"How can the third umpire not see that ... he's not got anything to do other than watch TV?"
Sky TV's Charles Colville offers a blunt take on the third umpire's decision not rule Andrew Symond's not out on a stumping referral

"The umpires on the field are supposed to be neutral."
Colin Croft starts 2008 with a controversial and ill thought-out on-air comment

"It beats being in the shearing shed, mate."
Brad Hogg, a Western Australian farm boy, reflects on where he could have been instead of posting a career-best 79 in the Sydney Test

"Some are good and some ordinary."
The verdict on various people's impressions of him, but really there's only one Richie Benaud

"Mr Howard did for spin bowling what I did for wicketkeeping - which was not a lot in both cases."
Australia's new prime minister Kevin Rudd doesn't plan to be showing off his cricket skills anytime soon

"I don't care whether I bore the hell out of the opposition but I am going to try and bat as long as possible."
Saurashtra batsman Shitanshu Kotak before batting six hours for 73 as his side looked for a semi-final clinching draw against Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. Kotak's strike-rate this season is 34.75

"I've played 250 one-day games ... I'll sign it for you later."
Michael Kasprowicz's sarcastic response after Redbacks batsman Mark Cosgrove asked him to remove his white wrist band on his non-bowling arm. Brings back memories of Dean Jones and Curtly Ambrose, doesn't it?

"We had to listen to his verbal diarrhoea all the time. He is just a goose and has no idea and lacks common sense."
Shane Warne talks about his favourite man, former Australia coach John Buchanan

"We must be positive and confident in what we were able to achieve collectively in this region and build on these unparalleled successes. There were so many people who never thought it was even possible. That we did it and surpassed targets achieved by significantly larger and wealthier hosts is an achievement we can be proud of."
The final word on the 2007 World Cup from organising chief Chris Dehring. And there we all were thinking the whole thing had been an unparalleled disaster

"I felt like a fish out of water. It was all a bit foreign. I was pretty nervous after six weeks without playing so things are pretty green at the moment."
Stephen Fleming after the Twenty20 charity match in Hamilton, his first competitive game in a while

"There are generally no reporters at our matches, either to see our team's performances, or my dimples."
Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women's team, bemoans the lack of media coverage of women's cricket

"[The reasons are] not for me to reveal. It's down as 'rested', but they're not for me to reveal."
New Zealand coach John Bracewell claimed to have inside knowledge on why Adam Gilchrist was rested for the final match of the Chappell-Hadlee series. He later apologised for the same comment.

"My lifetime was associated with bouncers but the sweetest bouncer I received was when Pawar told me that I would be receiving the award."
Former Indian captain Nari Contractor on receiving the Indian board's Lifetime Achievement Award. Contractor's career had been cut short by a vicious bouncer from Charlie Griffith

"They can question me and I can go and do the tests but I can't see a problem with my action at all. Maybe they should watch the ball more."
An angry Shaun Tait after suggestions that some New Zealand players had questioned his action

"I've always subscribed to the theory that you shouldn't make a fast bowler angrier than he already is."
A deadpan James Sutherland, Australia's chief exec, when asked for his thoughts about Tait's action

"I'm not overly happy about players going to England and playing county cricket ... but the reality is that it's the way our contracts are structured."
Sutherland again, this time when asked about his views on players signing for Indian competitions

"We were competitive in all the three Tests."
Which series was Shoaib Malik watching? Pakistan bowled out India just twice, once for over 600, conceded over 600 twice and were saved from a collapse of ten wickets in two sessions by bad light in Bangalore

"Out of obscurity to nowhere"
Ian Healy struggles to put into words Luke Pomersbach's rushed debut at Perth after he was called up from the car park

"I thought it was one of my mates playing a joke on me and I nearly hung up and he said 'no, it's not a joke'."
Luke Pomersbach himself could not believe it

"I'm getting irritable because there's a bit of a***-covering going on. If you'd put a Test attack on that surface you'd probably have killed someone once the divots dried out."
Auckland coach Mark O'Donnell is still fuming after his side lost within two days to Otago on a questionable track in Dunedin...which is about to host a New Zealand Test against Bangladesh

"I was waiting for him to break my record [227] but the power went off when he was on 225. I missed the moment."
Former Indian batsman Vinod Kambli didn't get to see Sourav Ganguly creating a new record for the highest score by an Indian left-hander

"Ask him about his nuts, they are massive."
Brad Haddin gives a group of journalists a not-so-subtle hint about one of the symptoms of Phil Jaques' recent bout of the mumps

"Being Hoggard's runner would be like being Prince Edward's break-dance instructor: the pay would be fine and, like as not, you would have plenty of time to yourself."
Giles Smith, the Times columnist, thinks that Alastair Cook found a cushy job when he was Matthew Hoggard's runner at Kandy

"Who made them boring?"
Looking straight at the camera, a deadpan Richie Benaud responds to Geoff Boycott's call for four-day Tests because five days are, apparently, boring

"I realised the ball was bigger than one person, bigger than Gilchrist. It was the public's ball."
In a speech worthy of a film, John, the man who found the ball Adam Gilchrist hit for his hundredth Test six, reveals why he decided to hand it back

"Is that Ranatunga? Strewth, he's not missed many lunches has he?"
Sky Sports' David Lloyd as the camera turns on a rather portly looking Arjuna Ranatunga in the stands at Kandy

"I tried to spin the ball one way and it went the other way. But it's a special wicket."
Muttiah Muralitharan admits his record-breaking dismissal of Paul Collingwood didn't quite go to plan

"Murali has said he wanted to take 1000 Test wickets and he has every chance of getting there. If he does get there I don't think anyone else will catch him."
Shane Warne says it'll be next to impossible to beat Muttiah Muralitharan if he reaches Test 1000 wickets

"Oh, I do love those newspapers."
A sarcastic Ian Botham rubbishes newspaper reports about the impending rumours of Sanath Jayasuriya's retirement. Botham has been a regular columnist in the British press for more than two decades. Less than 24 hours later Jayasuriya confirmed the stories

"I am not captain here, nor the coach."
Younis Khan says he had nothing to do with the selection of an unwell Shoaib Akhtar at Kolkata

"Kasper always used to joke that his shoulder operation was the equivalent of a 50,000-delivery service, so I guess this is my 100,000-ball service."
Andy Bichel sees the lighter side after shoulder surgery which has ruled him out of the rest of the summer

"It's not the black sheep of cricket. Was Kerry Packer the black sheep of cricket? That was a good thing that happened and this is also a good thing."
Kapil Dev defends the Indian Cricket League

"I know - I'm a grown man and, honestly, computer games are not normally my thing - but it's so addictive."
Matt Prior reveals how some of the England squad pass the hours in Sri Lanka

"He is my hero and playing against him is a special moment in my life. I cherish that."
Sachin Tendulkar reflects on playing against Viv Richards during a Yorkshire-Glamorgan county match

