31 January 2011

The Clash Of Clashes

Actually it's the preliminary final in a few hours that bears the greater significance than the actual final of the Big Bash, as it will determine the second team travelling to the Champions League. The Saussies have already qualified, so now it's about Tasmania or New South Wales.

At the start of the Big Bash I had hoped, but not dared to expect, my fav three teams to knock at the final door. Well now they are there and I'm trapped in two minds. 

The Baby Blues must win so SOK can go to the CL. Tassie must win, too, because of Cossy and Bailey.  

The Baby Blues must lose because otherwise, as mentioned before, they will seek to inflict a repetition of the Adelaide defeat on South Australia, because the Adelaide Oval for some reason seems not to provide a real home advantage to the hosting team (neither SA nor Aus). But that is just my gut feeling and I can't be bothered to check any stats, and with Adil Rashid eventually firing chances of a spin win improve dramatically. Tassie on the other hand must lose because I fear they might cock up in the CL, and they will also want to take angry revenge on the Redbacks for the clobbering they received at Hobart.

So who is likely to make it to the final? 

Frankly, I have no clue, but a closer look makes me tilt towards NSW. 

The Blues have struggled a bit throughout the tournament, their batting order is more or less of the makeshift kind and under permanent tinkering. Tassie have picked up confidence, but they will need to fend off the light blue attack, for which they require solidity with the bat. 

Hobart has shown to offer good chances to both, seamers and spinners (oh the memories), and provided Rana is fit the Tigers' bowling should suffice. Cosgrove is due another score, so are ten Inches and Cowan, Bailey rules, Birt is helpful, and an attack comprising of Rana Naved and the K, ten Doeschate and possibly Faulkner/Hilfenhaus could be enough to take the NSW batting apart. 

However:

Here's the NSW squad:
Stuart CLARK (C), Sean ABBOTT, Tim ARMSTRONG, Scott COYTE, Patrick CUMMINS, Moises HENRIQUES, Phillip JAQUES, Usman KHAWAJA, Stephen O’KEEFE, Ben ROHRER, Daniel SMITH, Dominic THORNELY, David WARNER

IMHO Armstrong and Thornely will miss out, which leaves NSW with a massively exciting line-up... if you like surprises of either kind. In terms of bowling I think the NSWers with their fiery young pace attack, reinforced by His SOKness and the razor-sharp Stuey Clark, should get decent results out of the Hobart pitch. The batting unit consisting of Warner, Uz, Rohrer, Jaques, Henriques, D. Smith and Steve O'Keefe isn't making me jump in triangles, but sounds decent enough especially if the top order gets going; Warner MUST stick around, but he has shown some new-found patience and maturity, 50+ would be a good start, I'd like to see him partner up with Usman.

So overall I would say NSW should emerge victorious... but if Cossy makes 100 off 46 they can as well shoot themselves.

Ah well. All the best to both teams... whoever wins, see you in Adelaide!


Cheers,
Wes

Edit: SOK has been ruled out! FARKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
He's replaced by Luke Doran. So I reckon NSW will go in with pacers only. Farksake!!!

29 January 2011

To cheer or not to cheer

Big Bash: Bushrangers v Redbacks
[scorecard]

Yay. Must admit I've gone through one or two sleepless nights over the Vic match, a couple of SA supporters were getting arrogant and I was hoping this complacency would not encroach upon the minds of the players. I still need to watch the match to get a clearer picture, but the scorecard and commentary suggest a solid performance, no clobbering, but Klinger's men safely guided the ship home. Well done dudes and dudettes!

Now I am pondering what to make of the home final. Adelaide has proven to be the most difficult ground for the Redbacks to play on, as they suffered their only defeat in this year's Big Bash there, inflicted upon by NSW, who, if they make the final as well, will seek to pull off an exact repetition of this very feat. Okay it was SA's first BB match and they were perhaps a bit rusty coming off the Shield and Ryobi Cup, but still, I'd much rather like them to play at Hobart, the ground that guarantees a steamrolling SA victory not only in the shortest format ^^

Match notes:

Adil Rashid has kicked Nathan bloody Lyon off the bowling throne. The cheeky little bugger definitely went one step too far!!! Adil, go and repent before I make you do so!!!

