Sunday, November 28, 2010

Do I dare to hope?

No, of course I don't, stupid. I'm an England supporter. We are entirely bereft of hope most of the time, and don't dare to hope the rest of the time.

However, I have been letting my imagination run away from me. In brief alcohol- and chocolate-fuelled moments, I have visualised how England could win this Test. Incredibly dangerous, I know, and I have surely doomed them to a resounding defeat. But here's how it could possibly go on Day 5 at the 'Gabba.

Cook and Trott come out tomorrow morning and play themselves in for all of two overs before realising that the Australian attack are eminently hittable, and they clobber some quick runs. Cook eventually falls, followed by Trott in quick succession, bringing in a rampant KP and Collingwood who immediately start butchering the Aussies all over the park. Strauss, being slightly conservative, declares half way through the afternoon session, giving England a lead of around 280 and 45 overs to bowl Australia out. The match looks like it will be drawn.

And sure enough, Katich and Watson get off to a pretty good start, before Twatto applies hair gel one too many times and Katich throttles him, getting himself arrested. Ponting comes and goes without a whimper, out lbw to Anderson.

However, Clarke and Hussey put together a handy little partnership and, with an eyelash injury to Jimmy Anderson, it all looks over for England until Strauss has a moment of brilliance and calls upon Collingwood to bowl. Lo and behold, Colly's military medium can only be chipped to mid-off, where the ball falls safely into the hands of a gleeful twelfth man in Monty Panesar (on for Jimmy), giving Colly a hat-trick. Ponting throws a hissy fit at England's use of a sub fielder.

A jubilant Mushtaq Ahmed dashes onto the field and starts doing the sprinkler with Monty, but is banished from the ground for his unofficially-sponsored Adidas beard, or for being Muslim or something (it is Queensland, after all). Nonetheless, in the dimming light, Finn comes on to clean up the last four wickets, getting himself ten for the match, England win by 87 runs with 5 overs to spare. Jimmy Anderson comes out onto the balcony and, misunderstanding the concept of a flash dance, gets his gear out and does the hokey-pokey, getting himself an instant Men of Cricket contract and becoming the face (and body) of the Mardi Gras.

A demoralised Australia go on to lose the Ashes 5-0, Ponting retires in tears, Katich is given life, Clarke becomes captain for one game before discovering his life dream of becoming a relationships guru and North is given the captaincy, proceeding to lead Australian cricket into the darkest era of its history.

This is all perfectly possible.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

When wickets aren't what you really want

England have just bowled out Australia, and this is probably the worst possible situation for the team as they'll now have to bat for a good two days to make the match safe, which I can't see happening unless Ponting decides that he should use Marcus North and Michael Hussey as his frontline bowlers (which he might, being Ponting).

I am trying to think of ways in which England could win this match, but my powers of imagination don't stretch that far. Cracks are appearing in the pitch. Cracks of doom.

Swanny gets a wicket

Too damn late to make any difference, but it might be a sign of him bowling better in Australia's second innings. If they ever have to bat again.

Kill me now

So much stuff has happened since I last posted. Mazhar Majeed, a century for Broad, Herschelle Gibbs' biography, Mickey Arthur's biography, the rise and rise of Test Match Sofa (who may be on the verge of world domination) and so on.

Day 3 at the Gabba, and all is going to shit. As we knew deep down it would. I'm trying to convince myself otherwise but we are well and truly fucked and it turned out to be a hedgehog, not a gerbil. Perhaps this is the one forgettable match, like Headingley was in 2009, but despite the excellent work of Jimmeh with the ball, I am fast losing hope.

So, kill me now. Let me die in peace, without having to see the repulsive face of a celebrating Ricky Ponting. It's tea now; lace it with cyanide, please.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oh rubbish

England are 47/5 and Collingwood and Prior are out. Trott and Prior remain the only hopes. My love for Test Match Sofa can only stretch so far.

Still, it's better focusing on this than on the current Australian election. When a third of your hopes lie in the lap of Bob Katter, you should be worried.

England are in trouble

And being the sulk I am, I'm seriously considering switching off the radio. Or would be, if Test Match Sofa weren't so entertaining. However, England are in a quagmire at the moment, with Strauss and Pietersen in the sheds (Cook is a free wicket anyway - they'd be better off opening with Jimmy Anderson). Our hopes lie with Trott, Collingwood and Prior, and resistance from the tail to make a decent score. Followed up by brilliant bowling and some helpful conditions. I'm clutching at straws, I know. Anyway, it's given me something to blog about, albeit briefly.

