Ashes 100-1 Countdown: 63 Days Until the Ashes…
Daniel Gray attempts to answer the unanswerable…
With the 2010/11 cricket season so close I can almost smell it, now seems like a good time to consider the questions likely to be discussed by those in the media with less foresight than WCW in several months time. So before the deafening bugles of the Barmy Army make conversation difficult, let’s get into it.
Will Brett Lee make another comeback, or is it time for him to be put out to the media pasture?
I’ll be the first to say I was excited when Our Brett appeared on the international scene in the 1999 Boxing Day Test against India, taking 5/47 for on debut. The future looked dazzling for the latest golden boy of Australian cricket, and for awhile there, it was high times indeed. For bowlers at least, it is often said cricket is a young man’s game, and the self-proclaimed ‘fastest bowler in the world’ is no spring chicken. Years of battling injuries, combined with more recent battling with his now ex-wife have left this future star firmly in has-been territory. I’m sorry, Brett, but it’s curtains old chap. I’m sure Warney and co will welcome you with open arms to their land of nostalgia.
Will Marcus North be applying for an intervention order to prevent Callum Ferguson from entering the field of all Australian grounds?
The common saying among cynical sports fans today is that it is harder to get into the Australian team than it is to get into it. This may well be true, unless of course you are woefully inconsistent and getting more kudos for your bowling than your run-making. While this is praise the likes of Mitchell Johnson would be happy with, when you occupy the number six position in an ageing batting lineup, it doesn’t cut the mustard. Barring any unfortunate injuries to Signor Ferguson (check your ignition before starting the car…), I predict Marcus will be spending a lot more time with his Western Australian teammates by the third Ashes Test, if he lasts that long.
It amazes me that an organisation with the clout of Cricket Australia can’t seem to prevent the somewhat deranged relatives and friends of its players from talking to New Idea or whoever else opens the checkbook during the season. Serial offended of late has been Vikki Harber, mother of Our Mitch. Here’s a tip for young Mitchell – use some of the bucketloads of cash you’re no doubt pulling from your modelling gigs to placate your Mum. Is it too much to ask? Oh & perhaps consider, I don’t know, SPENDING SOME TIME IN THE NETS RATHER THAN IN FRONT OF A CAMERA. Sorry, I’m ok now.
Will Ricky Ponting break his own record for most clichés in an interview?
With the laughably fawning nature of the Australian sports media offering up Dorothy Dixers left, right and centre, Captain Grumpy Mk II may well be in line to smash this record, which is believed to be currently sitting at 83 for a 5 minute post match chat.
How many keepers will England employ this summer?
Being an English keeper comes with all the confidence of backpacking near Belangelo State Forest. It must be one of the toughest gigs in world sport. With that in mind, I predict that the Poms will use minimum 4 backstops during the 2010/11 season. For mine, I can see Matt Prior, Steve Davies and Craig Kieswetter all getting a run before January. Who is the fourth, you ask? Well, for sheer comic relief, I would love to see Paul Nixon get another Guernsey. The badger of world sport always makes me chuckle, with his complete inability to back up the big game he talks with bat or gloves.
Let’s hope we see all of the above, and maybe a comical Shane Watson injury to cap off another great summer of cricket down under.
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