A bunch of cunts, mostly in the Australian sense. Except that one guy.

Ashes blah, test blah blah. Cricket is the best sport ever. Bla

Well McGrath has been ruled out of the match at the last minute, debut for Tait, looks like it could be another exciting test.
Permalink qwe 
August 25th, 2005
Tait can be expensive - witness his spell at Durham last year. If England manage to rattle him, or they manage to get the atmosphere to have an effect, he could prove to be just as costly as Gillespie. And I don't think we've seen anything from Kasprowicz yet that will be striking fear into the batsmen. Should be an interesting one...
Permalink Andrew Cherry 
August 25th, 2005
The next item will be Ponting winning the toss then tossing whether to bat or bowl. Heh.
Permalink trollop 
August 25th, 2005
Nope, Vaughan won, decided to bat.
Permalink el 
August 25th, 2005
Early predictions on this one?

I'd like to think England will continue to play with the intensity they've shown in the last couple of matches, but can't help feeling the longer gap after the draw will have suited the Aussies more. I'm going for another draw here I think.
Permalink qwe 
August 25th, 2005
How do you match "intensity" with "cricket"?
There's nothing intense in it / to it.
It's boring. An that's ok, most other sports are boring occasionally but at least in most other sports the game ends after 2-3 hours tops.
Permalink Geert-Jan Thomas 
August 25th, 2005
Cricket consists of 5-20 second bursts of excitement separated by a minute or so of drinking beer. Makes the days go quite quickly.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 25th, 2005
"...Cricket consists of 5-20 second bursts of excitement..."

Which is pretty much all the explaination you need as to why focus is so important in the game, far more so than in football or rugby.
Permalink qwe 
August 25th, 2005
Having a largish lump of leather-covered wood heading for your head at 50-80 mph tends to concentrate the mind too...
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 25th, 2005
Could you guys please quit blogging about Cricket in here?
Permalink muppet 
August 25th, 2005
Sorry, I was just a bit bored waiting to hear what you ate for dinner tonight, do carry on :)
Permalink qwe 
August 25th, 2005
We could - but to be blunt we're not going to. I'd avoid the thread because the ball-by-ball coverage will start soon.

Speaking of which England won the toss and we're currently 120-1.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 25th, 2005
I don't understand Cricket scores at all. It always seems to be some 3 digit number vs some 1 digit number. Makes no sense.
Permalink muppet 
August 25th, 2005
The first figure is the number of runs we've got and the second the number of batsman who have been given out.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 25th, 2005
hundreds of runs? Don't you crazy limeys get tired, doing all that running?
Permalink muppet 
August 25th, 2005
Fortunately they aren't always required to do all the running. If the ball lands the other side of the boundary (a rope set in the ground) it scores 6 runs, if it rolls and hits the boundary rope it's 4. Otherwise it's the two batsman running up & down.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 25th, 2005
And you people call American sports stupid?

Where's the part where you hike your skirt and show off your flowered panties?
Permalink muppet 
August 25th, 2005
And after the first session the bizarre events that have gone on in thie Ashes series continue with Strauss caught off his boot and Trescothwick saved by a No Ball.

England certainly have the upper hand and took the advantage in the first session with 129 for the loss of one wicket. Wayward and non-penetrative bowling by the Aussies seems to be the main cause.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 25th, 2005
Wayward and non-penetrative seem to be terms that describe most folks here.
Permalink muppet 
August 25th, 2005
Not usually - we just tend to look at you in a funny way for claiming that a national competition constitutes a world series.

Ok we may have said unkind things about synchronised swimming - but I'm afraid the strange fixed grins had us pissing ourselves laughing. Still do.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 25th, 2005
Just stand there whilst I bowl this leather covered cork ball at you...
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 25th, 2005
Once the US has a *real* empire they can introduce their silly looking games to everyone else. Perhaps you could invite Iraq along to the next World Series?
Permalink qwe 
August 25th, 2005
It's called the World Series because all nations of consequence are invited to participate.

