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Aussie woes continue, but Smudge won’t budge

Things have definitely gone topsy turvy down under. The Canary Yellows’ Ashes build-up has been a mirror image of England’s feeble preparations four years ago. Injuries have ravaged their squad, nobody knows what their best team is, and their batsmen can’t buy a run. And now Monty Panesar is taking unbelievable diving one-handed catches. It’s all a bit surreal. Just to underline Australia’s problems, five of their likely top seven batsmen at Brisbane were dismissed cheaply in Sheffield Shield...

Monty takes a blinder

We guarantee you’ll watch this several times just to convince yourself it really happened.
Blimey! The footage comes from today’s action in the Australia A v England at Hobart. At stumps we were 22-1 after bowling the hosts out for 230; Chris Tremlett the star performer with 4-54.

Australia’s bunch of crocks?

In Billy Birmingham’s hilarious parody of England’s last Ashes tour, the 12th Man revelled in England’s misfortunes with injury. The story even referred to a spoof print of the Poms’ walking wounded, which included a ball lodged in Paul Collingwood’s teeth and Steve Harmison paralysed by home sickness. The photographic montage, which was memorably called ‘a bunch of crocks’, was priced at a very reasonable one thousand dollars framed or two thousand unframed (or something similar) – an...

So Cook doesn’t have a prayer, eh Chappell?

One of the lowlights of the pre-Ashes media banter is the kicking our lads usually get in the Australian press. I would write ‘gutter press’, but that goes without saying  – there is no highbrow press down under. Unfortunately for the critics however, England have started the tour pretty well. We beat Western Australia in fine style, and we’re well poised in the second warm-up match against the Red Backs in Adelaide. The Aussie hacks therefore haven’t found a lot to snipe about yet...

PCB turns its back on Zulqarnain

When has logic ever come into Pakistan cricket? The PCB today announced that Zulqarnain Haider, the wicket keeper who defied the match fixers and fled for his life, has had his central contract terminated. They didn’t even wait until they’d spoken to Haider, who presumably might have expected the support of his employers after such a harrowing experience. What do the PCB think they are doing? They claim they’re determined to root out corruption from their national game, yet they penalise...

Haider-Way: Pakistan keeper does a runner

The news broke yesterday that Pakistan’s wicket keeper Zulqarnain Haider, the man whose name we’d pay good money to hear Bill Lawry pronounce, had suddenly quit Pakistan’s matches in Dubai and fled to England. He is currently claiming asylum. Haider recently hit the winning runs in the fourth ODI against South Africa. However, he claimed he received a threatening text message beforehand demanding he throw the match. He therefore decided to do a runner sharpish – and who can blame him.

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