South Africa Under-19s v Pakistan Under-19s at Stellenbosch, Tri-Nation Under-19s Tournament

On the pitch:

Last night, while I slept, on the other side of the earth: Pakistan humbled England, and the two openers in Chennai batted on and on and on.

Re: the former: When I woke up and checked the score on my phone, at first I was a little confused. Pakistan had gotten to 338 in the first innings, okay, and then it appeared as if England were 160 for none in their second innings, but something didn’t look right, and then I saw it: “Pakistan won by 15 runs.”

England were not 160/0, they were 160 all out, bowled out by Gul and Ajmal. Then Hafeez and Umar came back out, batted for just shy of 30 minutes, and won the match.

Amazing turn of events.

I have not had a chance to read any commentary, any punditry, not even any tweets, but I must say this: England are in real trouble; they are going to lose this series.

Not 48 hours ago, I was reading articles from England fans saying that they had a real chance to win not just every series in 2012, but every match, as well.  And now the former dream is over, and the latter dream is in serious doubt.

Some might say that it is far too early to panic, that England is the number one test team on earth.

But, really, outside of the ICC rankings, are they?  Sure, we all know what happened last year: retaining the Ashes IN Australia, beatingSri Lanka 1-0 (thanks to one hapless day in Cardiff from the visitors), and white washing India (in England.) But they lost a series to the West Indies not three years ago, and before that most of the test results were mixed, at best.

Sure, the last two years have been a great run, but Bangladesh aside, they have not won outside of England or Australia since 2007/2008 in New Zealand; and they have not won on the subcontinent since 2000/2001 against Pakistana and Sri Lanka.

If we are going to lambaste India for losing outside of the subcontinent, then we need to paint England with similar strokes for their absolute failure to win in Asia.

And, yes, it is time to panic. They did not lose a squeaker in five days, they had their doors blown off, pure and simple.

Optimists will point to England’s resilient bowling as a silver lining, but I didn’t see resilient bowling, I saw bowling that allowed Pakistan to put up 338 runs on the same pitch that England were bowled out on for 192 and 160.  That’s not resilient bowling, that is troublesome and worrisome bowling.

And even if Monty Panesar comes into the squad and evens out the attack with more spin, then what of England’s batting?  I can only assume that the wicket will be similar in Abu Dhabi, and Pakistan surely will not make any squad changes, and this is an England side that saw the majority of its top order batsmen losing their wickets with single digit run totals.

Cook’s two innings total? Eight.

Pietersen’s? Two.

Bell’s? Four.

That’s 14 total runs from three of England’s best batsmen.

Troublesome.  Worrisome.

For England.

Pakistan on the other hand? They look unstoppable. Unfortunately, they will not be playing a test series against the other scorching hot team in world cricket, Australia, until the fall of 2014.

The second test of #pakveng starts on the 26th and it very well could be the most important test of 2012 for England.

Meanwhile, in Chennai, Rajasthan won the toss, put Tamil Nadu in the field, and Chopra and Saxena batted on and on and on and on. 221/0 – a big score in a match where the tiebreaker is first innings runs.

I had a lot of fun watching that match last night, and hope to be able to watch more tonight.

Also, tonight, look for a LimitedOvers style preview of the only New Zealand v Zimbabwe test.

Until then.

Canada v Guyana at Bridgetown, Caribbean T20

Last night, while working out, I listened to the pundits via Cricinfo (Andrew Miller…et al) talk rather confidently about England’s chances in the U.A.E. against Pakistan.

This morning I woke up to see that England had been spun off the pitch for 192 and Pakistan were 42/0.

What a day for Pakistan, what a day for Saeed Ajmal.

Now, of course, it is only the first day of the first test; but England has to be a little worried right about now. If they collapse in this series and lose 2-1 or 1-0, then their 2012 coronation march might have to be cancelled; and these last 18 months of glory will be all but forgotten.

