England June 1, 2011

If Cook don’t get ya, Trott will

An appraisal of England’s fine pair of anaesthesiologists
26

Saturday, 28th May Watching Cook and Trott bat today it occurred to me, in those brief moments between naps, that the medical profession is missing a trick. Such is the anaesthetic potential of England’s most prolific run-gatherers that it can’t be long before doctors are prescribing a dose of Trott and Cook for insomniacs, and anaesthetists are playing unedited highlights of their exploits to patients about to undergo minor surgery.

How to describe them doing their thing today? It was like watching two brick walls, each recently painted a different shade of grey, in order to find out which would dry first. And when they weren’t dull, they were annoying, particularly Trott, whose excavatory habit has reached the outer limits of screamingly irritating. Watching him is like sitting on a train next to someone who continually drums their fingers. Or listening to Danny Morrison commentate for more than 45 seconds.

Sunday, 29th May IPL viewing figures are down. This is not surprising. There has been much talk of a tipping point in audience interest, but I think it’s not so much a tipping point as a choking point. For example, I think I’d enjoy being hand-fed from a bowl of peeled grapes but not if 74 grapes were shoved into my gullet in rapid succession whilst someone was pinching my nose and holding my jaws open. It would be even less pleasant if the forced grape-gorging were to be accompanied by Siva shouting in my ear that I was experiencing a Citi Moment of Indigestion.

Monday, 30th May What a silly match. Some argue that this is the beauty of Test cricket, that for four days nothing occurs, then, long after everyone has gone home, something happens. This isn’t much of an argument or a selling point. It’s like promoting a package holiday tour and promising that 80% of the time you’ll be bored out of your skull, but things will really pick up just before you catch your flight home. Fine, well, in that case, let’s just cut to the chase. One afternoon, 20 overs a side. We could even give it a catchy name, like “Twenty20” or some such.

The final day’s high jinks were not the only silly thing about this Test. A year ago KP was undone hilariously by Shakib Al Hasan, and in Cardiff his contortions against Herath were similarly comic, his limbs flailing in all directions, like a giraffe learning to ice skate, as he contrived to discover hitherto unseen menace in one of Rangana‘s slow straightish ones. But like the punchline to your favourite comedy sketch, the fact that you know it’s coming doesn’t make it any less amusing.

Tuesday, 31st May I’m not sure how many times Shahid Afridi has retired. Statsguru is no help on the matter, since it fails to list this or many other statistical player essentials, such as number of breaches of the ICC Code of Conduct, pages in autobiography, tweets per day and so on. This latest Afridi sabbatical would require a new column in the records as it is a “conditional” retirement – conditional, that is, upon the entire PCB being replaced. I love Shahid, but he is flakier than a crate of breakfast cereal, and he has now achieved the remarkable feat of making Ijaz Butt look like a reasonable man for five minutes.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Aditya Naikdesai on June 2, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    @Harrison: they did play 3 different left arm spinners during the tests. but what surprised me was clarke bowling just 3 - 5 overs in the whole series.

    @ Rob & ne1 else that find the IPL commentators irritating, they're forced to be that way by the broadcasters and sponsors. Never see Andrew or any of the other Cricinfo writers taking on or rubbishing the sponsors for that.

    The same guys when covering Test matches go about their business quietly. And by the way, years ago when Henry Blofeld used to blast off about how "ITTSS A BIIGGGIIIEEEEEEEE" - nobody minded. Well, why mind the people who grow up listening to him and others like him.

  • Mahesh on June 2, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    "Like a giraffe learning to ice skate"...ha ha ha... I can picture a PIP view of both KP and the giraffe...ha..ha... that was good!

  • Anonymous on June 2, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    Whats with the Danny Morrison crack? far less annoying than any aussie commentator

  • Mark on June 1, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    I loved this article, but unlike many people I actually really enjoy watching Cook and Trott bat, now listening to Danny Morrison commentate for 45 seconds is something I cannot stand. the paragraph on the IPL... pure genius so funny well done

  • Venkat on June 1, 2011, 21:40 GMT

    I think the brick comment was original.

  • Abinav on June 1, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    Given that PCB has a track record of recalling retired players to captain their sides, I would say Shahid actually has a pretty shrewd tactic rolled up.