"We have always said that playing against England in the Ashes is where it's at, but I also think now playing against India is one of our greatest challenges as far as Test match cricket goes."
Brett Lee on the upcoming series against India. Geoff Lawson thought the same about the India-Pakistan series. It seems everything India plays these days is akin to Ashes

"Yeah, pretty much, it's all I have left now!"
The retiring Darren Lehmann said his eye was about the only thing holding him up as he used it well to strike a century in the heat in his final match

"I'm not the boozing and eating machine as some people think."
Stuart MacGill calls it as he sees it

"I didn't want kids seeing a Test cricketer plugging alcohol."
Staying with booze, Brett Lee explains why he turned down a $1million deal after breaking into the Test side, as it was from an alcohol company

"MacGill is struggling with injury and he is 36, which is even older than me."
Muttiah Muralitharan adds his thoughts to the MacGill debate

"I haven't even talked to my wife about how her week's been yet."
Stuart MacGill wants a bit more time to consider his fitness after his poor form at Hobart

"That one was only a four-footer, but this one was of anaconda proportions."
Graeme Swann compares sizes of the cobras he has seen on his trips to Sri Lanka after two slithered past England's warm-up match in Colombo

"I desperately want to play for England, but if I'm supposed to be in the side for line-and-length consistency I shouldn't be."
Steve Harmison talks his Test prospects down

"We are hoping to play New Zealand ... we are sure if we do not beat them, we can fight them."
Afghanistan coach Taj Malik causes palpitations in both the ICC and United Nations

"Yeh to Geoffrey Boycott ki maa bhi pakad leti". [Even Geoffrey Boycott's mum would have caught this.]
Atul Wassan gets innovative in describing the sitter Misbah-ul-Haq dropped in the slips, off Robin Uthappa

"It is almost as if he is saying 'Go to hell the English public. I will write a book one day and make a load of money.'
Geoff Boycott writing about Duncan Fletcher the day after England were eliminated from the World Cup in April. Fletcher's controversial book came out in early November

"There is a point in time when you and you only know - the rest know it a second later - and it's the best feeling as a batsman."
Adam Gilchrist describes the joy of a six.

"I had asked for scorecards of the last three matches played here. The teams batting first had won so I decided to bat first."
Shoaib Malik confirms he had done his homework before the fourth ODI against India at Gwalior which Pakistan lost after opting to bat first and having problems gripping the ball due to the evening dew

"I love the Boss range of grooming products and use Boss Skin refreshing face wash on a daily basis. When I'm playing cricket I apply Boss Skin Revitalizing moisturizer with SPF 15 to help protect against sun damage. At night I use the Boss Skin Moisture Gel."
Any ideas who Kevin Pietersen is promoting?

"If I was born and bred in England I would probably still be playing."
Michael Slater jokes that the Australia team is just too hard to get into, perhaps forgetting that Mark Ramprakash can't get into the England team because he's too old ... and barely six months older than Slater.

"He [Shane Warne] can't keep his mouth shut because he wants to keep making these comments. He must be a miserable man in his life."
Muttiah Muralitharan reacts to Warne's suggestion that the ICC should assess Murali's action in a Test match to end any lingering speculation over its legality

"I've only been in the match referee's room once and that was for wearing the wrong-coloured undergarment. It's ridiculous."
Despite his on-field passion, Stuart Broad has so far stayed on the right side of the law

"We did give him three initials because we thought it would look good on a scoresheet."
Chris Broad says he wasn't necessarily aiming for son Stuart to become a cricketer, but did have the odd contingency plan

"Muppets? They're clowns as well."
Mark Waugh doesn't think much of the Sri Lanka selectors' decision to leave out strike bowler Lasith Malinga in the first Test

"I just look at my pictures sometimes and see if the photo is good."
While some cricketers read newspaper reports on themselves, Robin Uthappa strays clear of the text and flips through the pages for another reason

"Shane, with your, er, sorry Shane."
An unnamed reporter can't let go of Shane Warne's memory as he starts a question to Stuart MacGill ... who had just reached 200 Test wickets

"I'm blaming that on Wynberg [Boys High]. They didn't teach me to count to 200 - they seemed to stop at 180."
Jacques Kallis tries to explain why there's still no double-century on his impressive resume

"Bayliss kermitted to keeping Atapattu."
A cheeky headline on Fox Sports, about how Trevor Bayliss still wants Marvan Atapattu in the side following his "muppets" comment

"Sri Lanka cricket at this moment of time is not going in the direction it should be going, especially with a set of muppets headed by a joker."
Marvan Atapattu endears himself to his selectors as Sri Lanka struggle against Australia in Brisbane

"Chaminda Vaas came in to bowl the first ball of the Test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane today, I think. It gets a bit hard to say what happened as the quick disappeared behind a barbecue cooking sausages just as he was approaching the wicket. Judging by the lack of crowd noise there was neither a boundary or a six from the delivery. Apparently the same thing happened for the next five balls."
Journalist Peter Lalor of The Australian gives his view, or rather the lack of one, as newspaper journalists were locked out of the Gabba on the first day of Australia's Test season

"I have enough on my plate."
Mike Gatting referring to his new roles in English cricket. Few believed he would ever mutter such a comment where food was concerned

"Just bring the cards to the ground."
Ricky Ponting when asked how he'll deal with the wet weather forecast for the first two days of the Brisbane Test against Sri Lanka

"Don't worry about two years of not playing Test cricket - I hadn't held a bat for three months before I came here."
Marvan Atapattu reflects on his batting ahead of the Australian barrage

"I am really pleased that people are writing interesting books rather than the soporific ghosted rubbish that generally appears in the bookstalls."
Jonathan Agnew on why he is not one of those angered by the content of Duncan Fletcher's new book

"It's evident that they have come down harshly on players from the subcontinent, while others go scot-free ... match referees do not give any favours to our teams."
Inzamam-ul-Haq, outside the punishment of the ICC now he has retired, lets rip

"There is no doubt I am overweight. I don't know how far over I am. I just don't feel all that comfortable at the moment ... But I'd argue that, historically speaking, cricketers have proven - as I have over the last five years - that weight is not a selection criteria."
Stuart MacGill chews the fat as he waits to see if he's in Australia's squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka

"I am handsome but all the actresses can wait."
A modest Sreesanth disappoints the beauties who can't wait to star opposite him

"Flintoff was in such a state that he could not throw properly. He had to pass the ball to the bloke next to him to do so. And when it came to trying to catch the ball I honestly thought I was going to hurt him, so uncoordinated was he. I was fuming and stopped the practice early."
Duncan Fletcher reveals his anger with Andrew Flintoff, the then-England captain, over his conduct at a fielding practice during the 2006-07 Ashes