Cricket fans have notoriously short memories.

I am jumping the gun a bit, of course, there is a lot of game left, a lot of series left.  But if England is not seriously looking at how to readjust to Pakistan’s spin attack, then this could all be over but the shouting.

One hightlight from the day for England was Prior’s 70*.  A true captain’s innings – similar to what we saw recently from Clarke, but more akin to what we saw from Dhoni in Sydney.

When teams are having trouble, the captain needs to stand up and drag them across the line – and that’s what Prior did for England.  If he gets out for 10 or 20 or even if he hits his test average of 44 and change, then England are in an even hotter pot of boiling water then they are now.

The role of the captain on the field in sport is severely underrated in some camps, but if you have the best captain for your squad, then it can make a world of difference.

Especially, of course, in a sport like cricket where the duties of the captain are far more important than, say, the duties of a football captain.

That said, no matter the sport, if you put the capital “C” on the right guy’s jersey, it can make for the difference between a Championship and second place.


Some light housekeeping notes:

I went to bed last night still a little blue that I was going to be unable to watch any of the #PakvEng series.  But then I woke up this morning to several @s in my Twitter feeding telling me that was showing the match on their player, just not on YouTube, Roku, or any mobile devices.  Huzzah!  Hopefully, HOPEFULLY, this wasn’t a glitch and I will be able to watch tonight.

Thanks to @thecricketcouch and @goodacre for the good news.

Also, in cricket news, @thetwochucks are making a movie.  And you really should support them.  I pledged a tenner and hope to more later.

And, finally, there might be another post later tonight, but there will not be one tomorrow, as LimitedOvers will be participating in the Internet Blackout to protest SOPA and PIPA.  Again, I suggest you do the same.

Until next time.

Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Sixers at Hobart, Big Bash League

Writing about each of the 18 counties that form the current County Championship in England and Wales has honestly been a real joy.  Not only I have learned a great deal about the English domestic game, but it has allowed me to churn out blog posts like never before, as choosing a topic to write about has been a constant struggle here at Limited Overs.

I am hoping against hope that no longer having counties to write about does not kill my recent prolificacy.  (Holy cow that’s a word!)

Now, as I have gone through the counties one by one, I kept thinking to myself: who exactly has won all of the County titles?  No less than three teams have won exactly zero (I had this wrong in a previous post, unfortunately), while five more clubs have won three trophies or less.

Sure, Middlesex has won 10, and Surrey 18, but something was not quite right – the official tournament has been around since 1890, that’s 121 years!

It just took me 17 posts to solve the mystery:

Ladies and Gentleman, Yorkshire County County Cricket Club, who were founded in 1875 and made their first class debut in 1882, have won 30 titles:

1893, 1896, 1898, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1905, 1908, 1912, 1919, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1946, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, and 2001.

Some context?  Sure:

The Yankees, of course, have 27 titles, the most by a sports franchise in North America, the Montreal Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups, to finish a close second.

In Europe, Real Madrid has won 31 La Liga titles, while Glasgow Rangers have won the Scottish League a jaw dropping 53 times – but those two don’t really count as there are only two teams in each of those leagues.

Liverpool and Manchester United have each won the first division in English Football 19 times, which I honestly think is more impressive than the accomplishments of Rangers and Madrid.

So, yeah, Yorkshire’s 30 titles is not an obscene number in sport, and I bet the Yankees will catch them sooner rather than later, but it is still pretty damn impressive.

Interestingly enough, however, Yorkshire have only won five one day cups, most recently the Friend’s Provident 40 in 2002.

Their home ground is Headingley, of course, a test cricket ground located in the city of Leeds:

The ground has been Yorkshire’s home since 1891, but they have actually hosted a great many first class matches at three other grounds: Bramall Lane in Sheffield (391 first class matches), Park Avenue in Bradford (306 first class matches), and North Marine Road in Scarborough (233 first class matches.)

