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This week Jesse Ryder made the news not just for his mega-wicked 46 from 17 balls and two wickets that single-handedly (with some help from other hands) put Wellington into the final of some tournament, but because he may be back. Back, really back, not just Wellington and IPL back.
Jesse has a meeting with Magic Mike Hesson. That's pretty rad, isn't it kids? Jesse's maternal manager, Aaron Klee, was quick to douse the flames of this comeback against England. But, let's be honest, this meeting means that Jesse is at the very least looking for something a bit more substantial to dine on than New Zealand domestic cricket where he destroys daily like a Kiwi Godzilla stomping on attacks and breathing death rays onto unsuspecting batsmen.
The problem with all this is that Jesse's meeting is with Hesson, and well, who knows if Hesson will stay. Hesson was under attack from everyone this week, even including those who were trying to help him. John Buchanan (who must officially be the luckiest man to be employed in world cricket) tried to defend Hesson's coaching by saying, "He's a young coach, he's learning." The work experience coach is probably exactly how Hesson wants to be known at the moment.
That is why it was such a shame that Shane Bond ruined that with his secret letter to the NZC about the Taylor termination which in no time became public.
Bond's letter said:
I can't stand it, I know you planned it But I'm gonna set it straight, this Watergate I can't stand rocking when I'm in here 'Cause your crystal ball ain't so crystal clear So while you sit back and wonder why I got this f****** thorn in my side Oh my God, it's a mirage I'm tellin' y'all it's a sabotage
Or words to that effect.
He also said: "I believe the coach has been dishonest in his assertion around the miscommunication of the captaincy split with Ross... it was clear to me that Ross Taylor was to be removed as captain from all three formats."
And, if that wasn't damning enough of Hesson's supposed accidental axing, he went on: "I stated (to Hesson) that the timing was completely inappropriate and he had most likely affected the ability of the captain to perform and it seemed like sabotage". Shane Bond is currently in South Africa with the New Zealand team. Oh to be a piece of toast with ears at breakfast the morning after this broke.
India and England are currently taking a break from their ODI series to hold an elaborate party for MS Dhoni. If this ODI series has proved anything so far, it's that even with the two biggest cricket teams on earth locked at one-all, an ODI series can be so dull you want to learn the lyrics to Enya songs rather than take any real interest in it.
Australia and Sri Lanka have managed to make their series less dull by trying to bowl each other out for 70. Australia were bowled out for 74.
They were 9 for 40. That and the fact that Australia managed to take six wickets in Sri Lanka's uninspired chase is enough for the Australian media to call this a moral win that will help in character building.
It was all the more embarrassing as it was the proper best Australian side, not the one with random guys you can't remember how to spell the names of, like Steve Smith. This proper side was fully of rested players thanks to all that rotation. Sorry, rotation is not the right word according to Cricket Australia, as agency writing sexpot Greg Buckle found out when he tussled with the Inverarity:
Greg Buckle: Just with the rotations and the constant fast…
John Inverarity: Presume you mean informed player management? Is that what you mean, or not?
Greg Buckle: Well, I try to keep it short for our readers.
John Inverarity: Yeah, but I mean, that's what you mean.
After the ODI score, Cricket Australia might want to change the word collapse to "unfortunate performance deficit".
The problem with coming up with stupid new names for things that have existed for over 10 years is that it draws even more attention to the word you are trying to stop. And that people can't remember what you changed it to. Michael Clarke after Australia's shocking unfortunate performance deficit: "My opinion hasn't changed on, let's call it once again, the rotation policy."
The rotation policy (Clarke's word is final in Australian cricket) was to blame for George Bailey attacking Channel 9 this week. Bailey suggested that Channel 9 might have been talking up the rotation angle as a way of paying less in the next rights deal. Former New South Wales allrounder Brad McNamara, now Channel 9's network executive producer of cricket, hit back by saying that Bailey could be "working in a coalmine or flipping burgers at McDonald's" if it were not for Channel 9's money.
Whoa, Brad, I think you've got this wrong. Without Channel 9 money, another TV company would pay Cricket Australia a lot of money, which George Bailey would see a percentage of, seeing as he has been a consistent ODI performer of late and is Australia's T20 captain. Plus Bailey would also make money from being a professional cricketer in the Big Bash, which is not funded by Channel 9, and by playing in Scotland, Hampshire and this little thing called the IPL.
In fact, Brad, the person who would most likely be flipping burgers or not being a TV executive if Channel 9 didn't have the cricket would most likely be you. Having seen both players in action, there is no doubt that Bailey would be a better coal miner and burger flipper than McNamara, or even better at other jobs that McNamara doesn't see as denigrating.
It should be pointed out that, inspired by Cricket Australia, Channel 9 also rotates its commentators. And Cricket Australia is shortly selling its TV rights, which means that Channel 9 could be rotated right out of cricket.