"Andre unfortunately only had one line that he was dishing out to Shoaib Malik and the boys so it got a bit monotonous there. We just had a chat to Andre and said to Graeme Smith, 'Well, look he's only traipsing out one line, it's getting a bit boring'."
The umpire Simon Taufel keeps a straight face as he explains that he found Andre Nel's sledges, sorry sledge, a bit repetitively dull

"You [media people] change my girlfriends every two days. Please let one continue for some time."
Mahendra Singh Dhoni gives a tongue-in-cheek reply on being quizzed about his love life

"Test cricket is like classical music which has survived since ancient ages. One-dayers are like film music that leaves people enthralled and Twenty20 cricket is like disco and rap which provides occasional pleasure in short bursts."
Another typical Navjot Sidhu comment on cricket's various formats

"He's one of those guys who can be 80 not out at lunch. Back in my day I dreamed about being 80 not out at lunch. If I could be 80 at about tea I thought 'this is good'."
Mark Taylor notices how opening the batting has changed as he supports Phil Jaques' case for a Test call-up

"I thought Stephen Outerbridge was unlucky as he didn't play at the ball when the umpire gave him out caught behind. I also thought my lbw was a little suspect, but that's no excuse."
What sounds remarkably like excuses from Bermuda captain Irving Romaine after his side's 43-run loss to Uganda. Bermuda receive millions of dollars of funding each year while Uganda have to launch appeals for equipment

"It's me who's going to pay the fines and not you. I am on the right track and I will continue doing it."
Sreesanth shrugs off his repeated visits to the match referee with a smile

"I think an umpire needs to have good communication skills. But first, he should be a good human being."
Simon Taufel lists some of the attributes of a good umpire

"I will do that as long as I have breath in my body."
Clive Lloyd vows to get West Indies cricket back on track

"The traffic, the smog, the food - it's all very new to me. I still can't shake the feeling at dinner time, 'Is this the meal that'll do me in?'"
Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss on settling into a new culture

"I am hippopotamusly happy and elephantastically proud."
Wes Hall on being honoured after his 70th birthday

"We were at a warm-up game in Zimbabwe once and the fast bowlers were on with the old ball. I was standing at slip with Inzi next to me. We crouched down as you do when the bowlers were coming in. Four or five balls later, I noticed Inzi was still crouching and surprised, I asked him if everything was ok. He replied, "I'm fine, just trying to sleep. The ball is old and reversing so there's hardly a chance there will be any edges to snap up."
Aamer Sohail recounts a classic Inzamam-ul-Haq anecdote

"You know, Hilditch isn't ringing to catch up for a drink."
Stuart Clark on when Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, rang to tell him that he was going to be dropped from the XI for Nathan Bracken

"At least I will be the only captain who won't have to worry about his hair melting."
Australia's captain, Allan Border, takes aim at his follicly-enhanced opposite numbers, Graham Gooch and Martin Crowe, ahead of the Australian Beach Cricket Tri-Series in Brisbane

"You're likely to find more life on Mars than on this pitch."
Damien Fleming's views on the pitch for the fifth ODI between India and Australia in Vadodara

"If I'd got it on target, I would've bowled him. I thought it was a nice way to go out."
The soon-to-be-knighted Sir Ian Botham reveals how he whipped out his "meat and two veg" to distract Australia's David Boon, as he ran in to bowl his final delivery in first-class cricket at Durham in 1993

"It's taught me that when I go on tour I have to take two alarm clocks."
England spinner Graeme Swann missed the team bus a couple of times on the tour of South Africa in 2000 and learnt from the experience

"We have a white towel with 'No Excuses' written on it. The first person to give up, we put their name on it so they've thrown the towel in."
Pakistan's fitness trainer David Dwyer reveals a unique motivational technique to keep the side in shape

"I listen to all these republicans, and if it was down to me I'd hang 'em! I honestly would. It's a traitor's game for me."
A clearly pro-monarchy Sir Ian Botham on the eve of receiving his knighthood at Buckingham Palace

"I don't really care if Malinga is outdoing me on the hair stakes, as long as I outdo him for wickets - that is all that really matters."
Ryan Sidebottom insists he isn't going head-to-head with Lasith Malinga on the fashion front

"Five minutes ... five minutes! And on that basis Mr Hair lost his status as a Test match umpire!"
Robert Griffiths, Darrell Hair's barrister, to Sir John Anderson, chairman of New Zealand Cricket, after he explained how long the ICC took to decide to take action against Hair after the Oval Test

"I am a child, they are all legends."
... says Sreesanth about facing the Australians

"That was unplayable, just like the Spice Girls."
The new Shane Warne doll, a playmate for the Boonie doll, gets his sledges in gear

"I also saw a few things that I wouldn't expect from my son, Harrison, in a backyard game of cricket."
Australia's stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist talks about the high-tempered second one-dayer at Kochi

"We have something in common ... the ICC wants to sack both of us."
What the ICC chief executive, Malcolm Speed apparently said to Darrell Hair in the aftermath of the Oval Test, as revealed at Hair's employment tribunal in London.

"Well, thank God we've arrived in Sri Lanka, where there don't appear to be any strip clubs whatsoever."
Paul Collingwood's relieved on realising there's little scope of being spotted in all the wrong places in Sri Lanka

"If my sex appeal can cheer the players to perform well in a game, I think it's my biggest achievement."
Bollywood "item girl" Rakhi Sawant is charmingly self-effacing about her contribution to the game in India

"I love curries so I should be okay on that front, although with the heat I might even have to get my hair cut!"
Ryan Sidebottom can take the spice but not the heat in Sri Lanka

"Cricket is about, bat ball, stump, wicket, fielding, what else is there? You use the same words in Hindi and English. I can understand that. I am from a village, I am just 24, I have played international cricket only for a year, but I am not an idiot."
Munaf Patel when asked about the problem of communication he was said to have faced within the team

"The only time I took a ride in an open bus was in Belfast, earlier in the summer. But it was so cold that I had to quickly take shelter in the covered deck."
Sourav Ganguly's take on the open bus ride which the Twenty20 champions enjoyed

"We are told that Mumbai is a city which is always on the move. See, me and my boys have brought the entire city to a standstill today."
Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the Indian team received a tumultuous welcome from adoring fans on returning to India

I don't know - for us or for Pakistan?"
Graeme Smith wittily replies when asked if the absence of Shoaib Akhtar would be an advantage during South Africa's tour of Pakistan

"I wish I knew. I'll let you know when I find out. But it seems to me that sort of information is not meant for me."
South African captain Graeme Smith isn't amused at not knowing who his vice-captain for the Pakistan tour is

"Cricket will make a great deal of money in the short term, money it has no obvious need for and will mostly waste, and it will be left a coarser, crueller, crasser game as a result."
Journalist Gideon Haigh with a warning for those running the game after the ICC World Twenty20

"This was a million, trillion times better than the World Cup - there are even rumours that's still going on in some remote part of the Caribbean - I hope this has been a lesson learned by the ICC that one-day cricket tournaments are fantastic, they're colourful, they're vibrant."
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew with a clear message to the ICC after watching the success of the World Twenty20

"I don't agree with much of the criticism about the last two World Cups."
The response from ICC CEO Malcolm Speed shows that his head continues to be firmly buried in the sands of Dubai

"I want to play cricket, because I have found out that I am rubbish at everything else."
Stuart Law on why he won't retire just yet

"Hey beautiful, I'm just talking to my kids, the back door's open."
Shane Warne's text message which, according to his ex-wife, Simone Callahan, he accidentally sent to her. "You loser, you sent the message to the wrong person," she replied.