Considering their success, Yorkshire have been rather nomadic, having hosted matches in all formats at 23 different grounds.

Headingley was purchased by the club in 2005 and recent renovations have ensured that it will continue to host test matches and Elton John concerts for years to come.

Oh, and of course, Headingley was the site of the one of the most famous comebacks in test cricket history, during the 1981 Ashes. England were forced to follow-on yet still beat Australia by 18 runs, only the second time a team has comeback to win in a test match after being forced to follow-on.

For my American readers: the follow-on:  “a situation where the team that bats second is forced to take its second batting innings immediately after its first, because the team was not able to get close enough (within 200 runs for a five-day match) to the score achieved by the first team batting in the first innings. It is applicable only in the longer (more traditional) two-innings-each match.”

Thanks for everything, Wikipedia, I mean it.

And just for fun, let’s post this again, too:

I love the Internet.

Notable players?  Yeesh, honestly too many to count.

Martin Hawke, who was a nobleman and known as Lord Hawke, captained the side to eight of their 30 titles, while Brian Sellers wore the armband for six Yorkshire Championships.

Here’s a drawing of the former, first published by Vanity Fair in 1892:

Lord Hawke, the 7th Baron Hawke of Towton:  a Cricketer.

And lest we forget:

Most first class runs:  Herbert Sutcliffe with 38,558.

Most first class wickets:  Wilfred Rhodes with 3,597.

Rhodes was the first Englishman to complete the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in test matches.

That’s him on the right, with Yorkshire teammates Schofield Haigh and George Hirst in 1905.

And that’s it, that’s Yorkshire.  And that’s also all eighteen English and Welsh cricket playing counties.

I hoped you enjoyed reading about them as much as I enjoyed writing about them.

Back on the pitch: pretty damn quiet.

Until next time.

Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka, Pakistan tour of Bangladesh

I used to put Worcestershire sauce on my eggs.  This was years ago.  Worcestershire sauce AND ketchup.  Those days are over now, of course, and in fact no one at any age should really be eating that much salt, but when I was a teenager it was one of my favorite weekend meals.

And the useless anecdote above brings us to today’s County: Worcestershire.

(These posts are becoming so entirely formulaic, and for that I do apologize to my loyal reader.)

Formed:  1865.  First class debut: 1899.  Admitted to the Championship:  same year.

The club has won five County titles.  The first in 1964, 99 years after they formed, but their fans did not have to wait nearly as long for their second title, as they won it again the very next season.

They won a third in 1974, and then went back to back again in 1988 and 1989.   The club also won back to back Sunday Leagues in 1987 and 1988.

Since then, however, the team has fallen on hard times, with only a handful of one day wins to sate its faithful, the most recent being a Pro40 title in 2007.  Looking over their current roster speaks volumes, as they employ only three players with international caps on their resume, and I have not heard of any of them.

The club plays its home matches at the New Road, and the ground has been their home since 1896.

The second picture looks like just a lovely to spend the day, eh?

As I have been writing this, and while look at pictures of New Road, I briefly entertained the idea of choosing this as my club to support (that is the ultimate goal of this entire exercise).  I like their name, I love their quaint little ground, and I like their understated nature.   Worcester, the city, while not really near anything, has the English country village vibe that I think I could get on board with…but I am starting to think that I really need to choose a London based team, as I want it to be at least mildly easy to attend a match when I am in England again.

(While reading about Worcester, I learned that Worcestershire sauce was actually invented there, by two chemists, and has been manufactured at a plant located in the county since 1897, one year after the opening of the New Road ground.  A banner couple of years for Worcesterians.)

(The original brand was purchased by Heinz in 2005.  I don’t know about you, but I find the stranglehold that Heinz has on the condiment market really annoying.)

(I digress.)