  • Jay on June 1, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Promise to prescribe cook and trott as regular therapy for sedation .

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 1, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    Most Pakistan retirements have been conditional over the history. Afridi is honest enough to admit it.

  • Jackiel on June 1, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    If you don't like Twenty 20 and you don't like Test cricket, er what are you doing as a cricket writer? But the problem might be attention threshold. So there will be no pleasing you. 99 per cent of those following the game loved its mad finale. A cricket collapse is one of the wonders of the world. I've witnessed 2. England 51 all out Sabina Park. Absolutely electric atmosphere. Perhaps you were asleep?

  • Marlon on June 1, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    This was one of the funniest cricket pieces that I've ever read. I was laughing so hard. I love the part about comparing KP batting against Herath to a giraffe learning to ice skate. Great job Andrew!

  • Aditya Naikdesai on June 2, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    @Harrison: they did play 3 different left arm spinners during the tests. but what surprised me was clarke bowling just 3 - 5 overs in the whole series.

    @ Rob & ne1 else that find the IPL commentators irritating, they're forced to be that way by the broadcasters and sponsors. Never see Andrew or any of the other Cricinfo writers taking on or rubbishing the sponsors for that.

    The same guys when covering Test matches go about their business quietly. And by the way, years ago when Henry Blofeld used to blast off about how "ITTSS A BIIGGGIIIEEEEEEEE" - nobody minded. Well, why mind the people who grow up listening to him and others like him.

  • Mahesh on June 2, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    "Like a giraffe learning to ice skate"...ha ha ha... I can picture a PIP view of both KP and the giraffe...ha..ha... that was good!

  • Anonymous on June 2, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    Whats with the Danny Morrison crack? far less annoying than any aussie commentator

  • Mark on June 1, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    I loved this article, but unlike many people I actually really enjoy watching Cook and Trott bat, now listening to Danny Morrison commentate for 45 seconds is something I cannot stand. the paragraph on the IPL... pure genius so funny well done

  • Venkat on June 1, 2011, 21:40 GMT

    I think the brick comment was original.

  • Abinav on June 1, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    Given that PCB has a track record of recalling retired players to captain their sides, I would say Shahid actually has a pretty shrewd tactic rolled up.

  • Jay on June 1, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Promise to prescribe cook and trott as regular therapy for sedation .

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 1, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    Most Pakistan retirements have been conditional over the history. Afridi is honest enough to admit it.

  • Jackiel on June 1, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    If you don't like Twenty 20 and you don't like Test cricket, er what are you doing as a cricket writer? But the problem might be attention threshold. So there will be no pleasing you. 99 per cent of those following the game loved its mad finale. A cricket collapse is one of the wonders of the world. I've witnessed 2. England 51 all out Sabina Park. Absolutely electric atmosphere. Perhaps you were asleep?

  • Marlon on June 1, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    This was one of the funniest cricket pieces that I've ever read. I was laughing so hard. I love the part about comparing KP batting against Herath to a giraffe learning to ice skate. Great job Andrew!

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on June 1, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    If you "love" Afridi Andrew then you should be supporting him. He's the one in the right, and is doing the right thing by standing up to the PCB goons. Long Live LALA Afridi!!! P.S. Afridi was only flaky with Test cricket which he never really wanted to play anyway.

    Afridi is an old school gunslinger and he's gonna gun down the PCB (metaphorically speaking).

  • praxis on June 1, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    I am still laughing my guts out! That paragraph you wrote one IPL... You are the best, man!

  • naren on June 1, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    loved it.

  • harkaran on June 1, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    simply LOLworthy !!!!!!

  • Sid on June 1, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    "Some argue that this is the beauty of Test cricket, that for four days nothing occurs, then, long after everyone has gone home, something happens", AWESOME !

  • Sameer on June 1, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    @Harrison: No it is not strange. That is how out of depth Australia are at the moment.

  • Sid on June 1, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    Hilarious - "Or listening to Danny Morrison commentate for more than 45 seconds." and even trying to pause Sidhu for more than 5 seconds

  • Krish on June 1, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    The latest game between Sri Lanka and England could be called "test cricket", test being verb and cricket being the object. The Sri Lankans and the English players tested the endurance of cricket to withstand so much boredom. In the end when they thought cricket was about to collapse Sri Lankans collapsed in a heap and allowed cricket to survive for another day.