Kane Richardson offered another very masculine display of pace bowling, the speed stocks are looking good, who needs Tait?

Dr. Daniel Harris is who Afridi has always dreamt to be.

~~~

Side Note: 

SOK - now available in flawless
I've finally watched the match in which Steve O'Keefe rammed unsharpened poles into all Victorian orifices, including the nostrils and ears. Oh god it was so good. It was the most exciting bit of cricket I have seen in a long time, in particular his batting, and tbh I felt a bit sweaty afterwards. Yeah I know he can hold the willow, have seen it a few times as well, but the way he kicked, smashed and shovelled Siddle and Macca across the park deserved the immediate construction of a completely oversized temple city with a huge central sanctum in the middle.

Side note to the side note: he has finally (finally!!!) got rid of these horrible sauerkraut-coloured Aunt-Mildred-highlights and sports a wonderfully suiting, plain brownish composition on the head now, just the way it should have been all the time. Good boy SOK. Getting better every day.

The Blues need to drive the QLD cattle back to the shed in a few hours, pitifully without him (calf strain), but I hope he's putting the feet up and recovering for the preliminary final against Tassie on Tuesday.


Cheers,
Wes

27 January 2011

"As an Indian I feel ashamed"

The words above were spoken by Sambit Bal, editor at Cricinfo and guest on Harsha Bhogle's latest "Time Out" show. The show discusses the ad-cluttered free cricket telecasts in India, illuminates the reasons, necessity and implications of the ad-spam from all angles, hears representatives from the government and the BCCI, and tries to find ways out of the dilemma. Very interesting, particularly in comparison to other markets like England and South Africa.



You can download the show here (right click and save target as...)

Related article: Show-cause notice for Ten Cricket channel

Cheers,
Wes

26 January 2011

Australia's Next Super Nathan

Big Bash: Tasmania v Redbacks
[scorecard]

Just another TasSAcre at Hobart.... getting used to it ^^

The big names this time: Dr. Daniel Harris aka Boom Boom Harris, and Aiden Blizzard (apart from Klinger nobody else was required to bat). Blizz is back in the side as Pollard has departed, the Redbacks ain't missing him yet!

But let's have a look at the bowling... spin, spin, spin your thing! Thank god Adil Rashid has grounded his feet, don't you love the little boy with his elegant fine fingers. Big in the wickets. But there is a reason for today's headline, isn't there!

Nathan bloody Lyon. Came from ACT to piss around in the grade cricket and play cards with the ground staff. Got a trial game... and the rest is history.

Stepped up from the word go, hero in the first Redbacks BB match this season (and their only defeat so far) and has stuck to his guns since. Deservedly tops the Big Bash bowling table. Leaves me speechless. I hope he can afford a comb from his salary. But even if a bird family nested on his head, as long as he remains lethal I won't complain.

Speaking of birds: if he only dares to think of cuckooing Aaron O'Brien out of the nest I will have to put an end to his career in a very painful fashion! >.<


Match notes:

Oh my god Cossy is so fat. Since the photo in the blog sidebar was taken he has easily doubled his circumference. Let me, on this occasion and entirely unrelated, modify a very famous saying: behind every fat man there's a stupid woman^^. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't make any difference to me, but it is he himself who's bringing the Select Cosgrove bandwagon to a grinding halt.

When Aaron O'Brien took "that catch" -here's a GIF for you-, I hammered the stop button in order to gasp and fight off the blackness descending onto my mind. WHOA. Obi FFS! Oh man. Perhaps the level of fielding in the Big Bash has generally been a bit shoddy this year, but the Redbacks are sharp, hot and spicy!

Adil Rashid is one fantastic player. It slowly becomes apparent why he took shitloads of wickets in the CC. You gotta love his broad range of spin varieties. Potential matchwinner.

George Bailey is amazing. Must be the nicest and friendliest squirrel that has ever nibbled on a nut on either side of the equator.

Cricket Tasmania read my blog. Thus they put Butterworth in the side. Why?? Why in this match? Poor Luke had to defend a low score against a rabid Harris and got smashed left and right. Not good :(


