In a reprisal of a much-loved weekly feature, DEC guides you through a whistle-stop tour of the week’s news, detailing the movers and shakers from the world of cricket. In the week that the talking finally stopped and the Ashes started (after three anthems, of course), you could forgive the rest of cricket from taking a backseat. Not so; strap yourselves in, as we take you from Cardiff to Jersey to Kenya.
#MyAshesSummer The battle of words finally reached its pinnacle as the Ashes started on Wednesday: Joe Root was dropped on nought by Brad Haddin; Michael Clarke announced his wife is pregnant; Mitchell Johnson must be past it because didn’t take a pile of wickets; Root made a century; Stokes made a half-century; Chris Rogers hit his first test six; the state of the pitch had a few tongues wagging,; Alastair Cook took one in the dangly bits; Moeen Ali was Moeen Ali; Shane Watson was there; and Ricky Ponting’s new hair was in the commentary box. At the end of day two, it’s hard to call, but England look to be just a nose in front.
#RIP Memories of Phil Hughes were rekindled this week as the sad news was released that a young league player in Surrey had passed away after being hit by a cricket ball. Twenty-four-year-old Bavalan Pathmanathan, who plays in the British Tamil League, was in the middle for Manipay Parish Sports Club when he was hit on the chest by the ball. After initially giving his team-mates a “thumbs up”, he took a few steps and collapsed. He later died from the injuries.
#Minnows Jersey are due to make their World T20 qualifier debut next week, but in a warm-up match against Afghanistan on Tuesday, they were bowled out for just 46 runs in a little over ten overs. As the Netherlands hold on to their record lowest T20 total of 39, the Channel Island side will not be put off. They may be the minnowest minnow of them all, hailing from an island with a population of just 99,000, but they will look to replicate the performance in their warm-up win over Kenya, rather than that ignominious defeat, as they head into the campaign to reach the tournament in India.
#MovingOn Mike Gatting has accepted a position on the executive board of Middlesex. The former Middlesex and England captain, immortalised by many as the recipient of the ball of century, will fill the role made vacant by Andrew Strauss. Also a former England international, wicket-keeper Geraint Jones has announced his retirement from the game at the end of the season. The 38-year-old, who was part of the successful 2005 Ashes squad, has stepped down as Gloucestershire captain with immediate effect.
#LVCC Kent’s Sam Northeast has questioned the condition of county pitches after his side thumped Leicestershire in two and a half days at Grace Road, taking themselves off the bottom the Division Two table in the process. At the other end of the County Championship, Yorkshire have pushed themselves 24 points clear at the top of the Division One table with a win over Warwickshire. Somewhere in the middle, Worcestershire took a much needed win against Hampshire and, at Chesterfield, Derbyshire’s new Kiwi Hamish Rutherford fought hard and successfully denied Glamorgan their fifth consecutive championship victory.