"I played at state junior level but I made a decision between cricket and squash when I was about 15 or 16 as to which one I wanted to follow."
"I loved both the sports, but it was the team element of cricket that appealed to me. The whole notion of winning together, losing together, celebrating together, commiserating together.
"On the squash court there is just you, and I battled with putting too much pressure on myself at times.
"With the team, if I don't perform, then there's 10 other blokes that can win a game for us."
Through no fault of his own, Simon Katich did a similar thing yesterday after a minor groin strain sustained at training forced him to surrender his spot.
Enter the replacement left-hander Phil Jaques. And just on a month after making an inauspicious Test debut at the MCG when he made scores of two and 28, Jaques seized his chance with the flair and gusto of a man intent on answering promptly after opportunity came knocking.
His 94 - the highest score by an Australian on one-day international debut - was as scintillating as it was essential given the otherwise ordinary Australia batting effort.
‘‘Yes, Sehwag spoke to me and asked me if I could help the team. He said, ‘We would want you for the ODIs later’ but, most importantly, asked me to get ready for next season.’’
‘‘Fitness is not a problem. I am in good shape and can give support from experience and help the youngsters to groom.’’
‘‘I think I can contribute, otherwise, I wouldn’t have agreed. Obviously, I can’t be as quick as I used to be, but I can still bowl hard and bat well. If they want, I can report to nets and prove myself.’’
"While present-day cricketers promote the need for the spirit of cricket to be adhered to, many of them do not propose to follow in action this norm, which they publicly endorse in words," Simpson said.
"This, of course, includes not only sledging but excessive appealing, disrespecting the umpiring decisions and using their well-paid, generally ghost-written columns to bait opposition teams and players.
"I find all of this rather distasteful and not in the better interests of the game.
"In fact, public criticism of the opposition now seems to be part of the team tactics.
"All this reminds me of the behaviour of small children and the bravado they use to disguise their own fallibilities."
John Bracewell heads the unusual list. He was a gravedigger. Talk about a dead end job! The burly Zimbabwean, Eddo Brandes thrived on his reputation as a chicken farmer whilst collecting opposition ducks during the 1992 World Cup. Geoff Boycott certainly would not have flashed too many smiles whilst clocking in for the Yorkshire Electricity Board. The fearsome West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts would have cut a far more serene figure as a fisherman than trying to knock blocks off. His fellow assassin, Colin Croft, was an air traffic controller and a pilot. Joel Garner sent the odd message to batsmen in his heyday but would have been less venomous in his intent as a telegraph operator.
It will be no surprise to anyone to hear that the eccentric Colin Miller was a barman or perhaps that Fred Trueman was a coal miner. Former New Zealand captain Geoff Howarth used to pump out the runs for his country and also the petrol for his company. Michael Holding was a garage owner as well as a computer programmer and many a batsman wished he had continued that way.
John Bracewell however has a rival as the most bizarre employment. Australia's latest addition to the national one-day squad is a bloke named Brett Dorey who happens to stand 6'7". He boasts an intriguing past. Three years ago he was involved in a severe snowboarding accident in Austria that left him unable to run and thinking a sporting career was burned. But the real story even started before that. After an initial crack at cricket as a fast bowler, he ditched the game due to lack of interest and success and opted to travel around Europe.
He is about to make his debut for his country, which I think you will all agree is a far cry from being a menacing dark sunglasses clad two metre tall bodyguard for a Russian businessman!
Labels: Andy Roberts, Bizarro World, Brett Dorey, Colin Croft, Colin Miller, Eddo Brandes, Fred Trueman, Geoff Boycott, Geoff Howarth, Joel Garner, John Bracewell, Links to opinion pieces, Micheal Holding, Mike Haysman
Labels: Virender Sehwag
"The criticism is always there and it was even throughout the England series although there were results and batsmen made runs, fast bowlers took wickets and leggies did too. So many experts start bemoaning a pitch straight from the first hour of play so that is always there. Pitches change over the course of a match and the weather plays a big part in that, which people don't take account of. The weather is one thing we can't help and this time the cold and damp really hasn't helped at all."
Symonds (66 off 61) fell to a freak dismissal when his straight drive hammered into Michael Clarke's boot and lobbed to Dilshan. It mattered little by then, and as Symonds departed he grinned at a smiling Clarke and indicated he was owed a post-match pint.
Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, writing a column in a national daily here, has taken pot-shots at the Indian team.
“Cricket is extremely popular in India too. Family soaps shown on the various television channels in that country are also very popular,” wrote Inzamam in The News.
“I have been given to understand that these TV series basically depict family squabbles. A cricket team is also like a family but in our TV-plays, family disputes are not the staple fare. Similarly, there are no disputes within our team either. I must assure you that the team is united,” wrote Inzamam.
The end of 2005 saw a new beginning for the Vice Captain of the Indian cricket team Virender Sehwag. He launched his signature restaurant Sehwag Favourites in Delhi's Fun Republic cineplex to reach out to his fans by catering his favourite dishes.
Most of the dishes on the menu are named after his memorable matches like "Multan ke Sultan Ki Tikdi" (dish for three persons), "Unbeaten Century Partnership " (dish for two persons), "Half Century Partnership" (dish for single person), etc.
In fact even the prices of some of the dishes are fixed in remembrance of some of Sehwag's scoring matches. The price of the dish "Multan Ki Sultan Ki Tikdi" is Rs.309 to remember the innings at Multan where he scored 309 runs.
Coach John Bracewell said a top-order player had to be sacrificed to make room for Stephen Fleming. That decision was made shortly after Astle steered New Zealand to victory with an unbeaten 90 in Christchurch on Tuesday.
"They are always tough decisions but I want to continue with the long-term planning toward the World Cup, which is developing a competitive squad in all positions," Bracewell said.
"We know that Nathan has the experience and we know that he has the skills, but we need to develop the depth to be competitive internationally."