Wednesday, 26 August 2020


The second and third tests were both rain affected draws, there was very little cricket in the second but in the third England were well on top and if the match had run its course then England would surely have won.  Crawley’s double century, Buttler’s ton and Jimmy’s bowling culminating in his 600th test wicket were the highlights.  What can you say about Jimmy Anderson, the greatest living Englishman?

The series was played in a great spirit and Pakistan played some good cricket but after the first test didn’t look good enough to beat England.  They do have some talented batsmen but Babar Azam only showed glimpses of what he can do.  A lot was said about their bowling line up which does have great potential but it has to be noted that they weren’t able to take twenty wickets in any of the matches.

This strange summer of test cricket has come to the end with England winning both series and importantly we are showing signs of having a settled batting order for some time to come.  Burns, Sibley and Crawley look a solid top three.  Root and Pope a classy middle order and we have some decent players in reserve.  Ben Stokes is the best all rounder the game has seen for a long time and could get into any test team for his batting alone.  Joss Buttler had a good series against Pakistan and cemented his place but he isn’t our best keeper!  Like Stokes he’s worth his place in the side for his batting alone.  I won’t be surprised if Bairstow finds his form and gets back into the squad at some point too but as a batsman not a keeper.

We also have an excellent squad of bowlers, who we pick should be decided by pitch and conditions and even the legends Broad and Anderson can’t expect to play every game.  We have out and out fast bowlers like Wood and Archer who will be a handful in Australia, swing/seam bowlers Woakes and Curran in home conditions and places like South Africa.  Then for the sub continent where we are scheduled to play next we have the likes of Ali, Rashid, Leach and Bess to bowl spin.  The latter has been our first choice pick this summer but for me he hasn’t done enough to earn that accolade, however he does have a bright future.

This England test team is much changed from the one that drew last summer’s Ashes series.  I think the current squad would have beaten that Australian team and have a good chance of winning down under in eighteen months’ time.  I also see a team developing that will be a match for anyone and could rise to number one in the world once more.

But coming up is some more white ball pyjama stuff...

Saturday, 15 August 2020


Working in retail means I come into daily contact with my fellow Brit and the great unwashed are a motley collection of the good, the bad and the ugly.  At the moment people are being asked to wear masks in public places, this is not by our request, as far as I can tell it is law, The vast majority of people -the good- do so without complaint, but there are plenty who feel obliged to moan - the bad- and there are a few who really should wear the mask permanently, it's not that they are physically ugly but their personalities certainly are.  We deal with fucking idiots on a daily basis.

There are people that genuinely forget but still feel obliged to complain about the inconvenience when we remind them.  “FFS, Can’t I just come in?  I only need a few bits…”  No you can't, what makes you so special?

There are others that just moan about how unfair it all is, as if they’re wearing a suit of chain mail rather than a small mask.  "But it's so hot..." Fucking snowflakes, fuck off.

There are many more who put their masks on then pull them down when they think no one is looking, or even when they know we are.  “I can’t breathe…”  They tell us, well you’ll struggle to breathe even more if you get sick.

We hear “where’s your mask then?” several times a day, like we made the fucking rules?  Don't moan at me mate, blame the pricks in Downing street!

Then there are those who claim to be exempt but we can’t challenge them…

A regular customer who I will call Sean works for the NHS in palliative care.  He spent weeks working in the red zone, helping people with Covid19 to die with dignity.  There was a severe shortage of PPE including masks, people were coughing and spluttering all around him and inevitably he became infected.  Sean was very ill for three weeks but came through and is fit and working again.  Sean has no problem wearing a mask whilst out and about, I wish people who moan about masks could hear his story.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

First Test- WTF??

After two days Pakistan were well on top but a wagging tail and an excellent bowling performance despite questionable captaincy gave England an outside chance.  Our second innings started well but when we'd slumped to 117/5 the only question was how long would we be made to suffer...  Enter Buttler and Woakes whose brilliant partnership won England a match when we had no right to do so.  But it was another one of those afternoons, like the World cup final and the last day at Headingly when we were made to suffer!  Loving cricket is a peculiar form of masochism, even our greatest days we endure hours of suffering.

Pakistan must be sick, how did they lose?  How can they come back?

The second test starts next week, hopefully on a wicket that doesn't suit Pakistan as this one did.  Assuming Stokes is fit to bowl then England will make changes.  If an extra batsman plays then for God's sake make Buttler that man and bring Ben Foakes back in with the gloves!  The bowling line up will change too and we may well see Jimmy rested, which once would have been unthinkable.  Jack Leach must be due a game too, Bess hasn't done his job.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

First test vs Pakistan

Some thoughts after two days...

Pakistan have played excellent cricket and have taken advantage of England's inconsistencies.
I like Joss Buttler, he's a fantastic batsman to watch when he's flowing but our best wicket keeper is carrying drinks.  Had Ben Foakes been behind the stumps the match situation would have been very different.  As the commentary team said, Joss owes the team some runs and I hope he delivers but I'd much rather see Foakes behind the stumps.

Also Dom Bess should have a decent career in test cricket but right now I think Jack Leach is the better spinner.  Squad rotation is all very well but can only be seen as successful when the team is winning!  If Stokes was fit to bowl I expect Crawley would have played and our bowling line up would have looked quite different.

After two days England are in trouble, if you offered me a draw right now I'd take it...