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October 29, 2012

Cricket News Hurl

Jesse in whites

Jarrod Kimber
Jesse Ryder muscled 16 sixes on his way to 175, Australia A v New Zealanders, Brisbane, Day 4, November 27, 2011
Jesse Ryder is back to playing cricket, just as our robotic alien demigods always wanted  © Getty Images
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This is a new column. Otherwise I wouldn't have started with that line.

This is a new column about cricket news. There is a lot of cricket news. Cricket is a billion-dollar industry, and people talk about it a lot.

So I have decided to put together all the news (all the news I hear or care about, or just want to make fun of) in a super-long column so you can ignore all other cricket news outlets and just use it.

It's a once a week all-you-can-eat cricket news buffet, because you may have missed something when you were sleeping. Unless you read the Wellington Intelligentsia, you probably wouldn't know that the great Jesse Ryder is back playing professional cricket after his undefeated boxing career. You can't follow it all, you've got things to do, I mean between eating, pooing and playing cricket captain 2012 on your mobile device you barely have a chance to read cricket news and sleep.

And cricket does happen while you sleep.

In my case, I've tried to sleep through the entire Champions League. And I very nearly did it. It's not that I don't think Highveld v Auckland isn't a real cricket contest worthy of my time, it's just I have decided that I have to sleep through certain cricket tournaments. If you're going to sleep through any tournament it's worth sleeping through the one big cheeses at the ICC see as a general annoyance they wish would go away.

Now it has gone away for another 12 months, the Sydney Sixers (the pink deniers) won easily, but luckily not before we all got a look at the bearded behemoth of T20 cricket giving us all the pure visceral Dirk Nannes that we need to live our lives.

But we've had enough of T20 tournaments; most of us don't even care whether the dancers can dance or not. It's A teams we really want.

The Indian and Australian A teams were certainly odd.

Australia has refused to pick any real seamers, and have picked every single allrounder who isn't Luke Butterworth or Mitch Marsh that they can find. They've even dusted off Andrew McDonald who was far too competent in his last performance for Australia and was shelved in the Damien Martyn cell for cricketers out of favour. Importantly, there are four Victorian players in this squad.

The Indian A squad has less allrounders, and Victorians, and is perhaps the most tactical selection of an A squad since Steve Harmison bounced Phil Hughes in 2009. No spinners? I mean come on, even with Bhajji being bumped down the contract list and Piyush Chawla being the most hated Indian since Rohit Sharma, it seems weird that India would have no spinners in their A squad against England, unless it was a tactic.

You can't practice against spin if the opposition doesn't give you any. England need as much practice against spin as they can get. They'd be better off skipping lunch and breakfast than missing any time against spin, and yet look at India playing hard to get to the pitch of the ball with them. I think India could, and should, go further. They shouldn't let any of their batsmen bowl any part-time spin in this match. They also shouldn't allow any spinners to turn up and bowl to Ian Bell in the nets. And they should even bring in a new law that doesn't allow India TV networks to show spin. England should be entering a spin-free world until they have to face the slow moving assassin R Ashwin in Ahmedabad.

R Ashwin gestures at India's training session, World Twenty20, Colombo, September 14, 2012
Will R Ashwin now concentrate on the teesra, after John Inverarity raised questions over the integrity of the doosra?  © Associated Press
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If Ashwin was Australian he would have been killed at birth. Well, not at birth. But once he started bowling a doosra. Although technically he doesn't down a doosra, he does bowl a carrom-type ball, and that might have saved him. But Australia doesn't believe in the doosra. "It's a chuck," all Australians say at once. Even me. Especially me.

I think pretty much everyone chucks. I've started fights during indoor-cricket matches, had team-mates stop talking to me after questioning their action in the nets and been pulled from doing square-leg duty in matches just in case I'd call an opposition bowler.

But regardless of any moral thoughts myself and other Australians may have, doosras exist in modern cricket and the arm can flex 15 degrees regardless of Australian mindsets. Which is what makes John Inverarity's statement about integrity so odd. Australia is a country that plays to win cricket matches, not moral wars. Teaching their spinners doosras might help with that. And the delivery is legal, integrity be damned.

While John Inverarity may be a tall streak of integrity from West Australia, his fellow West Australians, the Marsh Brothers, are not. Being dropped for a dead rubber in a tournament that few care about may not be a big deal, but for Shaun Marsh it seems to be rock bottom. This time last year he was the first drop for the Australian team. Now he's missing a game for the Perth Scorchers. He couldn't be further from Australian selection at the moment if he was Luke Ronchi.

For Mitch Marsh, it was just a typical Australian 21st birthday. However, for the second time in less time than it takes for Hashim Amla to score 300 runs, Marsh's drinking has gotten him in trouble. Getting sent home from the cricket academy is bad, but failing to get picked in an Australian A team that has every single other allrounder who isn't Luke Butterworth is criminal.

It was about this time last year that Mitch Marsh was trying to get my help in landing women for him on Twitter. It's not exactly batting at No. 3 for your country, but it also wasn't getting drunk and missing out on an A spot.

Being drunk is not the worst thing you can do in cricket. The worst you can do is mankad someone, the second worst is calling for a runner because you're too fat to run, and the third is match-fixing.

Saleem Malik was once kicked out of cricket after match-fixing allegations, and not, as many believe, because his moustache was a crime against nature. Now he wants to come back as a batting coach for the Pakistani cricket team. If Ijaz Butt was still around, Malik would probably have had a better chance.

