Archive for category Random
After the last post, on my feelings regarding the death of the late Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, these were the top searches that led newcomers to the blog:
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……..seriously? SERIOUSLY? Screw every last one of you.
Today was a grey day.
Literally, because the weather gods, having well and truly lost their marbles, decided that pouring rain, thunder and lightning were exactly what this corner of the Middle Eastern desert needed this week. And metaphorically, because young Shakib-al-Hasan and his valiant Bangladeshi tigers once again almost won a cricket match before having it slip away agonizingly at the last minute – this time courtesy of an England player who isn’t even English. (Although, half the England side are, you know, South African, so I’m not sure what the deal is with all the fuss being made about Eoin Morgan being Irish. I just figured I ought to mention it.) I would mention his excellent steely-nerved hundred, but I kind of wish he hadn’t made it because it was the sole reason that England ended up winning, so it may take a few days for the rawness to subside before I can appreciate it for what it was.
But, courtesy of the wonder that is Twitter, I have found the key to brightening up any day – even if you’re a Bangladeshi supporter and have had to install extra drainage on account of your house being constantly awash with your own tears, and extra handrails because the constant abrupt swinging back from the edge of victory to the grim depths of defeat is making you dizzy and prone to falling down a lot.
I have linked to Dave ‘The Bard’ Bird’s cricket poetry website already – it’s over there at the right-hand side of the homepage – but one of his more recent mad genius offerings deserves special mention because he produced it totally out of the blue and it just happened to be a tribute to one of my favourite players of all time.
I have reproduced it in full below, with Dave’s permission:
Ode to Lance Klusener
Klusener could whack it, yes Lance,
To spinners, down wicket, he’d dance,
No defensive tricks,
He smote them for six,
The same for the quicks without prance.
Sometimes he could bowl pretty quick,
Sometimes the batsmen he’d trick.
Gave balance to the side,
Served country with pride,
All without ever being a prick.
His best score V England, remember?
Our bowlers he got to dismember.
Zulu hit it so high
Way up into the sky,
It didn’t come down ’til November.
Dave adds, as a side note: ‘Lovely Long-Limbed Lance was, challenged only by Jonty Rhodes, my favourite South African cricketer for YEARS.’
Mine too, David. He wasn’t even second to Jonty – or anyone else for that matter – in my book. I even have the song ‘Impi’ on my iPod because of him. I may go hunt down highlight reels of him playing to help me get over the match result today.
The rest of you, get on over to David’s site and immerse yourself in mad limericky genius. Go on. Why are you still here??
It can’t be easy being Hashim Amla.
He’s got to deal with tin-eared commentators calling him a terrorist; having his personality, batting skills and even other less singular aspects of his appearance (he’s got very nice eyes, for instance) largely ignored, and – even assuming heavy patronage of this place – what must surely be a real bitch of a grooming routine to undertake in the mornings. (Let’s not even start on the secret, bitter rivalry that I am certain would exist between him and Mohammad “MoYo” Yousuf for the title of Greatest Cricketing Beard were it not a totally imaginary award that I just made up right now.)
The beard, one might argue, seems to be far more trouble to Hashim than it’s worth, despite how important it is to him for a combination of religious and cultural reasons.
But Hashim isn’t the possessor of the only noteworthy beard in international cricket – the others might not be as spectacular, or luxuriant, but they’re attached to some pretty significant individuals. Kiwi Übermensch Daniel Vettori has sported one for a while now; ranging from ‘scruffy-librarian’ to ‘antisocial lumberjack’ in length and appearance depending, I assume, on his mood, the conjunctions of Mercury and Venus or possibly just whether or not he slept through the alarm that particular day. Mohammad Yousuf, as has already been mentioned, has a chin-shrub to rival Hashim’s. And Dutch-Australian Renaissance-man Dirk Nannes is usually seen with nifty European-style facial topiary.
The other thing these men have in common is the fact that they’re all, usually, pretty damn spectacular on the pitch (not always in the field, though. Sorry, MoYo, I calls it like I sees it.) I’m not saying that beards have the Samson-like ability to grant their wearers exceptional cricketing skill and/or matchwinning ability, but consider this: on his return from Achilles tendon surgery, the usually clean-shaven Kevin Pietersen and his natty Malevolent-18th-Century-Marquis-style goatee almost blasted England to a series win against Pakistan in Dubai.
Then, more recently, in the opening T20 of Australia’s New Zealand tour, the hosts were thumped by 6 wickets. This is what Daniel Vettori looked like at the toss, still cheerful despite the heightened risk of sunburn awaiting him in the field…
…and here’s Dirty Dirk Nannes, who took two wickets at 5.50 in a victorious cause.
Draw your own conclusions.
(Not to further bias anyone, but what other explanation could Wayne Parnell, a young man of more-than-average good looks, have for persisting with this? Ain’t because of any favours it’s doing him in the attractiveness stakes, that’s for damn sure.)
Dirk Nannes is an endlessly interesting player – not to mention normally very easy on the eyes – but I am now just a little bit afraid of him, as I believe he might be about to leap out of my computer screen and devour my soul.
Let this be a lesson to all those contemplating similar retirement from the first-class game after Dirk’s example: you can do it, but it will drive you mad, and children will flee shrieking from your crazy, crazy eyes.
Some time ago on my old blog (and I believe also somewhere in the comments on Iain O’Brien’s blog) I came up with the hypothetical alternate-universe Kiwi superhero pairing of SuperDan and Guppy Two-Toes. SuperDan’s alter ego should be obvious; I figured he needed a sidekick, and who better than a man who somehow not only manages to remain upright but also plays cricket (rather well, I might add) with only seven toes in total? At the time Martin Guptill wasn’t in the best of form, so I reluctantly shelved the idea. Today, however, I am resurrecting it, in light of Guppy Two Toes’ fine maiden test century, which at the time of this writing, he has extended to 130 and is still going strong.
Brendon McCullum has, I should point out, also just scored a century – in less time and with arguably greater flair as well, having brought it up with a very pretty top-edged six – and is also still batting away, but his name isn’t nearly as catchy and he hasn’t overcome a bizarre deforming injury, so he misses out in the totally imaginary superhero stakes. I apologize, Brendon, truly. It was nothing personal.
So here’s to the Ongoing Adventures of SuperDan and Guppy Two-Toes. Long may they continue, and let us all hope that this doesn’t go to their heads to the point that they start showing up to matches wearing tights. (You’re both extremely attractive men – when you’re not conducting unfortunate experiments with your facial hair, anyway – but nobody needs to see that. Trust me.)
As a placeholder to satiate any readers that might be wondering why I haven’t posted anything in the last few days (ha! as if), I present a multiple-choice caption contest, inspired by Ms. Print’s post on Daniel Vettori’s latest captaincy appointment.
So, what is Daniel V. trying to convey here? Is it:
a) “I am a Kiwi ninja!” *piercing ninja shriek*
b) “I am driving a bus! A giant supermegabadass bus that will run you right over, Mr. Sehwag! Ahaha! VROOOM! Haha!”
c) “I am really excited about this wicket! So excited that my right hand is straying to a highly suggestive position! I must control myself, the match is not yet over.”