Saturday, 31 July 2010

Referrals in Cricket

... and this is me in cricket nerd mode.

If it becomes standard practice to have referrals in Test cricket, which I hope it doesn't, because it slows the game down and robs us of the pure exhilaration of a wicket falling, I can see a couple of interesting consequences arising:

Umpires will be judged on how often their decisions are referred and, crucially, their "turnover rate", which could prove rather a stark assessment of their quality.

Bowlers too will eventually build up a record in this area. Will it demonstrate how respected a bowler is by his captain? If Jimmy Anderson gets more decisions referred over time than Stuart Broad, surely that implies something about Andrew Strauss' opinion of his judgement?

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Does Your Favourite Non Fiction Top Ten Say More About You Than Your Favourite Novels?

I'm not sure, but it always seems more interesting to discuss somehow. Here's me:*

Watching the English
The Right Stuff
Kitchen Confidential
Adventures in the Screen Trade
Revolution in the Head
Down and Out in Paris and London
How Not To Write a Novel
As If
Touching the Void

*Subject to incessant change, natch

Sod it, I forgot David Sedaris, and The Consolations of Philosophy

Nov 2012 sod it also forgot The Art of Captaincy, Gideon Haigh's Ashes 2005 and Penguins Stopped Play.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Wisdom of Crowds

B and I went to The Oval for Surrey v Somerset today. Having endured the nerdishness of the upper tier of the pavilion for a while (members swapping signed postcards of the players, I ask you) we decamped to the Family Area.

We witnessed the crowd at its best: cheering 19 year old Jason Roy to the ... erm, rafters (girders?). He'd been fielding on the boundary and making friends. Autographs, waves etc. Next stop: folk hero for an afternoon and his every run applauded. Marvelous.

And then the crowd at its worst: Poor old Jos Butler fielding for Somerset, went for a catch on the boundary to dismiss a Surrey player, stepped over the rope, but not before he tossed the ball back infield, where he collected it and threw it back to the keeper. The crowd wanted it to be a six. They jeered at him for being a cheat. The kids seeking his autograph called him a cheat. Horrible. Mind you, the fifteen year olds behind us were splendid: "I hate it when kids think it's ok to slag players" said one. Good on him.

In between times we'd been allowed on the outfield, which I hadn't done since about 2000 I think. I found it rather moving to take B up to see where the bowlers ran in, and look up at where we'd been watching from the pavilion, where KP hooked Lee in '05... I won't go on, but it were great.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Du, du, dugadugadugadah

There was a lovely moment in the Divine Comedy gig last night at Somerset House. Neil Hannon was playing At The Indie Disco at the piano and slowed it right down for the lyric 'She makes my heart beat the same way/as at the start of Blue Monday', and asked the crowd if he should give it a try. 'Yes!' we said, 'give it a try!'. So he started drumming the intro to Blue Monday on his mic. Du, du, dugadugadugadah and accompanied himself on sung bass part. And he nailed it! And then played an MGMT cover. Clever fellow.

Tonight We Fly was amazing too.