI against India, Guwahati, November 27, 2010
Mills: not a face you want in your face at breakfast  © AFP
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Saturday, 26th March Simon Doull, though he was loving most of what transpired in Dhaka, was not loving the intervention of Mr Kyle Mills. His goading of Faf du Plessis breached another of those codes that cricketers make up as they go along. Doully reckons its okay for blokes in the middle to sledge, but as the Victorians used to say, gentlemen who come onto the field of play wearing coloured bibs should be seen and not heard. Even though I’ve never heard of this rule before, I kind of agree with him.

But Nathan Astle doesn’t.

“It was a great move to get in the South Africans’ faces because they don’t like it.”

And why, exactly, was it great? It isn’t that hard to find things the South Africans don’t like. I’m sure they wouldn’t like being slapped with a four-foot haddock or having a barrel full of cold custard tipped over their heads or discovering that someone has set fire to their bootlaces. I dare say if Kyle Mills were in my face, I’d be none too pleased either, particularly if I were trying to eat a boiled egg or brush my teeth. If annoying people is now to be considered an achievement then it surely can’t be long before we are toasting Sir Graeme Swann or Lord Nicholas of Outtahere.

Anyway, this wasn’t a subtle piece of match-changing mental disintegration. It was one little boy going up to another little boy and saying, “Na-na na-na na na! We’re going to wi-in!” Why does this matter? Well, it matters to those many cricket lovers who traditionally at this stage of a World Cup turn to supporting those nice, plucky boys from New Zealand. If they’re going to go all Australian on us, we may decide to take our fair-weather armchair-bound support elsewhere.

Monday, 28th March Julian Hunte has been re-elected as president of the WICB for the third time, which is quite an achievement. However, aside from the clear savings in headed notepaper and door signage that his re-election will bring, it is not entirely clear that this result is a good thing. Far be it from me to doubt the wisdom of the WICB electorate, but a cynic might politely suggest that his first two terms were not exactly over-stocked in the success department. But El Presidente is having none of it:

"Thus far, this board has had significant progress in revitalising West Indies A Team programmes, women's cricket, Caribbean Twenty20 and the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket to ensure that our cricket is strong again at all levels."

Well, not quite all levels. There is the small matter of the premature World Cup exit and then the inconvenient trivialities of the all-time low ranking of the Test, one-day international and Twenty20 Teams. But hey, let’s not dwell on all that unpleasantness. Perhaps he has a plan. Maybe he intends to fast-track some of the more promising ten-year-olds from the Kiddy Cricket programme directly into the Test team. Who knows, one of them might even be worth a look as captain.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by Jaylynn on (September 6, 2011, 20:02 GMT)

Good to see a tnaelt at work. I can't match that.

Posted by Gerrilyn on (September 6, 2011, 4:58 GMT)

HHIS I should have tohhugt of that!

Posted by Lancelot Lightfoot on (March 31, 2011, 12:05 GMT)

Well done NZ!!

Rugby World Cup Chokers beat Cricket World Cup Chokers, I am sure The All Blacks wiil return the favour to the Springboks at RWC 2011 in NZ

Posted by SLfan on (March 31, 2011, 11:27 GMT)

@ John Ward - Hats off to you mate...Me too is a strong supporter of the teams which play the cricket with right spirit. That's why I WAS a supporter of New Zealand for a long period, but not any more! @ Stephen L - Are you kidding ??? which manners were back to normal in the game against Sri Lanka ?? Whole world witnessed the behavior of New Zealanders in the semi final...!

Posted by SLfan on (March 31, 2011, 11:16 GMT)

A strange and ugly (not from physical appearance but from the behavior) looking New Zealand side...! Never seen a New Zealand side with this kind of behavior. Rather it is unusual for a side who has won the Spirit of the cricket award several times !...Shame on you guys... I WAS a fan of New Zealand cricket team but not anymore!!!

Posted by Doggy on (March 31, 2011, 5:05 GMT)

I hate Aussie team because they look like bullies-who -doesn't-know-anything-else when they resort to sledging. And I know I am not alone in that category. I hope Kiwi's won't go on the same path and lose whatever number of international fans they may have now. Let your cricket do the talking instead!

Posted by John Ward on (March 30, 2011, 6:29 GMT)

Yes, I agree - after New Zealand's unsporting behaviour I am glad they lost yesterday. Not that Sri Lanka are always better with a captain like Sangakkara. I like to support teams that play in the right spirit of the game, with no sledging, but they're getting hard to find.

Posted by Dirk Armstrong on (March 30, 2011, 5:05 GMT)

It appears as though Andrew is unfamilar with the ultra-competitive nature of international sport. Oh well, what can you do?

Posted by akjha on (March 30, 2011, 5:01 GMT)

new zeland naver make new australia

Posted by Grubb on (March 30, 2011, 4:58 GMT)

To be fair, Faf de Plessis had made a few public and rather disparaging remarks about the NZers before the game, along the lines of 'we could beat these guys in our sleep.' I think the NZ lads were asking if he was ready to retract those statements or not. I agree that it wasn't a good look, but I can understand the sentiments behind it.

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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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