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November 10, 2012

Cricket News Hurl

Cricket News Hurl: Vulnerable Dossier Edition

Jarrod Kimber
Harbhajan Singh awaits his turn to bat for Punjab, Mumbai v Punjab, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, 2nd semi-final, Mumbai, March 26, 2012
If you have spunk and spirit, who needs wickets?  © Fotocorp
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Strengths: Only comes out once a week. Only the third edition, so still not that annoying. Has a lot of cricket news in it. Is written in a folksy sardonic way that makes it feel like you're sitting on an uncomfortable barstool next to someone you don't hate.

Vulnerability: Not enough Jesse Ryder mentions. Bad body odour. Tenuous links between stories. A basic lack of education or intelligence. Enough already with the pop-culture references. Could be easily dismissed by anyone reading on a phone.

Jesse Ryder is still burning down New Zealand. Even though some over-enthusiastic administracrat fined him 750 bucks for showing dissent in his last barnstorming game, that couldn't stop the Ryder. He used the rage of that unnecessary fine to thump 90 off 57 and win another game for Wellington.

A dossier on Jesse would read "Strengths: everything, vulnerability: NOTHING".

The not-so-secret dossier that the Australians might have accidentally leaked on purpose to put off South Africa was marginally more detailed than my Jesse dossier. Marginally. They took the controversial view that Steyn and Kallis are good. Australia has turned leaking info on your opposition into an art-form, not a good art-form, more like those paintings you see on the fridge of tired parents.

Considering it was a well-thought-out tactical ploy to upset the opposition, it was rather tame. Far tamer than Graeme Swann was about India. Swann was cornered at an event by Joe Fish and said that England shouldn't continue their run of playing spinners like they are delivering invisible balls because India don't have the mystery spin that the others had.

Considering the way England played India in the World T20, mystery doesn't seem to be that important, just the designations of SLA, OB, SLC or LB. There simply cannot be any mystery left in Harbhajan Singh, and yet England played him on a subcontinental pitch like he was bowling laser beams.

Bhajji may or may not make his comeback against England, but he has asked that those of us that don't understand cricket stop judging him by the amount of wickets he has taken.It's fair. Too often in cricket we focus on things like runs and wickets, and don't focus on things such as spirit, ethic and trying really hard.

It is with this in mind that I apologise for everything I have ever said about Derek Crookes.

Of course if we were to judge cricketers on their runs, like the old-time thinkers used to, we would think that Boree Kieng is a legend. Boree made 200 out of a total of 253 in a losing match. Boree plays for Hectorville Cricket Club in the Adelaide Turf Cricket Association F-grade and was playing against Gaza at Klemzig Reserve. Sure, it sounds like a made-up team playing a west bank representative side in Berlin, but the East Torrens Messenger is reporting it, so it must be true. Boree had never made a 50 before, so the odds on a double hundred would have been pretty high, shame there is very little betting action on the Adelaide F-grade action.

One man who knows absolutely nothing about betting is Mohammad Azharuddin. He has fought and won a decision to allow him back in cricket. Azharuddin was the most graceful batsman to be banned for fixing, but disgraced himself far more by later becoming a politician. The BCCI funded their side of the case with the emergency N Srinivasan 80-foot-high Gold Statue Fund.

The BCCI were not just fighting against old dudes in court, they were also accusing young dudes of being older than they really are. Two-hundred-and-thirty underage cricketers were actually found to be overage when their bone density was tested by the BCCI. In the Mumbai Under-16 side, 11 players from a squad of 30 were found to be older than 16. I have no idea if bone density tests are accurate, a quick online searches shows they are marginally more believable than a Steve Waugh lie-detector test. However the parents of these children are very upset and are rushing to the BCCI waving their marriage certificates to say something went wrong.

The ICC says the testing is not fool-proof (DRS, anyone?), so it is possible that in one week the all-powerful BCCI could be beaten by an old guy and a bunch of 14, 15, 16, 17 and 22-year-old kids.

Shahid Afridi has been on the international scene even before some of those kids were born, and is so out-of-form that he is considering playing first-class cricket. I would have more to say about this but when I googled Afridi, the first response was 'Shahid Afridi real age' (37 according to PakPassion), and the second option was 'Shahid Afridi age' (32 according to public records).

The other old legspinner who the press love may not be playing in the Big Bash League if his fiancée's tweets are to be trusted. And if you can't trust a semi-occasional film star's tweets, whose can you trust? Hurley, the star of Passenger 57 (always bet on black), tweeted "Praying for a White Christmas this year - it will be @warne888's first English one." It is possible that Warne is just heading back to the UK for Christmas between his Melbourne Stars match on the 21st of December and the 27th of December, or by Christmas she meant the bit where stores start to crowd their shops with stupid decorations.

