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Say, say, say

Cricket has never been short of words, or wit, and 2006 proved no exception. Here are some that stuck in the mind

30-Dec-2006
Cricket has never been short of words, or wit, and 2006 proved no exception. Here are some that stuck in the mind


'We're finished! But only for a few mad seconds...' - Kevin Pietersen and Shane Warne get caught up with the emotions © Getty Images
Ashes talk
The year's biggest series - and dampest squib - generated the predictable share of wind-ups and put-downs
"Chadwick, Adam, Mr (MCC museum curator), William, Glenys, Mrs (MCC historian), Urn, Ashes, Mr (ceramic pot on wooden plinth), Garland, Laura, Miss (Mr Urn's spokesman)."
The passenger list for the flight to Australia for the Ashes Urn tour has a rather unusual guest on board
"As far as I am concerned I don't care if Tony Blair or Robbie Williams bowls me the first ball of the Ashes series - all my team-mates and I care about is winning back the Ashes."
Justin Langer can't wait to get rid of a 14-month itch
"If I were Freddie, I would try to get a few of the Aussies out drinking with him because it will put them off their game. None of the Aussies could live with him."
Michael Vaughan with a tip for Andrew Flintoff
"Fred could take three of the Aussies down, Steve Harmison would get stuck into two, I could take one ... but they've got some big guys in their squad."
The Ashes or a fist fight? Andrew Strauss seems confused
"You don't like being called the Sherminator, do you?"
Shane Warne winds up Ian Bell on the pitch at Adelaide
"We were a marriage made in heaven. He used to like to bowl all day in the nets, and I used to like to bat all day."
Sleeping with the enemy - Australia's Mike Hussey on his battles in the Northamptonshire nets with Monty Panesar
The KP Show
Starring Kevin Pietersen in and as himself
"It would be a surprise if the mirrors in Pietersen's house totalled anything less the entire stock at one of the larger branches of B & Q, and it is not uncommon nowadays for the voice from the bedroom calling out: "I'll be down in a minute darling, I'm just putting in my ear-rings" to be a male one."
Journalist Martin Johnson has a dig at Kevin Pietersen's fashion statements
"I don't want to be the next Viv Richards, I just want to be Kevin Pietersen, the best Kevin Pietersen can be."
Pietersen shows he's a man without an identity crisis
"I love success. I don't wake up in the morning thinking: 'Great - I've got one million pounds in the bank'."
Pietersen is hungry for more
"Kevin Pietersen will be devastated to learn he only earns £400,000."
Journalist Simon Wilde when told that the top-earning England players were on around that sum for the year. Not quite a million pounds in the bank yet
"For a few mad seconds I thought, mates or not, I'm never going to speak to that dickhead again."
A split waiting to happen? - Kevin Pietersen on his on-field exchange with Shane Warne
All about Ovalgate
No shortage of chat surrounding the year's biggest controversy


Darrell Hair - "But life goes on; nobody died" © Getty Images
"The whole irony and tragedy of this particular story is law 42.3. But law 42.3 is an ass."
Bob Woolmer reveals his opinion on the ball-tampering law which, he says was meant for when razor blades and bottle tops were used
"Had it been Javed Miandad in charge, who seldom spotted a potential fire without wading in with a can of petrol, they'd probably have had to use the waste pipe on the motorised water mop as a riot cannon."
Martin Johnson in The Daily Telegraph on why we should be grateful it was the placid Inzamam-ul-Haq captaining Pakistan at The Oval
"You can ask any fast bowler. If he says he has never tampered with the ball, he either has just started playing, or is lying."
Michael Holding reveals the guilty pleasure shared by all fast bowlers
"The media criticism has been hot over here [in England] ... that surprises me. But life goes on; nobody died. It is not one of those issues that requires mourning. I have been absolutely stunned by the support I have had."
Umpire Darrell Hair speaks up after the Oval farce and wonders what fuss was all about
"The jails would be empty if we had to rely on video evidence to prove any crime"
"All these ICC officials sitting in their tax haven in Dubai and saying the umpire's always right - that's not going to help anyone. They've got to forget about their big egos for a moment and let us move on."
Geoffrey Boycott talks straight, as he always does
"The jails would be empty if we had to rely on video evidence to prove any crime."
Malcolm Speed, when asked if the lack of TV coverage to support claims of ball tampering would lead to Code of Conduct charges against Inzamam-ul-Haq being dropped
"The players feel under pressure and can't really focus on cricket while the Sword of Damocles is hanging over them."
Shaharyar Khan uses Greek legend to tell us why Pakistan would prefer Inzamam-ul-Haq's hearing to be sooner rather than later
Reported speech
Journalists played their part in giving us some memorable quotes
"How long will the coach and the players tolerate the debit side of the Panesar balance sheet?"
"The open-topped bus ride around Trafalgar Square was a joyous moment in history but, if these things are graded by magnitude of achievement, England's reward for beating Sri Lanka will be a gentle spin in a milk float down Marylebone Road."
Martin Johnson sums it up in The Daily Telegraph. Unfortunately, it wasn't to happen
"What Indian farmers could not do to Sharad Pawar, Australian cricketers did."
Columnist TJS George on push coming to shove, and putting the life of the Indian farmers in perspective
"How long will the coach and the players tolerate the debit side of the Panesar balance sheet?"
Stephen Fay, writing in The Independent, strikes a dissenting note to the Monty Panesar Flying Circus
From the commentary box
With the commentary box being populated by ex-players, the quotes kept flowing