A referral. Pakistan may have Collingwood out LBW. Bother.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm back

There have been many instances in history and mythology of people returning from the dead. Lazarus. Jesus. El Cid. Frankenstein. Dracula. Mohammad Yousuf. Mohammad Asif. Most of the Pakistan team, in fact. But none of these startling returns matches this one. No one could have been less likely to return to this existence than me. Unless Younis Khan comes back, that is.

Anyway, I'm back, I love youse all, and I'm going to stand up, move this blog forward in the most fair dinkum way possible to make sure all blog readers get a fair shake of the sauce bottle. Yes I will. Sorry, post-election trauma. I'll try to make sure that doesn't happen again.

I'm not sure how long this revival will last, or if it's like Luigi Galvani's frog. (*BZZZ* "I'm alive, I'm alive! Oh, I'm not.) Or, alternatively, Shahid Afridi's return to Test cricket. But, while I'm here, I'd better make the best of it and bite some balls, play some loose shots and make a few more enemies. I hope you are entertained but, if not, I'll carry on anyway.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The death of cricket

It's official, folks. Cricket is on it's deathbed. Or on death row, perhaps. Rather than choosing a young, innovative go-getter to breathe life back into all formats, John Winston Howard, whom I assume might appreciate some of the views declared by a certain member of the public in my last post, has been voted President of the ICC.

Yes, the man who couldn't get a ball to reach the batsman, who lost his seat and the election catastrophically (for him) in 2007, who brought us fabrications such as "Children Overboard" and the affirmation of WMDs in Iraq, IR laws and other measures against freedom and equality and claimed that apologising to the Stolen Generation was an act of navel-gazing (rather, it was a rather ugly bit of history that he'd rather not think about).

Still, the clock's ticking, John. 2012 is a long way away for an old chap like you.

Meanwhile, it's time to start investing in Akubra hats, as I'm sure his first action will be to make them part of a mandatory dress code at the cricket.


That's what I am after the racist rubbish spouted by 70s rock has-been and Channel 9 "social issues advocate" (ah, the irony!) Gary "Angry" Anderson, who claims that weapons culture is not an Australian thing and was introduced by Lebanese, Pacific Islander and "Indochinese" immigrants. Setting aside the mindbogglingly ignorant racial classification of "Indochinese", which would include over half the world's population and a huge variety of cultures, the disgusting whiff of bygone eras (think Cronulla riots) that it brings and the terrifying "justification" that it might give to further attacks on Indian students and other non-Anglo visitors and migrants, Angry seems to have no evidence except for a claim that 'there was practically no weapons culture 20 years ago'. That'd be around 1990, a time not only of demographic change but also music subculture change in Australia. Could it possibly be that this rise in weapons-related violence started with 70s foetuses being subjected to Rose Tattoo while in the womb?

Now, those of you who know me will know that I like research. They will also know that I get pissed off at unfounded claims, especially when those claims are directly or indirectly harmful to a person or group of people. Therefore I will be conducting my own research into the matter, correlating and comparing data across Australia and attempting to determine whether there is any significant causal evidence that these cultures are to blame for weapons-related violence in Australia. My hypothesis? No. However, it takes a good deal more time to do thorough research than it does to spout out unfounded claptrap, so it might be a little while before I can present my findings here. Hopefully I'll have it done before the end of March, though.

It's not the first time Angry has inflicted his small-minded views on public society, however. According to Wikipedia (who quote from that pinnacle of Australian written journalism, The Daily Telegraph*), Angry went on an anti-Muslim rant in 2007. What a lovely bloke. What a representative of Australia, and the values we hold dear.

*A Rupert Murdoch-owned Australian tabloid paper similar in views and quality to Channel 9. There are claims it censors any comments to its articles that criticise quality, conservative governments, the police and military. It features such columnists as Piers Akerman, who has had numerous workplace sexual harassment charges levelled against him, as well as an assault charge by the former editor of the Advertiser and is a climate change denier. My opinion is it is enough to turn the most balanced person to become a member of Socialist Alternative, sleep with a photo of Karl Marx under their pillow and spend every waking hour reading Thoreau's Walden. I refer to it as The Daily Terrorgraph.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Coincidence? I think not...

A little non-cricket-related post.

