Author Archives: davybart

Awwwww moment of the week.

This is apparently what Mushtaq Ahmed says to Graeme Swann, according to Graeme Swann obviously,

“I love it when you have a smile on your face. You and me, Mr Swanny, we enjoy our cricket and we must always have a smile on our face.”

Something tells me that Shah should spend a week with the England spinning coach.

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Sussex fluff super over!!!

In a minor miracle yesterday Sussex managed to take the Eagles to a super over having defended the pathetic target of 119!

Mr Cool Rory Hamilton-Brown (so good they named him twice) bowled like a trooper to set up a cracking last 6 from Arafat who only narrowly missed out on winning the game with amazing consistency.

At this point my dad came in (big sussex man) and he happily sat down to see the final exciting moments! Yas bowled another great over restricting the eagles to 9…. easy, easy. All Wright and Smith had to do was hit 2 fours and they were home.

Instead, in the greatest sporting anti-climax in history, smith comes out and gives the first straight ball the haymaker, misses and gets cleaned bowled. On comes Rory Hamilton-Brown to save the day or at least get Wright on strike.

Instead he opts to copy Smith but with a little more finesse and gets bowled too! My dad, who’s just sat down with his tea mumbles something about 20/20 being stupid and we switch onto the one show… Sigh!

The only consolation was being able to watch cricket on Eurosport…. amazing!

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ICC CT final!!!!!

For those who doubted whether the final would be a barnstorming event, I give you the New Zealand starting XI.

1 Brendon McCullum (wk, capt), 2 Aaron Redmond, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Neil Broom, 6 Grant Elliot, 7 James Franklin, 8 J Patel, 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Shane Bond, 11 Ian Butler.

…….Oh god!

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What a difference a month makes

This half of the leading edge staff has a confession to make, one that may well deter readers who visit us for our insight and rigour. The truth is as follows, I have been out of the country for month in the decidedly cricketless (and some might say gutless etc) France.

During this time I was vaguely aware that England seemed to be losing every 50 over encounter with Australia, Stuart Broad had appeared with ‘Woss the Toss’ with what can only have been an appalling intro from 4 poofs and a piano (you can see them live u know. Why!?), and Oasis have split up.

Needless to say I was only glad to hear the latter piece of news, although the demise of Manchester’s biggest has been’s may well explain the unconvincing performances of Graeme Swann against the ozzies. Perhaps Jimmy got him out of his malaise for the final one dayer by sitting young Graeme down and saying,

‘Look mate, Oasis died in 2000 with the release of… [takes a moment to think] Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, which we all now was crap. We should be thankful it’s over. Now get out there and play!!!’

We can only speculate.

Then I returned to find England redux. With exactly no expectation on their shoulders, they have coasted past Sri Lanka, crushed the Proteas and topped it all off with a perfectly timed self-inflicted battering from New Zealand to calm everyone down in anticipation of a semi-final with the Ozzies. This latter loss has got to be the greatest piece of captaincy since Younus Kahn shrugged off Pakistan’s opening defeat in the 20/20 by claiming that it was a joke tournament and they weren’t really that bothered anyway! Then they went on to win it! Genius!

Owais Shah, I remember him as well, a precocious talent who just seemed to lack a basic enjoyment of batting. Now Flower’s given him some courage pills and he can’t stop hitting sixes. It’s like friends of mine (not me obviously) who spent the whole of their uni lives shuffling around various dance floors wondering whether to ask a girl if she wanted a drink. More often than not they wouldn’t get round to it and be forced to return home for yet another wank and weep, consoling themselves that there are overweight people in the world who never even have a hope with girls. Then one day they just thought, ‘screw it’, and snogged the face off the first female who fleetingly caught their eye line. He who dares wins.

Then there’s Morgan, the Irish international who plays for England somehow avoiding any public outcry, despite the fact it is basically cheating. Eduardo Da Silva may dive but at least he doesn’t change his national allegiance on a whim…. oh… wait…. he does.

Anyway, he’s become England’s first one day specialist (I would say since Bell was a specialist ODI opener but the outcry would be too great). As a result we no longer have to sit through the last ten overs of a game praying that Foster will somehow fluke a six and crying ‘wither Paul Nixon!?’

And Collingwood, dear, dear Collingwood. I’ll admit, sometimes I just wish he’d be consistently bad so we wouldn’t have to endure another one of his droughts and have everyone pointing out that he’s a ‘good trainer’, followed by one heroic innings that makes him ‘undroppable’ for the next year. But even he is threatening to be consistent now.

In short, a month of me being away has changed a lot. Long may it continue.

PS: I said Morgan was England’s first one day specialist for effect. Of course we all know Paul Nixon was the original specialist, just like everyone knows he was playing the ‘Nixon sweep’ long before Dilshan stole the idea.

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The Leading Edge picks the next England XI

Yes, we won the Ashes, something we all kinda thought would happen after Lord’s, then thought would never happen after Headingley then definitely thought should happen after Stuart Broad.