During the two different golden ages of the club, in the mid-sixties and the late eighties, the club featured some real cricketing heavyweights: Don Kenyon (34,490 first class runs for the club, the most in its history), and Norman Gifford (1,615 wickets, the second most in the club’s history (Reg Parks had the most with 2,143)) in the former period and the late Graham Dilley and Ian Botham in the latter.

Indian World Cup winning captain, Kapil Dev, he of the most wonderful moustache, also played for the club briefly in the mid-eighties.

And, hey, that’s Worcestershire County Cricket Club.  17 down, one to go.  Hopefully I will have time tomorrow, and will spend less time writing about condiments and more time writing about cricket.

Back on the pitch: Sri Lanka were bowled out on day three by South Africa, totally ruining my plans to watch cricket all morning both yesterday and today.  Further, it looks like there is fog in Dhaka delaying the start of the third day’s play between Bangladesh and Pakistan.   (It is 54 degrees in the capital city this morning, which I assume is really freaking cold for that part of the world.)

Until next time.

Griqualand West v Namibia at Kimberley, CSA Provincial Three-Day Challenge

I was planning on writing this post with the sounds of South Africa v Sri Lanka in the background, but shoot, the match is already over, so its Fulham v Bolton instead.  What is wrong with Sri Lanka cricket?  A post for another day, I guess.

Warwickshire County Club, while not nearly as successful as our friends Surrey, have been able to raise the County Championship trophy on a handful of occasions:  1911, 1951, 1972, 1994, 1995, and 2004.

Based in Birmingham, the club was formed in 1882, made its first class debut in 1894, and was admitted to the Championship in 1895 (a full year before the first Summer Olympics in the modern era, for those interested in a wee bit of context.)

They’ve also won 11 one day titles:  five Pro40s, four Sunday Leagues, and two Benson and Hedges.

(I still cannot get over the fact that a cigarette manufacturer was the lead sponsor for an athletic competition for like 30 years.  Didn’t anyone question this when the deal was signed?  I know times were different, and that cricket was not alone in this regard, (professional tennis and cigarettes have had a long and storied relationship, for instance, a relationship that just recently ended, it seems) but the surgeon general’s report came out in, what, like 1960?  It’s all a little gross, actually.

Say what you will about the big four sports in America, but at least they haven’t used tobacco peddlers as their tournament sponsors…imagine the Marlboro Light Super Bowl…

The Premiere League has also stayed away from using cigarettes as a sponsor, but now that I think of it, big banks like Barclay’s have probably done more harm to the world than Joe Camel…and Major League Baseball has maybe not actively promoted the use of chewing tobacco, but they certainly have glorified it…and all sports surely don’t think twice when it comes to taking money from alcohol manufacturers…

Okay what is this blog about?

Oh, right, cricket.

The Ground

Edgbaston: Lovely:

The ground was established the same year as Warwickshire and has been their home ever since.  It seats 25,000, the second highest capacity cricket ground in England, and is widely considered to be one of the nicest grounds in the country.

As seems to be the case for many  cricket stadiums in England, it recently went through a major renovation with an entirely new stand built in 2010, which required the demolition of parts of the ground that had been in place since the 1890s.  I am all for progress, mind you, and I know cricket clubs are businesses that need to compete with forms of entertainment not even imagined 20 years ago, but hopefully they also understand that their long and storied history is part of their equity, part of their selling point…it’s not all corporate boxes and Fosters.

Finally, as you know, rain is a big top of discussion here at Limited Overs, and Edgbaston, interestingly enough, had the fewest minutes of play disrupted by rain between 1979 and 1988, with 90.  (Old Trafford had the most: with 480. Ouch.)

Wikipedia’s source for the above stat was this book:  Rain Stops Play.  Looks like an interesting read!

Notable Players

Warwickshire’s greatest all rounder was (and still is) Frank Foster.  He captained the club during its first County Championship winning season (1911).   However, he only played in 159 first class matches for the club, as a motorcycle accident while on military duty during World War One prematurely ended his career when he was only 25 years old.   During his far too short career for the club, he did take 717 wickets and scored 6,548 runs.

