Meandering toward the big IPL bucks

Big talking point is Flintoff and Pieterson’s failure to earn their money by actually playing well and that before they bugger off. This fascinating article from Lawrence Booth theorises that English players just think too damn much:

Nottinghamshire batsman Mark Wagh recalls asking his former Warwickshire team-mate Brad Hogg “about his pre-delivery movements”. He goes on: “Should I go back and across or press with the front foot?” Hogg, the former Australian left-arm wrist-spinner, replies: “Not a clue, mate, sorry.” Wagh’s conclusion? “It’s funny how aiming to middle every ball causes the rest of your game to fall into place.”

Exhibit A:’s net session; the poor bloke gets himself in bits thinking about just what the fuck his feet are up to [NOTE: Not-English Tom defends his batting in the comments on this post!] . Exhibit B: My own shonky golf game improved no end after reading this book – it says, basically, your mind needs something to do to occupy itself while your body gets on with the job. I bet Sehwag doesn’t lose much sleep thinking about his feet.

My moment of the tournament so far is Kevin Pieterson attempting to switch-stance Dan Vettori, and being bowled about halfway up middle stump (above) – if someone can find the youtube clip, I’d be very grateful.

The other highlight has been JRod’s Dirk Nannes coverage. Greater love hath no paragraph-challenged cricket blogger than that for a hairy, lairy, barely under control Aussie fast bowler.

The online buzz is, of course, the Fake IPL player blog. I’m surprised sports betting outfits aren’t running odds on the IPL stooge. The nicknames mean most of it’s flying over my head, but it’s super stuff, I’m loving the bits about the commentators making cocks of themselves, as if they needed any help. Come home, Danny Morrison, your country needs you to shut the hell up for five minutes.

Who’s going to win it – who are you putting your money on in the IPL betting? Does it even matter? Really, it hasn’t really fired yet. I’ve gone from MySky-ing entire matches to taping the 1/2 hour highlights packages if that’s any indicator. This year’s tournament has been hampered by rain and comparisons with last year’s extravaganza, which buzzed with the novelty of the big money, the dancing girls and Brendan McCallum scoring runs. For me, the IPL seems to be mostly about things that aren’t cricket related. versus Matt Gunn

Back in 2006 I wrote this rant lamenting the missed opportunity that is Radio Sport, New Zealand’s only dedicated sport radio option at the time – summarised, I said their station was as entertaining and informative as uncontrollable flatulence. Some wag must have emailed it to Matt Gunn, because the next thing I know, he’s ranting about me on air:

Listen to the MP3: mattgunn_v_sportreview (1.7MB, 1’56”)

“Gutless scumbags…. This kind of thing makes me sick… Soft-cocks, basically… I’d like to headbutt that person”.

How I laughed. Three years later, my main thought is – ‘What a dick’. OK, my site was anonymous then, but he sailed right past the big old elephant in the studio that was my point – his station was a bit shit, and he was proving it every time he breathed in. Gunn’s obviously on a one-cretin mission to bring ‘shock-jock’ to NZ sport radio, but his utter lack of good humour, wit or panache make him as funny as stinging nettles on your keyboard. And mean.

I wrote a little rebuttal. These days, I treat Radio Sport like a public urinal – I’m happy to visit for functional reasons, ie the excellent live sport commentary, but I wouldn’t want to hang around in there. Come  final whistle it goes off, well before the talk-back hordes drag knuckles from couch to phone. I’d support decent sport radio in New Zealand in a heart beat; we’ve been served up the fairly average for quite a while now.

Note one: This post is inspired by Naly D‘s recent Matt Gunn post, I dug through my email archives (hey, it turns out Gmail is really search-able!) to find the clip. Shame he’s still there. Gunn, not Naly. Ahem.

Note two: I still want to know what’s factually incorrect about it. He’s DEFINITELY a dickhead.

Note three: Matt Gunn’s profile page STILL says his favourite meal is ‘any wog dish’, three years later.

Links on Friday

Steve Hanson must get awfully bored watching the game from those little glass boxes – just look at what happens when coaches sit in the crowd. Jim Telfer is’s new hero.

Forget carb-based diets and personal trainers, to be The World’s Fastest Bowler in 1979 all you needed was a packet of Winfield Red and ill-advised moustache.  Presented by Richie Benaud, 12.

I’m sure TV Sports Journalism 101 must have something on live bits to camera vs taped bits to camera.

He must have a foot like a traction engine.

Tua / Cameron fight moves to nightclub car park

NEWSDESK: Top Kiwi heavyweights David Tua and Shane Cameron will go toe to toe in the car park of Hamilton’s Troppoz night spot in November. Originally scheduled for Waikato Stadium, then Mystery Creek, the 12 round fight now takes place in a roped off section of the 60 car capacity parking facility. “We’ve hosted a number of fights in our car park” said proprietor Greg Baartowel. “Ohaupo 2nd XV versus the cops in ’93 springs to mind.”

New Zealand’s newest boxing venue is pulling out all the stops to give fight fans their money’s worth. Corporate seating will be offered in a row of thoroughly valeted V8s ringside (“Patrons can specify Holden or Ford”), while general admission punters will get great views from temporarily erected trestle tables. ‘Mountain Man’ Shane Cameron will enter the ring from behind the bar, while David Tua and entourage will emerge from the disabled toilets. Baartowel is keen to emphasise the fight will be a family friendly event. “Like the cricket, if any kids want to get in the ring and have a fight between rounds, they can do so” he said.

Warriors launch Roller Coaster Of Emotions, scale back Rugby League

NEWSDESK: Warriors fans can now experience the highs and crushing, crushing lows of League  on the Bunco Piping Solutions Roller Coaster Of Emotions, officially launched at Sunday’s match.

Fans arrived at the stadium to be greeted by drummers, booming music and cheerleaders, before being loaded onto Warriors Wagons and taking a ride into the sporting future. “This ride’s a grassroots amusement park entertainment package that’ll blow New Zealand away” said Marketing Manager Dan ‘3G’ Mann. “Bring the whole family – show your Warriors support by going around and around and around!” The $63.00 ride features:

  • interviews and make up tips with Ropo and Stephen McIvor in the queue
  • a dizzying switchback from Jaws Of Victory to Jaws Of Defeat
  • a trip past a towering Steve Price head replica that chants ‘Pricey’ with moving mechanical jaw and eyes that light up
  • a mind-numbing winter losing streak simulator with driving hail, frostbitten fingers and 125  db Costo voice over
  • ‘The Comeback’, a caged Warriors’ great making an emotional return to Mount Smart. Player refreshes each fortnight
  • Mad Butcher / Meat Cleaver chamber of horrors Halloween special
  • waving big flags

Mann explained:  “We’re competing for people’s entertainment dollars, and the roller coaster means a consistent match day experience like never before. In fairness, we can see it eliminating the need for the Rugby League arm of our business altogether.”

Overseas clubs have already been in touch to swap notes with the Auckland franchise. The Gold Coast Titans have opened talks to play their home games at MovieWorld, and Manchester United are developing the ‘Alex Fergusson Red Face of Rage Roller Ride” behind their Old Trafford base.