Shane Basile might be the latest Aussie to get a surprise ODI cap under the rotation system after he smacked 126 off 27 balls for Coomera-Hope Island Cricket Club sixth-grade side against Burleigh Heads. Sixth grade Gold Coast cricket is pretty weak; it's like the BPL without Pakistani players.
"Big Bash Basile", as no-one other than newspapers are calling him, said, "I also have a few other mates in Burleigh's side, but I guess we're not such good mates anymore." His hundred was from 21 balls, meaning he wasted four of the balls he faced. At one stage he hit six sixes in an over, but it seems like he could have done it twice. Basile presumably got to his hundred something like this: 666.666..66666666.666. The last dot was a full stop. Stephen Best, in perhaps the last spell of bowling in his entire life, went for 60 runs from his two overs.
Of course, Sarah Taylor would have scored her hundred off 20 deliveries had she faced bowlers like Stephen Best. And maybe playing for Sussex 2nd XI she will have her chance. the Guardian plastered this all over their front page a few days back, saying how she was only inches away from playing 2nd XI county cricket. Sussex were quick to distance themselves from that claim.
I love Sarah Taylor. She is currently the best women's cricketer in the world. That's pretty good, no? But I have no real interest in her suddenly being the world's 374th best cricketer overall. She's the best in the world at what she does, and that's ok for me.
I understand that she wants other challenges, I get that, but I am a massive women's cricket fan, and when I hear a women's cricket legend say she wants to move into men's cricket, I can't help but think that she doesn't think being the best women's cricketer in the world is good enough. And then I think, well why do I love women's cricket if the best player would rather move into men's cricket? Then I get a headache and start dreaming of Mithali Raj cover drives.
This Taylor news also massively overshadowed Beth Morgan's retirement from the English team. I was there when Morgan and uber super batting god Claire Taylor smashed Australian in the World T20 semi-final with a partnership of 122. And I also saw when the ground screen showed Eoin Morgan's face instead of Beth's. Morgan also dilscooped a ball into her face in that match. It would have been a pretty embarrassing day had she not won the match for England.
Ellyse Perry, who took 1 for 32 in that match, has made the decision this week to put a semifinal for her soccer team, the Sky Blues, ahead of a T20 final for the NSW Breakers. Perry, who is way too talented for her own good, has been trying to juggle the two sports as best she can. Now that she has chosen football over cricket, it's up to some Lalit Modi-type women's cricket fan to make sure these women are paid enough money not to pick soccer semifinals over cricket.
Perhaps the worst cricket news story of the week was the threat, apparently set off by an mystery BCCI letter, which said the Pakistani women's team may not be able to play in Mumbai during the Women's World Cup. Shiv Sena, the political group that hates cricket (I'm sorry, but anyone who doesn't want Misbah Ul Haq in their country is against cricket), was yet again the catalyst for this nonsense. That issue has now been looked after by the ICC and BCCI as the Pakistani team will play in Cuttack. The finals are still in Mumbai, but having seen the Pakistani women's team play, I can't see that being a big problem.
In Pakistan, cricket politics came to a head when, as a punishment for Bangladesh pulling out of their potential Pakistan tour, Pakistan pulled out each and every one of their players from the Bangladesh Premier League. The league, which is not premier, nor super, was using Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul in their promotions. The Khulna Royal Bengals (stand and applaud that name) who had seven Pakistanis on their list, and Riki Wessels, were left with only 11 players on their roster for the first game. They got smashed by Dhaka, who had Chris Liddle in their side.
The tournament that sounds almost identical to the BPL when said in acronym form, the Big Bash League, had an interesting semifinal stage when the top team and bestest team, the Melbourne Renegades, were thrown out of the tournament by the Brisbane Heat. And then the Melbourne Stars were thrown out by themselves.
The Stars had picked James Faulkner as captain so that neither Cameron White nor Shane Warne would be suspended from the final for slow overrates. And it all came down to the new skipper Faulker as he had to bowl the final ball of the match with the Scorchers needing three runs to win, or two runs to go into the golden over.
Faulker, the current skipper, stood with Warne, the real skipper, and White, the former skipper, and they discussed all the tactics and things you discuss when you have three skippers together and you are not worried about overrates and just want to win to go into the final. Eventually James Faulkner bowled Voges a near-unplayable yorker that only went for one bye. The Stars win.
Well, no, because the ball was a no ball, twice. Faulker had overstepped and even with all those captains out there, they had failed to have enough players inside the circle. From the real last ball, Mike Hussey smashed it and the Scorchers win.
Colacian Aaron Finch, who despite both Melbourne teams stuffing up, still managed to be named the best Big Bash player of the tournament. Mark Higgs was probably voted second best.
If you've got anything you think should be in next week's cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. If you are a coal miner or burger flipper who is insulted by McNamara's quotes, please feel free to send week old burgers, with mayonnaise, to Channel 9.
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