  • Vishwajeet on June 1, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    he has now achieved the remarkable feat of making Ijaz Butt look like a reasonable man for five minutes!!!

  • David on June 1, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    ...or, conversly, a bit of subtlety and nuance could be added to Twenty20 by stretching the game out over five days giving each team the chance to bat twice and making it a real test of cricketing skill and strategy - a real "test", hey that's an idea for a name, could be called Test cricket. Could it ever catch on?

  • Andy on June 1, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    Danny Morrison commentate for more than 45 seconds Citi Moment of Indigestion.

    Conditional ROFL.. karbon chain breaks Excellent! keep publishing!

  • A. Harrison on June 1, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    If Pietersen's problems against left-arm spin are so predictably, it's strange that the Australians couldn't find a left-arm spinner who could get him out before he'd got 220

  • chris on June 1, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    Great article, hilarious. I enjoyed some of the IPL - but they really need to shorten it. And I could also do without the lame Citibank comments, the fake expressions of shock/happiness on the hot dancers faces (like they give a toss about the cricket) and endless closeups of Bollywood stars and IPL owners. It defo had its moments tho, Gayle was sensational.

    Go easy on Trott, him and Gary Kirsten were our two most successful SA cricketers this year. Unfortunately neither of them were performing for South Africa..I hear you tho that test barring the last session was abysmally boring.

  • Andrew on June 1, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    a Citi moment of Indigestion, I think you should coin that phrase for any bouts of digestive-tract related illness.

  • Aditya on June 1, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Awesome...... Not sure how many time Shahid Afridi has retired..... Ha ha ha ha, Not sure how many time he will retire in future :P

  • Rob Slack on June 1, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    beyond "the outer limits of screamingly irritating.", Andrew.

    (And I'm, not talking about cricketers)

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  • Rob Slack on June 1, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    beyond "the outer limits of screamingly irritating.", Andrew.

    (And I'm, not talking about cricketers)

  • Aditya on June 1, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Awesome...... Not sure how many time Shahid Afridi has retired..... Ha ha ha ha, Not sure how many time he will retire in future :P

  • Andrew on June 1, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    a Citi moment of Indigestion, I think you should coin that phrase for any bouts of digestive-tract related illness.

  • chris on June 1, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    Great article, hilarious. I enjoyed some of the IPL - but they really need to shorten it. And I could also do without the lame Citibank comments, the fake expressions of shock/happiness on the hot dancers faces (like they give a toss about the cricket) and endless closeups of Bollywood stars and IPL owners. It defo had its moments tho, Gayle was sensational.

    Go easy on Trott, him and Gary Kirsten were our two most successful SA cricketers this year. Unfortunately neither of them were performing for South Africa..I hear you tho that test barring the last session was abysmally boring.

  • A. Harrison on June 1, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    If Pietersen's problems against left-arm spin are so predictably, it's strange that the Australians couldn't find a left-arm spinner who could get him out before he'd got 220

  • Andy on June 1, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    Danny Morrison commentate for more than 45 seconds Citi Moment of Indigestion.

    Conditional ROFL.. karbon chain breaks Excellent! keep publishing!

  • David on June 1, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    ...or, conversly, a bit of subtlety and nuance could be added to Twenty20 by stretching the game out over five days giving each team the chance to bat twice and making it a real test of cricketing skill and strategy - a real "test", hey that's an idea for a name, could be called Test cricket. Could it ever catch on?

  • Vishwajeet on June 1, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    he has now achieved the remarkable feat of making Ijaz Butt look like a reasonable man for five minutes!!!

  • Krish on June 1, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    The latest game between Sri Lanka and England could be called "test cricket", test being verb and cricket being the object. The Sri Lankans and the English players tested the endurance of cricket to withstand so much boredom. In the end when they thought cricket was about to collapse Sri Lankans collapsed in a heap and allowed cricket to survive for another day.

  • Sid on June 1, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    Hilarious - "Or listening to Danny Morrison commentate for more than 45 seconds." and even trying to pause Sidhu for more than 5 seconds