But thanks to the ECB’s decision to exclude the 7 million or so viewers who don’t fancy giving their dollars to Sky there is no call for the nation to celebrate as one. So The Leading Edge will accommodate its necessarily niche audience by looking to the future. So here’s one half of The Leading Edge’s view of what the team should look like for South Africa:

1. Strauss. Of course… Man of the series and the only batsman who the nation really trusts.

2. Key. Its tempting to say Denly, a part of me even fancied Luke Wright, or screw it, even Lord Rory Hamilton-Brown, to make the move. After all Watson proved that you don’t need to be an opening batsman to open the batting. But Key’s the man. He’s done it before and should be solid enough if a little fat.

3. ….which of course opens the door for Cook at 3. He’s good enough to play at test level as the rankings show. Taking the pressure off him could help him immeasurably.

4. KP. Love him or hate him, England are just better with the NOTW hack on the teamsheet. He has that Iron Will to win lacking in the middle order and is just fun to watch.

5. Bell. Although Trott is in consideration, we should not forget Bell’s experience as a No. 5 where his average is much higher. Lest we forget that Bell top scored in the first innings at the Oval when England were on the rack!

6. Prior. Good with the gloves and can counter attack well with….

7. ….Broad. A genuine all rounder who will put on runs with the tail. Does anyone still doubt him as a bowler?

8. Swann. Let’s just forget about Panesar shall we, Swann’s our man even if he was a tad erratic against the Aussies.

9. Anderson. Not always effective but when it swings he’s the best in the world.

10. Harmison. Controversial we know, but what other England bowler is hammering on the door to be Straussies ‘fast and nasty’. Tell Tremlett and Plunkett to take some more wickets and stay fit, but until then its Steve all the way.

11. Onions. As Glenn McGrath used to tell young bowlers, ‘to be great you’ve just got to bowl 99/100 deliveries on off stump.’ Onions may not be the metronome but he’s got the most control in the England attack.

That’s that, not the most inspiring selection I know, but it kept me up all last night as I mused on what a force England would become in the future.

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ICC to give Broad gender test

In the face of an emerging trend of gender testing of athletes, the cricketing world was rocked today as it emerged that Stuart Broad is to undergo a gender test after an increasing atmosphere of rumour and suspicion built up around the young quick.

Is that stubble?

Is that stubble?

Our ICC source told the leading edge that ‘it is has come to the attention of the ICC that Stuart Broad’s gender has come into question. Our suspicions were raised after it was noted he has longish blond hair and tends to argue with umpires when he doesn’t get his way.’

Questions have been raised with regards to the ICC’s handling of this scandal and the damage it may do to young Broad who has come to view himself as male.

Male rights groups have protested that the accusations are sexist being based purely on Broad’s slightly effeminate appearance. The saga continues.

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Swann Song: Graeme Logs in

swannMy 5th Test preview!!

Posted by Graeme Swann, Wednesday 19th August

Swannie here, England’s number one spinner and generally good bloke. I’m often compared to this hilarious chaps in the WKD adverts. Have I got a WKD side? I should say so! HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! Must tell Jimmy that one, Jimmy’ll love that, classic banter!!!

Anyway, the chaps have all been getting prepared for the big test and spirits are high after that hiccup in Leeds. I’ve been doing my best to keep the morale with my usual high jinks. For example, the other day Cooky was fresh out the shower and drying his face with a towel. I picked up a piping hot cuppa and proceeded to dip Cooky’s little man in it, or as we call it, ‘The little chef!’ Geddit, chef, cook. Classic banter!!! Jimmy’ll love that.

Cooky went mad and all the lads thought it was hilarious except cooky who jokingly threatened to drop me the second he was made skipper. Then stormed off to Flower’s office, not sure why he always goes there when I wind him up, probably to discuss technique or something.

Anyway, they can’t drop me anymore, I’m England’s number one. Plus my banter is second to none, the lads love it, especially at the start of a day’s play. I’ll be there, winding up Straussy that he’s gonna fail to build on his overnight score again, then rubbing it right in when he comes back having added nothing. HA HA. Classic banter. Straussy clearly loves it though as he’s promoted me to honorary spokesman of the team.

The SKY lot will come in when I’m playing ‘hide Monty’s turban’ or something and ask for someone to do an interview with Atherton. Strauss always volunteers me now without hesitation, ‘Piss off Swann and do the f**kin interview’ he says, great banter. I like having a chat with the camera’s and being ‘cheeky Graeme Swann’, everyone loves it. It’s ashame I have to miss out on all the banter in the dressing room before play though. In fact, I don’t think there’s much without me. Whenever I get back into the pavilion all the lads look bloody depressed. They miss the Swann’s presence clearly.

People think there must be some animosity between me and Monty, what with me taking his place and all, but that’s far from the case. I’m always there making jokes with him about his turban and calling him the ‘turbanator’, much funnier than the ‘Shermanator’, although American Pie is a classic film. In fact, I think I was the one who made him play so well on that final day in Cardiff. Many a time the skipper felt like his resolve was flagging so he sent out twelthy and the physio to remind him that I was waiting for him in the dressing room and he applied himself again. That’s the Swann factor, oh my god, we should do that. Make a show like the X-Factor but where people try to be like me, classic, must tell Jimmy about that one!!!
Right, I’m off now to listen to some Oasis, Wonderwall is clearly the best tune of eva!!! Jimmy thinks that Blur are better, what a fool!

Graeme Swann is an England Test cricketer, you can follow his twitter here.  The fee from this column has been donated to charity.

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