"Before I start I should say I read an article by you in Cricinfo. You'd said Australia were the favourites. Today I think me and the boys, we proved you wrong."
Speaking to Ravi Shastri after India's victory over Australia in the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's Twenty20 and ODI captain, tells all that he reads Cricinfo. And apparently it's inspired him.

"I had an extra pray and asked Allah to give us another Championship. If you give 100% then Allah will always favour you."
Mushtaq Ahmed admits that Sussex had a little extra help on their way to winning the County Championship

"Warne managed to settle numerous scores in the construction of his list and the only surprise was his mother was not ranked a few places ahead of his former captain."
Peter Roebuck is just as dazed as the rest of the world as to why Shane Warne ranked Steve Waugh at No. 26 in his list of fifty best cricketers

"A lot of people tell me I bat like him, but I'm not even halfway there."
Yuvraj Singh dismisses comparisons with West Indian legend Garry Sobers after his six sixes in an over kept India alive in the ICC World Twenty20

"He sulked when he lost; shouted when he was angry. Instead of lifting the dressing room in trying times, he became the chief mourner; the source of negativity."
George Dobell in The Birmingham Post with a scathing account of Mark Greatbatch's time as Warwickshire coach

"The big difference this year is that it's been a bloody awful summer all over the country. I've been going to other counties and hearing them say how much rain they've had, and said, 'What a pity. We've been putting up with this for 100-odd years.'"
Lancashire's chairman Jack Simmons has little sympathy following a miserable English summer

"That had four written all over it - until it got stuck in the rocks at long-off."
The commentary from the PA describes the unusual playing conditions for the Basra Ashes between the English and Australian military contingents stationed in Iraq

"There is a shelf life to the captaincy in India in which you can give it your best. Maybe the shelf lives are becoming shorter as time goes by."
Rahul Dravid explains his decision to resign as India's captain

"The plan was to stick to the bowling plan."
Australia's Mitchell Johnson offers a fascinating insight into his side's tactics

"I am a big teddy bear. Kids might not agree, but I am someone they could put around their little finger."
Colin Croft looks forward to the new term in his new job ... as a maths and PE teacher

"Our top order has been diabolical, even in the practice games here ... when you don't respect this game it gets up and bites you."
Reality bites for Ricky Ponting after Australia's defeat by Zimbabwe in the ICC World Twenty20

"Roger earns a lot more money than I do."
Simon Taufel responds to comparisons with Roger Federer after picking up the Umpire of the Year award for the fourth year running

"I don't think there's really time to choke, everything happens so quickly."
South Africa won't get a chance to repeat what they are known for at the ICC World Twenty20, says Shaun Pollock

"It's a bit of a sprint. If one-day cricket is an 800-metre race, then Twenty20 is 100 metres."
Shaun Pollock on the quick nature of the game that lasts 20-overs a side

"I think he is a style icon and whatever he wears he is quite comfortable in them. I admire him a lot."
Kapil Dev has style. It's official: fashion designer Anjana Bhargav says so

"I wanted to play for a county but nobody seemed interested in taking me."
Surprisingly, it's lean pickings for Virender Sehwag, who will make a comeback to the Indian team for the ICC World Twenty20

"You want to see your son alive or do you want a cricket player?"
Nazimuddin, Bangladesh's newest recruit, recounts a conversation with his mother during a "torturous" Under-19 camp in 2004 where players had to take ice-baths at 7am in the middle of winter. All's well that ends well

"Pizza and fast food is not food, the proper food is at the hotel."
A Zimbabwe Cricket official angrily dismisses claims of food shortages during the recent series against South Africa, insisting that the visiting players should not have tried to find any food outside the team hotel

"When I go past a school and see children playing I often wish I had grown up here and got the chance to learn how to play." Manchester City's German midfielder Dietmar Hamann wishes he had played cricket, too

"Are you telling me that this is the best Warwickshire can produce? I don't think so."
Nasser Hussain attacks Warwickshire's choice of picking Kolpak players such as 30-year-old Alfonso Thomas, as Lancashire raced to 100 without loss chasing 254

"The smell on the outfield was diabolical, and it was obviously stale wee ... the main worry for the fielding side was when it came to having to shine the ball."
Hampshire's wicketkeeper, Nic Pothas, gets up close and personal with the Old Trafford pitch that was wrecked by thousands of cross-legged fans urinating during an Arctic Monkeys concert

"I'm not going to be Adolf Warne or anything like that - I'll always be Shane Warne."
Shane Warne attempts to calm fears, in his inimitable style, that he is going to apply for German citizenship

"He [Muttiah Muralitharan] should just think that when a dog bites, you don't go and bite the dog."
Arjuna Ranatunga, speaking to an Indian television channel, advises Muralitharan on dealing with Bishan Bedi

"We have been to Nando's. All we could order was rice and bread. There is no meat here. The pizza places serve only vegetarian dishes."
South Africa A captain Boeta Dippenaar on the problems his players are having getting food in Zimbabwe

"If I was sitting in an armchair then I'd be disappointed as well."
Rahul Dravid with a message for armchair fans who were critical of his decision not to enforce the follow-on at The Oval

"I've seen some poor umpiring decisions this series, but this is just ridiculous. If you come off for one cloud in England, you'll never play."
The decision to go off for bad light on the final day at The Oval does not please Nasser Hussain

"He's not driving well, he's not hooking and pulling well. It doesn't leave too much."
Nasser Hussain hands Andrew Strauss a not-so-glowing endorsement

"England's wicketkeeping policy is beginning to make you wonder if they'd consider strapping gloves on to a chimpanzee if there were runs in the ape."
Martin Johnson reacts in the Daily Telegraph after Matt Prior's embarrassing drops

"England have to be very careful, because Matt Prior could wither and die."
Ian Chappell forgets that England's wicketkeeper is a human being, not a daffodil, after dropping Sachin Tendulkar on the first day at The Oval

"My dad runs a takeaway in Paisley and I have to help out this weekend because my mum and brother are both away in Pakistan, one of our chefs is unavailable and our delivery driver has gone to jail for three weeks."
Well, that's one reason (or two) to make yourself unavailable for Scotland. With a few players withdrawing from the Ireland match, Majid Haq's excuse was the most bizarre

