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Cricket

The ICC World Cup, Sponsored By Mogadon… England Scrape Past Bangladesh By 4 Wickets

England made a dreadful hash of this game, and if the Bangladeshis had put another forty odd runs on the board, we could have been staring down the barrel.

There is no way I want to detract from a fine Tiger’s performance, and it infuriates me the way commentators write them off before each game. They beat a full strength Aussie outfit at Sofia Gardens in 2005, and put India on the plane home in this Tournament as well as doing England a favour by defeating South Africa here.

The Competition is doing it’s best to destroy any lingering interest in the International One Day scene thanks to sluggish pitches and half empty, sterile stadia.

There are far too many pointless fixtures spread out over far too long a time frame, and for the players it must be the worst tour on the calendar with massive gaps between competitive activity.

Fletcher is quite clearly losing the plot as his said; “Vaughan is in great touch in the nets”. IN THE BLEEDIN NETS!

I used to be a combination of Gower and Bradman in practice, but made Monty and Tuffnell look like a certain IVA Richards once in the middle. What a stupid statement from a Coach who must be living in a bubble of non reality.

We bowled well and did the job, but the batters are all over the place, and to me Flintoff just looks so out of form with the bat against spin that it’s like watching a golfer with the yips.

When Bopara departed it left us reeling at 110/6, but thankfully the irrepressible Nixon and a phlegmatic Collingwood saw England home. But one more wicket would have really opened an end up and seen real, and stupidly unnecessary pressure come to bear on an inexperienced tail….

On Another Note…

The Summer Game is by far my favourite sport, and there are many to choose from as my long suffering wife would tell anyone. Only horse related stuff and motor sports have me reaching for the off switch, or turning the page in the paper.

Hull City apart I have found myself falling out of love with football and at the risk of sounding like a cross between Frank Keating and John Giles, the modern game is a lucre soaked charade, masquerading as our National Game.

There are many factors at work but money is the root of it all, alienating the Clubs and players from the fans whom they just treat with nothing but contempt.

Allied to this you have the sterility of the Premiership where there hasn’t been a true three way Title Race in a generation. Even as a (now pseudo) Arsenal fan I can’t get excited about a race for fourth place. It seems the only “excitement” is at the wrong end, punctuated with nervy, error strewn games which are only of real consequence to followers of the protagonists.

The Championship is far more honest, and a better reflection of the game in this country as the players are mainly British/Irish, and whilst I’m under no illusions regarding “loyalty”, it is at least in some evidence in this League.

SuperLeague, likewise has that unpredictability that sport thrives on, as you have four teams genuinely disputing the Championship with Hull FC showing what can be done by getting to the 2006 Grand Final, which will spur on the likes of Warrington to push for the final stages and Old Trafford Glory.

This season has seen KR winning at Wigan, plus Les Catalans returning from Odsal and Craven Park with the points, whilst securing a draw at Walton Street against a flabbergasted Hull FC.

You simply can’t take your eyes off this Competition and I feel soccer could learn from the Salary cap which has opened up matters after a decade of Dave Whelan financed Wigan dominance.

But, as ever the Soccer Chairmen can’t see beyond their own interests, but the empty seats and lack of general football related conversation, plus the abysmal performances of England mean that the bubble will surely burst. But then again, this prediction has been made year on year without coming true. More’s the pity.

But… back to the ICC World Cup Sponsored By Mogadon.

In 1992 both Pakistan and England stumbled in the early phases but came good when it mattered, as indeed England did at the CWB Series this winter, so hopefully we can catch S. Africa on an off day and finish off a poor West Indies outfit. Then it’s the semis and anything can happen.

But the fact that Stuart Clark can’t make the Aussie side tells you all you need to know about the probable winners.

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About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.

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