12.8.2021 – 11 for three

11 for three
blink of an eye all out for
147

Time for the Ashes already?

The every other year grudge match between the national Cricket teams of England and Australia?

England and Wales actually.

Much how the contact between Babe Ruth and the New York Yankee’s is a contact between one George Herman Ruth and the The American League Baseball Club of New York, the National English (NOT BRITISH) Cricket team is the England and Wales Cricket Board or ECB.

Anyway, every two years England plays Australia in a series of Test Cricket matches referred to as ‘The Ashes.’

The host country alternates between in Australia and England and the matches themselves takes place in five different locations over the course of about a month.

The away team is always reffered to as ‘The Tourists.’

At each location, the teams will compete for five days during each test, competing in games each day.

Each game is 6 hours long with breaks for lunch, tea and drinks.

There’s Test cricket and then there’s Ashes cricket,” said England Captain Joe Root.

It is a match that exists outside of all other schedules.

It would be as if the Michigan – Ohio State football game was not a part of a league or conference set up and every two years, regardless of other schedules, they played each other in a game that mattered only for the sake of the game.

Back when this started in 1882, the teams would take off on a road trip that lasted six months.

Yesterday was the first day of of the first test at The Gabba, in Brisbane.

The first line of the first story of the first days play read:

From the opening delivery of this pandemic-era Ashes, when Rory Burns displayed the footwork of an early Strictly evictee and Mitchell Starc speared the brand new Kookaburra ball into his leg stump, everything turned to Australian gold; for England, 11 for three in the blink of an eye and then all out for 147 in 50.1 overs, this represented the latest chapter in the great book of Gabba woes.

I am happy to say that I had to use the google just one reference.

Sorry to say that ‘an early Strictly evictee‘ was new to me.

Glad to report that despite my concerns that this might have been a politically incorrect slur of a sort that would not be considered ‘Cricket’, the Google reports that ‘Strickly’ is the British equivalent of Dancing with the Stars and ‘an early evictee‘ is a celebrity who cannot dance and is sent home to the relief of those folks who take these shows seriously.

I am trying to find a way to listen if not watch these matches.

When England is playing in England, the BBC has put the audio on You Tube, but some reason they do not when the team plays the tourist role.

And when England is playing England, the match starts about 7AM and I can listen at work all day.

Playing down under, the games are at 7PM here in the States.

I usually am on the side of England.

The history of Cricket is the a history of Countries that used to run by England that would like nothing better than to beat England at England’s game.

In 1990, when immigration and citizenship was being debated in the House of Commons, Norman Tebbit, a Member of Parliament, suggested a test to measure the loyalty of immigrants.

The Right Honorable Mr. Tebbit suggested asking immigrants whom they root for in a cricket match – their former country or England.

The idea being that immigrants from India or Pakistan might become good subjects (Remember folks in the UK are not CITIZENS but SUBJECTS of the REALM), they would continue to root for their native cricket team to beat the snot out of England and there fore never, truly, loyal to the Crown.

I remember listening to an interview with Sadiq Aman Khan, the Mayor of London during a break in some test match or other.

Mr. Khan’s family is Pakistani.

Mr. Khan was born in London.

Mr. Khan was asked about his memories following Cricket.

Mr. Khan was VERY CAREFUL to run off a long list of great ENGLISH cricket players and teams.

So he said, but no one really believed him.

Like I said, I usually pull for England but in the ashes, my sentiments are with the Australians.

After one day, England is all out for 147 with the Aussies coming to bat.

The next game is tomorrow, December 9th, in Brisbane at 10AM.

Somehow, that is 7PM tonight, December 8th, in South Carolina.

That just adds to the attraction.

Will another chapter the Great Book of Gabba woes?

We will find out tonight listening to a game being played tomorrow.

8.27.2021 – doesn’t know if cause

doesn’t know if cause
is hopeless, most fantastic
victories ever

Listening to the 3rd Test at Leeds of India’s tour of England today, I was able to hear the BBC Test Match Special broadcast team when they took time during the lunch break to revisit the Ashes Series of 1981.