"Murali will complete 1000 Test wickets but they would count as mere run-outs in my eyes."
Bishan Bedi doesn't seem to tire of baiting Muttiah Muralitharan

"I think I played as long as I could mentally. Physically the body feels great, but the mental side of it is another thing."
Glenn McGrath on why he decided to quit

"I can't afford to take a step back in income because we are looking for a bigger house at the moment."
Scotland's Glenn Rogers highlights the differences between the big boys and the Associates after a course arranged by his employers caused him to miss a Scotland match

"They should be forced to play their next game in short trousers."
Veteran cricket writer John Woodcock on England's childish behaviour at Trent Bridge

"People say that sport is not a matter of life and death, but for a few seconds there I thought my number was up."
Kevin Pietersen is not too proud to reveal that Sreesanth's beamer was the first time he was shaken up on a cricket pitch

"I think he prefers the blue ones to the pink ones."
Paul Collingwood pours petrol on the jellybeans fire. Zaheer had the last laugh with five second-innings wickets

"For f***'s sake."
Non striker Michael Vaughan after Sreesanth bowled a head-high beamer at Kevin Pietersen. Sreesanth was later fined 50% of his match fee after earlier barging into Vaughan deliberately

"The problem is when you behave like he behaves, then people will start to ask questions."
Michael Holding's views on Sreesanth after a head-high beamer to Kevin Pietersen

"He's a batsman with a pair of gloves, maybe for no apparent reason."
David Lloyd doesn't give Mahendra Singh Dhoni's keeping a huge vote of confidence as he fumbles the ball

"I know it's not me because I prefer Wine Gums."
Matt Prior absolves himself of any responsibility following reports that a jellybean was spotted on a length during the Test

"When I was 17, I started watching it on the telly as it was a great way of occupying five days before the next dole cheque came in."
Rock band Razorlight's Johnny Borrell explains his interest in cricket

"My kids don't keep their room very clean but I don't kick them out of home."
Darren Lehmann hopes Australia's Centre of Excellence has not overreacted by sending three players home for having a messy room

"We've now got an outdoor swimming pool - 50 metres or so? It's probably the biggest swimming pool in England."
Worcestershire batsman Phil Jaques isn't too downhearted about the lack of indoor training facilities at the flooded New Road

"As far as I'm concerned cricket is like a biscuit, and anyone can make a biscuit."
Dean Jones' witty response when asked about the stringent opposition to ICL by the BCCI and the ICC

"I don't know all the rules, but I don't know all the rules of Quidditch either."
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe on his conversion to cricket - he attended the Lord's Test on his 18th birthday this week.

"It was a waste of time. The boot camp was a different way to reinforce the same things. My way would have been to lock us all up in a pub."
Shane Warne gives his alternative to Australia's controversial boot camp last year

"I'm not a big fan of John Buchanan. I didn't think he was a very good coach. What was his role? How could he teach someone to play a cover-drive? How could he teach me to bowl? Some people thought he was fantastic and didn't get enough credit - I found that hard to believe."
Warne speaks bluntly about Australia's erstwhile coach

"The patches are not sponsorship - I wish they were!"
So, Mueller representatives, if you're reading give Shiv Chanderpaul a sponsorship deal

"The npower logo ... when viewed upside down ... becomes a new and exciting logo for a company entitled Jamodu. I have therefore set up a company with this name, and appointed directors. We simply need something for Jamodu to do or make."
Sir Tim Rice invites ideas for his brand new company

"Remember to say 'Good areas', 'Work hard', 'Keep it simple'."
What cliches? A mischievous journalist passes Monty Panesar a note ahead of a press conference. Panesar said it just once in 15 minutes.

"It felt quite weird when we buried it, but it was exciting. I am glad that part of me will be at Sophia Gardens for ever. That is my legacy to the club and it feels right."
Glamorgan's Mike Powell who had complications in surgery and had a rib removed... and then buried at Sophia Gardens ...

... "I didn't realise how small the rib would be, so I dug a massive hole. At least there is no chance of seeing it again, it's more than two foot under. The grass should grow back, no problem."
The head groundsman Len Smith's reaction

"I only played one game in front of three people and I was more nervous than when I go out to bat for England."
Alastair Cook couldn't take the heat when playing darts - his surprising passion - against a female world champion, Trina Gulliver

"My janitor has a better sweep than you."
A very thirsty member of the Dublin crowd offers advice, or something like it, to Niall O'Brien

"England's level of performance in limited-overs cricket is so bad the Eskimos would beat us."
The recently-knighted Ian Botham on England's ODI defeat in The Mirror

"I had to ask if he was a batter or a bowler - I didn't really know who he was."
Liberty X singer Jessica Taylor on fiance Kevin Pietersen

"The curfew is off tonight."
Chris Gayle prepares to let his hair down after West Indies won the one-day series against England

"You have cricket in confusion, no organised approach, we mention financial statements, all you scattering like cockroach."
But some other West Indians aren't laughing: Dave Martins, of the Tradewinds band, has written a song slamming the board

"If I acted like them I'd expect to have my backside kicked, but nobody seems to take responsibility.''
The Professional Cricketers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan on the ICC

"It was raining men. I thought I was dreaming. I was almost tempted to ask for a date."
Sussex dweller Lisa Morrison who was walking past the county ground when a team of RAF parachutists, who had been doing a display at the cricket, were blown off course and landed in local residents' gardens

"People pay their money but some feel it gives them the right to shout abuse to different players. Perhaps that is a bit of football mentality coming in and as a player that is not particularly nice."
Surrey's Mark Ramprakash joins in the debate on crowd behaviour at Twenty20 matches

"In Harare a few years back, Robert Mugabe told me that he thought cricket civilised people and he wanted Zimbabwe to be a nation of cricket-lovers. I tried explaining the game to George Bush Senior, but when I told him that it could last for five days and there might not be a positive result, I could see his eyes glaze over. I saw Bill Clinton in Moscow a few weeks ago and he asked for a copy of the book."
Britain's former prime minister John Major on educating politicians on the game

"You can only write an obituary on this scorecard but not a report."
A veteran journalist reacts after Bangladesh were bundled out for 62 on Tuesday

"I don't know what prompted it - although I've been watching huge amounts of cricket - but for some reason Andrew Strauss was being paid to stalk me."
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe reveals an alarming nightmare

"They were on the rampage for hours and even charged around the outfield from time to time before their owner managed to tempt them back home."
A player at Barnack CC explains the unusual difficulties in hosting an Over-50s match between Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire - cows stopped play

"Jeez, that's going to be bad"
Shane Warne on England's smoking ban that came into effect on July 1.

