Friday, 31 July 2009

open letter to Cricket Australia

To whom it may concern,
as a fanatical follower of the greatest game, it has become obvious that CA is glacial in its response to dealing with players that are not carrying their weight.

I accept that the weight of a nation is a heavy burden to bear, and that past consistency deserves consideration and some leeway, but the situation over the last few years where a player (most notably a batsman) consistently fails to produce an acceptable tally has become farcical!
When the general public make jokes about it being harder to get out of the Australian side than in, questions must be asked, and answers expected!

Case to point was the dramatically obvious situation of M.Hayden last summer. He has been a great player, but "waiting" for him to find form contributed to a series loss at home to RSA.
How long, and at what cost (the Ashes?) do we have to wait for Michael Hussey to find form?
Twice bowled leaving MUST be enough! As well as his scorecard.

When the talent pool is so deep- with both up and coming players, and older cricketers that appear undesirable for whatever pathetic reason- why are you so lethargic when it comes to change?

Of course, politics will have its way when dealing with a board such as yours, but in this modern era where everyone has a very public display of opinion, your response will be appreciated and action required.

Stoph Verismo
Down the Wicket

The "Leave"

When did test class batsmen lose their ability to judge the LINE of the ball? Since I was knee high in shorts it has been instilled upon me that if the ball looks like it will hit off stump, IT WILL HIT MIDDLE. Why then have so many players this series been foled into leaving a ball that will would eventually bowl them? Hussey tonight was disgusting. The ball was going nowhere EXCEPT off stump. First ball, you play it to cover and mark two centres. PLAY THE F'N BALL!!

The Cricket Tragics

Day two reports, 3rd Test; latest Tragics Poll; trivia update; Lango's profile; Lango's Lean Links; the Ashes slideshow ... just click the title to go to The Cricket Tragics.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Raining Ashes Holders

Boxing Day Test 2009

For the upcoming Boxing Day test I propose an extravaganza of cricket. Not just a run of the mill viewing experience but something that you will tell your grandkids about. I say we all put our heads together and plan a day that will live in the memories of all who partake. Let’s brainstorm some ideas and filter them out until we have a perfect day.
I will start.
1. Gunfire breakfast at the War Memorial
2. Uniforms
3. Try to convince a test/state cricketer to watch with us
4. Challenges

Hughes blues

Hughes out, Watson in!
It is only an unofficial report, but there it is.

What do you reckon?
Can Hughes rebound? Sure he is young enough, that is not what i mean, but how will this affect his confidence given his form leading in... until England publicly announced they had him "sor'ed", and then proved it.

Further more, can Watson get through the 5 days? A rhetorical question as i know most of think he can't.,25197,25856440-601,00.html

virtual team, 3rd test

for those involved, don't forget to update your virtual team... if you need to before the lockout and test start.


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Time for a Drinks break? or maybe a full Session?

OK boys, Third test starts Thursday...Lefty is coming to take a look at civilisation (took 3 weeks for the visa, you can't be too carefull with Crow Eaters these days).
Is there an evening when we are all able to catch up at the pub and post vocally?
Any ideas, time nominations, venues would be welcome.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Lango's Best Xi's

Lango’s Best Australia XI

  1. Mark Taylor (Capt)
  2. Arthur Morris
  3. Don Bradman
  4. Greg Chappell
  5. Steve Waugh
  6. Keith Miller
  7. Ian Healy
  8. Ray Lindwall
  9. Shane Warne
  10. Dennis Lillee
  11. Glen McGrath
  12. Clarrie Grimmett

To show how hard this exercise is, there are two changes to my original "Aust XI" which I published on my website 18 months ago. In are Miller and Healy, out are Ponting and Gilchrist. With Miller in my side, I have an invincible fast attack with Shane Warne to fill any gaps. Healy is a better keeper than Gilchrist but clearly an inferior bat. With that top six and a man with two Test hundreds at 8, who cares who bats at 7. Other notable omissions: Bill Ponsford, Charlie McCartney, Ian Chappell, Allan Border, Victor Trumper, Adam Gilchrist, Richie Benaud, Fred Spofforth & even Doug Walters. I didn't consider many other bowlers.