Duh.
Permalink muppet 
August 25th, 2005
Both the US & Texas presumably;-)
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 25th, 2005
Just amending my atlas, it is obviously out of date - how many countries are there now? Two? :)
Permalink qwe 
August 25th, 2005
Strewth. We're running up a lot of sundries - more no balls than Goebbels.

That's 3 overs squandered.
Permalink trollop 
August 25th, 2005
Or as the Guardian OBO report says

"We've had more no balls than an Eunuch's convention this morning"
Permalink el 
August 25th, 2005
I just chanced upon this, ideal for anyone who doesn't understand what the hell we're talking about:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sportacademy/hi/sa/cricket/rules/default.stm
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 25th, 2005
Bloody rain.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 25th, 2005
>Once the US has a *real* empire they can introduce their >silly looking games to everyone else. Perhaps you could >invite Iraq along to the next World Series?

haha

At the end of the last test there were 7.7million people watching it! Great stuff!

England for a win...
Permalink Dan 
August 25th, 2005
A mini collapse after the rain breaks.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 25th, 2005
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sportacademy/hi/sa/cricket/rules/etiquette/newsid_3830000/3830937.stm says that "dangerous" bowling is a no-no, for which the umpire might order a captain to send a bowler off. Is that true? I thought that "body-line" bowling was usual, and that batsmen wear head-protection gear for good reason.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 25th, 2005
Not that anyone actually cares, but there really will be an interanational baseball championship in 2006.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2057633

And it's not at all clear that the U.S. will win.

As for the World Series, at this point it's not so much an accurate moniker in the sense that the best players are born in the U.S., but in the sense that the world's best players mostly end up in Major League Baseball because that's where all the money is.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 25th, 2005
The bowler gets wided if he bowls too many short pitched balls. That's different to body line, called leg theory, where a fast full length ball is pitched on leg to move to off.

The description rule 42 in wikipedia seems a bit archaic but deliberately bowling above the shoulders and on a leg stump line is either given as a wide or no balled. If a bowler is warned then he can be stopped from bowling for the rest of the innings.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 25th, 2005
'... it's not at all clear that the U.S. will win'

Well, this is the point, isn't it - it isn't countries competing, so why should it be a World Series? World *Club* Series maybe.

If you could use club sides to represent the country the [football] World Cup would likely never leave Europe.

Back to the cricket - it looks like we need another captain's innings from Vaughan to steady the boat.
Permalink qwe 
August 25th, 2005
I think someone needs to sue the Olympics for false advertising - it's rarely anywhere NEAR Olympus.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 25th, 2005
Well, the olympics are named after olympus and the world series are named after "the world"?
And since the world series take part on "the world" I guess the name makes more sense than the olympics.
But then again. Is there any other place/world to go?
Permalink Geert-Jan Thomas 
August 25th, 2005
OK, so I went to see the Padres play the Astros last night at Petco Park. Can anyone tell me where the excitement is in watching Baseball?
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 25th, 2005
You didn't drink enough beer.

http://www.snpp.com/episodes/9F14.html

(search for "I never realized how boring")
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 25th, 2005
The one thing I've never got about baseball is that the crowd is in entirely the wrong place to see anything much. Apart from those immediately behind the plate what do you get to see?

Some guy running to first base that 90% of the time is out before he gets there and once or twice in an entire game there's some interesting set up with bases loaded.

Every baseball fan should watch cricket.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 26th, 2005
Actually a large number of balls went into the crowd, so there was some definite excitment in avoiding being knocked unconscious by a wayward missile.
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 26th, 2005
"Every baseball fan should watch cricket."

Hmm. Maybe the relationship between baseball and cricket scoring is the inverse of the relationship between Football (U.S.) and Metric Football (Everywhere Else) scoring.

In baseball, except for the home run, several things have to go right in succession to actually score. Get 3 guys on base, then strike out to end the inning, and you receive 0 recognition on the scoreboard. From the descriptions here, it seems like any minor success in Cricket gets you several points on the board ("He missed the ball, but looked good doing it! Two points!").

