View from the Groundsman's Shed
Well what an interesting couple of weeks! Just writing this on a very special day and so it will be a short piece. It's my step daughter's 18th so we are about to pop to the pub for a celebratory lunch where she has to buy the first round. After that she wants to take me to another pub to have a few more legal beers! So I better get cracking.
Where to start.
New Zealand. Came back last week after 3 weeks touring the amazing country with family but as luck would have it I managed to coincide this with watching 3 one dayers.
Flew in to Napier for the first game. Unfortunately the day after we booked the flights they moved the bloody game! So a 5 hour drive virtually back to where we first came in to NZ.
Anyway so we missed the first one at Hamilton, which sounded like a rip snorter. (When did Santner suddenly learn to bat?)
Saw the 2nd at the lovely Mount Manganui ground where we dicked the black caps. We followed this by a lovely drive from Napier to Wellington, popping into a few wineries en route.
Next game was another great game, going to the last ball and with us sneaking it. 2-1 up. Only shame was that it was in the Cake Tin rugby ground and not at the Basin Reserve.
Followed this with the stunning ferry crossing from North to South Island. 3 hours of bliss weaving in and out of the fjords.
A few days in the lovely Nelson, popping in to look at the great cricket ground in Nelson where they have played internationals.
On to Hanmer Springs for a few hours in the natural springs spa. Had to fight the women off when I got into my speedos!
From there we drove down to Christchurch missing the amazing game at Dunedin which must go down as one of the best run chases ever. Hats off to Ross Taylor for that innings.
2-2 going to the beautiful ground at the Hagley Oval. Lovely venue, not sure the stewards quite knew what was going on when the queues started forming trailing back for 100s of metres.
Anyway, beautiful weather beautiful ground and a beautiful result. Johnny Bairstow playing as well as anyone.
What a fantastic series and very lucky to have seen 3 of the games.
Luckily we came back before the Test series, and for a few reasons.
My thoughts on the Test series v the Black Caps.
1. Why oh why do we have to only play 2 Tests against what is a bloody good team and especially on their own soil. All series should be a minimum of 3 Tests.
2. With all the lovely proper cricket grounds in NZ, Nelson, Basin Reserve, Seddon Park, Mount Manganui, Dunedin, Hagley Park Oval why do we have to play in a 50,000 capacity rugby ground where for most of the time it will be 90% empty?
3. Why do England have to ever, ever, ever play a day/nighter? If other nations want to play day nighters that's fine if they think that's the way to save their Test cricket BUT the ECB do not ever need to host a day night Test or PLAY in an oversease Test.
4. I think the time has come for Trevor Bayliss to step down as our Test coach along with whoever our batting coaches are.
5. The ECB need to seriously give thought to their pre-Test series preparations. Play all Test series like its against the Aussies. Lose against no one.
Talking about the Aussies, well yesterday proved what a hideous lying feral group their hierarchy are.
For that horrible piece of smarmy disgusting piece of dog doings called Smith to hold his hands up and admit cheating then say he won't step down because he feels he is the right man to carry on as captain is mind blowing.
It did make me smile seeing the Barmy Army picture on Facebook with Bancroft and Smith laughing during the Bairstow incident and then a few months later squirming and eating humble pie admitting cheating with the caption KARMA.
I have just seen the Aussie Prime Minister lambast Smith and the Aussies and also Sutherland virtually breaking up feeling horribly embarrassed.
Smith, Warner and Lehman and anyone else involved with this should be banned and for a long time. Go back to club cricket, learn what cricket is really about, feel horribly embarrassed and hopefully never walk on an international pitch again.
Play hard but play fair, chirp if you have too, but never personally. Get your own house in order before you start arrogantly throwing your weight around and don't blame everyone else for things that go on. Have you ever seen a side whinge and moan more than this aussie set up in any sport ??? This aussie side have brought so much of all these problems on themselves but they are so arrogant that they wont see or admit it.
A very sad day. Lets hope the ICC and Cricket Australia man up and do the right thing. Long bans for all involved.
Lets get back to hard fair cricket without all this "in your face" stuff, winding people up etc.
Is this doing anything to get people back to watching Test cricket? Is it the way we want future players to play?
Anyway, rant over. Off to the pub to forget about all that's wrong with Test cricket.