Now onward to the MCG. The Vics might be carrying the red lantern, but now it's about beating them in their own lair. Urgghh.


Cheers,
Wes

23 January 2011

One step closer...

1.) 
... to 6:1 Vol. II!
[scorecard]

Yes to be honest when I "predicted" it at the beginning of the series I didn't believe it myself, but boy, 3:0 up ain't bad is it! The usual "but" applies: This time it were Dussey and Haddin who rescued Australia when the likes of Clarke went down in flames.

Doherty is in the wickets, Yardy and Collingwood may not be the most prized scalps of all time but he's imo definitely going to the World Cup, as Hauritz requires shoulder surgery. SHAME, shame for SOK!!!!! Steve O'Keefe got dropped after one or so lean match. How many opportunities did Doherty get before he stopped looking like a victim? While SOK, an incredibly competitive and very aggressive player, has been mowing his way through the enemy, with bat and ball, in the Big Bash, X-Do remained largely ineffective. Ah well.


2.)
... to the Caribbean T20 trophy!!
[scorecard]

Hampshire clawed themselves into the final, Johann Myburgh is one unbelievable cricketing machine, his 88 thunderously walloped runs, clobbered despite an injured ankle and a runner, saved Hampshire's neck once again!

Sean Ervine's form ahead of the World Cup is more than worrying, I fear that the Zimbabwean fans, charged with anticipation, might witness a disaster.  My other suspicion is that he just can't be bothered anymore, as the Caribbean T20 matches will be the last ones he plays for Hampshire.

And Hamza Riazuddin deserves to get crowned with daisies. The batsmen have stopped trying to go after him and still he gets wickets! A brilliant 4-fer for my favourite second-string Hammy. My impression is that while Simon Jones is lethal but a bit all over the place sometimes, Hamza works like a siege machine constructed by some evil genius. Yesterday I read the opinion that knotted windmill limbs like his are a pain to read, and the batsman hates playing him. Marvellous!

Tonight, my friends. Hampshire, Hampshire!


Cheers,
Wes

22 January 2011

Heaps Good

It could go on like this forever. Whenever I check the scorecards my fav team has won.
Splendid, marvellous!

Before                                                                       After
The Kiwis (read: Tim Southee) have beaten the Paks comprehensively in the first ODI. On this occasion I need to point out the following: Tim Southee has evolved into a bloody great bowler. I remember the times when he was still that shy, modest farmer's boy, happy about each wicket like a little child under the Christmas tree and grinning all around the head with surprise when he managed to heave the ball into the stands. He's shown outstanding performances all the way and kept improving steadily, but his recent development features fierceness, explicit competitiveness and confidence; his mouth is set in a new, previously unknown, grim line, and the batsmen have begun to dislike him, to put it mildly. Go Tummy! :D

The Ozzies won the second ODI against England thanks to a ridiculously epic innings by Shaun Marsh, great bowling by the Rug and a grand Watto in the second innings. Hopefully Ritzy gets well soon, great to see him back in national colours!

The Redbacks clobbered the Queenslanders, Dan frickn Christian and Australia's best spin attack by a long way ruled everyone into the ground. Tehehe! The Redbacks are topping the table again with a fantastic NRR as well.

Today the NSWers made sure that the Vics stay at the bottom of the Big Bash table, with unbelievably good efforts by Uzzy Khawaja and demigod Steve O'Keefe (must get my hands on a recording....hehe), pulling the match back after a horrible top/middle order collapse.

Yayyyy semis :D
Aaaaaaand.... Hampshire have made into the semifinals of the Caribbean T20! Mainly thanks to great performances by the one and only Hamza Riazuddin, the phenomenal newbie Johann Myburgh and the fiery Simon Jones they stumbled and crashed into the next stage of the tournament, fingers crossed for more consistency and finally an active appearance of Tim Ravenscroft for forks sake!!! Somerset have unfortunately had to pack their bags, but Hampshire will have another chance to look for stability and team effort, they are currently suffering the Oz-syndrome: single performances are helping them over the line. That, and a helpful T&T victory over Barbados, might have sufficed so far, but from now Hampshire must be able to rely on their own strengths.

Cheers,
Wes

19 January 2011

Phil Hughes Rant

Big Bash
