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Funny Comments!

“England have to be very careful, because Matt Prior could wither and die.”
Ian Chappell forgets that England’s wicketkeeper is a human being, not a daffodil, after dropping Sachin Tendulkar on the first day at The Oval

“It doesn’t get better than having a beer named after you.”
Matthew Hoggard, after having a bitter named The Night Watchman named in his honour. Has he forgotten the Ashes already?

“My dad runs a takeaway in Paisley and I have to help out this weekend because my mum and brother are both away in Pakistan, one of our chefs is unavailable and our delivery driver has gone to jail for three weeks.”
Well, that’s one reason (or two) to make yourself unavailable for Scotland. With a few players withdrawing from the Ireland match, Majid Haq‘s excuse was the most bizarre

“Murali will complete 1000 Test wickets but they would count as mere run-outs in my eyes.”
Bishan Bedi doesn’t seem to tire of baiting Muttiah Muralitharan

“I think I played as long as I could mentally. