5 Lessons Learned

Alright you horrible lot? Just because in real life kids are on their half term holidays, does NOT mean you escape. Instead you’re trapped, like Jennings on the crease for another edition of funny cricket lessons. Cast away the idea of frolicking in the swimming pool or causing mayhem in the play park. This is exceptionally serious stuff and concentration is a must at all times. Now, where did I leave my scuba diving kit…

1) Quantum Physics

E=mcright? If Albert Einstein can spend hours deliberating over such a gigantic problem, covering a chalkboard in endless scribbles which nobody understands, then why can’t England find an opening batsman? It’s the endless question which has left countless coaches and selectors in a quandary. It appears the mysteries of the universe can be understood, yet the mysteries of test match opening remain unsolved. An endless void of hopeless wannabe’s, with techniques less solid than the apple which bounced off Newton’s skull.

Aside from Alastair Cook, no opening batsman has solidified their spot since 2012. 2012?! That was like way back. When many of you in this classroom still soiled yourself. Glossing over the fact Darren achieved that last Saturday night; the latest incumbents Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings are more likely to explode from another orifice. Vomiting with nerves. For over in the Caribbean, only Burns achieved a half century averaging exactly 25 in his six England tests. According to the theory of relativity though Burns should be succeeding on the international stage. After all if the leading run scorer from the past four county seasons isn’t the man for the job, then who the flip is?

Jennings needs to be dropped from Galileo’s tower, which leaves nine county rounds for somebody to stick their hand up. Perhaps Alex Davies at Lancashire, who averages 34.35? Middlesex’s hero from 2016, Nick Gubbins? If he can rekindle his confidence Haseeb Hameed would be in faster than you can say ‘Hadron Collider.’

Whatever occurs one thing is for certain. Quantum cricket is a law unto itself. Still think E=mc2?

2) Arrogance

Often in life there are individuals who swagger. Unlike us mere mortals they don’t walk with head bowed, or nose so close to the pavement you can smell the drains. Instead they glide, forehead aloft, eyes fixed firmly on the horizon, occasionally bending down from their lofty perch to shake a pauper’s hand or cure them of a disease. Demigods such as Usain Bolt, Zlatan Ibrahimović and in cricket’s case, Chris Gayle.

This week the self-titled ‘Universe Boss’ announced his retirement from international ODI’s after the forthcoming World Cup. With an arrogance spurred on by an average of 37.12 in 284 matches, Gayle wants to go out on a bang. Specifically the bang of fireworks as he kisses the twinkling trophy. Yes he’s one of only six men to smack an ODI double hundred and yes the 215 against Zimbabwe in 2015 is the fourth highest score in history, but the man is deluded if he reckons this is the Windies year.

Mind you Gayle apparently won’t really bother playing as, ‘The youngsters owe it to me. They have to win for me and try and get me the trophy. It is a big year for me. I hope 2019 can finish for me on a great note.’

Jeez how many times did he say ‘me?’ It will certainly be interesting to see how the youngsters respond to the great man’s claims. And England will witness it first hand with the initial ODI starting today.

There may be no ‘I’ in team but there’s definitely a ‘me!’

Or to put it another way… there’s no ‘I’ in ‘bell end’ but there is a ‘bell.’ And ‘end.’

3) Party Planning

It sounds like an idea concocted by the staff of Dunder Mifflin but on Tuesday an event occurred to mark 100 days until the 2019 Cricket World Cup. With the ‘world’s greatest cricket celebration’ officially beginning in May a nationwide tour of the trophy is taking place. Starting in Trafalgar Square where, (get this) Nelson’s column was transformed into a giant set of wickets!

By this we mean an inflatable arch was constructed, which from a camera angle, has the admiral’s column as middle stump. Genius. Either that or it’s a life size representation of the practice wicket for Chris Tremlett. Speaking of Chris’ though, the event was attended by notable figures in our crazy cricket world. Legends such as Sir Alastair Cook, Jimmy Anderson OBE, Nasser Hussain OBE, Graeme Swann… and of course Chris Hughes from Love Island! Although to be fair to Chris he thought the inflatable stumps had always been there.

Nonetheless it is a tad exciting. Just 100 days until cricket’s premium tournament arrives on our shores.  It’s sure to be a carnival of colossal magnitude. Especially when you consider that England are the favourites. England, favourites for a World Cup? Can’t recall the last time that happened…

4) Heroism

Forget Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Against overwhelming odds they may come out guns blazing but it’s a futile bloodbath. Heroism yes, but a valiant effort which ended in their deaths. Unlike Sri Lanka who this week beat South Africa in one of the most tense climaxes in test cricket. Requiring 304 at Durban, the visitors started Day Four 88-3, with Kusal Perera on 12. What followed is simply staggering.

Dhananjaya de Silva made 48 from number seven; adding 96 for the sixth wicket with Perera but when the former fell it appeared game over. A collapse of four wickets for just 20 runs. Only one scalp was required for South Africa to emerge victorious in the first test; notably the one belonging to number 11, Fernando.

But oh, there was something in the air that night, the stars were bright for Fernando. He inexplicably clung on for 27 deliveries in an hour, nobly supporting the swashbuckling Perera. A partnership of 16 overs, containing 78 runs which smashed the previous highest last wicket stand. Kusal Perera marshalled the strike, gorgeously frustrating Faf du Plessis, who struggled to contain the cheeky singles. With 12 fours Perera was clinically brutal in dispatching Rabada and Steyn. He finished 153 not out, as in a remarkable turn of events Sri Lanka snuck home by one wicket.

An act of true heroism.

5) Fast Food

In one of the most ironic sponsorship deals, Australia’s Big Bash has been supported by KFC. A fast food chain. Why ironic class? Well because there was nothing ‘fast’ about the 2019 tournament which has only just finished. It seemed an eternity ago that we learnt how Jos Buttler and Joe Root fared; since then, they’ve completed a test series against the West Indies. Whilst over in Australia the crazy scheduling of the Big Bash was only just getting started. Every team faced each other twice. Or was it thrice? If you thought the IPL was long, this seasons Big Bash has lasted almost as long as Brexit negotiations.

Who cares that the Melbourne Renegades emerged victorious as a clutter of wickets stalled the chasing Melbourne Stars? We were sick of the tournament. About as sick as when I ate an entire family bucket of wings. Cock-a-doodle-do.

On that greasy note here end this week’s funny cricket lessons. Homework is to practice your swagger, chow down on a Big Daddy Burger and draw other imaginative ways cricket stumps can be incorporated onto famous landmarks. Arc de Ashes Triomphe anyone? That sounds like an excuse to visit the vineyards in France… Class dismissed!