India v West Indies at Kolkata, 2nd Test

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 County Champions: Lancashire.

The club was founded in 1864, as the American Civil War raged across the Atlantic, and played its first match a year later. They have won the County Championship nine times, most recently, of course, this past season. The last time they won it out right was 1936, during the great depression. (No, not this great depression, the other great depression.)

Despite the long drought between championship titles, the club has enjoyed a great deal of success at the one day game.

They play their home matches at (ugh) Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester:

Old Trafford: via Wikipedia

The ground has hosted test matches since 1884 (the last one in 2010, England v Bangladesh) and has been the home for Lancashire since its inception.   It seats around 20,000 and is going through a major renovation as we speak.

Sachin Tendulkar knocked his first test century there in 1990, at the age of 17.

Notable players in Lancashire’s history include Ernest Tyldesley (1889-1962), who scored the most runs for the club with 34,222; and Brian Stratham (1930-2000) who took the most wickets with 1,816.  Oh, and Archie MacLaren knocked a quadruple century for the club in 1895 against Somerset.

Archie MacLaren: via Wikipedia

And, of course, last but not least, the great Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff all-rounded for the club from 1995-2000.  His only club side if you don’t count the Chennai Super Kings (which I don’t).  He played in 183 first class matches for his home county, scoring over 9,000 runs (including 15 centuries), taking 350 wickets, and making 185 catchess…all for Lancashire.  He also once hit for 38 runs in a single over against Surrey.  (6-4-4-4-4-6-6-0 and two no balls for two runs each.)

I had a very difficult time finding celebrity Lancashire fans, so I am just going to assume Noel Gallagher is a fan.  Because, you know, he is from Manchester.  Oh, and Freddie Flintoff I guess is a celebrity fan of the club, but I don’t know if he counts.

While searching, however, I did see that current Doctor Who, Matt Smith, is a Blackburn Rovers football fan.  Holy crap that is disappointing.  How could Doctor Who support that clan of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals?  Doctor Who should be an Arsenal fan.

And that, dear readers, is Lancashire.  Short and sweet.

Sources: Wikipedia, Cricinfo, and Lanchashire’s official site.


Back on the pitch, the Windies still trail India by 283 runs with 7 wickets in hand.  It’s stumps on day three.  Good fight back here from the West Indies, though the hometown team is surely still in control.

Until tomorrow: Kent.

Tasmania v South Australia at Hobart, Sheffield Shield, 11th Match

Over the last few weeks, I have let this blog slowly slip through my fingers.

I don’t mean to be so dramatic, but if you knew me, you would know that’s just how I am: dramatic.

Not only have I been putting off posting, I have been more or less ignoring the sport all together.

And I feel like I have written this post, and nothing but this post, for the last few weeks.  It’s almost as if I have run out of things to write about.

That’s right, despite the fact that the topic of this blog is a sport that has been around for 150 years, features year round competition, and is constantly amazing me with its stories and its controversies, I cannot find a topic to write about.

I mean, how many times can I write about the weather in Dhaka and a stadium in Guyana?  Not as often as I would hope, it seems.

So despite the fact that there is SO MUCH HAPPENING in cricket right now, (India v the West Indies, South Africa v Australia, Pakistan v Sri Lanka (mouth watering!), the spot fixing trial in London, not to mention domestic competitions throughout the southern hemisphere,) I need to get back to basics: the English County Game.  With sprinklings of the aforementioned tours and tournaments here and there.

This will start tomorrow with my post on the 2011 County Champions, Lancashire.  I will go over their history, their stadia, their celebrity fans, their heroes, and their villains.  And I promise to not make it a copy and paste job from their wiki page.  After Lancashire, I will write about Mick Jagger’s preferred club, Kent, followed by Sussex, and then each division 1 and maybe division 2 county cricket club.  That should last me through the winter, and maybe re-inspire this blog a little.