Cricket, if you read this blog, is something of a hobby with me.

At some point years ago I said I am going to figure that game out.

And I did or at least to the point of being able to follow the game.

Cricket, like many other sports, has a couple of ways that one team can, within the rules, insult the other team.

Somewhat along the lines of when an American Football team that is ahead, will go for two points after scoring a touchdown instead of one, just to rub it in.

The true Dark Lord, Woody Hayes of that school in Ohio once went for 2 against Michigan with a 50-14 lead.

When asked why, he said, “Because I couldn’t go for three.”

In cricket there are two innings like baseball.

But unlike baseball, there aren’t 3 outs but 10.

In other words, you have to get everyone out.

That is why in test cricket, the ultimate in cricket, a test match is played over 5 days in a series of 6 hour games with Lunch and Tea breaks after two hours play.

30 hours of cricket.

Again you have to get everyone out for the match to be over.

And it has to be over at the end of day five or the match goes into the books as No Result or a draw.

There is a difference between a NR and a draw but I can’t remember.

With that mind, you can understand that time can often come into play even when 30 hours for the match is scheduled.

With this in mind, the team in the lead has two calls they can make.

One, they can declare.

They are so far ahead in their half of the inning, for example they have scored 423 and only given up 4 wickets or outs, they can declare.

That is to say they feel they have enough runs and will stop batting.

That is say they declare that the other team is so bad they might as well bat, we got enough to beat you, nannie nannie boo boo.

This is often used with an eye on the clock and an eye on the weather to make sure the other team gets their innings in and the match is played out to the end.

The other thing a team can do to the other is ‘follow on.’

This happens when Team One bats first in the 1st inning and gets a big lead.

Team Two in their half of the 1st inning bats for a miserable total.

Team One can then call for Team Two to ‘follow on.’

That means, instead of Team One batting in the top of 2nd inning, Team Two has to get right back up to the wicket and start batting again.

Team One is saying you are so bad we don’t even have to bat again to beat you.

During the lunch break today, the BBC broadcast team talked about how until that series in 1981, only ONE team in the history of test match cricket, won after following on.

Then came 1981.

The Ashes is the Test Match played between Australia and England every 2 years, alternating host country for each match.

It is separate from all other leagues and schedules.

In a way it would be as if Michigan and Ohio State were not in same conference or even association or anything and regardless of any other schedule, played each other every other year in a grudge match.

In 1981, with the series being playing in England, Australia destroyed and demoralized England in the first match.

The 2nd match was a draw (time ran out).

Though it was a draw, Australia looked so big and mean that the England team and fans felt hopeless.

Except for the England Captain, Mike Brearley.

In cricket, the Captain will function much like a baseball manager and put together lineups and put in / pull out bowlers.

It was said of Mike Brearley that he didn’t know if a cause was hopeless.

The 3rd match, Australia batted for a big lead and then forced England to follow on in the 2nd Inning.

England batted again and got a small lead.

Geoff Boycott got a ‘stubborn’ 46 at bat for England but who has enough time to talk about Geoff Boycott.

Bob Willis

Then Mike Brearley put in a bowler named Bob Willis.

Mr. Willis then got 8 wickets or outs while giving up only 43 runs.

THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN CRICKET.

If this was American Football it would like throwing 3 Hail Mary passes after 3 successful onside kicks.

England became only the second team in Test Match history to win a match after being made to follow-on.

The BBC Commentators reminisced about how low tickets sales had been due to the power of the Aussie line up yet everywhere they went today, people told them they had been there.

England went on to win the test match 3-1 (with 2 draws) and the Ashes stayed in England for two years.

The key was that 2nd half of match three.

Mr. Willis’ 8 wickets took the wind out of the Australian sails.

It was, from the recorded match play-by-play that was played today, one of the most “fantastic victories ever known.”

Now here is the point.

Bob Willis was interviewed today as part of the broadcast.