"Now that they actually have to try to do something they haven't got a clue what to do."
Michael Holding lays into the West Indies board

"There might be some clubs who will be reluctant to employ security guards, but how expensive is a life?"
Umpire Peter Willey bemoans the lack of security at some Twenty20 matches

"The board have to take the lead, their job is to lay a platform for potential success. Quite frankly, they have failed to do that. They have mismanaged and bungled too many simple issues."
Ian Bishop backs Chris Gayle's outburst against the West Indies Cricket Board

"Perhaps they may ban the yorker and the outswinger also."
Dennis Lillee when asked about the proposed free-hit rule in ODIs that the ICC may implement in near future

"It's just a joke. But I'm not surprised - that's the Irish Cricket Union for you."
Ireland's Jeremy Bray isn't laughing about their push for professionalism

"It was hugely frustrating to see Duncan pick loads of young bowlers, throw them in at the top level and then decide they needed to work on their run up or action."
Mark Ramprakash kicks off the "perhaps Fletcher wasn't all that great" backlash

"Essex will be looking into it very seriously. If it is considered that our particular eagle has any Nazi connotations then we will remove it henceforth."
As Barclays Bank consider removing their eagle - after 317 years - for fear of Nazi associations, an Essex spokesman, possibly with tongue-in-cheek, assures the public that the Essex Eagles' logo will also be weighed up

"It was nasty ... nasty ... complete nastiness. We're watching something that is just totally ludicrous. Anybody who thinks that is a cricket shot, come and see me after."
Darren Powell might do well to keep out the way of Sir Viv Richards after his hoick to get out at Chester-le-Street ... in both innings

"I can't forget the time he once told a team meeting - 'The day I stop thinking of money, I will stagnate.'"
Bishan Bedi on Sunil Gavaskar, his former India team-mate

"It was a disgrace to be caught playing foreign games. We did it under assumed names and hid behind the bushes to change into our whites."
Tony Francis quotes an Irish player about the problem of playing cricket a few decades ago. Some players even wore masks to avoid identification

"Don't go what's safe, do something different... for crying out loud ... the people of England don't care what colour his hair is or does he have some danglers in his ears or round his neck ... "
Geoffrey Boycott argues that Kevin Pietersen should captain England's one-day side

"Fidel Castro is bowling with real aggression here."
We're not quite sure Sir Vivian Richards is right, but we think we know who he means

"If my mum was alive she could captain England to play West Indies ... hopeless, aren't they?"
Geoffrey Boycott shoots from the hip

"If computer knowhow is all that matters, then [Microsoft chairman] Bill Gates should have been the best cricket coach in the world."
Javed Miandad continues swinging at whatever comes his way

"I don't know what that's all about, mate. The only person I can remember doing it was a wrestler called the Rock."
Jason Gillespie can't remember anyone else referring to themselves in the third person, as England players such as Michael Vaughan are getting into the habit of doing

"Start the car, launch the pedalo."
David Lloyd gets very excited as Steve Harmison takes two quick wickets on the final day at Old Trafford. Andrew Flintoff was watching from the England balcony

"I hope he would knock Smith's teeth out. He should shut his mouth and captain his country."
The former Warwickshire player Paul Smith reckons Kevin Pietersen would beat Graeme Smith in a fight

"He said if we finished if off tonight then he'd put his visa card behind the bar."
Andy Caddick on Marcus Trescothick's incentive to his Somerset team-mates to complete a two-day win over Leicestershire. They failed, only getting six second-innings wickets before the close

"It had its controversies and detractors, but ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 will go down in history as one of the most memorable World Cups ever."
The World Cup organising committee's spin machine continues to try to rewrite history in its final World Cup newsletter. Memorable for too many dull matches, poor treatment of spectators, and appalling and money-grabbing administration?

"The organisation of [the 2007 World Cup] was the best I have seen."
No April Fool's Day joke from former ICC president Ehsan Mani. And we all thought the tournament was an utter shambles. Seems it wasn't when looking out from the comfort of a corporate box

"I wouldn't be surprised to see Pedro Collins playing in the next game."
"Er ... they didn't bring him."
Ian Botham shows that his research is not what it should be before being corrected by Michael Holding

"Feed him to the Alsatians ... then he won't come back."
Geoffrey Boycott with a to-the-point opinion when asked how to deal with an interruption by a drunken spectator during the Leeds Test

"I suffered one or two defects ... I wasn't good enough."
Former prime minister John Major on his time in politics ... er, sorry, on his abilities as a cricketer

"It's a good German name and sounds like someone who lives high up in the mountains, so he doesn't have enough oxygen and that makes him crazy."
Andre Nel explains his on-pitch alter ego, named Gunther

"On the upside, I've always got a decent stockpile of miniature toiletries."
Ronnie Irani isn't a fan of the amount of travelling involved in cricket, but doesn't mind the odd perk

"He would rather go down to the bookies and lose his money on the horses."
Ryan Sidebottom says his dad Arnie would be too nervous to watch him play his second Test at Headingley

"It's a way of keeping me tuned in and relaxing. I can't just concentrate, concentrate, concentrate. I'm no Einstein."
Kevin Pietersen on his ongoing "conversation" with Chris Gayle during his hundred for England in the first Test at Lord's

"A great advert for cricket."
BBC football correspondent Mark Lawrenson is frustrated with a boring first half of the FA Cup final, played just up the road from England's tussle with West Indies

"I was fed up with cricket by the end of the Ashes."
Steve Harmison reveals all ... as opposed to England supporters who were fed up with him by the end of the Ashes

"How does ICC call theirs a cricket governing body when it allows racist politicians to threaten [Zimbabwe] ... just because it is a small country [it is] falling victim to the racist bullies."
The comically-biased government-run Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe lays into the ICC

"This would be a first for Shoaib, who is widely regarded as a more committed playboy than cricketer."
Journalist Malcolm Conn reacts to a quote from Shoaib Akhtar that he had been keeping himself in shape during his lay-off

"If there is a chance to play in an older guys' Twenty20 then I'd be up for it."
Darren Gough has finally accepted his England days are over

"The rising generation who are Africa's future feel utterly betrayed and disgusted by the short-sighted self-serving stupidity of these sports bureaucrats."
Former UK sports minister Kate Hoey savages the ICC for its inaction regarding Zimbabwe cricket

"We have no intention of picking him in the foreseeable future. We have to take it slowly. We tend to talk about Bristol City and Bristol Rovers rather than cricket."
England's chairman of selectors David Graveney when asked whether he had spoken to Marcus Trescothick about him returning to the England side

"Steve Harmison was seriously good for Durham against us. Brad Hodge came off and said '****, he was quick!' That's a good sign coming from someone like him."
Stuart Law recalls Brad Hodge's breathless comment after facing Steve Harmison

"What a pity those ludicrous multi-national matches of 2005 were not staged in Harare. The scores would have been lost forever."
As some Zimbabwe scores are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain Bill Frindall believes that the ICC Afro-Asia Cup and Super Series would be better buried