He tried to swing Panesar to leg, lost his balance and, rather like an elephant attempting to hurdle, down he went - slowly, inexorably, painfully, dramatically - Jonathan Agnew on Inzy's dismissal. Click to enlarge image © Getty Images
"The only way they'll get a wicket is if the ball hits a brick in the middle of the pitch ... it wouldn't frighten me mum, this bowling."
Geoff Boycott with his take on the Sri Lankan attack
"Inzamam - has he lost his wicket? I think he has - massively! He tried to swing Panesar to leg, lost his balance and, rather like an elephant attempting to hurdle, down he went - slowly, inexorably, painfully, dramatically. Inzamam has fallen on his stumps - what a way to go!"
Jonathan Agnew, on commentary for Test Match Special, describes Inzamam-ul-Haq's comical dismissal at Headingley
"He carried on like a small child whose mother would have smacked him."
Geoff Boycott on Shane Warne's histrionics after an appeal against Kevin Pietersen was (rightly) turned down
"We never imagined this fat, podgy kid...would end up as one of the world's best bowlers."
Bill Lawry turns the clock back on his early memories of Shane Warne
The Big Fight
This one was off the field: The BCCI v Rest of the World
"The arrogance of Indian cricket at the moment beggars belief. It has become the game's imperialist and is revelling in the discomfort being felt by the rest of the cricket world. And make no mistake, the rest of the cricket world is living in fear of the brash and bolshy Board of Control for Cricket in India which apparently intends to usurp the International Cricket Council"
Mike Coward writing in The Australian, is clearly unhappy about India's money clout in the cricket world
"He has just poured his venom and vitriol. I really wonder what is it that we have done to invite his unbridled ire. I am both amused and aghast at some of his objectionable observations. How can the Indian Board be bolshy when he is accusing us of using our money power to control the game! Is it his argument that we have unleashed a terror against upper classes or what he says countries like England and Australia?"
IS Bindra of the BCCI launches a scathing response to Coward's comments
The no-balls
The gaffes that were controversial - and turned out expensive
"The terrorist has got another wicket."
Dean Jones blissfully assumes the microphone's off..err...not quite, and poor Hashim Amla was the victim
"I can see why Somerset is the home of girls' cricket."
A text sent by Leicestershire chairman Neil Davidson to his Somerset counterpart Giles Clarke after Leicestershire defeated Somerset heavily in a floodlit match, and he wasn't too high on the popularity charts after that
Extras: bouncers, beamers and the odd chuck


Navjot Sidhu - "If one-day cricket was pyjama cricket, then Twenty20 is underwear cricket." © NDTV
"It was like Lennox Lewis whacked me."
Justin Langer after being hit by by Makhaya Ntini at Johannesburg, first ball
"He's big and rawboned and I suspect he has the IQ of an empty swimming pool."
Former New Zealand wicketkeeper Adam Parore has nothing but praise for Andre Nel ahead of the first Test at Centurion
"Hansel and Gretel and Dizzy's double hundred, it's one and the same. Absolute fairytale."
A dreamy Jason Gillespie tries to contemplate the bizarre after scoring a double hundred against Bangladesh
"I definitely chucked a few but the umpires didn't pick it up and there were no TV replays. On matting wickets, an offspin chuck got a lot of wickets."
Percy Sonn makes a rather late confession on his days as a club cricketer. Report him to the ICC folks. But wait...he is the ICC
"He's big and rawboned and I suspect he has the IQ of an empty swimming pool."
"If one-day cricket was pyjama cricket, then Twenty20 is underwear cricket."
Navjot Sidhu waxes eloquent, but he doesn't stop there...
"When I told my children I was retiring they got a bit disappointed because they didn't think I was going to play backyard cricket with them. They said, 'Can you still play with us?' I said 'I can'."
Shane Warne hasn't given up all forms of cricket, at least
"If someone tells me that pasta is good for me, I may not agree."
Kapil Dev takes a dig at Greg Chappell's experimentations with the Indian team, which he feels is foreign to Indian culture
"It's got nothing to do with cricket - it's all about how good you look on the beach."
Mark Butcher explains the reasoning behind England's fitness push since Michael Vaughan came on board. The all-new Beach Boys? Maybe...
"Sourav's mother has been really upset ever since he was pulled out of the Indian team and she strongly felt her son's stars were not favouring him"
Sourav Ganguly's not the only one praying for a change in fortunes - so is his mother, as attested by the family priest Kartik Chatterjee, who has been called in to help