One of my favourite books (and films) happens to be The Outsiders. For those who haven't heard about it, it is a story about a bunch of young disadvantaged kids in a town in Oklahoma, the "greasers", and their battle against the priveledged "soc's" (pronounced "soshes") as they struggle to accept the place they hold in society. That's a really rotten summary so I suggest you Google a better one.

Anyway, one of the key elements of the book is a Robert Frost poem that is quoted by one of the characters, Nothing Gold Can Stay. It goes:

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
As the plot of the book moves along, the poem gains meaning for the characters as they see it representing the humanity that they have to hold onto. The main character, Ponyboy, is told to "stay gold" in a posthumous letter from a friend. Anyway, the whole green/gold thing is rather symbolic of the story.

A few weeks ago, just after re-reading The Outsiders, I decided to hunt up some more songs from one of my favourite bands, an Irish-American folk/country group called Solas. While they've somewhat moved away from their Irish roots in their latest album, The Edge of Silence, they did feature a great cover of a song called Georgia Lee. Now, I must admit that I'd never heard of the song before and didn't know who it was by or what it was about. After a little bit of research, I found out it was written by Tom Waits and featured on his album Mule Variations. It's based on the true story about a twelve-year-old runaway African-America girl, Georgia Lee Moses, who was kidnapped and murdered in Petaluma, California in 1997. The case has never been solved. The final verse before the chorus runs:
There's a toad in the witch grass, there's a crow in the corn
Wild flowers on a cross by the road
And somewhere a baby is crying for her mom
As the hills turn from green back to gold
Anyway, that green and gold bit made me connect it to The Outsiders - innocence, disadvantaged kids, dead disadvantaged kids and all that - so I grabbed the Outsiders movie (made in 1983) and rewatched it. And what name should I see in the credits, playing a very minor character? Tom Waits.

Not only that, two days later I rewatch Shrek 2, to discover that the song A Little Drop Of Poison (that one sung by Captain Hook in the dodgy inn) is sung by Tom Waits. So, if my head seems a little bit weird it's because some alien force is trying to manipulate my mind to see connections everywhere.

Doing research on Georgia Moses was hard - there's barely any information on the murder outside the song and she doesn't even have a stub article on Wikipedia - and it's rather appalling to see the difference in the quantity of coverage of her murder in comparison to the murder of a twelve-year-old white girl in Petaluma, in 1993, of which Richard Allen Davis was convicted. Even more press was given to the unsolved murder of six-year-old beauty pageant JonBenet Ramsey, who was found strangled in her parents' basement just after the Christmas of 1996. They reopened the case last year. It's interesting reading. Do a bit of research on the foundation her parents set up as well - it might raise a few eyebrows.

So, I know you've probably not bothered reading this because it's not cricket and it probably doesn't make any sense at all, but I've enjoyed writing it. All this does is confirm that great Orwellian quote that "some are more equal than others". Which reminds me of a story hanging round the press recently, the arrest (finally) of Roman Polanski. But that's for another day, I've run out of rant.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A picture to projectile-vomit to

Seriously, I'm struggling to work out who's who here. I'd been informed that Mrs Bracken was hot, but I'm not sure I agree. Sure, her body is well-shaped thanks to a strict diet and those very obviously enhanced objects that look like they've been plonked on the front of her chest, but she has the face of a sixty-year-old from the depths of Sydney's eastern suburbs. If this were a beauty contest, I think I would be giving Bracks the winner's sash, although there's room for improvement with that haircut (which I believe is done by Mrs B).

And, golly, who designed that dress?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just a quick one

I've been run off my feet with work of late, so I haven't had any time for blogging. The resumption of Test cricket after a short pause has helped spark this post, and I'd just like to congratulate Dale Steyn on doing what players often fail at and walking the talk by snatching a ten-fer in the first Test against India. It was brilliant, inspired bowling. Or so it seemed from the Cricinfo commentary, which as you probably know isn't the last word on accuracy and objectivity, although vastly superior to anything Channel 9 could manage to excrete.

Back in this hemisphere, Doug Bollinger is getting wickets and the West Indies are losing. I wish he'd forget how to bowl. Maybe I could bribe his mum to go to the papers with some melodrama-soap-opera story (about his wig, and how she hates that he cares more about his hair than her) and he has a mental implosion a la Mitchell Johnson. But it won't happen, because Doug's not that kind of guy.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Off to the SCG today

And I'm going to be doing my patriotic duty by cheering against Ponting, as usual. However, Pakistan better turn up, because I will be very, very pissed off if I have to pay $85 to watch Australia win. Especially if the win is orchestrated by Ricky himself, or the world's biggest bogan Cameron White.