"He would rather go to bed early and read a book on sports psychology."
Dave Houghton says that the ECB has no need to worry that their new assistant coach Andy Flower will go out drinking with the England team

"This is a horrific regime in Zimbabwe and we should take a stand against it, and included amongst those who should take a stand are our cricketers .... [but] we can't, I suppose, formally ban them."
Australia's foreign minister Alexander Downer airs his views on the prospect of the country touring Zimbabwe

"It is not sufficient for a government to express a preference that its team not undertake a tour, or to express criticism of or condemn the activities of the government of a member [nation]. A positive act of restriction or prohibition is required."
An ICC spokesman makes clear where cricket's governing body stands

"I can only say it's similar to the situation where you are sitting at home and the answer to a quiz question on TV looks very simple, but you just lose your train of thought when you are in that heated, pressure situation."
David Richardson, the ICC's general manager, is at a loss to explain the farce at the World Cup final

"I thought Aleem was having a bit of a joke with us when he said it looks like we'd have to come back tomorrow and play three overs. I said: 'Mate, we've played the 20 overs, we've actually finished the game.'"
Ricky Ponting on that farcical finish to the World Cup final

"Australia are the winners but cricket has been the loser. It's not a money-making exercise, it's about people."
Nasser Hussain fires one last salvo

"I'd do the same thing, but hit it next time."
So not the same thing, then. England's Ravi Bopara discusses that ball against Sri Lanka

"Malcolm has been living in Dubai for too long. As I've said before, they've got a hotel under the sea there and a ski resort in the desert. It's too far away from reality."
Ian Chappell lashes out at Malcolm Speed for turning a blind eye on some obvious issues about hosting the World Cup in the West Indies

"There has been far too much negative comment which is ill-informed. I don't mind criticism but you want people to get the facts right."
ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed has a pop at the media over coverage of the World Cup. Ever wondered why there has been so much negativity, Malcolm?

"I definitely don't think we choked. We just weren't good enough."
So that's that, then, Graeme Smith's South Africa are not chokers

"I know people say losing the semi-final is like kissing your sister, but we can take huge positives out of the World Cup."
Mickey Arthur, South Africa's coach, on what people apparently say.

"The team that had bored and bungled their way around the Caribbean, badly letting down their thousands of travelling fans, slipped in unheralded and largely unnoticed."
The Mirror newspaper welcomes back England's side under the headline "Prats of the Caribbean"

"The interminable World Cup continues and the words 'police' and 'investigation' seem to be poles apart. meanwhile, the game's governing body have all become Trappist monks. Don't mention the war and we might get away with it."
Broadcaster John Inverdale on the low-key nature of progress in the investigation into the death of Bob Woolmer

"There may not be any attacks tonight because we are also watching the match."
A Tamil Tigers spokesman on halting fighting for the Sri Lanka's semi against New Zealand

"They will definitely win if they depart at an astrologically right time."
A Sri Lanka astrologer claims the outcome of their semi depends on planetary positions

"Trusting county committeemen to do what is best for the national game is like putting Brer Fox in charge of chickens."
Wisden editor Scyld Berry on the way English cricket is run

"At the very end, a man who throughout his career had done so much to mask the deficiencies of his team had been undone by the foible of a team-mate. It was sad, but it was apt."
The Observer's Will Buckley on Brian Lara's final innings in Barbados

"I've not read the book."
Cricketers are busy people so they can't read all books that come their way, but surely Steve Harmison should have read the book he's put his name to?

"Paul Collingwood is quite attractive for a ginger."
Overheard on the London Underground, courtesy of Time Out's "Overheard" column

"I was at matches early in the event where there was a lot of noise. I can't help it if people want to take a critical approach to all issues."
Malcolm Speed comes out fighting against critics who have said games have lacked atmosphere. Clearly Mr Speed has been watching a different World Cup to the rest of us

"The bulk of responsibility for the almost pulseless fiasco is quite properly being laid at the door of the ICC, a body as notorious for organisational ineptitude as it is for scuttling away from anything resembling an ethical principle. There isn't a shovel big enough to pile on the opprobrium deserved by such a crew."
Award-winning Sunday Times journalist Hugh McIlvanney warms to the way the ICC has run the World Cup

"There must be two Justin Langers in the world, I think."
Ricky Ponting can't believe that Justin Langer, never shy of a word or two himself, wants sledging stopped in county cricket

"It's not Kevin Pietersen v Graeme Smith. We won't be having a beer together afterwards."
Kevin Pietersen reminds all of us that it's two teams playing out there at the Kensington Oval and wants all distractions out of the way

"Somehow no one is talking him (Andre Nel) up as one to watch this tournament. Maybe it's just because he's a bit of a twit. Or rather less polite words to that effect."
The Times's Patrick Kidd is less than impressed with South Africa's finest

"You're not getting in there without a shower cap".
A steward at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua warns a long-haired female England fan about breaching health and safety regulations

"I always read in the international press where they say I am under pressure ... but my contract doesn't say that I have to win matches, it says as long as I am competitive, then my employers are happy."
No wonder Zimbabwe coach Kevin Curran always looks so relaxed. Of their last 19 ODIs, his side have won once and tied once

"There has been a lot of talk about the so-called minnows devaluing the tournament. It is a charge that could now be justifiably made against the West Indies, once the kings of the game and champions of the first two tournaments."
Tony Cozier reflects on the crisis engulfing West Indies, both on and off the pitch

"This has been a World Cup for the organisers, the visitors and the players but certainly not for the people. That's why the stadiums are empty and that in itself is a con job. It's the biggest con job ever passed off in this region."
Jack Warner, the head of the Caribbean's footballing fraternity, takes a swipe at the World Cup

"The International Cricket Council is ... about making money, having rules, and siding with narrow commercial interests even at the expense of basic human decency, let alone local colour. The ame's bosses have wrecked their own party with their greed."
Cricinfo columnist and former Wisden Cricketers' Almanack editor Tim de Lisle with some home truths for the tournament hosts

"It is like watching cricket at Lord's. It's no bloody different."
An English tourist expresses dismay after sitting through a match in Guyana

"We had to rely on the advice of the local organising committee to establish the prices of the tickets. It is, in retrospect, a little too rich for the local palate."
Malcolm Speed washes the ICC's hands of responsibility for empty stands throughout the World Cup

"At the moment we are doing this using a lot of spreadsheets and they just cannot cope with the sheer volume of the money and the projects that are coming in from it."
Faisal Hasnain, the ICC's chief financial officer, admits that there's just too much money flooding in for it to cope. Not much solace to those in the Caribbean unhappy as inflated prices at World Cup venues

"If Mr Gough's parents are alive, then one hopes that they acknowledge that he is an embarrassment to the human race ... the serpents and gorillas that live in Mr Gough's mind compelled him to descend to a level of pitiful, sickening and Hitleristic journalism about Guyana."
An editorial in Guyana's Kaieteur News appears to take exception to the BBC's Martin Gough who was less than complimentary about the country

