Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Knights in White Flannel

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  • giovanni tiso,

    I commented on this post before it was even published. That's kind of disturbing.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I noticed that as I rushed to get this typed up before everyone had had their say already.

    One of the few thrills from the first test was seeing if Chris Martin was going to get that one more test duck to take the record off Danny Morrison.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I think I need to assert my cricket fandom more in our household. I've gradually been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of NFL NBA MLB coverage. This summer, I shall make a stand! Every now and then we will turn over from ESPN, and he will have to listen to the comforting gentle drone of test match commentators as I putter about in the kitchen... I feel warm and pleasant just thinking about it.

    At least we've fixed that problem where our tail-enders were making half our runs.

    Have we *really*, though? I can't trust them.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    he will have to listen to the comforting gentle drone of test match commentators as I putter about in the kitchen... I feel warm and pleasant just thinking about it.

    Kerry O'Kiefe's laugh aside, there is something very pleasant about the sound of (non Martin Crowe) cricket commentary, especially for tests, when theyr'e largely just telling each other stories to pass the time. I love taking the radio out into the garden and listening to Jonathon Agnew. That's the real start of summer for me.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Picking it up from Hadyn's thread...

    I call the mentality 'Cricket Goth'.

    Love it.

    And, for the purists, the fact that test results are so much worse than the other forms of the game rubs it in.

    The purists ought to know that it's easier to produce good one day players than good test players, surely. And, speaking as a fan, I enjoy tests more than ODIs even though we tend to be on the losing side way more often than not.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    At least we've fixed that problem where our tail-enders were making half our runs

    Nice:

    No Cricket Goth there.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I think I need to assert my cricket fandom more in our household. I've gradually been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of NFL NBA MLB coverage. This summer, I shall make a stand!

    Send him my way. I can endlessly talk American sports.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Who wants to kick this team when they're down? For a start your leg would get really tired.

    Superb.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Send him my way. I can endlessly talk American sports.

    What with the American sports and the Rock Band thing, I think you guys could have a delightful bromance...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I used to be a big cricket fan - from the glory days of Lance Cairns and his one-handed sixes belted out of the park, Hadlee, Howarth, Lees etc. to the 90s, but gradually lost interest. And, how awful, I liked watching the Aussies - warne, border, merv hughes, glen mcgrath and the magnificent craig mcdermott, who i have just discovered has been a bit of a bad boy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_McDermott but he was a great bowler to watch.

    Who was the commentator with the plummy voice ...can't think of his name, but he was quite entertaining.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    and the magnificent craig mcdermott, who i have just discovered has been a bit of a bad boy

    Where would cricket be without sex scandals? One of the reasons I used to really loathe Shane Warne was his ability to take four hundred-odd wickets in his brief breaks from Olympic-level sexual harassment and pie-eating.

    Also, I note:

    n September 2006 McDermott was caught up in a sex-tape extortion case where he was allegedly blackmailed for $65,000 by 38-year-old Peter Josef Vigan in exchange for explicit videos of McDermott with his wife.

    is somewhat abiguous.

    Who was the commentator with the plummy voice ...can't think of his name, but he was quite entertaining.

    Henry Blofield?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Not only are we better at one day cricket than test cricket, but we make more runs in a one day cricket innings than in a test innings.

    I know it's not quite as simple as that, but I vote for us sending McCullum and Ryder out to open the innings by putting the ball into the stand and make a dash 300 by 50 overs. If we're not all out at 50 overs, they just keep going. We'll at least do better than the 150 - 170 we tend to get in tests these days.

    People might suggest it's the colour of the ball that makes the difference, personally that makes only slightly more sense than the colour of the clothing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    the magnificent craig mcdermott, who i have just discovered has been a bit of a bad boy

    I like how that Wikipedia page has a graph of his batting average in the section on his bankruptcy. If you don't read the graph closely it could easily be his financial up- and down-swings.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    People might suggest it's the colour of the ball that makes the difference, personally that makes only slightly more sense than the colour of the clothing.

    Okay, this is coming from a guy whose only exposure to cricket before 1997 was via The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but... it's not just the colour of the ball. It's also who's allowed to bowl, where they're allowed to bowl and what kind of field they can set.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Okay, this is coming from a guy whose only exposure to cricket before 1997 was via The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but... it's not just the colour of the ball. It's also who's allowed to bowl, where they're allowed to bowl and what kind of field they can set.

    Wait, your argument comes from Hitchhikers? Lighten up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson,

    I don't wake up well.

    I know its old, but this story is a classic on the perils of waking up to strange things in the bedroom.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Man this post was confusing, I kept having to scroll up to remind myself this wasn't Hadyn, which was obvious since you said you liked cricket more than Rugby! Fortunately, I figured out that Hadyn wasn't staring at Chris Cairns' tight pants.

    ... but I vote for us sending McCullum and Ryder out to open the innings by putting the ball into the stand and make a dash 300 by 50 overs.

    For shame Kyle. Any purist will tell you that the reason we suck so much at the moment is because Bracewell has no clue how to select players for test matches. GT is dead right, the only reason McCullum looks any good in ODIs and 20/20 is because the opposition aren't allowed to field properly.

    I love our team, I love NZ cricket and I love test matches. I just wish we'd stop putting dashers like Ryder and McCullum in test matches where you need real batsmen. It does them no credit and it really doesn't help us compete.