NSW Blues v Tasmania


[scorecard]

Tassie have won the Big Bash match v NSW... I am not too happy!! They have pushed Cossy down to 6, where he could only add 8 not out. What a stupid idea.

"Wombombos."
But worse is that NSW have lost. If Tassie go to the CL I do NOT think they can cut it, as they will most likely be without the legionnaires (read: Rana, who is basically winning the matches for them), Luke Butterworth doesn't get a game, while NSW are stuffed with great players and didn't even bother to hire any foreigners for the BB.

They lost by two fucking runs. Because!! PHIL HUGHESLESS ate up 9 deliveries for 3 runs, the only NSW player with a negative balls-runs ratio*. Just one or two of these balls was what NSW would have needed in the last over!!! WHY is Hughes playing T20 in the first place??????? Or any form of cricket, for that matter?

ARGHHHH

Don't you dare come up with your stupid rational arguments now!! *goes bashes scapegoat some more grrrrrrrr*


Cheers,
Wes

*Except for Peter Nevill, but Nevill is cool, and he also went out for a golden i.e. didn't waste any further deliveries before departing. That is good thinking, global, unselfish, always for the benefit of the team!

17 January 2011

Azhar Ali Wal Arba'een Harami

Azhar Ali as portrayed by Pakpassion.net

Last summer, when the apocalypse had come down upon the Pakistan cricket team, torn another three of my favourite players into the abyss and completely eradicated my fragile, re-awoken interest just a few months after the Yousuf-Younis-Gate catastrophe, I entirely gave up on the struggle to find any positives in the team, anything that could re-spark my freak love for this bunch of cheats, nepotists, mullahs, ball-tamperers, mutineers, matchfixers, telephone-bridegrooms, blackmailers, drug-addicts and obvious inbreds. Pakistan had to revamp large parts of their team, players were picked who I had never heard of, and so I only followed the Pak-Eng series with half an eye. 

But these 25% of my eyesight sufficed to suddenly pick up a distinctive silhouette: chubby, round-faced, and bowling legspin! PING PING PING three key stimuli were attacking my brain simultaneously, the red alarm lights started flashing and the bells went off! Pakistan have a pokeable young legspinner??? Obviously I had stepped into a pretty common trap here...

I found out that the guy's name was Azhar Ali, he did indeed start out as a legspinner, but matured into a specialist batsman and actually got picked to bat in the top order. And boy he has done a great job so far. Azhar is like one rare gem in the usual Pakistani slog sauce, among all these failed top and middle order experiments of the last year; he would rather stand in the heat for 10 hours to scrape 30 runs together than whack a six and go out dumbly (which he hasn't done so far in his entire Test career... hit a six, that is ;))*, while on the other hand he isn't a permasleeper, combines guts and patience, rotates the strike nicely and takes what's on offer. Together with late bloomer / comeback kid Mo Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar he has quietly heralded that new period of top order solidity Pakistan were craving so much, and one should hope that Pak persist with these three guys and they don't turn up fishy again like the latest herald of a new era, Salman Butt. 

With the experienced, elegant Younis and the capable interim skipper Misbah to follow at 4 and 5 Pakistan have at least temporarily sorted out their batting woes on the first five positions. Young Asad Shafiq looks like one big fat talent, Adnan Akmal isn't a world beater with the bat but his excellent glovework makes up for his batting deficits; the 30 or 40 runs he can't contribute are compensated by his keeping twice and thrice. The tail knows which way to hold a bat, and from here Pak should aim at regular 300-350+ scores.  Their bowling is potent enough to keep the opposition under pressure, despite the absence of Aamer and Asif. 

Let us hope that THIS time Pakistan have made everything right.


Cheers,
Wes

*Edit, he has hit a six now! Thanks Zeeshi for pointing it out!

13 January 2011

Redbacks Bashing Big

A crashing defeat to start their Big Bash campaign, followed by two equally mindboggling victories and the No. 1 spot in the Big Bash table: the Redbacks have decided to stay true to themselves, they are whipping their supporters up and down the mountain, chucking them onto the Redbacks rollercoaster and having them race through the loops at 500 kph. The ways of this amazing little state team have effects on me that could best be compared to mad cow disease. Don't you love the Redbacks :D


