(by guest paragraphist Umar Akmal)
Ah, there's nothing like "getting-selected-for-national-duties-again-after-having-been-discarded-for-no-good-reason" season in Pakistan. It's a time of year quite unlike any other, one that we have grown accustomed to having punctuated by the sweet sound of ball meeting willow, the musical tinkle of a family member's bedroom window as it is stoned by irate fans, and what for me is a bit of a personal touch - the sweet, sweet smell of lizard-green lip balm in the morning: the distinctive pong wafting out of a freshly opened can awakens the senses; the act of spreading the cream across the skin evokes a martial aspect, as though one is preparing for war; and the green colouring that makes my gorgeous lips just pop from my face, doing justice to their fullness and shape.
James Pattinson wants to take revenge on England for the treatment meted out to his brother Darren years ago.
Daniel Vettori's refusal of a new New Zealand Cricket contract is being hailed as a noble gesture typical of the great man. Says Vettori: "I could have not said anything and just pocketed the money being offered by NZC for a new contract, but I couldn't have that on my conscience. While the injured tendon has come a long way in recent times, I know in my heart of hearts that it is still not 100% fit to play much more than the two months it might get away withstanding while playing in the IPL for ten times the amount of money.
Billy Cooper, the Barmy Army trumpeter, has been disallowed from playing his instrument at the Trent Bridge Test match against Australia. When asked for his response, Cooper picked up his trumpet and issued a series of short, mournful sounds from it that can phonetically only be described as, "Wah wah waah waaaaaaahhhhhh." For an approximation, click here.
With just days remaining until the start of the Ashes, Darren Lehmann is apparently still trying his best to placate little Michael Clarke, who appears to be continuing to find it difficult adjusting to the new coach's ways. "Who gets to choose the team he wants?" cooed Darren Lehmann in his best baby voice as he crouched over his captain's pushchair in a gruesome scene. "You do! Yes, you do, you big boy! Who's a big boy?" intoned the coach, but to apparently little effect. Lil' Pup continued to turn his face away and refuse to be fed his coach's lines that he does, in fact, have some sway over the playing XI.
After going without a century for a gap that, by his high standards, was starting to prove worrisome, Virat Kohli has spoken of his elation and relief at finally being able to reach three figures and curse to his heart's content in celebration again.
Joe Root is apparently being lined up as a potential sledging target by Australia during the Ashes, according to a report. Sources confirm that the Aussies have planned a simple two-point sledging plan for the batsman: tell him he looked great with that wig on. In case that has no effect, tell him he looked terrible with that wig on.
R Rajkumar tweets here