The New Zealand spin pair have manfully stepped into the Jesse Ryder-shaped void in our lives with a night out in Queenstown that left Patel unable to take the field in a tour match against England, and was described by NZC as "completely unacceptable". Salut, lads!
Who has done the honourable thing and withdrawn from the tour of India with a back injury in order to save the world at large from drowning in the inevitable raft of bad puns that would have ensued if he had played.
Punter continues to inspire the younger generations with his passion for the game, this time by throwing his bat after he was run out for 95 in a domestic limited-overs match. Yes kids, the contests may not be as fierce anymore, but the fire in the belly rages on.
Let it not be said that England's beanpole fast bowler is a slow learner. Less than a year after his penchant for knocking over the stumps at the wrong end with his hand while bowling came to light, the Finnster has revealed he is getting close to solving the problem. Glory be! Watch this space for more. By about 2016.
The noble beverage that has been a part of our game forever is reclaiming ground it lost to kegs of beer in recent times. The historically minded folks at the England board have sold the tea break in home Tests to Yorkshire Tea for three years. So this Ashes, expect the Barmy Army and Aussie fans to replace beer snakes with china-cup juggling acts.
These spoilt, lazy cricketers need to be told just where to get off, and that's what the broadcaster's executive producer Brad McNamara did when he said George Bailey would be flipping burgers at McDonald's or working in a coalmine if not for the money put into cricket by television. Yes, it's not a symbiotic relationship, George. You need TV. TV doesn't need you.
Wolfpacks are so passé. If you want to compare your pace attack to animal life, try going for a record-breaking thoroughbred racehorse. Because Mitchell Starc, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle are just like the champion horse that hasn't lost a race but is now recovering from injury.
Eight successive overseas Test defeats, two major retirements, a series loss to England at home after 28 years, scraping the barrel for spinners, desperate for fast bowlers, and expecting the announcement of cricket's biggest retirement any day now - none of this fazes India's captain, who believes the first-round exit from the 2007 World Cup had been a far worse situation.
How do you prepare to face the world No. 1 side? By getting your captain and best batsman to withdraw from the tour. That'll keep everyone else on their toes, won't it? Watch out, South Africa, New Zealand's coach might be too clever for you.
World beaters? Minnows? We thank West Indies for keeping everyone on tenterhooks by dropping two games in a row against Bangladesh scant weeks after winning the World Twenty20, thereby keeping cricket unpredictable and alive.
Because he's not just a great batsman but also a pundit on cultural diversity. Why won't the Indian selectors talk to Sachin Tendulkar about his retirement plans? "Because our cricketing culture is different from the Australian cricketing culture or the South African. We have a situation where we respect our senior cricketers and do not want to push them out. We want to give them a graceful exit."
Pakistan's board has graciously permitted some of its top players to play a few games of the BBL this year, at Cricket Australia's request. Listen up, BCCI, WICB and all you other uptight, control-freak boards.
Not only do they have perhaps the most resplendent name of any first-class side in the world, they recently dropped none other than Umar Akmal from the team after he played hooky for several rounds of the domestic first-class tournament. That's showing them prima donnas. You go, Sui!
The Twenty20 league that will replace the IPL. Who can refuse a month and half of quick cricket, followed by sun-worshipping and pedalo rides instead of playing in the searing heat of the Indian summer? And those offshore accounts in Cayman Islands won't be too far either. Just saying
While players from both sides are being polite and generous to each other, Gavaskar is giving us just what we want from an India-England series - some good old sledging. Said Gavaskar: "Expect a lot of negativity during this tour because this is England's specialty and that's the reason they are not a popular touring team."
Smith and Guptill light up Sydney Fan Following: Two memorable centuries, including the highest individual score at the ground, plenty of boundaries and a decent atmosphere at the SCG's first international of the home summer