    Soon we will have a real coach that can tell the McCullums of the world to STFU and bat at No.7 like a proper keeper. And explain to our No3 that really, no really it's OK to defend two balls in a row!

    Sigh

    Note I really do think McCullum and Ryder are amazing talents, but I also think they need a good coach to get them to play the right role at the right time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Fortunately, I figured out that Hadyn wasn't staring at Chris Cairns' tight pants.

    I cannot speak for Haydn's proclivities.

    Soon we will have a real coach that can tell the McCullums of the world to STFU and bat at No.7 like a proper keeper. And explain to our No3 that really, no really it's OK to defend two balls in a row!

    Y'know, I really didn't want to say 'I blame the coach', because it's so hackneyed and so typically Kiwi-whiney. But...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Note I really do think McCullum and Ryder are amazing talents, but I also think they need a good coach to get them to play the right role at the right time.

    It may also be a straightforward lack of personnel. If memory serves, Ryder domestically has a much better average in the longer form of the game. The guy can defend pretty crisply. And McCullum too has played pretty good hand at test level. But without anybody to anchor the innings from the top of the order down, the more talented guys will feel pressure to score quickly and turn it into an ODI.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I think you guys could have a delightful bromance...

    I'm just glad you didn't say "playdate"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    It may also be a straightforward lack of personnel. If memory serves, Ryder domestically has a much better average in the longer form of the game. The guy can defend pretty crisply. And McCullum too has played pretty good hand at test level. But without anybody to anchor the innings from the top of the order down, the more talented guys will feel pressure to score quickly and turn it into an ODI.

    Ryder's been a bit of a tyro even since he started first class cricket, there are stories of his problems with authority dating back to his early years. So it's definitely a matter of just getting the right personel behind him- I think he has it in him to be a very good test-class batsman, so it's just finding a way to best utilise his strengths without cramping his "natural game" too much. Easier said than done, mind.

    I really think Flynn has the potential to be that stodgy, gritty and occasionally strokeless batsman that NZ needs right now. He's clearly not (at the moment) suited to the ODI game, but at test level, putting him at no. 3 would make some sense. The real problem, is, of course, that he'll be coming into bat when NZ are at 1/10 rather than, 3/40.

    Seriously, why is it so hard for NZ to find a decent opening pair for tests? It's been endemic for as long as I can remember-probably dating back to John Wright's retirement- even when Mark Richardson was holding up one end it was more a matter of him batting for so long that we forgot we lost an early wicket.

    Nice recollection of your cricketing love, Emma. Just to date me almost to a year, it was the 1992 CWC that sparked my interest in the game. A vertiable fairytale of a tournament. Not just because of the victories, but the nature of them- whether it was the sublime batting of Crowe, the pinch-hitting of Greatbatch or the bafflingly miserly bowling attack of Larsen, Harris, Watson and Patel. Everything just came into place...until a chubby Pakistani called Inziman decided to spoil things.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 445 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    That 1992 World Cup was great.

    But.

    It’s also got a lot to answer for. It resulted in 10 years of preparing home pitches that were slow, lifeless and built for Gavin Larsen and Chris Harris.

    It also set in motion the complete focus of cricket administrators and coaches in this country on limited overs cricket.

    Apologies for grumpiness today; I get a bit like this after a test performance like last weekend’s

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    That 1992 World Cup was great.

    But.

    It’s also got a lot to answer for. It resulted in 10 years of preparing home pitches that were slow, lifeless and built for Gavin Larsen and Chris Harris.

    It also set in motion the complete focus of cricket administrators and coaches in this country on limited overs cricket.

    Apologies for grumpiness today; I get a bit like this after a test performance like last weekend’s

    That's true to a degree, but I'd more accurately date the problems to NZC's treatment of Warren Lees in 1993. And it's startling to think that we haven't beaten Australia in a test match- home or away- since. The true shambles began with Howarth tenure of 94-95 followed by Glenn Turner's brief, but tortorously mediocre term.

    As much as we can criticise Bracewell for some of his odd decisions, he never did anything as stupid as pick Lee Germon as both 'keeper AND captain. I can't think of any equivalent to that madness, really.

    I think NZ concentrating on ODI cricket (sometimes to a detrimental degree, it has to be admitted) is as much out of lack of reasources as anything else. If we're being totally honest, since the retirement of Crowe, NZ has only had three genuinely world class players- Bond, Vettori and Cairns.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 445 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Chapman,

    I love our team, I love NZ cricket and I love test matches. I just wish we'd stop putting dashers like Ryder and McCullum in test matches where you need real batsmen. It does them no credit and it really doesn't help us compete.

    We've been too deeply affected by Australia's example.

    I reckon both Ryder and McCullum are great test players (or will be in Ryder's case). They have been poorly managed in tests though. McCullum is so great batting down the order it is a real shame to see him wasted in the top order. Ryder might also benefit from moving down a place. He's obviously a top order player, but with our opening partnership failing so consistently, he's having to be a proxy opener, which is not a style that will suit him.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I really love cricket as the perfect opportunity for a summer outing; you get sun, grass to lie on, (at the Basin Reserve, anyway), and entertainment without the stress of attending a shorter sports event. Also, no-one yells at you for reading in between balls. I think my father still hasn't forgiven me for bringing a book to that one rugby test match.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

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