Monday, 23 May 2016

First test

At last some Test cricket!! Day one, Sri Lanka stuck us in and shortly after lunch I'm thinking "What is going on?  How can SL have us five down?"  Then Hales and Bairstow restored something approaching normality.  Day two, Bairstow whacks a great century, we make a respectable 298 then Jimmy & Broad bowl them out.  Day three, Jimmy is brilliant, watching it on TV was a privelige  and Sri lanka lose by an innings.

Five long months with no test cricket and its all over in a flash!  Dull weather at Headingly in May will always be bowler friendly and Anderson was just too good.  Hard to believe he'd never taken a 5 for here before.  This could be a golden summer for Jimmy.  Bairstow looks better with every innings and with nine catches his place behind the stumps is secure but could there be a case for moving him up to concentrate on his batting and bringing back Buttler at 7?  There are still places up for grabs in England's top five.  Stokes was injured so it looks like an in form Chris Woakes will get another chance as a like for like replacement.  He's lucky, hopefully he'll make the most of it.

It starts again at Durham on Friday.  Sri Lanka will surely play better but won't come close to winning.  England shouldn't miss Stokes too much this time but against better opposition...

Saturday, 14 May 2016

A Decent Ride

My favourite author is back!  "Juice Terry Lawson" is one of Irvine Welsh's best creations who first appeared in "Glue" then "Porno" soon after and a couple of cameo's since.  Regular readers know Juice Terry is a likeable rogue; a shagger who totally embraces his addiction to sex.  Now it's Terry's turn to take the lead role in a story and take us on a rumpy bumpy humpy ride.  We are back in Edinburgh and Welsh's city is every bit as vivid as the city portrayed by Ian Rankin.  Just a whole lot darker.

Irvine Welsh books have many constants. Sex, drugs, violence, appalling behaviour from all directions and the boundaries of good taste are well and truly booted down.  Most of all they are literally laugh out loud funny all the way through and the author usually manages to find a shining light to lead us out of the murk and into Euphoria.  "A decent ride" has all these ingredients and is a brilliant read but for once I'd pretty much guessed what was going to happen and the twists didn't have the shock value of classic Irvine Welsh.  This isn't necessarily bad because it usually went the way I wanted it to go.  Juice Terry has to actually grow up, take stock and become sensible but will he actually learn anything from the experience?  Does the addicted reader want him to?

I actually read to proper reviews of this book but not until after I'd finished reading it myself.  A review in the Guardian by Stuart Kelly is negative and dismissive, it's writer has made the mistake of taking the book seriously.  It's a comedy you twat.

This one by Anthony Cummins in the Telegraph is a lot more how I saw it.

By the way both reviews contain spoilers.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


My interest in Football has been waning for years and even Leicester City winning the Prem doesn't fill me with any great excitement.  I know a few genuine Leicester fans (loads more have come out of the woodwork lately...) and I'm pleased for them.  I'll always follow my local team Ipswich Town (our season tailed off a few weeks ago...) but I simply can't afford to watch them very often.  Does this Leicester win really give hope to all the smaller teams like the Town?  Almost certainly not.  Is it really such a big deal when the club is owned by Thai billionaires?  Money still talks.

For as long as I can remember West Ham have played at Upton Park and this is the final season that it will be the clubs home ground.  As far as I know this is the stadium they played their final game last night yet in recent weeks I've heard it referred to as the "Boelyn ground".  I'd never heard it called this in the previous forty odd years but now it seems its been called this all along???  I'm confused.

I was thinking all this Football would be over in a few weeks time but I've just remembered there's a European championship coming up next month, it never ends.  This time next week I'll be excited about sport again, it will be the eve of the first test match of the summer.

Tony Cozier died today.  As a journalist and broadcaster he was the voice of West Indian cricket for over fifty years.  He was a great commentator with a melodious Bajan accent and supplied the soundtrack to the greatest Cricket team I have ever seen.  RIP 

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Some elections and stuff

Thursday saw a series of elections up and down the UK.  I watched a bit of the BBC news before I went to bed, it wasn't even midnight and the pundits were predicting a bad night for the Labour party.  What would it mean for Jeremy Corbyn?  Was this the beginning of the end?

When the votes were counted things weren't nearly as bad as the media had gleefully predicted.  Yes Labour got a bit of a kicking in Scotland but who can blame the Scots for supporting a party that aims to take the country away from the control of Westminster?  I wish I had a similar option.  Other than that things went pretty well for Labour.  It's particularly pleasing that Londoners elected a Labour mayor and didn't fall for the vile racist Tory campaign.

In less than two weeks Test match cricket returns with a series against Sri Lanka.  It will be interesting to see who the selectors pick for the first test match.  Despite the good win away we are still unsure of what our best team is.  I expect them to pretty much stick with the same XI that played in South Africa.  The sad retirement of James Taylor opens up a space in the batting order which will probably be a straight choice between Bell and Ballance. England will always expect to beat Sri Lanka at home and after the retirement of two truly great batsmen, I think we'll do so comfortably.
My Team;
Cook, Hales, Compton, Root, Bell, Stokes, Bairstow, Ali, Broad, Finn, Anderson.