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May 4, 2013

A matter of good hair

Jarrod Kimber
You don't need a fancy hairstyle to be immortalised in a tattoo  © Michael Beveridge
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There are people who think I just start each edition of the news hurl with Jesse Ryder in it for fun. They don't see it as a public service announcement like I do. This week it is clearly a public service announcement, as I am telling you that if you bid on the "NEW ZEALAND Cricket JESSE RYDER Signed Bat Frame" on eBay, you will get a fake. It is not Jesse's autograph, and the metal information plate says West Ham, and is upside down.

It's this sort of exploiting of cricketers that cannot go on.

That is where the ECB is stepping in. This summer in the UK they have trademarked terms like "Ashes", "Ashes Cricket 2013", "Australian batting collapse" and "Stuart Broad's tight groin". The idea is to stop ambush marketing and protect the ECB's IP. Much like they in the Olympics. Of course, ambush marketing is impossible to stop. If someone wants Michael Vaughan to be the face of a men's nail polish line this summer, as long as the trademarked words aren't used and the nail polish can find enough money to tempt Vaughan, they can exploit the Ashes fever even without the magic words.

Wasim Akram might be a better choice for a men's beauty product. It was Akram who suggested Pakistani stylist Nabila Ahmed give a lecture to young fast bowlers about the importance of good hair. According to Akram, "a good hairstyle and good dress add to your confidence and it can play a very good role in giving someone much-needed confidence." It would be easy to mock this, but as Michael Holding, Dennis Lillee, Kapil Dev and Keith Miller have shown us, good hair can make the fast bowler. But Glenn McGrath had a nerdy kindergarten haircut for most of his career, and even mulleted up un-ironically at times. So sometimes talent is also important.

Even with rubbish hair, McGrath was also "cool" enough to inspire SAFM radio host Michael Beveridge to get a tattoo in his honour.

It's fair to say that Michael Mason never had great confidence from an Akhtar-like flowing mane. But this week he had amazing news when a story of him being picked up by Kings XI Punjab as a replacement for Ryan Harris made headlines. Despite the phone calls Mason received, the tweets shocked at the news, and even reports that appeared everywhere, Mason was not picked. The player Kings XI actually signed was Michael Neser, a Queensland allrounder. Mason is still retired, even though he has played as many IPL matches this season as Glenn Maxwell.

The MCC announced plans this week for global domination by talking of pimping out their lair, Lord's, into the world's greatest everything. They have a 200-million quid plan, and a 36-minute Youtube video explaining it all. The only problem being that most of their members had not heard of Youtube, or the internet, and those who did find the video fell asleep a few minutes in. Lord's will have an updated food area and robot stewards who will obliterate anyone caught on their mobile phone during a Test. A member suggestion to clone 200 Glenn Maxwells was voted down when no one knew what they would do with 200 Glenn Maxwells.

Maxwell's Mumbai Indians, which they are never known as, will now not have to play their playoffs in Chennai and lose use of Lasith Malinga, after a stunning decision from the BCCI. All recent evidence suggested that the entire cricket world was to be moved to Chennai so that Mr N Srinivasan (his 100-foot-high gold statue is still under construction) wouldn't have to leave his favourite city. The madness of an obviously unfair playing condition had gone on long enough, but if it had continued during the playoffs, any pretence of the IPL being a serious and fair tournament could be completely flushed down the toilet. The matches have been moved to Delhi.

Even with the unfair playing field, some people still take the IPL very seriously. One man took it far too seriously. During a particularly close match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils, an Englishman of 72 left the room, only to return to the room to see his wife had changed the channel. Rather than acting rationally and asking for the channel to be changed, he grabbed his wife and repeatedly told her he was going to kill her. The man was found guilty this week, made to pay a 100-quid fine and given a three-year good behaviour bond. Royal Challengers won the game in a Super Over.

This year is the 150th birth anniversary of the Diss Cricket Club (not made up). According to edp24.co.uk, this weekend, past members will all turn up to pose for an aerial photo. The playing group that Diss has constructed is also very impressive. "What really struck me last weekend was that we've got 11 players in the team who can bat very well and the majority of them can also bowl very well. It's a remarkable set-up because we have all bases covered," said club chairman Martin Fairweather. No wicketkeepers, though.

Rubel Hossain has the chicken pox. If he had better hair, he would not have got sick.

Another bowler with very stylish hair is Ryan Sidebottom. But there are two Ryan Sidebottoms. One from Yorkshire who is remembered for the natural perm and for yelling at his team-mates when they dropped a catch off him. And one who has a brother named Steele, and has just been awarded a contract with Victoria.

I hope future generations will inherit a world with more Ryan Sidebottoms and less fake Jesse Ryder merchandise.

If you've got anything you think should be in next week's cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl.

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