Back on the pitch, India is taking a 600 run lead into day three against the West Indies.  Of course, the Windies have eight wickets in hand and it is only the first innings, but it looks as though Dhoni is determined to regain his country’s number one test rating, as he put up 144 off of only 175 balls at the crease earlier today.

That is the only big international match happening right now.  The 2nd (and, sadly, final) test between South Africa and Australia starts on the 17th, and the third of five ODIs between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Dubai starts on the 18th.  I missed the tests of that series during my hiatus, unfortunately.

Okay, until tomorrow, when I bring you: Lancashire.

Oh, and also: this is my 100th post.  Better late than never, right?  RIGHT!?

Kolkata Knight Riders v South Australia at Hyderabad, Champions League Twenty20

Last night I read an article over on that said that bloggers aspiring to be successful should shoot for 1000 words a day, every day (sans weekends).

Up until the last week, aside from a few breaks here and there, I had been putting in 500-600 words per post, with four or so posts a week.

But then last week, my dog died and my world, well stopped.  It has only been five days, but I feel like it has been a million years since life has been normal.

So in an attempt to heal and feel more normal* again, I am setting myself a goal of 500 words a day, four days a week.  It’s not BikeSnobNYC pace, but it is better than nothing.

Yes, I know, that is exactly what I was doing before, but it was not intentional, and I did not hold myself fast and strong to it.  That will change, as of tonight.

What this means is that I will have to start posting at various points throughout the day, not just in the morning, but in the evening, as well.  I will have the extra time, and thanks to the oh so general nature of this blog, there will always be something to write about.

So what is happening in the world of cricket?  Holy shit – a lot!

First of all, former Indian captain, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (aka “The Tiger”) passed away of a lung infection earlier last week.

I was not familiar with the man until after news of his death broke, but just one look at this photo of him and he instantly became my favorite cricketer ever:

I don’t know when or where the picture was taken, but there is no cooler picture of an athlete in existence.

At 21, he was Test cricket’s youngest captain, and led India to their first overseas test win, in New Zealand.

He overcame impaired vision in his right eye to average 34 runs in 46 tests.

He also captain Oxford and Sussex.

Rest in peace.

In other news, England finally lost another match this summer, as the West Indies won by 25 runs in their second t20.  The series ended level as England had won the previous match by 10 wickets two days earlier.

Meanwhile, on the sub-continent, the Champions League Twenty20 is, well, happening.  I am having a difficult time getting ginned up for this one, here’s hoping that changes, as it seems there is some interesting cricket ongoing.

Who am I kidding, no matter how interesting the matches, no matter which players are involved, Twenty20 is just not going to inspire, well, it is not going to inspire 500 words a day, four days a week.

It makes for great filler however.

Also, the first ODI of England’s tour of India is three weeks away.  Yes, only three weeks. And the first, ergh, Twenty20 of Australia’s tour of South Africa is also only three short weeks away.  That series will be on, so hopefully I will finally start getting my money’s worth again.

Oh, and the Zimbabwean and Bangladeshi domestic tournaments have started up, so keep an eye out for some goofy post titles.

Until tomorrow.

*I won’t get into the fact that my world getting back to normal scares the daylights out of me.  Right now, it is all pain and emptiness.  If the pain goes, leaving only emptiness, well, that won’t be the slightest bit healthy.

England v India at Cardiff, 5th ODI

Well, congrats to Lancashire on their first County Championship in 77 years.

What’s funny, but not “haha” funny, is that 77 years ago the world was embroiled in a financial crisis just as it is now.  Which means, of course, that it is Lancashire’s fault that I am upside down on my home.

But really, no really, congrats to Lancashire.  It is quite the achievement.  And it was fun to watch the Championship being decided in the last session of the last day of the summer.  The internet was alive with the county game yesterday.  It’s not dead yet, folks.  In fact, I think the game in all its formats and leagues is having a bit of a renaissance this summer.

