Thought for the 4th Day


Yep, Bell should have walked, Broad should have walked. Clarke should have walked , Haddin should have walked— (Root should only walk when he actually does hit it.)  Chappelli should have walked, Percy Fender should have walked, Jardine, Woodfull (while he still had his head), WG Grace…. they all should have walked at some stage.

Ian Bell

I have seen three or four batsmen walk this summer, some English, some Aussies, —and a lot who haven’t : some Poms, some Aussies. I am off up to HQ later , hopefully to watch an hours tonk-fest by Root etc, then Jimmy and Swanny get amongst the Australian batsmen (sic). Some of them may walk. Some may not. 150 years of bringing up kids in the colonies and teaching them NEVER EVER EVER to walk (attrib: Damien Martin) does have a tendency to come back and bite you up the arse.

Keep an eye out for me: — I’ll be the fat bloke in the crowd, big read head, stupid T-shirt.

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Mandela Carries Bat as Assad makes Most of Easy-Paced Pitch.


Another record of sporting History from the vaults of the Sharp Single. Those who witnessed it say it was probably the greatest match ever played in Dartford Park, and that had the park keeper not told them all to “bugger off  home” at 6 o’clock, it would have gone down in history as the best game never played. (click to enlarge)

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World Exclusive: Hotspot Footage Proves Trott Hit the Ball


The Sharp Single can this morning Exclusively reveal to the world that South Af English batsman Jornathorn Trortt was erroneously given out LBW my neutral South African umpire Marais Piper Erasmus.

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Trortt, 32, of KwaZulu Natal, East Sussex, immediately asked for a referral of the decision to Mr Piper, who was in his suite busy examining the footage of earlier completely wrong decision by umpire B.Pew (T.Island) to give out Root Minor of the lower Fourth even though he clearly hadn’t hit the ball, (but was too frightened to say so).

England had already fallen foul of the new ICC “Wonder/Blunkett Method” when 12 year old Australian debutante Ashton Kutcher was given not out when stumped by reluctant-appealer Mat Howwozthatonethen Prior when the batter was closer to the non-striker’s end than his own,having amassed just 10 runs. Mr Kutcher went on to score 98, a world record for a number 11 batsmen who should have been given out two hours ago.

England were understandably furious with the officials. In an display of petulance and defiance, the former bowler Steve Finnish, playing in his last Test for England, bowled 17 consecutive overs at his own toes.

The ICC have apologised to England for the pisspoor decisions made during the day, and offered the whole team free tickets to the final of next year’s IPL  (sponsored by Lehman Brothers).

Now The Sharp Single can exclusively bring you the missing Hortsport foortage. If you look very closely, you can just make out the faintest of white marks, as the ball just nicks Hansie Trortt’s bat.  You be the jury.

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Keith Vaz is expected to make a statement at lunchtime today.

 

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I’ve Seen Better Batters in a Fish & Chip Shop **


There are very few continents on which I haven’t made a complete arse of myself playing cricket (or otherwise). For instance, back in 2000 I collapsed with heat exhaustion (or alcohol dehydration and poisoning—depending on which ‘expert’ you listen to) on the Third Man boundary at a ground in St Lucia, West Indies. Three men had to carry me off the field of play to a nearby shady spot where I was doused in cool water and cooler Red Stripe. I took no further part in the match;

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A Team Photo in Oman, 2009. Squad moral wasn’t always what it could have been following one of my more imaginative bowling spells. Pic taken the day after the local hosepipe ban was lifted.

In Nairobi, Kenya, suffering from lack of oxygen because of the high altitude (or from alcohol dehydration and poisoning—depending on which ‘expert’ you listen to) I momentarily lost my sight and lost all sense of direction. Instead of charging towards the batsman to deliver the fifth ball of my first over, I charged towards the square leg umpire who turned on his heels and fled, fearing that he’d be run over by this fat pink bloke approaching. I took no further part in the match;

In Adelaide my fearsome bowling was hit hit so hard and so often by a bloke who usually batted at no.11 for his club side, that a box of new balls had to be ordered, as no-one wanted to go into the spider/snake-infested bush beyond the boundary to find the three new red cherries which he’d deposited there. The bloke I’d put on the boundary to catch him ricked his neck watching the balls soaring fifteen foot over his head;

In Sri Lanka while playing at a local Prison, I tore a muscle/got cramp (depending on…) in my calf in the third stride into the run-up OF MY VERY FIRST BALL. Probably the heat or something. I took no further part in the match.