Brian Lara is perhaps Warwickshire’s most famous player, helping the team to its back to back titles in 1994 and 1995, as well as several one day titles (they even won a rare treble in 1994.)

The most first class runs?  Dennis Amiss (35,146).  Wickets?  Eric Hollies (2,201).   The latter has a stand named after him at Edgbaston, and based on his wiki page, he seems like a great guy to grab some pints with.

These days, the club features internationals such as Ian Bell, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Chris Woakes.

Oh, and of course, the incomparable Jonathan Trott is a Warwickshire Bear, as well.

Hooray for Warwickshire!

Only two counties left to write about, tomorrow: Worcestershire, and then Monday, the mystery is solved.  And I mean SOLVED.

Bengal v Delhi at Kolkata, Ranji Trophy Elite

Okay, now we are starting to get somewhere.

Based in London, and therefore a key rival of Middlesex, Surrey County Cricket Club was formed in 1845, made its first class debut in 1864, was admitted to the modern day championship in 1890 (its inaugural season), and won outright County Championships in 1890, 1891, 1892, 1894, 1895, 1899, 1914, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958 (that’s seven in a row, for those counting at home), 1971, 1999, 2000, and 2002.  18 titles to Middlesex’s 12.

The club has also won five one-day competitions, most recently the brand new Clydesdale Bank 40 in 2011.

Those seven titles in a row during the 1950s are truly an amazing feat, and deserves a bit of further exploration:

In the NFL, no team has won more than two consecutive Super Bowls.  Again, however, the competition as we know it has not existed for all that long, relatively speaking.   The Green Bay Packers did win three straight NFL titles between 1929 and 1931.

Major League Baseball?  Again, no team really comes close. The Yankees won a jaw dropping five in a row, starting in 1949.  That is nothing to sneeze out, especially considering it was during a golden age of baseball, but it still falls three short of Surrey CCC’s eight.

In the National Hockey League, the Montreal Canadiens also won five in a row between 1956 and 1960 (but think there were only like six teams in the league at the time), while in English Football (both pre-Premiere League and post-Premiere League) no team has won more than three consecutive first division. (I actually find that a bit shocking.)

In the NBA, however?  Yep, that’s right, the Boston Celtics won eight in a row starting in 1959 (wow, the 50s were a utopia for dynasty fans.)  The Celtics actually 11 titles in 13 years which really makes it slightly more impressive than Surrey accomplishment, but I am not sure of the quality of the league in that period, as the NBA as we know had only been around for eight seasons when Boston’s run began, so I am giving the edge here to Surrey.

The Ground

Surrey has played the vast majority of its home matches at The Oval, in Kennington:

It has been their home since 1845, the club’s entire history.  It seats 23,500, and is an almost guaranteed stop for any test team touring England.

The ground went through a massive renovation in 2005, which included the construction of the OCS stand seen in the middle picture above.

It regularly hosted football matches in the late 19th century, and was actually the host of the first ever international football match (England v Scotland in 1870).  It even hosted FA Cup finals for 20 straight seasons from 1872 through 1892.

Regrettably, however, it is now known as the Kia Oval. Le Sigh. Somewhere, David Foster Wallace is grinning.

Notable Players

Stuart Surridge was the club captain for five of the seven consecutive titles, but Wikipedia, in a rare show of subjectivity, gives credit instead to the cricketers playing beneath him, rather than to the captain.   The same entry did point out that he was a defensive minded captain, that his key philosophy was that “catches won matches”.  I think a lot of current cricket teams could be well served by that simple strategy.

Jack Hobbs scored the most first class runs for the club, with 43,554 from 1905-1934.  Tom Richardson took the most first class wickets, despite only playing for the club for 12 years (1892-1904).