I'm off to pack the sandwiches and organise the water. Hopefully it doesn't rain.

Friday, January 15, 2010

REVEALED: England players are Nelson's men in disguise

I've been aware of this since the 2005 Ashes and my first view of the lad who claims his name is Ian Bell (fake name if I ever saw one, by a lazy imposter who can't be bothered with more letters) but I've kept it a secret. Until now. The England cricket team has been infiltrated by Napoleonic British officers and crew, in an attempt to channel some of the glory of the Battle of Trafalgar into a series win worthy of an open-top bus parade to Trafalgar Square.

Here it is, for the first time - Nelson's men in whites. Or at least Forester's Nelson's men in whites:


Just like Bell can't score a century without someone else in the team doing it first, the sweet-natured Kennedy doesn't do well in battle unless Hornblower's around to save the day. When Midshipman Simpson bullies the young Kennedy, he suffers from fits, echoing Bell's averse reaction to hearing the name Shane Warne.


One scruffy, frizzy-haired, rat-chewing Yorkshireman. One scruffy, frizzy-haired Yorkshireman who may or may not chew rats (I don't know, but I should keep an eye out). If Sidebottom is anything like Styles, he's loyal, a bit of a rogue and slightly useless.


Despite their being a slight age difference in these photos, Matthews and Colly have a lot in common. Gritty, always willing to take one for the team and yet forever keeping a low profile when the cameras are around, you can imagine that Matthews favourite stroke with the oar was definitely the nurdle.


Both Bush and Vaughan were men who showed attention to detail and kept a cool head in battle, while their more brash colleagues took centre stage (not always in a positive way). They both had receding hairlines and semi-mullets, and spent time campaigning in the West Indies, but somehow I can't imagine Bush toting a designer manbag, although that might have been because he couldn't afford one after paying for silver shoe-buckles.


Excessive dark locks, thick black eyebrows, facial structure, ears, nose, mascara... there is no doubt that Alastair Cook is Hornblower in whites. As it seems that the English cricket team are determined to shape this young man as a captain, I think that England fans can relax in the knowledge that the team is in competent hands. As long as he doesn't get seasick, that is.


I spy Andy Flower in need of a hair transplant, and Luke Wright. Or is it Freddie?

Never leave out the onions!

Graham Onions really is like onions. That wonderful bulb is almost always on hand to rescue a lacklustre recipe from tasting like wet sawdust, and likewise Onions is usually there for England, rescuing them from lacklustre performances that leave them floundering in the dust. However, Onions (of any kind) was left out of this game, and consequently England were out for 180 and a barely-fit Sidebottom really isn't looking threatening at all.

Never leave out the Onions. And if England live to fight another day, they must remember that Onions can provide much more flattering headlines for them than a hairy Yorkshireman whose name suggests that he has his anatomy all mixed up.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No I was not clobbered to death by my irate countrymen...

They just seem to have reduced my internet speed to prevent my anti-Australian-cricket blogging. It is currently running about as fast as Inzamam-ul-Haq but should be back to usual speeds when the match starts.

Kamran Akmal has been dropped. Now he knows how the ball feels.

Friday, January 8, 2010

England, my dear England

Could you please stop doing this to me? I know you're trying to keep Test cricket alive, and you're doing a great job of it, but you'll run out of fans pretty quickly because we'll all be dead from heart attacks. Does it have to be nine down and Onions or Monty in every time? Can't you keep these performances for special occasions, rather than making them part of your repertoire?

By the way, if I was going to back any man to face the most balls in the innings in trying to eke out a draw, the last man I would have said would be Bell. I would have said Onions over Bell. Even Prior. But Belly it was - 218 balls for 76 runs and he proved that he's not always a completely useless bunny. Collingwood I expected to stick around, it's his role to rescue England from final innings collapses.

And Steyn. WAG. His bowling yesterday was proof that he is indeed the best quick bowler in the world.

Now, off to the Wanderers, and hoping for a nice, comfortable England win or draw. Even a nice, comfortable South African win. Anything but a final day stress-a-thon, please...

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I really can't say what I'm thinking, or I'll put the mockers on England. Any real blogging will be done after the match - I'm still feeling the trauma of Sydney.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Get some close fielders in, Radley

Strauss thinks that he'll somehow get the South Africans out by boring them into mad batting. He obviously has never watched a Jacques Kallis innings. Stop giving them easy singles, Straussy - England need wickets, and fast.