Pakistan are very busy at the moment, not hiring Malik, but giving the world another T20 cricket league the world probably doesn't want. But they're also buying buses with bulletproof glass. Or they're putting bulletproof glass on buses they already own. I didn't really read the article; I read enough stuff about bulletproof things on Al Jazeera.

And yet on Al Jazeera at the moment is this little clip on American cricket, which I am only showing you so I can make a public request for someone to send me a cricket shirt with NYPD on it.

It's not just Al Jazeera who are covering American cricket. The Crimson is Harvard's newspaper covered cricket recently. Harvard's cricket team was formed in 1868 and in 1887 the Crimson ran this:

"Gentlemen: We wish, in the name of the Harvard University Cricket Association, to challenge, through your paper, Yale University to play a match game of cricket next spring, the date and place to be arranged here-after. The challenge will remain open until Feb. 1, 1888. Hoping that we shall soon have a favorable answer, we are yours very truly, JAMES B. MARKOE, President. T. WILLING BALCH, Treasurer. REYNOLDS D. BROWN, Secretary."

125 years later they played for the first time, and Harvard beat Yale by 175 runs in a T20 game. Yale performed worse than a USACA executive on Facebook. I would talk about the hilarious and harmful actions of Kenwyn Williams more, but I am only a blogger, and without my NYPD cricket shirt, Kenwyn Williams would sue me for saying anything about him that wasn't nice.

USACA is a cricket board that should be kicked out of cricket until it gets itself together, or has a new facebook page.

The BCCI also had a PR problem this week. But they don't care. There is something to admire about the BCCI. No other cricket board would perform a public shakedown this unnecessary. Of all the boards in all the lands, no one needs the money less than the BCCI, but here they are, holding Sky and the BBC over the edge of a balcony.

The Suge Knight of cricket.

It's a double-dipping move by the BCCI, charge them once for the rights, and then charge them another fee for charging up their mobile phones in the comfort of their own broadcasting box.

Of course, no other board could afford to do it. Pakistan pays cricket journalists to cover cricket. Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies had a handful of journalists between them at the World T20. Cricket is a minority sport outside the subcontinent. It's only England and India who land in foreign lands with a legion of TV, radio and press journalists to cover the event.

If England can afford to pay their way, they should be shaken down for every last dollar. Sri Lanka Cricket were clever to shake down the English fans on the last Test series. The BCCI should go further, all journalists should be charged for commentating and promoting the game of cricket. The good news is that ESPNcricinfo doesn't get accreditation from the BCCI to cover Indian cricket matches, so we won't get charged.

But the BCCI do need this money with their IPL franchises attracting less and less money and how else will they pay for the 80-foot solid gold statue of N Srinivasan they have planned? And if they don't have it planned, they should.

Administrators also had a role in Bangladesh getting a new coach. Richard Pybus was coach of Bangladesh for about five minutes. Pybus claimed interference from the administrators, but I suspect that really Bangladesh was hoping he'd leave so they could get Sheffield Shield legend Shane Jurgensen into the main job. If you're keeping count, Jurgensen is the fifth Shield player to be coach of Bangladesh joining such worried looking men as Dav Whatmore, Trevor Chappell, Jamie Siddons and Stuart Law. It won't be long now before Joe Scuderi gets a go.

There was a time when I loved everything about Joe Scuderi, but these days I'm more of an Angelo Mathews man. Sri Lanka have made their first move towards becoming a Angelo Mathews team, with him as T20 captain. With Kumar and Mahela clearly not that interested, and Dilshan not exactly made for leadership, it seems only a matter of time before Mathews gets another captaincy job, and then another one.

But it's really all about Jesse Ryder this week. Right as I type this he is wearing whites and playing cricket. Whites. It's awesome. Think about that. Jesse Ryder, playing cricket, just as our robotic alien demigods always wanted. He even bowled.

Importantly Victoria beat Queensland in a One Dayer this week.

If you've got anything you think should be in next week's cricket news hurl, email jarrod at cricketnewshurl@gmail.com. If you're a sculptor and you'd like a chance to work on the Srinivasan statue, you can contact the BCCI directly for a small fee.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

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Keywords: Cricket News Hurl, Offbeat

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Zeeshan on (November 1, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

Finally something of a regular job for you. Loved your videos on the World T20. Watched every single one of 'em, was hoping to get more out of ya. Keep on doing the good work, cheers!

Posted by duncan on (October 31, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

jesse scored centuries in both 20/20's last week, and has just scored his second of the match in domestic 4 day comp. 4 centuries in 11 days. thats not bad.

Posted by Dashgar on (October 31, 2012, 2:25 GMT)

Well done Jarrod, great work as always. Will the two chucks be covering the Aus tests? If so looking forward to it.

Posted by njr1330 on (October 31, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

Sorry, "Cheeks" is busy pummelling Pie-Chuckers in the Liverpool Competition. It's a much higher standard of cricket!!

Posted by g-lock on (October 30, 2012, 1:50 GMT)

Someone needs to get Richard Chee Quee on the next plane to Bangladesh.

Posted by Andrew on (October 29, 2012, 21:30 GMT)

I need a NYPD cricket sweater!!!

Posted by ARad on (October 29, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

In fine form again, Jarrod! I did want to care about the Champion's league and, thanks to ESPN, we can even watch it here in the boondocks aka USA, the country that unfortunately contributes the first three letters to USACA but couldn't. (Note to Mr. Kenwyn Williams and his attorneys: I am not and have never been a silverware salesman so there is no reason for anyone to read any ulterior motives in my comments. I only brought up USACA here because I agree with you that any publicity, even the potentially absurd and hilarious kind, is good publicity.)

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