In fact, in just four seasons, Richardson took 1,005 wickets, and along with Hobbs, was chosen by the Wisden Cricketer as one of the “Six Giants of the Wisden Century”.

The club’s current squad features a who’s who of English cricket: Kevin Pietersen, Jade Dernbach, and Chris Tremlett.

In so many words: that’s Surrey County Cricket Club.

And I am really starting to look forward to the County Season…


On the pitch: Not a whole lot going on.  The first test between South Africa and Sri Lanka starts tomorrow, which means I will have a test to follow here at the office: good news.  Also, the second test between Bangladesh and Pakistan starts on the 17th and will again be live on ESPN3.

Meanwhile, I will just wait with bated breath for the Boxing Day test at the MCG.

Also, today, on the Internet: Dravid calls for the ICC to explore day-night tests.  Worth a read.

Until next time.

No matches found

Derbyshire County Cricket Club is one of the youngest clubs in the County Championship.  They were formed in 1870 and played their initial First Class match the following year.

Unfortunately, Derbyshire has never really enjoyed a great deal of success.  They have only won one Championship in their entire 132 year history (1936), and they were actually kicked out of the Championship for several years in the late 19th century due to a terrible run of form.

Even their one day successes have been few and far between: one Gillette/NatWest/C&G title in 1981, a Sunday League crown in 1990, and a Benson & Hedges Cup in 1993.  That’s it.

I am not sure of if it has anything due with the lack of success, but the club has been quite the nomadic bunch over the years, as well.  They have hosted First Class matches at 14 different grounds since their inception: Abbeydale Park, Bass Worthington Ground, Burton-on-Trent CC Ground, County Ground, Derby High Ground, Ind Coope Ground, Miners Welfare Ground, North Road Ground, Park Road Ground, Queen’s Park, Recreation Ground, Rutland Recreation Ground, Saltergate, and the Town Ground.  That number bumps up to a shocking 21 when you add in List A and t20 matches.

However, the majority of their cricket has been played at two grounds: The County Ground and Queen’s Park.


The former ground holds 9,500 folks and features a brand new stand and a new marquee.  It has hosted several ODIs, an FA Cup Final, and is the former home of Derby County Football club.

The latter holds 7,000 and was the home to Derbyshire from 1898 to 1998, and then again from 2006-Present after a major refurbishment.  The ground is within the city limits of Chesterfield and looks to feature quite the picturesque setting.

Notable players? Well, Kim Barnett scored the most runs in Derbyshire’s history, with 23,854 over a nine year stint with the club from 1979-1998.  However, his career was marred by contract disputes and his place on Mike Gatting’s rebel tour of South Africa.

Les Jackson took the most wickets for the club, with 1,670, playing for them from 1947 to 1963. He actually had an extraordinarily interesting life.  The son of a miner in born in Derbyshire, his brother was killed in the Creswell colliery disaster in 1950, yet Jackson would work in the mines in the off season for most of his life.  He was genuinely feared by batsmen, especially on uncovered county wickets.  He could swing the ball both ways and employed a short run up, hence his longevity.  He passed in 2007 at the ripe old age of 85.

Les Jackson in 1960

And that, in so many words, is Derbyshire County Cricket Club.

Usual sources…blah blah blah…


Back on the pitch, not a great deal happening.  There actually is not single international match taking place today, so I will leave the chatter on the upcoming matches for another day.  However, one programming note: the entire Bangladesh-Pakistan series is going to be available live on ESPN3.  One t20, three ODIs, and two tests.  Happy days.

Until next time.

Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Abu Dhabi, 5th ODI

Today: Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.  Why?

Two words: Trent Bridge:

Yes, I know I have posted this picture before, and yes, there is a fancy new stand now which makes the picture obsolete, but shoot it sure is a lovely shot, eh?  And as I have mentioned before, it reminds of my early days of falling in love with the sport: April and May 2007.  When I was quitting smoking and just thinking about test cricket gave me a thrill.  I am not kidding.