My man AB de Villiers is in at the moment, but I hope he gets out for nothing. England comes first.

My plan for today

After two days of very tight cricket between England and South Africa, the English bowlers did what we've been kinda expecting them to do all series and completely forgot what a good area was. They should ask Shamone Jardin - Kallis showed her exactly where it was down in Melbourne and while she may not have given the impression of being fascinated, she surely would have retained the information better than Jimmy, Broady and the Onions. Thankfully my man Swanny was a threat throughout the day and claimed both South African wickets to fall.

Anyway, where it all leaves us is with South Africa having a massive lead of 330 with only two wickets in the shed, Graeme Smith with an unbeaten century and Jacques Kallis cruising along as he has all series. However, they haven't banked on my powers upsetting their day today because they are foolish enough to not know who I am. I am proposing eight quick wickets in the first hour or so, England coming in to bat on what is a road as soon as the first half of the morning session is over, the South African bowlers all mysteriously coming down with food poisoning during the lunch break and Strauss and Pietersen working their way to getting England a resounding victory on day five.

Sounds like a plan to me.


If you want to read about who won the SCG Test, go find some other blog.

I'm off to smash windows. If I meet Jesse Ryder, I'll get his autograph.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Andrew Strauss, get a third man in

Right now.

Wow, he did it - just as I wrote it. Says a lot for demands over requests. Therefore I might also say, "England bowlers, get some wickets NOW!"

Let's see if that works...

This better bloody go as expected!

On the page, it all looks rosy. Australia are leading Pakistan by a piddly margin of 80 runs on a pitch that is slowing by the hour with only two wickets in hand. I should be guaranteed a sound night's sleep (once I've finished with the match in South Africa at least).

Except for one thing. Michael Hussey. After spending the first part of his career looking like the new Bradman and the second looking like the new Hughes (Philip), Muss seems to have found some balance. He no longer makes bowlers cower at his invincibility, but neither is he the walking wicket of the past few seasons. I am still scarred by his late-wicket partnerships with Stuart Clark and Glenn McGrath, both who defended rather less competently than Siddle can. We must not - I repeat must not - have that kind of thing happen again, or I will cry. Nobody wants me to cry, do they?

Mike Hussey does.


PS. Meanwhile, Daryl Harper has done something completely expected and made a dreadful decision over at Sahara Park. Actually, had it not been for the UDRS (and a successful appeal by Prince) that decision might have sat alongside Steve Bucknor's not-out verdict in Sydney as a decision that sparked a diplomatic incident. Only I don't really think South Africans go in for diplomatic incidents these days. The ball was about as close to the bat as David Warner is to Test cricket.

The bell tolls...

Yes, such a predictable title. Sorry. But it's past 1 in the morning here, and Ian Bell has just missed another opportunity to prove that his box isn't empty. Now it's down to the questionable batting skills of Matt Prior and Stuart Broad, and that result of a mating between awesomeness and hilarity, Graeme Swann (who I'm backing to get a century here and save England's blushes). Good to see Steyn and Morkel bowling well though.

As for the other match happening. Firstly, 127. No more needs to be said about the Australian first innings, aside from "Mohammad Asif is bloody brilliant". Secondly, Pakistan are two hundred runs ahead. I just hope that in a few days time I'm not saying "but they were two hundred runs ahead!"

The joys of listening to TMS

Test Match Sofa, that is. Much as I love listening to the old wobblies on the BBC, these guys are bloody good. Not only that, they have some pretty awesome guests, like Jrod and SarahCanterbury. Seriously, for the younger generation of Real Cricket supporters, Test Match Sofa is like a lifetime supply of alcohol to Jesse Ryder. I'm seriously afraid of overindulging in their awesomeness. When they read my tweet, I couldn't have been more excited if Tolkien was declared returned from the dead.

Not only that, they seem to be fellow Swann fans. Very wise of them.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oh my goodness...

Oh my sainted aunt's blessed cotton socks. Australia are 6/52, with Watto, Clarke, Hussey and North having joined Punter and Pip in the dressing rooms. Asif is on a hattrick, Johnson nearly timed-out and I can hear Ponting's tears dropping onto the dressing-room floor from here. I can gloat a little longer.

A quick update

Ponting won the toss on a pretty green pitch (for the SCG anyway) and decided to bat. Philip Hughes was dropped on a duck, but it didn't cost Pakistan anything, as he got out two overs later (still on a duck after a swish outside off and almost a crazy single) nicking to the slips. Well, it was expected, but it's nice to see my predictions come true.