He was asked, was he, now 40 years later, still recognized, still appreciated, still a hero?

And Mr. Willis responded:

“The other weekend my daughter was over with her family and we had a barbecue out back.

I had the wine glass in one hand and the cricket bat in the other and I played with my grand kids.

The next day my daughter called me to say that she had just got back from taking her kids to school.

One her sons got out of the car and turned back to his Mom and asked, ‘Was Grand Dad really really good when he played?’

His Daughter looked at her boy and said, ‘One of the best.’

The boy looked down, then looked at his Mom and said, ‘Well, he’s crap now.'”

September 12 – Yogi Berra wrong?

Yogi Berra wrong?
not over, but it’s over
Aussies keep Ashes

Mr. Berra is credited with saying something like, “It ain’t over, until it’s over.”

Many times in sports and in life, this rings true.

No surprise that, in the Ashes, it doesn’t apply.

The Ashes is a test cricket series between Australia and England that is played every other year and alternates sites between England and Australia.

A test cricket series is made up of 5 test cricket matches.

Each match can last up to 5 days with breaks each day for lunch and tea.

A cricket match can end as a:

WIN: One team has more runs at the end of the match

Tie: Both teams have the same amount of runs and wickets at the end of a match.

Draw: If a match ends with one team not being able to complete their innings at bat before the end of play.

No Result: Match has started but due to weather or light or something else cannot be completed.

Abandoned: Match never stated.

One quirk of Cricket is that the Ashes is a best of five series, but regardless of results, all five matches are played.

If this was a World Series, all seven games would be played even if one team won the first four.

Another quirk of the Ashes is that in case of a series draw, the team holding the Ashes, gets to keep the trophy.

This year, Australia won Test 1 and Test 4.

England won Test 3 (in dramatic fashion)

Test 2 was a draw.

The best England can do is a Draw for the 2019 Series.

So it’s over and Australia keeps the Ashes.

But Test 5 still has to be played.

So it’s not over.

That’s Cricket!

August 16 – outside the off stump

outside the off stump
bowled, L B W
65 for 3

Hard to get my creative conscious to focus away from cricket when I am listening to the 2nd Test of the 2019 Ashes from Lords.

I used the cricket term, L B W which stands for Leg Before Wicket.

Leg before wicket (lbw) is one of the ways in which a batter can be dismissed in the sport of cricket. Following an appeal by the fielding side, the umpire may rule a batter out lbw if the ball would have struck the wicket, but was instead intercepted by any part of the batter’s body (except the hand holding the bat). The umpire’s decision will depend on a number of criteria, including where the ball pitched, whether the ball hit in line with the wickets, and whether the batter was attempting to hit the ball. (Wikipedia)

Names and Numbers on the shirts for the first time

I have to point out that, from a Haiku point of view, using the initial, W, instead of the word, WICKET, uses more syllables.

I am reminded of the time at WZZM13 that I was asked to write out a tag line about the website for use on air.

I was told to keep it simple.

So I wrote out, ‘Go to Double You Double You Double You dot Double You Zee Zee Emm Thirteen dot com for more information.’

If I remember right, the producer put it in the script like that which made the anchor laugh out loud on air.

Then he read the tag, slowly.

August 1 – The Ashes!

slips and a gully
mid on, mid off, driven left
and there is no run

Imagine if every two years, Michigan and Ohio State told that sporting world that they were taking time for a private contest.

Then for five weeks, they played a match that was the best of five games.

The games wouldn’t be sanctioned by the Big 10 or the NCAA.

This was a just between them and they were going to play.

That is the Ashes.

A private sporting contest between England and Australia every two years, alternating between countries.

And its test match cricket.

Five days are reserved for play.

Two sides of 10 batters and all 10 batters bat until they are out for one inning and there two innings.

Breaks for lunch, tea and drinks.

And don’t tell me that cricket doesn’t keep up with the times.

This year, for the 1st time ever, players have names and numbers on their … jumpers.