Friday, 30 January 2009

The Prime Minister's XI Uniform

I know this must seem like such a trivial issue, but why have people gone into the effort to produce a specific uniform for the Prime Minister's XI and then have the players wear white pads? It just looks stupid. How hard is it to get some blue pads for the players? You went this far to have a uniform (which I think is great), why not complete the set?

I'm in two minds about this Chappell-Hadlee series. I feel like Australia needs to lift its game, and I always like to see us win. It's looking like with the Black Caps weakened line up we'll get the wins no worries, but will it be a useful challenge for us in the lead up to the South African tour? Oh well, I suppose at the very least it'll be a good punching bag for us to vent some frustration.


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Sorry, lump of cow dirt...

andrew_symonds Being in New Zealand, I was interested to see how New Zealander's reacted to the news of Brendon McCullum playing for NSW, forgoing his own domestic duties with Otago on the promise of guaranteed Champions League opportunity later in the year. That issue became all but moot after Andrew Symonds piped up with some poorly chosen words, which to be honest, I'm still not sure I completely understand why he said it, given the point I believe he was trying to make.

First of all, in New Zealand - no one was really bothered with McCullum's action; Otago had already qualified for the semi-finals and because of the Chappell-Hadlee he wasn't going to be able to play in the semi or the final (should they win) anyway. Otago saw it as an important opportunity to firm up the squad for their finals campaign, and so with their blessing and that of New Zealand Cricket he went. As it turns out he was only being paid $6,000 for the match, and he donated that money to Otago Youth Cricket, so as far as McCullum was concerned, he was squeaky clean.

From New South Wales perspective, they were going to be short many of their star players, not least of which bright star Dave Warner who played a large part in getting the Blues into the finals. With the amount of players absent due to international duties there were no players who realistically were serious contributors to NSW's success that would miss out - in fact, they were going to be short of quality players. Enter McCullum to solve that problem. As a New South Welshman, I was all for the idea. On a good day, McCullum is an amazing player to watch, and he holds the record for the highest Twenty20 score, playing for the Knight Riders.

Finally, for McCullum - the Champions League is worth millions. As great a lineup as the Knight Riders are on paper, their first year in the IPL was somewhat lacklustre, so their chances of qualifying this time around is no certainty, playing this one game for NSW guarantees him a place in a team that is going. If they go all the way, he will cash in. And more importantly if they do win, he will have been a part of their success - presumably having made quite significant contributions in the process.

So, it all makes sense to me really. I think Symonds had probably had a few drinks before doing the interview. Perhaps it's time for Cricket Australia to stop their players from speaking to Roy & HG. First we get "obnoxious weed(s)", now we get "lump(s) of cow dirt".

So, from the New Zealander perspective, McCullum was fine, this was all a non-issue, and then Symonds had to open his drunken mouth.