Of course, after reading articles about Lancashire, I immediately wanted them to be my preferred county.  But then I remembered that that would ruin my blogging plans for the winter, so that was out the window.  Plus they play their home matches at Old Trafford, so far obvious reasons, they can never, EVER, be my team.

On the pitch, today is the last ODI between England and India at Cardiff. India are, erm, stuttering along at 3 runs an over through 7.2 after England won the toss and chose to field.

So with the County Championship over, and England’s summer international season 93 overs (at best) away from concluding, we can finally start saying goodbye to what was a really fun summer of cricket.  I had a blast blogging about it anyway.  From that awesome final day at Lord’s, to the run out that wasn’t, to the Friends Life t20, to Sangakkara’s speech…so many highlights.  Been a great summer.  Look for recap here next week.

Okay that’s it for today.  I am off to follow the above ODI, as well as Pakistan v Zimbabwe, and I need to read the bulletin on the first day of Sri Lanka v Australia.

There is always cricket.

Until tomorrow.

Middlesex v Surrey at Lord’s, Friends Life t20, South Group

On the days I ride my bike, like today, like yesterday, it is very hard to get my head clear again to write a blog post.  You think it would be the opposite, that my thoughts would be crystallized after 90 minutes of pedaling, but it is not.  So, like most days, bear with me, eh?

Yesterday, (click here for a tweet of a wonderful picture of the ground) England routed Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI by 10 wickets at Trent Bridge, leveling the series at two a piece, with the decider on Saturday.  I was supposed to be on a bicycle pub crawl brewery tour…thing…on Saturday, but it was cancelled last minute.  So instead, I will be at the computer with willow-dot-teevee, instant coffee, and my stats homework.

At Trent Bridge, Anderson showed why he is still England’s number one ODI bowler, despite his recent World Cup flop.  I was able to watch a bit of Sri Lanka’s innings last night, and I was struck by how consistent his line and his length were – it really is like watching a metronome.

Dernback also took three wickets, Bresnan two, and, YES, Broady took two, as well.  Both of the t20 captain’s were a bit on the lucky side, but sometimes that’s what a quality player needs to pull himself out of a slump.  Remember what the football announcers always say: form is temporary, quality is permanent.  (However, they do also say things like “2-nil is the most dangerous score in football” and “Wayne Rooney doesn’t dive” – so all with a grain of salt or two, then).

On the batting side, for England, Cook and Kieswetter went unbeaten for 171 (via D/L).  The captain was a few short of his century, but I think the result was what mattered to him.

You have to feel a little badly for Sri Lanka – the pitch was perfectly rolled for the England bowlers to take early wickets, so they really never got going.  Chandimal and Dilshan both went for ducks, and Jayawardene only scored 9 off of 12 before being caught by Trott at slip.

The always classy Sangakkara hit for 75, but it just wasn’t enough to get them to the 230 or 240 that they were going to need.

I am still not sure why Dilshan chose to bat after winning the toss, though.

Either way, on to Old Trafford for the deciding ODI.  Once that is over, we can all start getting excited for India’s visit.  And then international cricket really kicks off, and goes all the way through the spring.  Of course, most of the matches will be in Australia and in the middle of the night, Minneapolis time, but such is the life of an American cricket writer.

In Dominica: it is raining.

Now back to work, I am going to try and follow a bit of county cricket today, so look for some of my inane, cliched, and thoroughly borrowed commentary over on twitter.

Until tomorrow.

Update: the ICC just tweeted that the England v India ODI in Kolkata has been moved from 26 October to 25 October.

Which begs the question: England is in India this fall?  It is not on Cricinfo’s unofficial FTP, but it is on the the ICC’s official version.  Huh, I guess I know which one to trust now.

Ireland v Namibia at Belfast, ICC Intercontinental Cup One-Day, 2nd Match

A few days ago, I mentioned that the Scotland-Holland ODI in Aberdeen was not, NOT, part of the ICC Intercontinental Cup one day series.  Well, it turns out it was.  I am seriously so confused these days when it comes to the Associates, and I am convinced, CONVINCED, that the ICC left them out of the 2015 World Cup purely because of how…difficult…the Associates are.

