Meeting cricket's power couple
There was probably a time last weekend when you started crying uncontrollably; you didn't know why, it just hit you. A tsunami of human emotion just swept your body into a cave of dark thoughts. I suppose to divert yourself from your terrible mood, you go searching for your smart phone, and then staring you straight in the face is the news that affected you so much.
Jesse Ryder has decided not to come back to international cricket. He and his people have suggested that, given that he is only seven months into his planned 12 month sabbatical, he should continue his personal goal development.
Cricket will have to wait for its world to be complete, as will you and I.
The South African summer, which so far has had a Jesse Ryder shaped hole in it, tried to fill that gap with a very important Test series against the Pakistanis. Pakistan's keeper Sarfraz Ahmed is a Hafiz Quran, which means that he has completely memorized the Quran. I have memorized every line of dialogue from Robocop 2. In South Africa, you can only see Sarfraz play if you have SuperSport, as SABC are still fighting with CSA over, well, who cares, just put the cricket on. Instead of the cricket, SABC have got Takeshi's Castle on. While I would never diss anyone in Battle Royale, I think even Beat Takeshi would prefer to watch Misbah-ul-Haq than his own show.
Something that people have loved watching on YouTube is the Australia-Sri Lanka handshake argument at the end of Sri Lanka's 2-0 T20 win. It came about when Glenn Maxwell complained that the Sri Lankans were taking too long to bowl the last ball, which he missed, giving Sri Lanka the victory. Then during the handshakes, Mahela Jayawardene clashed with David Warner and Matthew Wade. It was by far the most memorable moment in the series.
West Indies wanted their ODI series to be remembered, so in their first game they were bowled out for 70. People always remember tragic collapses, and it does seem to be the summer of the ODI collapse in Australia. Hopefully the same thing will happen during the 2015 Men's World Cup.
In the current Women's World Cup, Suzie Bates and the Kiwis have smashed the face off South Africa. The West Indies team of Deandra Dottin and Staphanie Taylor couldn't beat India. Australia did for Pakistan with ease. But really, it's all about Sri Lanka beating England.
Dilani Surangika is the Sri Lanka wicketkeeper. In her career she has batted in every slot from Nos. 3-11. She has never made a 50. She had never hit a six. She was batting at No. 10 against England. On the last ball of the game, she hit a six. Winning the game for her team. That was the first time Sri Lanka had ever beaten England. It was fun.
It also took some attention from some of the bad aspects of the Women's World Cup, like the fact that the Pakistani team has to stay in the Barabati Stadium. This makes it sound like they were on bunk beds in the groundsmen's hut, when they are actually in the academy section with normal hotel service. But the point still remains that one of the teams has to stay in the ground because of security, and that isn't good enough.
Even during the men's cricket, women have been stealing the limelight. As the England men defeated India at Dharamsala, Jodie Underhill, an English woman, and her crew were cleaning up the stands. Jodie is known as "the Garbage Girl" and makes sure that the stadium doesn't get trashed. England also cleaned up the stadium by not bowling Jade Dernbach.
In Australia, WAToday are reporting that some cricket fans put an ad on gumtree for beer wenches to bring them booze at the WACA, so they wouldn't miss any cricket. The ad said, "You will be required to line up and purchase drinks drinks [sic] for us for the duration of the cricket." While wearing a proper pervy beer wench costume. They told WAToday: "We wanted just anyone, just fun sheilas having a laugh and happy to get us beer all day." They also admitted: "I suppose looks come into play." Yes, I suppose. The good news is that 12% of readers of the article thought it was a sexist and demeaning thing to do.
At the WACA ODI against West Indies, they won't be able to see David Warner, as Mitchell Johnson has injured his thumb. This means that Eddie Cowan and Shane Watson may end up opening with each other in India. Considering Watson has made several claims for Cowan's spot in the media, and Cowan has fired back, they make a cute opening pair.
Cricket's power couple, MS Dhoni and N Srinivasan, have become even closer. Dhoni is the captain of Srinivasan's India, captain of Srinivasan's Superkings, and now has been named as Vice-President of Srinivasan's India Cements. Has there ever been a relationship as close as Srini and MS.
Can you imagine Giles Clarke giving Alastair Cook the vice-presidency to his coffee shop chain, Boston Tea Party? Would Upali Dharmadasa bring Angelo Mathews in as assistant to the travelling secretary of his timber company? Would Wally Edwards make Michael Clarke his executive gardener? It's doubtful. This is a special relationship. As a selector you can drop a player, but you can't drop the boss's special, special, special friend. We're going to have to come up with a Brangelina type name for them; my wife suggested Dhonivasan, but I like Dhonisan or Srhoni.
Through their efforts, Srhoni have had a fair bit to do with the IPL. The Bangladesh Premier League needs people like them. Instead the BPL might have no one left at all as Tim May ("We didn't say this might happen. We said it would happen") suggested there may be a player boycott over unpaid fees. The BCB president said that Owais Shah gave them incorrect bank details. And he did - but considering there are many, many players who have not been paid, incorrect bank details is probably not the only problem.
The Pakistan Super League is claiming that they have already signed up 50 foreign players. Of what quality those players are, who the hell knows. Phil Mustard has come forward saying he is willing to play if he gets the top payment of US$100,000. "I'd like to think that over the two weeks I could make a name for myself," he said, although, if your name is Mustard, you don't really need to make a name for yourself.
Mustard already plays T20 in England, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe, because domestic T20 leagues are everywhere. And domestic T20 leagues were the most important news story this week. You may not have seen it, but in a move that could save international cricket for the future, the ICC has a working party looking at finding slots for domestic tournaments like the IPL, so that players won't have to choose between international cricket and T20 cheques.
Cricket administrators get a lot of flack from, well, me and others, but this is a move that could ensure that cricket makes the most from T20 while keeping the importance of international competition.
It will also give players the chance to make some real money. With that money they could buy a 24.4-metre sportsfisherman motor yacht. According to my new favourite website, boatinternational.com, for the bargain price of US$2.6M you can afford the boat. The boat is called "Cricket".
One cricketer who can afford a 24.4m motor yacht is Shane Warne. But instead of buying frivolous things, he spends his time blogging and tweeting. He started the week essentially calling Pat Howard, Australia's GM of Team Performance, a muppet. And then finished the week with a bizarre Warniefesto of how his close personal friends could all work in various key positions for Australia and be better than the people in them.
Warne clearly lives in a multiverse in which the rest of us don't. Unfortunately in our universe his idea will never work. But it did put Michael Clarke in an interesting position of having to be nice to his mate, whilst standing up for his GM, saying "everybody's entitled to their opinion" about Warne, and, in the next breath, "Pat Howard has been doing a fantastic job." Meanwhile, I bet Shane Warne's blog got a few hits.
Unlike Warne, Sanath Jayasuriya has gotten his hands dirty by taking a new job. Apparently thinking that he wasn't getting enough bad press by being a politician, he's now added another job that makes people hate you: chairman of selectors. On the selection committee is also Hashan Tillakaratne. Tillakaratne Dilshan named himself after Hashan, which, it turns out, could be a brilliant career move. No one is going to drop a player who named himself after them.
Glenn Maxwell, whose nickname "the Big Show" came about because of how much he looks like American wrestler Paul Wight, made 51 opening the batting for Australia against West Indies. Maxwell is Victorian.
If you've got anything you think should be in next week's cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. Please donate to the BCCI, who have now decided to expand their 500-foot high gold statue of Srinivasan to include Dhoni attached at the hip.