Another unlikely Australian English couple met this week. David Hussey met the Prince of Wales and was moved to say "very nice man, very welcoming and easy to speak to". The Prince of Wales said of David Hussey, "I think he struggles against the short ball and looks ordinary against top-class spin. I think Australia were right to leave him out of the T20 side."

If David Hussey does get a regular game for the Australian T20 side, he will be pleased to know that Basement Jaxx (their 2001 hit "Where's your head at" had a music video with monkeys in it) are performing at the Australia-Sri Lanka T20s. In 2011 Basement Jaxx scored the film "Attack the Block" which was a one-act film starring Ashwell Prince. One website said that DJs and cricket are a funny mix, perhaps overlooking DJ Sammy.

There will also be lots of music at the newest T20 league, the Caribbean Premier League. That's right. More premier. Premier, premier, premier. Allen Stanford has not said whether he will buy a franchise.

More news from cricket boards trying to extort every single dollar they can. For this summer ABC Grandstand do not own rights to the radio mobile phone app, and therefore you can't listen to Test cricket that way. Last season you could. But you still can on the actual radio, kids still own them, right?

More idiotic is the SLC charging Radio Sport from New Zealand so much that they didn't buy the rights to New Zealand's tour of Sri Lanka. How is Radio Sport not broadcasting and paying no fee, better than Radio Sport broadcasting and paying a fee? It's not like there are a plethora of Kiwi radio stations lining up for the Sri Lanka tour. Even from a tourism angle it is surely worth giving them away. In order to make back their money Sri Lanka probably have 1400 proposed ODIs against India next year. And each delivery of those matches is worth more than the radio rights for this entire series.

If the SLC really need money, they could always just check MS Dhoni's pockets on the next tour.

Dhoni is so rich he owns a Superbike team. Now I don't follow motorbike racing, but I bet that cost him a little money. He isn't one of those superbike owners who sits on his laurels, he's bought three-time World champion Kenan Sofouglue and Fabian Foret for his team. I have no idea who Kenan is, but I do know he once headbutted Fabian mid-race. Dhoni may be planning to get Sreesanth and Bhajji to consult his two racers on how to make nice once you're on the same team.

There seems to be little evidence that KP was physically assaulted by the English players, although ego wrestling definitely seemed to happen. But he's back now, cricket's longest pointless melodrama came to an end with KP making an effortless hundred in a tour game against a poor bowling attack. The next day of the match was stopped by monkeys.

KP's shortish exile had begun with the Lord's Test. The same game in which Vernon Philander won Man of the Match. Winning seems Philander's thing. Now he has won South Africa's sports player of the year award. Philander beat Amla and that swimmer whose father cries a lot. Not long ago ESPNcricinfo writer George Dobell said* that he knew of a thousand guys in the Home Counties Premier (not another one) League that were better than Philander.

According to Mike Knox from the Oxford Mail "A threatened breakaway from the Home Counties Premier League (HCPL) has moved a step closer with Hertfordshire clubs backing a proposal to set up on their own. In a poll of 24 clubs in HCPL Divisions 1 and 2 East, and Hertfordshire League Division 1, there was a split of 15-5 in favour of a move to quit the Premier League set-up, with four clubs not replying. If the breakaway goes ahead, it is likely to occur before the 2013 season."

Rob Quiney was picked from virtually nowhere this week when Australia seemed to adopt the Eddie Cowan batting selection policy. "Batting averages are meaningless and the art of BMW repair" is Eddie Cowan's second, yet to be released, book. Australians seemed intrigued by Quiney, a former fat factory worker, and he trended on Australian twitter along with 'almonds', 'tristan' and'vaginas'. Quiney is a Victorian.

Victoria defeated Western Australia with a bonus point. Many pundits claimed this victory inspired America to re-elect Barack Obama. Others claimed a leaked dossier with Mitt's strengths and vulnerabilities that Ben Dorries wrote about was the real reason.

*Approximate quote.

If you've got anything you think should be in next week's #cricketnewshurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com. Email Sambit Bal directly if you'd like to be the chief writer for the Adelaide Turf Cricket F Grade or Home Counties Premier League.

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

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Keywords: Cricket News Hurl, Offbeat

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Posted by Sumeet Gupta on (November 14, 2012, 10:03 GMT)

This was hilarious man.......a boring afternoon in office (due to Diwali week, and not lack of work!!) made wonderful, albeit for 15 minutes, by this. Keep it up!

Posted by Sunny on (November 13, 2012, 21:13 GMT)

Keep them coming. Brilliant. LMAO

Posted by Vikram Rathore on (November 11, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

Priceless humor

Posted by Gonzo on (November 10, 2012, 23:12 GMT)

Enjoyed reading this, but am intrigued by the mention of 'Adelaide Turf Cricket Association F-grade' cricket. Is this where Quiney and Lyon play when not turning out for Australia?

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