For those new to the game, there are several levels of status in World Cricket.  There are the Test Nations – those countries with full member status.  These are nations that have proven over many years that they are capable of playing the game at the highest possible level.  England, India, Australia…etc.

The Associates, on the other hand, are nations with lesser developed programs.  Nations such as Ireland, the Netherlands, Afghanistan, Canada…etc.

Then there are the Affiliates (Nepal, Thailand, Uganda, the USA…etc).

The associates and the affiliates all play in various tournaments which I am not, NOT, going to explain again (yes, I have used that meme three times now, so what?) with the ultimate goal of becoming full member nations and playing tests against England at Lord’s, getting backstage passes to Take That at Wembley, being able to get away with high fashion sunglasses in the field, and of course getting lots of followers on Twitter.

Despite the fact that I did want to point out that the match in the title of this post actually does not take place until tomorrow, I really do not want to talk about the Associates for a very long time.  I write about them far too much in this blog.

I will say, though, that the ICC are idiots for trimming the t20 World Cup.  Serious, fucking, idiots.

In other world cricketing news, Sri Lanka have simply hammered England in the last

(hold on, I am watching Mexico-Chile in the Copa America and goodness that was a beautiful goal from Mexico. one of the best headers I have seen in a very long time.  who scored that?  will he sign for Arsenal? of course he won’t.)

(I am watching it online on Univision, the commentary is in Spanish.  Seriously, it is not very multi-cultural for me to say this, but the GOOOAAALL (ad nauseum) call when a team scores is the most annoying thing in world sport.  full stop.  otherwise I almost prefer the commentary, it is easier to tune out).

hammered England in the last two ODIs.  There are calls for almost everyone in the entire squad to be dropped, taken out, and shot.  But despite the moaning, I bet the squad will unchanged on Wednesday in Nottingham.  Again, I plan, PLAN on waking up early to catch a few overs.  This is something I really need to start making happen.  For England’s sake, hopefully it is damp, as the whole “Sri Lanka can’t play in the cold and wet” theory has legs.

That’s it for now.  I am hoping, HOPING, that there will be time to write tomorrow.  (Yes, that was on purpose).

Oh, I did want to mention how cool I think it is that the Friend’s Life t20 uses the quaint old grounds for their matches.  Today, for instance, Sussex played at the Whitgift School ground.  I love that when I go on my cricket-bicycle-pub-crawl, I will barely have to leave London, and I will still get to see so many wonderful grounds.

Blog resolution: more about county cricket, less about the Associates.

Until tomorrow.

England v Sri Lanka at Leeds, 2nd ODI

I meant to get up early enough today to watch part of the above match before heading to the office, but we all knew that wasn’t going to happened.  Now is is almost 9am and I am feeling quite uninspired – what to write about…? What to write about…?

Well, the chase has begun at Headingley.  Kieswetter and Cook are off and are running down Sri Lanka’s 308.  Unlike like in Bridgetown, there isn’t any rain forecast for Leeds….

Crap, I had to halt the blog process to take an order from a client.  I guess I just need to keep on thinking: each order takes me one step closer to London.  But that is not the case, as each order takes me one step farther away from my home being foreclosed upon, and other boring necessitates of modern American life.

Anyway, it is only the fourth over, but England are cranking along at over 8 an over, which is nice to see.  Can they go two-up in the series?

And, hey, it is the first of July (happy Canada day), which means that the first test against India at Lord’s is only three short weeks away.  I can guarantee you I won’t be oversleeping those matches.

Photo by Niki Becker, London, 4 March 2011.

That is it for now, I might bless you with a rare afternoon post later, and maybe even a weekend post tomorrow.  We shall see.

Until tomorrow.