So, considering the above, Trent Bridge and Nottinghamshire hold a special place in my heart.

The club as we know it today was formed in 1841 and dominated throughout the 19th century, those years of the “unofficial” championship (I learned this morning, thanks to good old Sam Collins, that the County Championship proper was not formed until 1890.)  They have won five “official” County Championships, the first in 1907, the most recent in 2005.  Interestingly enough, they have actually won fewer one day tournaments: only three (four if you county a division two Sunday League title in 2004. I don’t.)

Regarding Trent Bridge: I found some great pictures on its Wiki page. I was thinking of posting them all, but for now, just these:

from 1890

That last one’s a heart stopper, eh?

The ground is the former home of Notts County and Nottingham Forest football teams, and is a regular stop for international touring cricket sides.  It has hosted tests since 1899, the most recent this summer when India came to town.  (And lost.)

It currently seats 17,500 and has been home to Notts CCC since the mid 19th Century.  (Actually, I had hard time finding a solid date.  The ground’s foundations were laid in 1889, but Notts have played on the land since 1838 when William Clarke laid out a cricket ground in the meadow next to the Trent Bridge Inn.)

Oh, and the Trent Bridge library currently boasts the biggest collection of cricket books in the UK.

One Notts player of note that I wanted to talk about was Sir Richard Hadlee, the New Zealand all rounder who played for the county between 1978 and 1987.   Sir Richard had a very minor role in the infamous underarm bowling incident in 1981, as he was lbw’d by Trevor Chappell with the second ball of the final over of the match.

The underarm incident is something I will write about in more detail at a later date, as it is one of those odd little cricket moments that really define the sport for me.

And, hey, that’s Notts CCC, more or less.


A couple interesting articles of note:

DeepBackwardPoint alerts his readers to the fact that cricket has always been insecure, and has always been declaring itself dead.  This is really why I think I get along with the sport so well, we are very similar, personality wise.  Cricket with Balls a few months back described cricket as: “…not smooth or charming, it’s kind of accidentally vulgar and offensive, but in an intellectual way.”  That’s me to a tee.

(Hm. It looks like the above post has been removed from Jarrod’s archives.  I guess pissing on other people’s books is not recommended when you are trying to sell your own books. Still available in my Google Reader though.)

Finally, here is a neat article on street cricket in London.


This is usually where I head “back (to) the pitch”, but I really need to get some work done.

Until next time.

Victoria v Tasmania at Melbourne, Sheffield Shield

Lord's, Middlesex v Surrey, 1895

I decided to write about Middlesex County Cricket Club next, as theirs is the only ground that I have actually visited.  Yeah, I didn’t see a match at Lord’s, and I didn’t even go inside the ground, but I did steal a glimpse of the famous sloped pitch, and I did get a picture in front of the famous sign, and I did touch the exterior bricks…

Middlesex County Cricket Club as we know it today was formed in 1864, and won first division titles in 1903, 1920, 1947, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1990, and 1993.  Plus they shared the title in 1949 and 1977.  They have also won seven first division one day competitions, including the 2008 Twenty20 cup.

The club was relegated to the second division in two different formats in 2006, but won the second division title in 2011 and therefore will be back in the County Championship’s first division for the 2012 season.

Since 1877, Middlesex, of course, have played the majority of their home matches at the self proclaimed home of cricket: Lord’s Cricket Ground in St. John’s Wood.  A stone’s throw from Abbey Road Studios, 221 Baker St, and Regent’s Park: quintessential London.

What can I say about Lord’s that has not already been said?  It seats 20,000, was established in 1814, and has gone through several major renovations throughout the years. It has hosted over 100 test matches, and was the venue for the 2000th test match this past summer.

(By the way, a real thriller of a test match is concluding in South Africa as I type.  Australia need five runs with two wickets left in hand.)