Match 1: Redbacks v NSW Blues

Sokked...
Let's not talk about it, what an utterly disappointing home defeat. Nobody except for Kieron Pollard bothered with batting. The one and only Steve O'Keefe put the O'Threefe pants on again, when he took three wickets in super quick succession to demolish the SA top order and leave the team reeling. Getting sokked might be a rather pleasant way to die, however, it will inevitably lead to being defeated: a fairly undesirable match result.

Side notes: Offie Nathan Lyon aka the son of Billy Bowden had a great debut, Kieron Pollard incomprehensibly entered at 7 and couldn't keep the boat from sinking anymore, but took Moises on the horns again and hammered him for 29. Ahhhh it feels so good to know that in this hectic modern world you still find things of utter predictability. Brett Lee diabolically bowled at 6.66/over and Ritz took three as well. Adil Rashid had a match to forget, and you would hope that he shows more of his class in the coming matches.


Match 2: Redbacks v Bushrangers


Yes yes a thousand times yes! Okay the Bushs blame it on the toss, and the Redbacks being unfairly stuffed with spinners... awww now I feel sorry for the poor ever so modest and polite Victorians.  LOL!  Kaptain Klinger starred with the bat, aided by Ferguson and Pollard, Dan Christian took four *before* he learnt of his Boof-Lehman-contrived $900,000 IPL contract, and Adil Rashid was finally in the wickets when he cleaned up the Vic tail. The 55-run-win did SA's NRR hell of a good and catapulted them to the second rank in the table. Great stuff. I would really like to write something about the Vics, but there is nothing, nada, zilch, neither in the bowling table nor in the batting. Cameron White topscored with 43... that's all.

Side Notes: Callum Ferguson was back in the fold after recovering from getting hit in the sack on Christmas. The luckless Aiden Blizzard had to miss out for him. Pollard batted at 5, promoted by 2 ranks.


Match 3: Warriors v Redbacks

Doc 'n' Roll!  (c) Getty Images
A 46-run victory, but this time away, at the WACA. Had I been wondering where the good Doc Daniel Harris was hiding during the two previous matches this was the moment when he informed us about his presence by whacking a club on our heads! 70 from 37, not bad brother! Together with Pollard's 55-run barrage and additional runs from Klinger the Spidermen set the Warriors an unchaseable target of 202. 

But what a bloodshed! Ferguson is injured *again*, got hit on the schnoz and broke it, and Dan Christian, who had been bowling well, pulled up with a strain and left the field. Not that it mattered! Doc was on a "Mitch" (I've made runs, I'll take wickets!), came on for DC and started reaping! I am well aware that this is a freakish once-in-a-year performance, but it makes me laugh so much. The gap in the field was plugged by assistant coach Jeff Vaughan, I smell a soonish player contract, what a fine catch he took off Pollard's bowling!

Side notes: Pollard finally bats at 3, Adil Rashid is back to shit, my muchly adored Ben Edmondson unfortunately stayed wicketless on his former home ground, but I think he replaced Tait, who is off to international duties, very well. The Redbacks are currently topping the table with a NRR of 1.333. That's living my friends! :P  Let's enjoy it as long as it lasts.


The next match will be played at home again versus the Queenslanders. Very hard nut to bust, the Quoinsers are tough blokes. I hope their minds won't be affected by the terrible floods at home, if you want to help them and donate some money you can do it here.

It's seven days till this match and I hope DC is going to be fit again, otherwise the Saussies will face some real problems. I've looked at the squad, there are a load of rookies and some other guys that could probably try and act as a makeshift DC, but none of them possesses the potential with both devices, not to speak of his irreplaceable fielding skills. It's gonna be a challenge with Fergs out as well, I think Blizz might be back and he better tighten the pants! Runs, good man, we need your runs! :D


However, I am happy for now.

Cheers,
Wes

12 January 2011

The one and only Watto truth

Australia v England T20 I
[scorecard]


Watto great hair:
stuck in the 50s in Tests, egoistic twat, causing runouts, retarded wicket celebrations

Watto shit hair:
