Monthly Archives: August 2008

Flintoff’s (Second) Greatest Over

Edgbaston may be the place that buried Michael Vaughan, but it was also the setting that brought Andrew Flintoff back from the dead.

Facing a resurgent South Africa, which at this point was only 30 behind England’s 1st innings, Flintoff returned to “drag England back to the match,” as Mark Nichols put it. This is the over that removed Jacques Kallis. And this is what the IPL just cannot deliver. Enjoy.

The Best Of The Lot: So Long, Vaughan

In India, they say that the two most demanding (and most powerful) jobs belong to the Prime Minister and the captain of the cricket team. I don’t think it’s the same in England (not least because football rules the roost there), but Michael Vaughan’s resignation is nevertheless a huge (and kind of shattering) event.

Andrew Miller gives Vaughan the best send-off I’ve read here, and I’ve included a video of his announcement below. Continue reading

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The Carrom Ball Hurts

Ajantha Mendis has just claimed a five-wicket haul, and his carrom ball is in the spotlight once more (this time against a hapless Harbhajan Singh). Interestingly, a Sri Lankan commentator — I forget his name — said he talked to Mendis about his early days, when he first figured out the “flicker ball,” and how his fingers took the stress. Apparently, Mendis replied that initially, it caused a huge amount of pain, so much so that his finger would regularly swell up. Now, however, he says he’s just used to it.

This sounds right. Continue reading

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Stop Arun Lal Before I Hurt Him

I cannot stand the man: in the past few hours as a commentator in the Sri Lanka-India Test, he has talked about a) a great Continental Hotel he stayed in next to a lake; b) some reptile roaming around the Galle cricket ground (which he calls “too cute” — and which, to be fair, is); c) the particular geography of Sri Lanka, and how there’s “nothing beneath it” all the way to Antartica, which, by the way, d) is melting, not as quickly as the Arctic, but nevertheless, quick enough in the summer that polar bears will soon be extinct.

Now, I understand that he said all this during a particular lull in the match (by Sehwag’s standards, that is), but there’s little excuse for such extended sermonizing. Audiences are allowed for such chatter during Test matches; that’s the precise beauty of the format’s length. But commentators? No dice.

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