Cricket, LA Times style
It wasn't until Jesse Ryder tweeted, "Take a bow Chris Gayle unbelievable batting", that the cricket world truly appreciated Gayle's innings of 175 off 66 balls this week. The innings, which started going viral before he had finished it, included some of the most tremendous hitting off some of the most disgusting bowling ever. Except for Aaron Finch's bowling, which was just unlucky.
It was an innings so good that the LA Times ran a story on it. Let's laugh at them.
"West Indies batsman Chris Gayle rocked the sports world Tuesday, setting Twitter ablaze with praise in 140-character dollops when he scored the fastest 100 runs in the history of professional cricket after just 30 pitches."
This should be a lesson to cricket administrators who talk up their Twitter activity. It sounds stupid even when Americans do it.
Americans were also mentioned in a Simon Hughes article. In the piece Hughes claimed that Michael Jordan was the sportsman of the 20th century, and that MS Dhoni was an early candidate as sportsman of the 21st century. Now I like MS Dhoni in a World Cup final, or an IPL game, or even occasionally in Test match, but comparing him to Jordan in any other way than with sponsorship deals seems way off. Jordan still is the all-time leading scorer per game in NBA history. He won six titles, three after a retirement. And he was in a film with Bugs Bunny.
Dhoni is pretty good too, but Ashish Reddy is no Joe Dumars. Dale Steyn is more like Joe Dumars but with more off days.
The well-named, for the sake of this segue, Jordan Clark also beat the hell out of a bowler who wasn't having a good day. Clark, a 2nd XI player with Lancashire, hit (name withheld, because the poor bowler has been through enough) for six sixes in an over. Like Jordan, I know the thrill of hitting six sixes in an over. He might have done it in 2nd XI county match, but I think my six sixes off a man named Noel in a '96 beer match at the Seth Raistrick Reserve in Campbellfield counts just the same.
Mind you, there is someone who put me, Gayle, Clark and Dhoni to shame a few years back. First-class Sri Lankan cricketer Dhanuka Pathirana was playing a club match in Lancashire's Saddleworth League (it's real, not made up). This match was a T20. In the match, Dhanuka made 277 off 72 balls. Twenty-five of the balls he faced didn't go for four or six. Forty-seven did. Had Danny Morrison been there, his head would have flown off and scored another boundary. It was that kind of a party.
Another party was had this week when one of the world's most popular cricketers had a birthday. Everyone was tripping over themselves to sound as deferential as possible. By the thousands, the birthday messages came in from cricket's elite.
"Dear Monty, many happy returns of the day wishing you health and success always thank you god for this day regards"; "Have a super birthday Monty Panesar great to se you still playing and having fun a true Legend of the game"; "Happy Birthday Monty! May all things wonderful big & small always come your way now & forever! Lotza love always..."
One day Monty's birthday will be a national holiday, such is the love, respect and admiration that the cricket world has for him.
It was a worse week for another spinner. Danish Kaneria had his lifetime ban appeal rejected. He can still have the ban shortened, although at his age that may not be of much comfort. Kaneria will also have to pay £100,000 in court costs for the privilege of losing. Being that he cannot play cricket and earn money in whatever way from that, making that 100g back will not be easy.
Money was also on Mark Taylor's mind when he said, "If you look at the IPL and the money that's going around there, that's got to be a big influence, I think. As much as they all say 'Test cricket's the No. 1', a million dollars is very distracting." Shane Watson then spoke about the good qualities of the IPL. Of course, Watson has averaged 24 in the last two years in Test cricket.
The only two countries who don't lose many players during the IPL are playing a Test right now. Bangladesh were embarrassed in the first Test, but have started well in the second, even though it's at the exact same venue as the last Test.
That would not have been possible at the March Town Cricket Club. No games were possible there. Because crows ate the pitch. Talking to the BBC, club member Pat Ringham described the damage as being as if "50 hooligans let loose with golf clubs". That's some pretty aggressive crows, which were apparently just trying to eat some grubs.
John Parker, everyone's favourite unofficial biographer of New Zealand disgraces, has apologised to Brendon McCullum for the nasty things he wrote in his 77-point dossier. Parker said he never wanted to discredit McCullum, and he probably didn't. It was the NZC board he was after. Parker has now also apologised to Mike Hesson. This is probably the end of the Ross Taylor captaincy saga. It means that in the short term if we want to make fun of the Kiwis, it will have to be for what's happening on the field, not off it.
Daily Mail readers made fun of Rod Stewart this week when pictures of him wearing his full cricket whites on the streets of LA were shown on the site. One commenter said, "Rodney is such a plonker sometimes..It's L.A. not Lords."
Stewart is a keen fan of cricket, and as such he would be pleased to know that Fawad Ahmed signed a three-year deal with Victoria this week. Now all we need to do is find this guy a passport and John Inverarity will send him to the Ashes. Chances are he'll stay fit longer than Ryan Harris.
If you've got anything you think should be in next week's cricket news hurl, emailcricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. Happy birthday, Peter McIntrye.