On the other hand, American Football gives you 6 points for a "goal", plus the opportunity to tack on an almost automatic 1 point against a so-so chance of scoring 2. Then add in the fact you can wimp out and score 3 points by kicking the ball over a cross bar. Lots of opportunities to keep those numbers moving on the scoreboard.

In soccer (oops, Metric Football) you watch guys running around for 90 minutes to apparently no effect. Except, occassionally every few games or so, the ball ends up in the goal and grown men weep as if they have just witnessed the birth of their first child.

Of course, there's also rugby, and Mad Max Aussie rules. But I'm going to ignore those as they would complicate my analysis.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 26th, 2005
I think part of the beauty of cricket lies in the subtleties, so to a newcomer it probably does look pretty dull -- a bunch of guys in sweaters stood about, every now and then a bunch of them will jump up in the air and shout "owzat!" for no readily apparent reason, and people will score points when nothing seems to have actually happened.

Then you have all the things like silly mid off, short leg, googlies, and Chinamen which, if you're not in on the gag, are utter nonsense.

In other words the barrier to entry is pretty high, bit if you can sit through a game or two with someone on hand to help you get past the initial confusion you'll find that cricket is a complex mix of long-term tactics, physical skill*, and sheer bravery (unlike baseball, where the ball is thrown to one side of the batsman and he's relatively safe, in cricket there's a pretty good chance that at some point you're going to get hit by a 5 or 6 oz rock solid hunk of leather travelling at close to 100mph; facing a top-flight fast bowler induces an almost unstoppable urge to flinch!), and is as much about sportsmanship as it is about the game itself.

Plus it's an excuse to sit about drinking beer for days at a stretch...

* Both batting and bowling are a lot more involved than they look. Watch what Shane Warne does with the ball as it leaves his hand and you can't help but be impressed.
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 26th, 2005
From my observation the batter in baseball doesn't seem to have much opportunity for finesse when hitting the ball, to control where it goes. It seems like often times the ball will go flying up in the air to be caught, or back into foul territory.
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 26th, 2005
Careful inspection of the respective bats may provide a clue.

Everything's stacked against the baseball batter. The rules are much the same as 'Tip and run' cricket but the bat is round, lessening control. Were the pitcher allowed a run-up before pitching scoring would become as elusive as in soccer. :-)
Permalink trollop 
August 26th, 2005
"It seems like often times the ball will go flying up in the air to be caught, or back into foul territory."

Actually, fouling pitches off is a very important skill. A batter can't strike out on a foul ball, so by sending difficult pitches foul, he forces the pitcher to pitch more pitches, in the hope that the next one is something more to his liking.

Furthermore, in modern baseball a critical statistic is the "pitch count". Because pitchers need to pitch at near peak velocity to be effective against major league hitters, by forcing more pitches in fewer innings teams can force the other team to switch pitchers sooner than they would like. And maximum pitch counts are generally set by managers before a game starts, as a pitcher's arm is a long term investment that cannot be squandered through overwork.

Similarly, being able to assess balls and strikes is a crucial skill because taking called balls increases pitch count without giving any advantage to the pitcher or his team. Good hitters will both foul off difficult pitches in the strike zone and refrain from offering at pitches outside the zone.

And back to the placement thing. If a runner is on third base and less than two outs, a good hitter will know that a ground ball hit to the right side will likely score a run. Also, if a batter has a tendency to always hit the ball to one part of the field, defenses will bunch their fielders on that side to force him to try to hit the ball somewhere else.

George Will said something like, "For something that appears to be such a leisurely game, there's barely enough time for all the thinking that needs to be done between pitches."
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 27th, 2005
Yeah, but it still amazes me how you can pack 25 minutes' hot action into an entire afternoon(1). Cricket requires 5 days to sometimes find a result.

(1) I mormally apply this slight to American footy.
Permalink trollop 
August 27th, 2005
mormally <-normally. Heh, too much "dry rot" already.
Permalink trollop 
August 27th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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