July 20, 2011

Now he’s the enforcer, now he isn’t

Saturday, 16th July Sri Lanka’s new interim coach has warned his players to be wary of Australia.

Saturday, 16th July Sri Lanka’s new interim coach has warned his players to be wary of Australia.

“They will be like a wounded tiger after losing the Ashes and the World Cup and they will be hungry.”

A wounded tiger? Really? I don’t blame Rumesh for trying to whip up a bit of pre-series hype, but I fear those Sri Lankans who do turn up expecting a wounded tiger are going to be a bit disappointed when they find themselves watching an asthmatic possum with a dodgy hip.

Sunday, 17th July The ICC is toying with the idea of a timeless Test to settle the Test Championship in 2013. I’m all for taking Test cricket back to its roots, but I’m not sure they’ve really thought this one through. Let me spell out for you the potential horror of the situation.

This Championship-deciding Test match could conceivably involve England. England means Cook and Trott. On a Lord’s featherbed. For days on end. And that, my friends, is clearly a violation of the UN Convention on Human Rights.

Monday, 18th July There’s a spot of bother at Team England HQ and it’s all to do with English cricket’s favourite blond. Apart from holding the world record for teapotting and being handy with a scowl, just what exactly is Stuart’s role?

“We want him to be the enforcer in our team. There is no better bowler in the world than Stuart at bowling bouncers.”

David Saker, England’s bowling facilitator, spells it out for us. Apart from the fact that the baby-faced Broad is only slightly more intimidating than James Anderson, which is to say, not very intimidating at all, that does at least make it clear why the lanky tantrum-thrower is in the team. But hang on a minute.

“I’ve heard some crazy stuff about him being an enforcer. His job is not to rough up the opposition. It is not to be this ridiculous enforcer.”

So says Andy Flower. Now I don’t know what to think. Next time Stuart fires it ineffectively down the leg side, do we assume it’s an enforcement wide to rough up the fine-leg fielder, or a putting-it-on-a-nagging-length kind of wide?

And when you add his neither-one-thing-nor-the-other-bowling to his occasionally effective but often disappointing batting, it seems that Broad is in danger of becoming the classiest bits-and-pieces player in English cricket. Never mind the new Ian Botham, at the moment he’s the new Mark Ealham.

Tuesday, 19th July What is it with Steve Waugh and lie detectors? He’s been banging on about them again today. Was he a big Jerry Springer fan? Or is he just taking his theory of mental disintegration to the next level? This time he went to the trouble of getting himself all wired up. He knows he isn’t corrupt, you see, so just by passing the test he proved that it works. Unless he was lying, of course.

Anyway, polygraphs are so dull. There must be other unscientific methods of rooting out corruption that are a bit edgier. How about graphology? I bet dodgy cricketers have really shifty-looking vowels. Maybe we could scrutinise tea leaves. I happen to know, for example, that after questioning by police, the dregs in Salman Butt’s mug apparently formed themselves into a perfect $ sign. And of course, there’s always astrology: “With the moon in Venus at the moment, Pisceans will be particularly susceptible to accepting brown envelopes from strangers in hotel bars.”

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • fanedlive on July 21, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    Lol this is good. Loved the timeless test bit. The top 2 will probably be SA and India, but still. Good read, but I noted some bias against Australia. As a Saffer, it doesn't faze me too much though :D

  • fanedlive on July 21, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    Fantastic read! Loved all 4 pieces.

  • fanedlive on July 21, 2011, 2:28 GMT

    LOL...Amazing piece...especially the finish to the first two paragraphs!!!

  • fanedlive on July 21, 2011, 2:08 GMT

    Andrew Hughes article about lie detector tests was bordering on the ridiculous or was this his intention?If so he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. The evidence clearly shows an increase in corruption and perhaps Hughes could spend his time trying to find a solution rather than simply denigrating Steve Waughs quite reasonable suggestion.While lie detectors results are not admissible in English courts and while the English legal system is extremely fair and just,it is not without faults.The tests are apparently regarded as about 96-98% accurate which is surely good enough to warrant a deeper investigation of possible breaches.In any event,far better than Hughes oh so whimsical ideas re tea leaf readings and astrology. If Stuart Broad needs to work on his accuracy,Hughes needs to develop his sense of humour.

  • fanedlive on July 20, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    Great article. I'm and ENG fan, living in NZ and will be glued to this series. I'm praying for Bresnans inclusion over Broad, who's simply way too far from any sort of form to be picked surely ? Plus Bresnan can actually bat, as opposed to Broad who looks so limp it's toe curling. I would also go for Finn or Shazad of Broad, but that won;t happen either. Fascinating to see whether he can hold his one day place over Brasnan who far out classed him in the last couple of outings.

  • fanedlive on July 20, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    Hmm... Yawn.......

  • fanedlive on July 20, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    He is indeed, currently, the new Mark Ealham. Or the new Craig White. Or the new Chris Lewis. Or the new pre-2004 Andrew Flintoff. Essentially, he is every unbelievably irritating, under-achieving bits-and-pieces player that England have consistently produced. I really, really find him irritating as a cricketer. All badly directed bowling and conceited posturing. Drop him, bring in Bresnan and introduce humility to Stuart's intensely finite self-awareness.

  • fanedlive on July 20, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    "...the dregs in Salman Butt’s mug apparently formed themselves into a perfect $ sign.." that was really funny, Andrew!

  • fanedlive on July 20, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    nice one andrew.. except for sehwag you and zaltzman are the only entertainers in this cricket world.. god bless your witty mind..

  • fanedlive on July 20, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    i know a method. Make them watch all night shymalan movies. That will do it. :)

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