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The Week That Was...February 19 - 26
February 26, 2007
Batman and Floppin
"I have designed and built a cricket bat-shaped car," said the designer to the men in white. Sadly (or fortunately, if you're in the market for a willowy motor) it's all completely true. K Sudhakar has devoted the last six months of his life into designing a 25-foot-long car shaped like a cricket bat, as an attempt to cheer on India for the World Cup. "It is very good," said one passer-by. "It is splendid idea. Good idea for this World Cup." It's not quite in the same bat-mobile league as Bruce Wayne's sleek Lincoln Futura (originally built by Ford in 1955). Nevertheless, with the humble drinks trolleys of world cricket taking various bizarre shapes and sizes, Sudhakar might (finally) have struck gold. No room for Robin, though.
Bob will not be happy
From mad Indians to mad Morpethians. Villagers from Morpeth in Northumberland are attempting to break the world record for the longest continuous cricket match: 33 hours 30 minutes, which was set by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, last year. Quite what Bob Willis, the Sky commentator who spontaneously self-combusts at the very mention of slow over-rates, would make of this epic folly is anyone's guess. No word yet on ticket prices or availability but, if you've 34 hours to kill - or just fancy watching some cricket - head to Red Row CC on May 26.
Sing when you're losing
This is not the time for Australia to be celebrating. Rudely brought back down to terra firma during the Commonwealth Bank Series - their noses further ground into New Zealand's volcanic mud in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy - they are off, bandages and all, to The Celebration of Australian ODI cricket this week at Luna Park in Sydney. Still winners, even when they're losing. Rumours of Paul Collingwood making a surprise guest appearance have yet to be confirmed.
Maidens; bouncers; puns and worse
You can't rely on The Sun for an awful lot, but Britain's leading tabloid rag can be entrusted to use any tournament, event (even political rally) as an excuse to strip their harem of models to the waist. Enter stage left The Sun's World Cup Babes XI, and cue photo captions of "BOUNCERS" underneath a picture of Pamela Anderson. Each team is amply represented: Kirsty Gallacher for Scotland; Rachel Hunter for New Zealand; Orlaith McAllister for Ireland and, looking as lost for words as we were, Keeley for England.
Super mutt, that
Darren Gough and Mark Ramprakash have both strutted their Strictly stuff in the UK and now Michael Bevan, that most clinical and calculated one-day finisher, is embarrassing himself all for our gleeful entertainment. Bevan is a participant in Celebrity Dog School in Australia - another "reality" show in which celebrities, and Bevan, train, groom and pamper their dogs. And Bevan's dog? A Maltese Terrier, a canine whose name belies its effeminate image: a dog as likely to frighten intruders with its red ribbons and makeup as the snarling row of (designer-white) teeth. One website, which claims not to be a tribute to Richie Benaud, describes the fluffy canines: "Long, pure white and silky he can look extraordinarily glamorous if the work is put in but it means daily grooming; although it does not shed it matts readily."
Bevan isn't alone, either, as Anil Kumble has announced he'll be appearing on the big screen too. India's lolloping leggie is to join the likes of Vinod Kambli, Shoaib Akhtar - even Brett Lee, who released a music video in India a couple of weeks ago - in the colourful world of Bollywood. Kumble will appear in Meerabai Not Out - unsurprisingly, a cricket flick directed by Chandrakant Kulkarni.
Spotted on MySpace
The consummate professional, the new Richie Benaud, an anchorman respected across the world. These phrases have all been used to describe Mark Nicholas, the former England cricketer turned TV commentator and presenter. Imagine our surprise, then, of seeing Mark - or, as we affectionately call him throughout Cricinfo Towers, Nicho - and his immovable hair on MySpace. It all seemed innocent enough, and legitimate, until we read who he would most like to meet. "My two biggest fans - Brittany and Adam." Brittany - not the newly shaven-headed Spears - appears to be a rather leggy blonde, but we couldn't find Adam. Worryingly, one of the many comments his fans have submitted said she was "just looking for someone to have fun with online" (leaving a particularly revealing photo). All in all, Mark has rather more friends, or fans, than he might imagine...
Erapalli Prasanna on a thoroughbred professional whose basics were extraordinarily strong
Rob Steen: Historically a strong Yorkshire has acted as a supply line for the Test team, and the current crop hints at longevity
The thrills are rather low-octane, and the tournament overly India-centric. On several counts, it is not yet a global T20 showpiece event
Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament
Samir Chopra: It is one not reserved for those at high levels: the most exalted experiences can come in humble settings
As West Indies play their 500th Test, here's an interactive journey through their Test history