blazing form with bat and ball, a one-Wat-army; wicket celebrations absolutely within the limits

If you want to read more about how the completely overhauled Australian T20 side got narrowly defeated by an English team clinching a last ball thriller with Nos. 10 and 11 at the crease, but Oz's arrow still points upward, especially if they find a way to remove Eoin The Rock Morgan, go to Sid's, Rishabh's (written by a guy called Rooney, but it's really not as bad as it sounds), or Ian's - I'm sure the Oz nut is putting his match review out soon. [edit: Ian's analysis is out]


That's it for today, let's wait and see what the second match brings and if Australia's new line-up can settle in and consolidate.


Cheers,
Wes

11 January 2011

A White In The Dark

Australia v England T20 I 
preview

I've just watched a bit of Cameron White's press conference ahead of the first T20 between Australia and England. He is breathing like an asthmatic walrus, manically shrugging his shoulders and scratching his leg under the table. It is at the same time so annoying and adorable that I haven't really listened to what he says. But he makes an important statement at the end:

"A good point for us is that T20 and Test cricket couldn't be further apart." Yes King Cam, that gives us hope, doesn't it!!!




If both sides England and Australia play like in the T20 World Cup final then good night. I almost bet that England will. Australia need to lift their game. The absence of Clarke is hopefully going to have a positive effect of some sort. Nannes didn't get called up either, he got belted around a bit in the last matches I followed.

Squad: David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White (capt), David Hussey, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith, Tim Paine (wk), Steve O'Keefe, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, James Pattinson, Shaun Tait

Timmy, SOK and Dussey: finally together forever?
Lee is in rather fine fettle, same goes for Warner. Not sure about Finch, the only time I saw him slay was in the CL, and it's been a while since then, but he is certainly brutal up there at the top. With one of the pacers surely carrying the drinks we are also gonna see Steve O'Keefe, who is in blazing form at the moment. It needs to be mentioned that Mike Hussey is missing out this time, could prove a crucial omission, we shall see. Paine for Haddin is a good move into the right direction, Timmy shone with a mature 50 leading the Prime Minister's hopeless XI v England XI [scorecard]. I would like to mention that Dan frickn Christian topscored with 53 in this match. Just saying.

Can't deny I am looking forward to enjoying this new and fresh approach. The only real problem I see is Mitch, but perhaps he's gonna have one of these days. However, looks a potent squad to me, don't fork this up, guys!!!

Got another one here for you, Shaun Tait's lengthy presser about the T20s and ODIs, IPL, Test cricket and the 50 over format.




Cheers,
Wes

9 January 2011

It is hopeless

Perhaps this visitor from the screenshot, who arrived on the blog in order to read my  Usman Khawaja post, because he thinks of Uzzy as a piece of meat with a birth certificate, is more right than it might look. Usman should play for Pakistan, and the rest of the team, barring Steven Smith, who is too young to die, should just dig themselves into the ground for good. I don't know where to start, my mind remembers this series more (Hughes, Clarke, Johnson) or less (Hussey) as a string of sub-par performances. The bowlers providing the batting might perhaps be a nice theme for a charity match, but in an Ashes series it will inevitably lead to humiliation.

The selection panel has played its inglorious role in all this, blundering their way through the series, and with the exception of chucking Mitch back into the ring for Perth -lucky guess or not- about 90% of all Australians tore their hair out with every new decision made, the other 10%, which include PM Gillard, probably don't give a damn about cricket. I am not familiar with the structures within CA and their appointment processes, but I'm sure there is a way to make heads roll. A thorough new beginning, an approach of pragmatism and practicability, is the only possible foundation on which CA can build a team capable of mastering the challenges of the future.

