January 17, 2014

Can you Wade through a Marsh?

And other life-altering questions from various parts of the cricketing world

"Did someone ask if I could cut the mustard?" © Getty Images

Manchester City's greatest ever player is Colin Bell, 67, who played 394 games for the club and scored 117 goals. He also won 48 England caps (scoring nine goals) and retired in 1980 a sky-blue legend. Yet in 2003, City reneged on naming the West Stand of the City of Manchester Stadium after Bell because, it seems, Manchester United supporters had hijacked an internet voting poll, delighted that the stand might be forever known as "the Bell End".

In Australia we haven't made the best use of names for our sporting arenas. The Australian Open tennis is on at the moment and it makes one wonder: why isn't Melbourne Park's Margaret Court Arena just called the Margaret Court? There's a centre court. "And now on Margaret Court… " Margaret Court could hold court on Margaret Court. They could call the pedestrian walkway from the city over the Yarra River the Todd Woodbridge. Indeed they could rename the Yarra the Mark Woodfjord. Kids could hit balls against the Ken Rosewall. ATMs could be Pat Cash Machines.

Similarly important questions of cricket include:

Why isn't the entire boundary around the Gabba called the Allan Border? Are the SCG's new roofs held up by Nathan Pilons? Is the SCG car park monitored by Peter Parkers?

Can you knock on Graeme Wood? Can you grow a Graeme Beard? Who lays down the Stuart Law? Might you Matthew Wade through Bruce Reids in a Rod Marsh? Can you avoid Nathan Bracken? Do you believe in Jo Angels? Does injury cause one Tim Paine? Do you prefer Michael Beer or Doug Bollinger? Who does Martin Love? Is Tom Moody?

Could you float a dhow along the Nathan Coulter-Nile? Are we at Waugh in Iraq? What's there to do in Bob Holland? Look at Andy Flowers? When it's cold at night can you get some Peter Sleep if you snuggle with Gary Cosier? If a bloke kicked Tony Mann would it be an example of man's inhumanity to Mann?

Australia tours South Africa next month. Are they in a spot of Johan Botha? When they rub the ball on their trousers will it Dale Steyn? How safe is it to drive on South Africa's Jonty Rhodes if they get a little Friedel de Wet?

During lunch in Ashes Test matches do they serve Allan Lamb? Near Sussex County Cricket Club is there a used-car Michael Yardy? Do curators mow the back Yardy? Do revellers ever enjoy a Michael Yardy Gras?

When the Kiwis beat Australia did Martin and Jeff Crowe? When there was an earth tremor did John Bracewell? When he wasn't bowling where did Ewen Chatfield? Would John Reid a Stephen Boock? Is your word your Shane Bond? Which island has produced more players for New Zealand, the Marcus North or the Tim Southee?

When England celebrate do they release a Dominic Cork and go Gareth Batty? Is there much sky-Wayne-Larkins? Did John Morris dance? Is Gladstone Small? Is Stuart Broad? Does Alastair Cook? Does he like Graham Onions? England have had several players from Africa, but never Pommie Mbangwa?

Can you ring Ian Bell? After Peter Such an Ashes shellacking, will England's brains trust get to the Joe Root of the problem? Will they find the Robert Key? Will they pull a Peter Lever or maybe Ben Stokes the fire and shows some David Steele? Where now on the ICC Test teams are they now Boyd Rankin?

Got any more?

Matt Cleary writes for several Australian sports and travel magazines. He tweets here