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Showing posts from June, 2008

Zimbabwe: I Have A Dream

Without meaning to sound like a 1960s civil rights activist, I have a dream. This dream is to one day follow the English cricket team in a test match against Zimbabwe at the historic Harare Sports Club.

I have a somewhat romantic notion of wishing to sit in the intense African sunshine, a cool drink in my hand, watching 22 cricketers in action as the sun rises overhead and disappears again behind the city.
This idea is not an unrealistic one, in theory, but what likelihood has it got of coming to pass when the political climate is what it is in Zimbabwe? Well, it remains rather unlikely.
What helps to perpetuate the situation in Zimbabwe, in addition to its racist tyrannical leader Robert Mugabe, is the support that the ruling Zanu-PF party of Zimbabwe gets from the equally racist ANC party of South Africa. South Africa's president, the leader of the ANC, believes that there is no "crisis" in Zimbabwe and believes that "It's a normal electoral process" tak…

Ramprakash: Stuttering To a Century Of First-Class Centuries

So we're making our way towards the middle of the domestic cricket season in England and we're in the midst of the break from the County Championship whilst the Twenty20 Cup takes place.

During this break in season, where my favourite form of the game is temporarily forgotten in favour of the more commercially lucrative form of the game, I have been able to sit back in astonishment in how much difference a year has made for Surrey's Mark Ramprakash.

As far as first-class cricketers go he has had quite a solid batting record to date. In 671 innings, between 1987 and 2008, he has scored 31,057 runs, picking up 134 half-centuries and 99 centuries along the way—all at at average of 52.99.

His consistency at county level, both for Middlesex until 2000 and for Surrey from 2001 onwards, although never matched during his 92 test innings, was rewarded in 2007 by Wisden, who named him as one of their 'Cricketers of the Year' for his play during the 2006 season.

His good form…

Farnham 2nd XI vs. Old Whitgiftians 2nd XI: Have the Oldies Lost Their Gift?

There is something to be said about Village Cricket. I accept the fact that both Farnham and Croydon, the home of the Old Whitgiftians, are towns.

But both the style of play and the scene of the action in Farnham, with a castle shrouded in vibrant green trees as a backdrop, have a distinctly village-like feel about them.

On the day in question, the May 31, 2008, the sun was shining and thus a small, but noticeable, gathering of spectators had assembled to watch the match between the Farnham second XI and the Old Whitgiftians second XI.

So this wasn’t Lords, and it wasn't first-class, but the match was still engaging.

Old Whitgiftians, winning the toss, opted to field first, despite at this level of cricket, a win batting first being worth more in league points than a win batting second.

The thing that perhaps struck the casual spectator was the apparent age gap between the two teams—the Farnham team comprising mainly under-20s, with the Old Whitgiftians, perhaps, more likely to be in t…