Does the secret of Ricky Ponting's phenomenal batting average lie in the WWF? © AFP

See beer, will drink
Continuing from last week, here's some more on Shane Warne, this time by Jason Gillespie in his newly published autobiography, Dizzy, where he reveals how Warne got the reputation of being a beer drinker.

"Well, he does have a smoke, but he's never been much of a beer drinker," Gillespie writes. But that was before Warne, a fan of the Australian Football League team St Kilda, heard that some Brisbane Lions footballers were planning to visit the Australian cricket team's dressing room during their 2004 Test against New Zealand at the Gabba.

"For the rest of the summer Darren Lehmann, Gilly [Adam Gilchrist] and I took it upon ourselves to make sure at the end of each bowling day Shane had a beer in his spot in the change rooms. We chortled away thinking we were the funniest blokes in the world. Warnie, of course, drank the frostie, albeit rather reluctantly."

The secret lies six feet under
Gillespie also writes of how he and Ricky Ponting were fans of the World Wrestling Federation. "One of his [Ponting's] favourite wrestlers used to be this guy called The Undertaker, so that became Ricky's nickname for some time." Gillespie adds he once gave Ponting a poster of The Undertaker. "He had it in his cricket bag when he made a hundred during a one-dayer, and kept it there for a while because it had brought him some good luck. It might still be there for all I know." And you thought it was a graphite bat that got Ponting his runs.

Who me? No, not you
A case of mistaken identity can really spoil your day. On October 12, Satyajit Parab, the Baroda bastman, was a happy man when he found out he had been named in the India Green team for the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy. But a press release by the Indian board next morning ruined his dreams of finally making it big. "We have wrongly mentioned the name of Satyajit Parab in place of Satyajit Satbhai from Maharashtra Cricket Association," the release read. Parab was disappointed but still optimistic about his chances. "I was happy when I saw my name on the net yesterday and in today's papers but if it is not me, then I am certainly a bit disappointed," he told the Asian Age. "[But] I have not given up hope. I work hard and God knows if ..."

Petrified Pakistanis
A new side to The Oval saga was revealed this week when David Morgan, the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman, appearing at an employment tribunal in London in the course of Darrell Hair's lawsuit against the ICC, said he had visited the Pakistan dressing room at tea during the match in question and saw "petrified" expressions on the faces of the Pakistan players.

"I made my way into the Pakistan dressing room and sat on the bench next to Inzamam [ul-Haq], surrounded by 14 other Pakistan players and a Pakistan team management," Morgan told the Daily Telegraph. "All of the Pakistan team looked petrified." Morgan said he told Inzamam that he should think of taking his players back on to the field for otherwise the issue could turn into a world controversy. ''They did so shortly afterwards, but no umpires appeared."



David Morgan: don't say he didn't warn Pakistan © Getty Images

Cricket in the backyard
For those hunting for houses in Norfolk, you can't get a better deal than this. For ₤4 million, you could have Hall Farm in Garboldisham, which comes with six bedrooms, 261 hectares of land, a reservoir and the local cricket ground. The deal clincher is the case each of champagne and claret that the buyer will get as rent from the Garboldisham Cricket Club for their use of the ground. The current owners rented out the ground, which hosts senior teams in the Norfolk Alliance League and the Knights Norfolk League, to the club and insist the new buyers will have to honour the rent agreement.

And cricket in exile
Cricket has a new set of fans in India - Tibetans living in exile in Dharamsala. Every Sunday a team of young boys plays against a side of Buddhist monks and the winners get treated to Thums Up, a soft drink. Not quite a Porsche, but refreshing nonetheless. But do the powers of concentration, that monks are known for, give them an unfair advantage?

Meet your favourite players for 500 bucks
Want to meet your favourite cricket stars while they are in the city playing a match? It could be easier than you thought. The tabloid Mumbai Mirror reports that the hotel in which the Indians and Australians stayed in Nagpur was selling 500-rupee (US$13) coupons for entry to the hotel. Once inside, a coupon-holder could hang about in hope of bumping into players and getting their autographs.

Quote-hanger
"It depends on how you are placed in the series. If you are struggling then you shouldn't get a day off. Even if the players get a day off then the players need to spend their time in the gym or in the pool, getting themselves ready for the match. They should not lay back and relax."
- Ricky Ponting on being asked if Australia took it easy between matches

Nishi Narayanan is an editorial assistant on Cricinfo