Ok, I’m back, but just before I settle down for a night in the land of Nod, I should draw your attention to the story on crickinfo headlined IPL eyes global network of leagues, which suggests that not only England, but South Africa, Australia and Pakistan are all working on their own models of the slogfest in India. Worrying words indeed from IS Bindra, who is described as an influential member of the IPL governing council. “This is the grand vision,” he tells cricinfo. “The vision is to move cricket to the next level and get each league in each country to resembe the English Premier League [presumably he means the football one] with an exciting mix of international and national players. And then you have the grand Champions League, like the Uefa model which has taken football to such heights.” God preserve us, it’s a vision all right, but it’s a vision of hell. Wall to wall Twenty20. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Daily Archives: May 30, 2008
Shaun Marsh (see Fanfare for a common man) may be being unfairly overlooked by Australia’s selectors, but there is another Aussie that people should be paying attention to. His name, apparently, is JRod and he is a film-maker from Melbourne when he’s not blogging about cricket. Anyway, if you haven’t already been there, get over to his site, Cricket With Balls, scroll down a bit and read his dissection of the England cricket team as a bunch of Men at Work. It’s funny and, more importantly, it’s very very accurate. I haven’t laughed as much since I read Line and Length’s satire on Prime Minister’s Questions. All right, enough sucking up to the other blogs. I bid you good night.
I’ve not generally been one to blow my own trumpet but, sod it, I’m gradually learning that if I don’t, no one else will. So here goes: reading Line and Length yesterday afternoon, before sharing a very convivial beer with its creator in the evening, I learned that the leading run-scorer in the IPL, which I long ago left to go its own way, is none other than Western Australia left-hander Shaun Marsh, son of Geoff, a player with no Tests or one-day internationals to his name (so far). Well, can I just pause and say “I told you so.” OK, well I didn’t exactly but I did give him a glowing report in my book If It Was Raining Palaces, I’d Get Hit by the Dunny Door. If I knew how to do that clever link thing, that title would have appeared in a nice blue colour and you’d be able to go straight to Amazon and order a copy. But unfortunately I don’t (yet) so you’ll have to go to Amazon by some other route. Or, should you already have a copy, you can simply turn to page 20, where it’s in black and white: “Shaun Marsh, straighter and more stylish than Phil Jaques…blah blah blah.” OK so I didn’t quite forecast a world-beating future for him but I do remember thinking, during his innings of 78 from 56 balls in England’s opening game, against the Prime Minister’s XI during the last Ashes, that he was quite a prospect. However, predicting wonderful things for an Australian is an act fraught with danger, especially among their batsmen, because there seems to be no end to the talent coming off that particular conveyor belt and just because Marsh shows some promise, it doesn’t follow that he will be one of the outstanding players of his generation. You only have to look at the Test records, or lack of them, of Stuart Law and Jamie Siddons to realise that, Down Under, prodigious ability is not always enough. However, I wish Marsh well and now that I’ve been alerted to his performances in India, I may yet be tempted to reach for the number on my remote that takes me straight to Setanta. Although with Michael Clarke back in the Australia line-up for the beginning of the second Test in the West Indies, selecting whom to view could be a tricky assignment.