This is a sadder story about badgers ruining a cricket ground. Here’s the first few paragraphs.
Badgers have stopped play at one of England’s oldest cricket clubs after they tore huge chunks out of the pitch.
The damage has forced Rickmansworth Cricket Club, in Hertfordshire, to postpone all of its games in April and May as staff try to repair the ground.
It is believed the badgers were attracted by bugs thriving in the damp pitch, with the club unable to treat the ground due to the cold weather.
Badgers are becoming a serious pest in many places, due to the fact that they are protected and have no natural predator. So consequently, there is getting to be a population, that doesn’t have the space and sufficient food. It’s the same with deer in some places, but at least they are good to eat.
We must get sensible about our wildlife. Foxes, badgers, grey squirrels and deer seem to get all the protection they need to prosper from well-meaning town dwellers, but that wonderful queen of the countryside; the brown hare, and the beautiful red squirrel, keep struggling.
It was reported on the BBC London News last night, that Essex County Cricket Club are negotiating to play their Twenty20 games at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in East London.
This is a brilliant idea, as if they get the marketing and ticketing right, I’m sure that they’ll get a whole load of new people to go to the cricket.
Remember, as we saw in New Zealand recently, you can play the Twenty20 version of the game in a rugby or football stadium with a drop-in wicket.
Imagine too, England against Australia at Twenty20 with 70,000 supporters looking on. Now that will be some game!
It will happen, if for no other reason, there is no other way in the UK, to get that number of people to one of the greatest and longest rivalries in world sport.
They’ve just said this, on the cricket commentary of the last game of the one-day series between England and India, as all games have been won by the side winning the toss.
I’ve always thought that the toss has too much influence.
Perhaps it would be better, if the first toss in a series was done say the day before the first match in a broadcast ceremony. And then after that the toss would alternate.
But then what do I know about cricket?
I woke early today and after sorting my e-mails, I went back to bed to listen to Test Match Special from India. It wasn’t just England’s batsman, that were in fine form, but Henry Blofeld was as well, as have gave an amazing talk on his memories of India during the lunch break.
He told the tale, about how he nearly played for England in 1963 in India, when the team was decimated by the dreaded Delhi Belly. This link points to the paragraph containing the tale in Wikipedia, but it is much less colourful than Blowers account.
He also told how in 1976, he was one of five, who took a vintage Rolls-Royce all the way to India by road, travelling through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. As it was such an immaculate vehicle, it was treated by everyone with the respect it deserved. Try doing that journey now. But it was done by many in those days. My cousin, John, did it around the same time in a Thames Trader gown van. There was even a regular bus to India called something like the Overland Trail.
Henry Blofeld until recently used to wear a pith helmet whilst reporting cricket tours like India.
He must be one of the last great British eccentrics. Hopefully, his talk will appear on the BBC iPlayer after play finishes for today. It’s well worth a listen. It’s here.
Incidentally, C who was a barrister, appeared several times in front of his elder brother, the judge, Sir John Blofeld.
Everybody knows that it always rains in Manchester. There’s even an old phrase beloved of cricket commentators.
If you can’t see the Pennines it’s already raining, if you can it’s just about to.
So why did they try to play a Twenty20 cricket match last night? Guess what? It rained, as is reported here.
England’s Twenty20 team performed badly against South Africa yesterday, but so did the Australia’s against Pakistan.
Australia now seem to be ranked below Ireland in this form of cricket.
My two favourite channels, BBC 1 and Radio 5 Live are both broadcasting continuous golf. Now I will watch it in moderation, but I’m not keen to have it rammed into both my eyes and ears.
Admittedly, I have the cricket on Sky and soon the cycling will start, but the sooner the Open golf goes to Sky, the better.
As someone famously said, golf is a good way to ruin a walk.
The Olympic Torch Relay is not even on the red button!
It could have been better, if Murray had won, instead of lost to Federer, but I doubt there is any player, who on his best form could have beaten Federer on Sunday. But as Jeff Tarango predicted, the roof issue was against Murray.
But then we did have the wonderful victory of Marray and Neilsen winning the Mens Doubles.
We did at least thrash the Aussies again, during breaks in the rain at Chester-le-Street.
I did enjoy the cable-car in the rain too.
And especially, the pop-up museum about Crossrail and the archaeology.
But otherwise I was just reading the papers, feeding myself and watching television.
At least we have the Olympics coming up.
And he’s the coach, so surely he’s shocked at himself as well. The story is here on the BBC web site.
A low-grade rumble went round The Oval on Sunday afternoon. It was the sound of schadenfreude, which until then had always felt like a concept, not a noise. But Mitchell Johnson had just overstepped in his first over – and few things titillate an English crowd more than a Johnson transgression.
Johnson is usually a self-contained problem, a pet project that Cricket Australia keeps telling us is almost there (and God help the rest of the world when he finally cracks it). But on Sunday he was symptomatic. And it was curious to watch.
There’s a lot more in the same vein.