Wednesday, 3 December 2008

South Africa v Australia. In One Word: Tasty.

The up and coming series between Australia and South Africa is hotting up. Australia, back in form after losing in India, demolished New Zealand and are now facing their toughest task yet.

South Africa is a team not willing to bow down to Australia's lofty status as the no. 1 Test side in the world. This is due to:

a) they are pretty good anyway, NWG should know, she did witness it over the summer.
b) they're just as arrogant as Australia, which is extremely useful in many ways.
c) they have every right to be arrogant: they have in their possession very useful batsmen and some excellent fast bowlers.

And now there is their secret weapon: fill the coaching staff with as many 'consultants' as possible who have been part of teams who have beaten Australia.

Duncan Fletcher: enigmatic coach of England.
Gary Kirsten: Indian mentor.

This series is a juicy one. Aside from South Africa talking themselves up (not a surprise: what else is there to do, announce that you'll lose?), Australia are revealing some rather large dents in their armour.

But, playing in Australia is like Superman being forced to fly with kryptonite. It's a very tough ask.

NWG will be up in the early hours watching this one.

Correction: First Test is 17 December.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Awards Announced

With trumpets tooting, with men in fancy clothes with tights on, with the Queen waiting anxiously by the television, with the whole of the nation on tenterhooks: the nominees for the sports personality of the year were announced.

NWG, waiting patiently, as each name was read out (in no particular order), was shocked, when, at the end of the announcement she realised that there were no cricketers in the list.

What?

How?

Why?

And then she remembered that 2008 has not been a cricket highlight (but wait, how can that be?).

The Nominees:

Rebecca Addlington: can swim a bit and reasonably fast, but who can't?
Ben Ainslie: can point a boat in the right direction.
Joe Calzaghe: can hit people and get paid for it.
Nicole Cooke: cycles. NWG learnt how to do that when she was 5, big whoop.
Lewis Hamilton: won some races driving a car. Bet he couldn't navigate Hyde Park Corner.
Chris Hoy: another cyclist, yawn.
Andy Murray: can hit a ball with a racquet. Oh yeah, and is moody and petulant - added bonus.
Christine Ohuruogo: can stand on two legs and run. Brilliant.
Rebecca Romero: again, cycling. Going round and round and round.
Bradley Wiggins: another cyclist? zzzzz.

So, no cricketers worthy of some recognition. Is this a surprise? Nightwatchgirl thinks not. No stand out players, no heroic wins, no big games. Just same old, same old. England win some, they lose some and if they're really lucky, they draw some.

NWG will be doing a look back over the cricketing year towards the end of the month. She needs all this time to think of something interesting to say about a year as exciting as a turnip.