In an effort to gain match fitness before the Ashes, Andrew Flintoff is planning to play Australian club cricket. Surprisingly, Cricket Australia is supporting the plan. CA spokesman Peter Young cited several reasons for their support, including this point:
"...to have talent like a Flintoff or a Giles running around at club level is just a tremendous boost for club cricket. Can you imagine some 18-year-old sharing the new ball with Andrew Flintoff - what a tremendous experience that would be for a kid like that."That would be awesome - makes me want to join a cricket club. On the other hand, it wouldn't be so crash hot being the opening batsman with Flintoff steaming in with the new ball! Nevertheless, I confess I'm for the idea although with some misgivings. I'd much rather have an Ashes with Flintoff than without. On the other hand, I remember several months before last year's Ashes when Flintoff returned from South Africa for an ankle operation, hoping he'd be fit in time for the series. He was and we paid dearly. So I've learnt to be careful what you wish for.
|Posted by JC on Wed 26 Jul||35 comments|
The latest injury news must have English fans tearing out their hair and dressing in sackcloth as Andrew Flintoff is now having surgery on his ankle that will have him sidelined for 12 weeks. That will have him return to fitness just before the Ashes if at all. Even if all does go well, he'll lack match fitness and the grumbly English ex-players are beginning the doomsday predictions. Even Australians will be disappointed if Flintoff doesn't tour (I'm very much hoping Australia win the toss and bat in Brisbane so I can watch Flintoff and Harmison steam in during the first session). When you're missing one of the modern game's superstars, cricket is the loser. But to a much greater degree, England will be the loser and big time. At this rate, they're looking at the possibility of missing Flintoff, Vaughan and Jones - three of the vital cogs in the machine that won the Ashes last year. It makes you realise just how extraordinary it was for England to only field 12 players over a 5 Test series. It also makes you wonder at the state of Australian cricket when the one and only time England field a fit team, we lose the Ashes.
|Posted by JC on Mon 24 Jul||90 comments|
After an epic 3 hour quest for Ashes tickets (which it turns out was way below the median), I finally paid for my tickets on June 1. Since that euphoric moment, it has been 6 weeks and I was starting to get nervous that maybe my order hadn't been processed (although the money had been taken from my account). Fortunately all worries dissolved as my tickets arrived in the mail last weekend. I was somewhat bemused by the 'It's Definitely On' headline. I never realised there was any doubt that the Ashes would be on. Perhaps the authorities are worried there won't be any fit players available for the English squad come November. Nevertheless, I'll be sitting in section 14 of the Eastern Stand at the Gabba so if any other Brisbane cricket fans happen to be in that vicinity on Day 1 of the 1st Test, look out for my mug (plus I'll be sitting next to a 7 foot red haired guy - not hard to miss).
|Posted by JC on Mon 17 Jul||146 comments|
Sri Lanka have clean sweeped the one day series against England, chasing down 322 runs to win the 5th ODI. Amazingly, Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga opened their innings with a record breaking 286 run partnership. You'd have to say English cricket has hit their lowest point in years. It's hard to believe just 12 months ago, the country was in euphoria winning back the Ashes and eyeing the #1 world rankings. Even before then, the team was going from strength to strength, going through a calendar year without losing a Test. All that good work seems to have been undone as half the team are down due to injury and producing a win-loss record deep in the negative. They suffered a huge blow this week as Michael Vaughan's knee injury has him out of the game for 4 to 6 months. Although his batting form was patchy over the Ashes, his captaincy was a huge influence on the series and the team seems a pale shadow without him at the helm. With Vaughan and Simon Jones likely to miss the Ashes (although Jones still holds out hopes he'll make it), it's hard to see England successfully retaining the urn. And who else is going to fall by the wayside during the Pakistan series? It makes what happened last year all the more startling - everything went right for England as they went through the series virtually unscathed. Are they merely treading water while they wait for the Australian tour? It'll be a true test of their character in November to see how they cope with key players missing from the squad.
|Posted by JC on Sun 2 Jul||41 comments|