Some would argue with Taylor but as Benaud and Chappelli could not be chosen for their positions ahead of Warne and Bradman and Taylor is by far the best skipper I have seen in tactics and inspiration, he has to play, almost Brearley-like. Steve Waugh over Border or Ponting is another close call but without Chappelli there, I'd want one man to bat for my life. In a near run thing, I'd rather have Morris than Ponsford but would lose nothing if it was reversed. Greg Chappell had more "time to play" than any batsman I have watched. Lillee is the best quick we have produced as Lindwall was before him, so they'd get the new ball, although I wouldn't like to decide who would come into the wind! Miller would thunder in at first change down breeze and McGrath into it to move that late inswinging yorker. On bunsen burners, McGrath would carry the drinks and Warne and Grimmett would fight over the scalps.

I'd back this side to beat any other team of cricketers in the history of the game in a five Test series.

The Cricket Tragics

If you blokes want to go dancing down the wicket and answer some cricket triva, try my blog spot "The Cricket Tragics" at the above link.

tour match musings

What is wrong with this picture?
Obviously the first problem is Johnson, great last summer -time for a rest from the side and some work with the skills coach. Period! Don't muck around with this CA, Do it NOW!

1st innings:
Hughes 10
Watson 84

SR Clark 14 overs 2 m 2 for 45
MG Johnson 7 overs 0m 0 for 42
SR Watson 5 overs 0m 2 for 20

2nd innings:

batting good

PJ Hughes 68
AB McDonald 75
SR Watson 50
GA Manou† 59

SR Clark 9 overs 1 m 2 for 29
MG Johnson 11.1 overs 1 m 1 for 65
SR Watson 10 overs 3 m 1 for 34
AB McDonald 11 overs 5 m 4 for 15

Good to see Hughes get his head together for the 2nd knock; we know he is a real talent, but it is a worry that he has let the focus on him affect his game.

A good "shoot out" between Watson and Ronnie.
Watson: aggregate- 3 for 54, and 134 runs
Ronnie: aggregate- 4 for 38, 107 runs

While these are just the basic stats, makes for 'interesting' contemplation, don't you think? And some extra decisions for the selectors.

Funnily, i heard a rumour yesterday that there was some talk from the selectors that Siddle may be overlooked to get Clark back in, as they don't want 2 of the same.
How stupid would that be? To me they are quite different bowlers with very different roles. And if Siddle was to be dropped at the moment, i would suggest some serious email bombing of CA... i know i will be!

stoph verismo
down the wicket

Sunday, 26 July 2009

When Dougie Did The Double

This is part of what I do in realtime gentlemen and it will also give you much of the motivation I have for the game. This piece, retells my first Test match, Feb 1969 at the SCG. Sitting in the old Sheridan Stand, I watched Doug Walters become the first Test player to score a double and single century in the one Test. I scored most of his first innings double in the back of an old maths exercise book, using tally marks. Forty years later, the passion is still so hot that I still have to suck that extra bit of breath when I come around the end of the Churchill Stand and see the ground on the first morning early January at the Sydney Test. I guess you guys have similar stories about "The G".

Anyway, expressed in my favourite form, the following is "When Dougie Made The Double"

Summer blazed in grainy black & white,
until I walked through a TV window
past stands of old corrugated iron and older wood,
into the vivid colours of my youth
and found a new home between
the Randwick and Paddington ends.
White skins were pink and brown
and black came in different shades
as a battle between willow and leather
made the sounds of resonant gun shots
across an oval billiard table
of deep green, light green mown magic.
I passed my first Test watching a first.
National service done but, he still stood to attention
to clip laconically to leg or pull with surprising violence
and all recorded in scribbled tallies
in the vacant back pages of 5th class maths.
Such days, such firsts
never to be repeated
never to be forgotten.
Heroes dressed as heroes are,
all stains and flaws lost in the whiteness,
all the same, all different,
all heroes through twelve year old senses
fresh to colour and sounds and smells
too big to imagine or rich to swallow
without savouring the sensation.
Cut grass aromas new just now;
a bobbing towelling hat mosaic
in hues so bright I still squint;
the cheering politeness to both victor and vanquished;
and a crowd wit still entertaining
down this winding corridor of years.
Wonders not lost on an aging boy’s spirit.
I was there.
I still am.