But on this morning of all mornings, when the world holds its knickers in anticipation of the start of another Engand vrs Australia Ashes series, and because I’m so excited about it I can barely walk, I thought I’d flick through the old photo album and share with you a few lolights of my once-unpromising career. Less Ashes Urns, more Ashtrays and Beer Bottles.

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1992, The Daily Telegraph, vrs Devises Police Training School, Wilts. L-R (back row) R Shrimsley, R Savill, D Sapsted, T Butcher, M Smith, K Maguire, P Sherwell. Front row: P Stokes, N Bunyan, B Fenton, The Author, C Randall. Several of the above young journos went on to great careers in newspapers, magazines, TV, PR and literature. Some didn’t. No scorecards survive for this match. So I think we must have won it.

 

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This is not a still photo of me bowling, it’s video footage, replayed at actual speed (and no, it’s not your poor broadband connection). The hallmark grimace is already developing.  Somewhere in England in the early 1990’s. The umpire’s moustache may indicate the Liverpool area. The bails were later stolen.

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A rabbit in the headlights.  Stowe School, England 1988. Daily Telegraph Gentlemen vrs Players Cricket match (can’t remember which side I was on.) Christopher Martin Jenkins (pick that name up for me please, Deirde) and I had a nice chat as we walked around the boundary. He told me that he doubted if I would never make a club cricketer. Which was nice. And he’d hadn’t even seen me bat yet.

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The Author, on tour in Dubai, and on the eve of a possible Test call-up, receives a good length ball on his off stump, attempts to hook it over square leg for six, and can only watch as the ball clatters into his castle.  The keen-eyed will realise how slow the delivery must have been. Few batsmen are lucky enough to get the time to look behind them before the ball hits the wicket. (There is a version of this photo where I have photoshopped-out the ball. I look magnificent.)

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A terrifying sight for any batsman. Or, indeed, for anyone. The four-pronged pace attack of The Fleet Street Exiles XI, take a well-earned paddle in the sea between humiliating defeats, Galle, Sri Lanka 2002. Please note : for once I am neither the fattest, nor the oldest in this photo. Just the shortest. (Also very pleased to see that I kept my purse with me at all times.)

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The Author stops for a prayer and a swift large rum before going into bat in Antigua. West Indies, 2000. Here we see him trying to come up with a name for an idea he’s had for an irregular column on the internet.

**The phrase directed at me by the home wicket keeper as I took guard in my first ever match on foreign soil. Melbourne, Australia, 1998 (ish). The sad thing about it is that he was probably telling the truth.

Middle and Leg, Please.


Many congratulations to Mr Willie Eckerslike of Staines for the winning entry to the recent caption competition. For his winning effort of “If they go above my head, can they be called wide ?”) Mr Eckerslike wins for himself a pair of Anti-Pervert Hairy stockings (as reported by The Daily Telegraph), Several plastic OBEs, a drip-dry statue of Jane Mansfield and a ticket to Hampstead Fairground.

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And now, as it’s that time of year again when the English, traditionally, exit a major tournament, here are some random cricket images:

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The Australian Touring Party to England 2013. Not sure who the geezer front right is, don’t think he made the trip. The two fellas wearing the pink scarves are currently in the nets, awaiting confirmation of Australian citizenship. ACB hope they’ll be available by the Third Test. (D.A.Warner is out of shot, beating up the co-pilot.)

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M.A.Holding hears that no-one’s switched on the urn in the pavilion.

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England’s crack Formation Ball-Tampering Display Team

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Shane Warne finds a new career

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England’s current World-Class Cricketers. And Stuart Broad.

A Few of My Favourite Swings.


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Dew drops from noses and
Murray Mint spitting
Polo Saliva and
Fingernail Lifting
Keep all the sweat off
One side of the thing

This is how we try to get reverse swing.

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Bottle-top scratching and
Vaseline Rubbing
Bouncing ball throw-ins and
Mr Sheen Dubbing
Brown coloured earth which
The Skip can rub in
This is how we try to get reverse swing

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When the Ump spies
(With his good eye)
That you’ve raised the seam
You protest you innocence,
Throw out your toys,
And leave the field with
Your team

 © http://www.sharpsingle.com

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