The biggest threat to cricket and, in fact, Twitter today

You know what? It’s fine that you have been paid to promote like Breathe Sport, I use selective Tweets to post tweets to Facebook. I just don’t do it all the time and I don’t use such an annoying auto script as “see reaction at http://brths/bollocks/” it doesn’t even scan right. It should be “see the reaction at,” it should be less obtrusive and why on god’s green earth would I want to see the reaction to Michael Vaughan’s latest article aimed at promoting an ISM cricketer to play for England?

 

Post Script:

They don’t even offer a flight over the beautiful Rutland countryside:

 

A #Powerful Blog On Selection

As an Essex and England fan I’m naturally dissapointed that Ravi Bopara hasn’t scored the century to see England home every time he’s been to the crease in his entire career. His run of scores since he got back-to-back fifties at the start of the Sri Lanka series was poor indeed and I can see why Gary Ballance has been picked in his place for the Australia game tomorrow.

The debate on social media that I’ve seen this morning about the selection has not been “Gary Ballance is a fantastic player and England are lucky to have the likes of him and Alex Hales as batting cover.” Rather the debate has been about the injustice of excluding Ben Stokes and picking that useless waste of carbon bloke who plays for Essex: Ravi Bopara.

Stokes is undoubtedly a talented player who has the ability to be successful in international cricket for many years to come. He will break all of Sir Ian Botham’s records for England I’m sure of it. In fact, he’s already taken a five wicket haul in ODIs for England which is something Sir Ian never quite managed to achieve in his 16-year ODI career.

This World Cup is the 2nd ODI tournament that he could have been selected for since he made his ODI debut. The first (the 2013 Champion’s Trophy) he did not make as a fall-out from the England Lions tour to Australia the winter before. England needed a batsman who can also bowl in the Collingwood mode and they fell back on Ravi Bopara. Having had their hand forced, the selectors were almost repaid in full as Bopara made a number of contributions with the bat lower down the order and with the ball he recorded the best bowling figures for any England bowler in a World Cup, Champions Trophy or World Twenty20 final:

Best England Bowling in a Final

So Stokes missed the 2013 Champions Trophy on behaviour and form issues. He missed World Cup selection because his form with the bat in 2014 has seen him scoring almost exclusively in binary. He missed the 2014 World Twenty20 because he inflicted an injury upon himself in a rage (he needs to learn from Ricky Ponting and smash TVs instead).

There are many reasons to want Stokes in the ODI team: he can smash bowling attacks, he can bowl in excess of 85mph and he’s a very good fielder. But his form and confidence have not been evident in his displays during the past 12 months. Including him in the world cup squad at this stage would have been a huge gamble wouldn’t it? Bear in mind England have dropped their captain of 3 years one month before the world cup, have a bowling attack that is being lead by two bowlers feeling their way back after injury lay-offs (albeit successfully in Anderson’s case, #Stay #Humble Stuart), an opener and spinner who has only been playing international cricket for a year and a number three who had 2 ODIs to his name before the start of this winter. Don’t you think that’s enough gambles to be taking without adding another one to the squad?

It would be interesting to watch I suppose. But this is the World Cup, it’s the sport’s premier international event and England have got just about the best squad of players available for a 6 week tournament.

I really think we ought to be talking about how good a player Gary Ballance is, not how Ravi Bopara didn’t deserve to be in the squad ahead of Ben Stokes.

Anyway I’ll always back Ravi, because that’s the joy of watching and playing sport. You always have players whom you want to watch playing, no matter what their form is.

Ravi haters are going to hate.
ravi-bopara_1425921c

Post Script.

Dave Tickner nails it perfectly:

I can’t believe it’s not ownership – or the curious tale of HIghland TItles selling

Originally posted on Love and Garbage - some commonplace musings:

Any good lawyer will be very aware of the areas they know and of the areas they don’t.  If you were to ask me a question about employment law I’d shrug my shoulders, give you the phone numbers of some firms or colleagues and hope you’d be well served by them. One area I do know fairly well though is Scottish property law and conveyancing. This lies at the heart of what I do. And when people play fast and loose with it I get concerned, particularly when those playing fast and loose with it are charging people money.

The other morning I was on twitter and saw a tweet from a twitter user called Highland Titles:

“Buy land in Scotland & you may style yourself as Lord or Lady of Glencoe! From £29.99.”

NOw this raises immediate suspicions. and so I visited the website which was linked to from…

View original 3,882 more words

A Sport For All Seasons

It’s the Big Bash Final today and there has, of course, been much talk across social and traditonal media about Twenty20 cricket in England.

As it’s Oscars season here’s a favourite scene from 1965’s best picture winner “A Man For All Seasons”

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

I know this is silly, but I feel that whenever we attack the basic product of professional cricket in England and Wales by wanting it to completely change beyond all recognition, those arguing for change-at-all-costs are appear to be to myself as being akin to Will Roper.

The central point of discussion, as I wrote earlier in the year, has to be “what will grow the number of people playing the game” not “what tournament will look best.”

One other thing, all this talk about the format of English Twenty20 won’t matter a jot unless the ECB get England players to actually appear in the tournament regularly.

#WhatWouldStuartDo? He'd bowl himself outside of the powerplay and death overs of course.
#WhatWouldStuartDo? He’d bowl himself outside of the powerplay and death overs of course.

Steven Finn’s Five Wicket Hauls

You searched for ST Finn where number of wickets is at least 5
BOWLING
Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Match Date Match Id
21.3 8 57 5 Middlesex v Essex 06-Jun-09 f51603
22 4 69 5 Middlesex v Worcestershire 09-Apr-10 f52375
15.4 5 37 9 Middlesex v Worcestershire 09-Apr-10 f52375
24 6 87 5 England v Bangladesh 27-May-10 t1958
10 2 42 5 England v Bangladesh 04-Jun-10 t1959
33.4 1 125 6 England v Australia 25-Nov-10 t1981
8 1 33 5 Middlesex v Derbyshire 28-Jul-11 a21435
30 2 113 5 Middlesex v Kent 17-Aug-11 f53323
37.3 8 125 6 England v New Zealand 22-Mar-13 t2084
28.4 4 103 5 England XI v Cricket Australia Invitation XI 13-Nov-13 f55091
21.3 3 80 6 Middlesex v Sussex 06-Apr-14 f55571
25 3 91 5 Middlesex v Nottinghamshire 13-Apr-14 f55588
8 0 33 5 England v India 20-Jan-15 o3586

A post to show “Free Britain” how easy it is to make content on a website look nice

Thanks to Twlldun on Twitter I’ve spent half an our browsing “Free Britain” ‘s website. They are utterly bonkers, but thankfully they are also rubbish.

Take their “Our Tunes” page:

In Free Britain people who care about not going over the margins will clearly be the first against the wall...
In Free Britain people who care about not going over the margins will clearly be the first against the wall…

Not only have they embedded their videos in such a way that the videos go outside the margin they’ve created on the page for them, they also don’t seem to know that YouTube offer users the ability to embed videos in a much more pleasing way.

For example:

Bob Marley – One Love

John Lennon – Imagine

Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ bout a Revolution

But then again given their poorly-edited manifesto I think an inability to create a pleasing-on-the-eye page is the least of their problems.

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