Posts Tagged ‘mike gatting’

Cricket isn’t the sport it used to be.

Time was, even the most portly of players could find a place in most international sides (and judging by Jesse Ryder and Dwayne Leverock, many still can), and even chain-smokers were thought to have sufficient physical conditioning to bowl for England .

No longer – it seems it’s no longer OK to be an unfit cricketer. Samit Patel has been dropped by England for the forthcoming One Day matches against the West Indies, owing to ‘unsatisfactory fitness‘.

Where does this leave Rob Key? Joking aside (Key has actually slimmed down considerably since his, ahem, peak), the modern game – especially in its limited-overs variants – makes physical demands of players which were never made of the likes of Gatting or Grace, and there should probably be a minimum fitness requirement, even for spin bowlers.

I hope that this doesn’t herald the end of overweight international cricketers, though. In these difficult times, cricket fans everywhere are in need of a few players with the ‘XXL-factor’. Failing that,  I’ll settle for someone who makes the gulf in class between my own pathetic attempts at cricket and the real thing seem just a little less than it actually is. How else can I rationalise my dreams of taking the wicket that clinches the Ashes, or knocking off the winning runs in the World Cup final?

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The ICC today announced that it wants to get rid of sledging.

Hopefully, that means this sort of sledging, rather than this sort, which I find quite amusing.

In honour of the dark art of sledging, here are my three Favourite Ashes Sledges:

  1. “There’s no way you’re good enough to play for England”…”Maybe not, but at least I’m the best player in my family” – James Ormond replies to Mark Waugh, 2001
  2. “Mate, if you just turn the bat over you’ll find the instructions on the back” – Merv Hughes to Robin Smith, 1989
  3. “Hell, Gatt, move out of the way. I can’t see the stumps” – Dennis Lillee to Mike Gatting, 1994

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