Punter may feel fortunate to have missed the last Test, not having to account for the third innings defeat within a single home series might delay his decision to resign from the P-Office, which includes batting for Australia, captaining several national sides and selecting the players he likes. But let's be honest, can anybody see him rise like Phoenix from the ashes (no pun intended) in the World Cup? I've even read somewhere that he was going to continue playing Tests in August. There goes the rumour that people get more stubborn with age, Punter turning 37 supports my gut feeling in this concern.  Perhaps he has also arrived at his midlife crisis already. We need to be prepared for him turning up in bike leather on the next occasion.

Well the Ashes have been over for a fair while now but I can't detect any signs of major changes. Michael Clarke has retired from T20, a decision made out of plain reason, and Tim Paine will captain the President's XI, but I'm not sure if this counts as the sort of big bang people are expecting from CA now. It certainly poses a way for Cameron White to get a foot in the door in terms of Australian captaincy matters. I hope we are going to receive bigger news in the next weeks, at least after the World Cup. The current Shield season could have some impact.

Whatever happens... select Cosgrove.

(c) Ian Janes / The Steel Daffodil

Cheers,
Wes

4 January 2011

Usman Khawaja - The thing that should not be

Why are my hot-blooded Pakistani friends going completely bananas over an Australian player to the extent of craving to claim him as their representative in the Australian national side ("our boy", quote) so badly that they are suddenly actually watching  the Ashes -only on the days when he's batting-, and on top of that even grant the honour of the insane Afridi-madness to an Aussie, who, on another occasion, is certainly going to mercilessly belt the shit out of their home side with not the slightest wish to fraternise?

Because Uzzy is a bloody phenomenon.

His phenomenality is composed of four factors:

He is  a Muslim. With only more than 360.000 (and  growing)  Muslim inhabitants in a sparsely populated immigration country like Australia, and half of them living in the cricket capital Sydney (NSW!) alone, chances that one of them will take a bat in hand are about zero.

Even more astounding is the fact that he was actually born in Pakistan.  Only millions of other people are born in Pakistan as well, and just thousands and thousands of them have migrated to countries all over the world, a mere vast majority being completely cricket-mad, and only a few dozen national sides in the world consist almost entirely of Pakistan-born players, so Uzzy looking promising is nothing short of a miracle.

Thirdly and incomprehensibly he is a damn fine cricketer. The few poor preconditions he combines in him, like truckloads of talent, explosive temperament and determination, a quick wit and remarkably fine education, an utterly supportive family and the possibly best development system at Australian state level really leave me wondering how in all the world he even managed to pop his head out, not to mention grab the cap.

Lastly, as we all know, Cricket Australia are extremely keen on keeping players originating from ethnic and religious minorities out of the national side, they would *never* even think of carrying them like life-sized posters in front of themselves, proudly wielding said images in order to assure themselves and the whole world of how multicultural and exemplarily tolerant and integrative modern Australia is (especially if said players are trying to cover up their lowly origin with a first class average of over 50, the worst local accent since Callum Ferguson, the rightful compulsion to correct their Australian-born teammates' abysmal spelling, and a sense of humour that features up-cracking pisstakes on their country of birth).

So if you total these four factors that basically make it impossible for a guy like Uzzy to ever get selected for any international appearances with Australia, you can only come to one conclusion: Uzzy, you beautiful, energetic, buzzing, hilarious, sharp-witted, talent-packed thing that should not be, but which the Australian national mopes so desperately needed.

Two videos:

Post-match interview



Press conference
(contains a marvellous sample of his sense of humour, illustrating how he deals with the idiotic amounts of expectations piled onto him, and the various attempts to utilise him just for who he is)




Uz Uz Hurrah!

Cheers,
Wes

related: Ashes Test 5 [scorecard]

2 January 2011

I'm very afraid...

... that the Poms will get mauled!!!

Berzerk Boy is gonna wreak havoc upon the pitiful Pommies har har har


Cheers,
Wes