Then, Ricky was out for a golden duck. A golden duck! Fell right into the trap had been set by hooking a short ball to square leg. Sami on a hattrick. Then, Watto was nearly out LBW on the hattrick ball - not given after a referral by Pakistan.

I just decided I'd record the glee I'm currently feeling, because I'm sure it won't last long.

Simon Katich can't smell

I imagine this would come in handy in the Australian dressing rooms.

I explain myself

Ok, a few comments on here have led me to understand that not everyone understands my vendetta against the current Australian captain. Frankly, I can't see how anyone could like him, unless they were a one-eyed Aussie, but maybe it's not that obvious to people who don't have to share a country with the bastard. Therefore I have decided to list ten reasons why Ricky Ponting does not have me on his fan list (I could have written a thousand, but I'm trying to clean the house at the moment).

  1. He's a pretty dreadful captain. Despite being the "most successful" captain of all time, for about half of his current captaincy career, he was carried by Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist, a bunch of guys who could have pulled a win out of anything. Since the retirement of The Three, Ponting has been hardly successful as a captain, losing Test series' in India, England and at home to South Africa. Many of these losses can also be contributed to his lack of captaincy skills, as in the final overs in Cardiff, not picking Hauritz at the Oval, bowling his part-timers in India when the team needed to grasp the momentum and generally setting defensive fields in both Perth and Melbourne against the Saffers.
  2. He's arrogant. I could get you quotes, I could get you voice clips, but I don't think I need to. Ponting barely acknowledges the opposition, you can always hear a sneer in his voice and, according to Kerry O'Keefe, his team doesn't acknowledge the fans enough, especially while on tour.
  3. He has Small Man Syndrome. From punch-ups to talking big, (P)Ricky likes to impose himself on the opposition and anyone else who gets in his way. Unfortunately for him, he's about the size of a midget and just comes across as rather silly.
  4. He throws tantrums. Think that only girls like Shane Watson throw tantrums? Think again. Stretch your mind back a few years to Trent Bridge, when he was run out by Gary Pratt (who really deserved an OBE for that). Then again, he was in good company in that series, as that determinedly masculine teammate Simon Katich also spat the dummy.
  5. His appealing is appalling. He appeals for everything, and he's not even the bowler or wicketkeeper. He appeals for bump balls, non-existent nicks, LBWs pitching outside leg. I wouldn't be surprised if he appealed for a four, just in case. Not only that, but he looks repulsive while he does it.
  6. He's the biggest bloody hypocrite around. Forget certain politicians and religious leaders, Ricky has this well-covered. For a man who has done more than any captain in recent memory to encourage his team to play contrary to the spirit of cricket, he is a great advocate of the philosophy and loves accusing opposition captains of not playing within the spirit. Thankfully no one listens to a word he says on this matter anymore.
  7. He gets away with pretty much anything. In recent times, the only charge Ponting has been in risk of suspension for is slow over rates. However, this does not indicate a sanctimonious nature, but a bias on some part or another to let him get away with shoving opponents, abusing crowds, not controlling his players, celebrating Gayle's wicket just like Watson did, claiming catches that weren't, interrogating umpires, being plain rude on the podium at the presentation of the 2006 Champions Trophy and various other misdemeanours. Maybe they think, like a foolishly indulgent grandmother, that when Ponting does it it's cute?
  8. He tarnishes the reputation of the men that went before him by projecting this kind of behaviour as a traditional Australian way of playing cricket. Steve Waugh played hard, but you never smelled arrogance in the air. Mark Taylor was a captain that any Australian would be proud to name as a countryman. Sadly, many young overseas fans will be thinking that all Australian teams are like our current one, and many young Australian fans will look to these "role-models" as a guide on how to conduct themselves on the field, when they represent their school, club and perhaps one day their country.
  9. His minions ape him. A number of the newer members of the Australian line-up have had no indication given to them by him that boorish behaviour is unacceptable. Thankfully Hussey seems to be able to conduct himself with decorum, despite seeming slightly manic in all his actions. But Ponting's legacy will sadly take quite a few years to breed out.
  10. He just is.
As for my dislike of Midge, that has a slightly different and less logical basis. It involves a Men of Cricket calendar, a crush, and someone I know rating him above AB de Villiers in sex appeal. I mean, the guy has hedges for eyebrows. How could you possibly be attracted to him over AB?