Famous players? Almost too many to count. Patsy Hendren scored the most runs for the club, with 40,302 between 1907 and 1937.  (Thirty years with the same club…unimaginable nowadays.)  Fred Titmus took the most wickets with 2,361 between 1949 and 1982.  (Thirty-two years with the same club…I guess there is something to be said for employing amateurs…)

Currently, the team features England’s test captain, Andrew Strauss, as well as England’s fourth choice fast bowler, Steven Finn.

Oh, and the club wears pink during its 20/20 matches in support of a local Breast Cancer Charity.  So, I don’t know, I think that’s pretty cool.

And that, dear readers, is Middlesex County Cricket Club.


On the pitch: Australia won by two wickets, leveling the series.

Yesterday, Pakistani cricket hero, Shahid Afridi, single handedly hauled his country over the line yesterday, beating Sri Lanka by 26 runs in Sharjah.  He scored 75 off of 87 with the bat, and took 5 for 35 with the ball.  A legendary performance.

Until next time.

South Africa v Australia at Johannesburg, 2nd Test

Unfortunately, I got a little bit of a late start this morning, and therefore cannot spend as much time as I would like discussing Kent County Cricket Club.

As I mentioned over on Twitter yesterday, I was doing a bit of reading on the club to get ready for today’s post and I was overwhelmed with their history.

First of all, according to some sources, the sport of cricket was invented in the area of Kent, in or around 1300 C.E.

Further, Kent played a side representing London in 1719 in what is widely held to be the first county cricket match.

However, getting a date for the actual birth of the club proved to be difficult, but it looks as the though the club as we know it today was formed around 1842, in Canterbury.  That was 18 years before Lincoln’s inauguration. Heck it was even a few years before the U.S.-Mexican War that preceded the U.S. Civil War.  I don’t mean to make this American blog all American-ey, but part of me really wants to put the County game into some sort of historical context.  These teams are old, folks.

In 1847, the club move to the St. Lawrence Ground, which has been their home ever since.

The ground holds 15,000, has been host to four One Day Internationals (most recently Australia v Bangladesh in 2005), and it is one of the oldest first class grounds in the world.

Also, um, there is a tree in the middle of the outfield:

Yes, a tree.  For the first 158 years of the ground’s existence, a lime tree was within the boundary.  Only four times in its history had the tree been cleared for a six.  Unfortunately, a wind storm and heartwood fungus spelled out the 200 year old tree’s demise, finally snapping in two in 2005 leaving only a stump.

A new tree has been planted within the boundary, but currently it is only six feet tall.

Kent has won the County Championship seven times, most recently in 1978.  They also shared the title in 1977, and won three Benson & Hedges Cups in that decade, as well.

Most recently, the side won the Twenty20 Cup in 2007.

Frank Woolley is probably their most famous player, and probably the greatest all-rounder England has ever produced, scoring almost 60,000 runs for the side, while also taking over 2,000 wickets, and making over 1,000 catches.  He retired from cricket in 1938 at the age of 51.

Of course, the County Championship was not held due to World War II between 1939 and1945, so I like to think he would have kept on playing if not for the war.

Finally, and most importantly, Mick Jagger is a fan of Kent County Cricket Club.

Other celebrity fans?  Still having a hard time tracking those down.

Postscript: There is one other first class cricket ground with a tree growing within the boundary line: the Pietermaritzburg City Oval in South Africa:

It even hosted a couple matches during the 2003 World Cup, India v Namibia (India won by 181 runs, Tendulkar and Ganguly hit centuries) and Bangladesh v Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets after bowling out Bangladesh in 31 overs.)


Back on the pitch: This morning India forced the follow-on and beat the West Indies by an innings and 15 runs.  While in Johannesburg, South Africa and Australia are on in the middle of an innings break on day one of the final test of the tour.  South Africa chose to bat and are all out for 266.  There is talk of bad light, so that might be it for today.

Until tomorrow: Sussex.