"The nets are wet and the run-ups are wet ... some of the batsmen have had throw-downs and after a major fight the bowlers have been allowed to practice on the outfield."
South Africa's coach Mickey Arthur discovers first hand the state of the new Providence Stadium's facilities. An ICC spokesman said they were "98% there"

"Please, organisers, please, give a thought to the people that really matter - the spectators - and get the grounds filled up."
Mark Nicholas appeals for action as West Indies played their match with New Zealand against the empty backdrop of the Sir Vivian Ground in Antigua

"He's a class player in both forms of the game, but the tempo of his innings probably wasn't what they needed."
Ricky Ponting tries to sound sincere after Jacques Kallis's stodgy 48 off 63 balls as South Africa tried to chase 378 against Australia

"Malcolm Speed is not a man who elicits a great deal of sympathy from the cricket community. He is a cold fish, lawyerly in every respect."
Michael Atherton on the ICC's No. 1 mackerel ... er, man

"Cricket cannot be seen to succumb to a dastardly act such as this any more than society does to terrorism."
Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, on why the World Cup must go on following the death of Bob Woolmer

"Zimbabwe shouldn't be playing international cricket on moral grounds, and the ICC overlooks that to its eternal shame."
The BBC's Jonathan Agnew has a go at a familiar target

"There is a history to this story. It's not the first time. In Australia he had three or four warnings over his behaviour."
Nasser Hussain points out that Andrew Flintoff is not a first-time offender

"I'm ashamed. I feel I've let people down, the team, the management, family, friends and the public back home. It has been a horrible few days to be honest."
Andrew Flintoff isn't impressed with himself

"Before the game we said, 'Let's make history today.' Well, we made history."
Dutch captain Luuk van Troost on Herschelle Gibbs's six sixes against them.

"The rum's too strong for me here. But I'll have a couple of beers."
Herschelle Gibbs on his muted celebrations following his six sixes against Netherlands

"Anchor David Gower crowbarring in tedious references to calypso music, island paradises and Bob Marley. I've yet to hear him mention rum, rice and peas, or cannabis, but we're only a couple of days in; give him time."
Sky Sports' coverage of the World Cup comes under fire in the Guardian

"What can you say? I told Daan after the third ball, 'try to bowl a quicker one' and he said, 'I just did'. There were a few good balls in it and a few shit ones."
Luuk van Troost is at a loss for words after Herschelle Gibbs's onslaught against Daan van Bunge

"One of the things I realised pretty early is that I'm 40 and if I try to pretend I'm 25 I'll fall flat."
Canada's Anderson Cummins is acting his age

"Doing a few raids on gang houses wasn't particularly nice and mortuary stuff wasn't great. There were a few dead bodies along the line. It puts everthing into perspective. If you get hit for four, you get hit for four."
Shane Bond recounts his career as a cop

"He loves India. He has named his child India. His biggest player is actually Tendulkar. Right now I'm hoping Tendulkar does not hit a catch to him because he will probably drop it to watch him bat."
Irvine Romaine on team-mate Lionel Cann, who is just a bit overawed by being at the World Cup

"There's no way I could make any money out of a book after how I performed."
England's errant spearhead, Steve Harmison, explains why he is giving the proceeds of his Ashes tour diary to a children's charity, Bubble Foundation UK

"If it means cutting the finger off, if that's the worst-case scenario, if that's the last resort, I'll do that, there's no way I'm missing this."
Jacob Oram, who is nursing a broken finger, is willing to go to scary lengths to play the World Cup

"Vision has been lost about what's important and what is not."
Tim May expresses his fears about the increase in Australia-India matches

"My theory is that every time a batsman plays and misses he should be asked to take off one piece of protective clothing of the bowler's choice."
Michael Kasprowicz takes a novel approach in the plan to contain batsmen

"Chris Read's treatment has been scandalous. I've started calling him Lord Lucan because he has disappeared off the radar inexplicably."
Ian Botham with some typically forthright opinions on England's permanent one-day reserve

"A poor decision from Darrell Harper who is, in my opinion, a poor umpire. He's made too many shockers and yet the ICC don't change their umpires ... they see the footage and yet we see the same umpires, year in and year out"
Former England captain turned commentator Nasser Hussain can never be accused of sitting on the fence

"This is gross human rights abuse but I need to look after my family. Cricket is my job and I cannot risk my job for dreadlocks."
An unnamed Zimbabwe cricketerafter he was ordered to shave his dreadlocks or be be dropped

"A few months ago Duncan Fletcher said he knew 10 or the 11 for England's World Cup side ... now they can't even agree on who the best 30 are."
Michael Atherton reflects on the news England want to pick their final World Cup side from outside the original 30-man squad

"Flintoff underneath it ... he's a good, safe pair of hands ...er ... a good, safe pair of hands when he gets to it."
Michael Atherton puts the kiss of death on England's captain who spilled a steepler

"I can't see any problems with it except the ICC ...which is an obvious problem."
Nasser Hussain explains the obstacles to introducing changes to rules regarding third-umpire referrals

"I was a bit concerned my name wasn't going to fit on the shirt."
We're not quite sure what England's latest call-up Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Camellia Rosamond Rainford-Brent means

"Go back to the zoo!"
What Herschelle Gibbs said, among other expletive-laden remarks, to Pakistan's fans at Centurion. His outburst earned him a two-Test ban from the ICC

"I was thinking about the reverse Mexican wave where you get everybody to stand up and sit down in unison instead of standing up. I don't know if it will be successful or not."
Self-styled Captain Australia Brendan Lichtendonk, an Australia fan, has an idea to make Billy Birmingham proud

"Bracks [Nathan Bracken] was bowling off about two or three steps and he was squealing when he was copping it in the thigh pad."
New South Wales' Ed Cowan reveals that the marketing men got it all wrong when they decided including rugby league star Andrew Johns in the state Twenty20 would be a great idea

"Warne should retire and be a pantomime dame - made up in a great big dress with bouffant hair."
Jonathan Agnew talking about Shane Warne's on-field antics

"I feel so bad about mine, I'm going to tie it round my cat. It doesn't mean anything anymore. It's a joke."
Geoff Boycott on the decision to award MBEs to the England XII after 2005's Ashes win. Shane Warne had earlier sledged Paul Collingwood, asking why he had got a medal for making 7 at The Oval

"Despite my reputation as a bit of a cricket anorak, I'm not a huge one for history."
Ricky Ponting when asked about the possibility of the first Ashes whitewash since 1921

"No, I'm looking forward to getting away from it."
Steve Harmison asked whether he will miss being part of the England tour when the Test ends and he returns home

"Everyone keeps saying 'you'll know when it's time'. Well, at one o'clock two days ago I knew it was time - it just came to me."
Justin Langer talks about finally knowing that it was time to end his Test career