Following the complete disaster of England’s first test vrs South Africa, (info correct at the time of going to press) it’s become apparent to the English selectors that they don’t have enough foreign – born players in their ranks. When English cricket has found itself in trouble (and that’s happened more than once down the years) the law books have been scrutinised and harsh critics may say altered to fit our needs.
Many a colonial has found not just a home in England’s green and spinning land, but a decent and lucrative career in playing for our national side before they bugger off to Kerry Packer/Beaches of Durban/The Indian Premiere League (delete where applicable).
A quick glance down the list of the jewels of the Empire which the MCC have gleaned over the years give you some idea why players from Deepest and Darkest are so attractive to them:
And so keep your eyes peeled for the next in line. A right-handed bat, who bowls occasional off-spin with an occasional wrong ‘un, he averages 48 with the bat and a little over 19 with the bow&arrow. Mustard in the covers and his running between the wickets is legendary, though his calling needs work, apparently.
From this picture alone, he impresses me more than Ravi Bopara.
The South Africans may have Graeme Smith to knock our boys all over The Oval (which, by the way, is neither Kia, nor Brtivic, by the way, just The Oval), but we have Paul Smith to make things of beauty such as below. For just over a hundred quid at your local Harvey Nichols (I tire of popping into mine) you can pick up one of these little beauties to throw at a batsman near you. You may not be able to bowl any better, faster or straighter but armed with balls like these, I’m assured you’ll be able to swing both ways.
Howzat for a couple of bouncers ?
By the way:- I’m running a book on how many piss-poor innings it will take for Ravi Bopara to lose that unbelievably mis-placed swagger of confidence. I grew up when another bloke, I.V.A. Richards used to come to the crease, chewing gum, nonchalantly swinging his bat, swaying his hips and sporting the smuggest of grins. Then he’d set about the attack, (sans helmet or chest guard) with all the aplomb and timing which great batsmen bring to the game. Bopara has perfected the walk and the gum chewing.
There the similarity ends. Viv he certainly ain’t. More reminiscent of Derek Pringle.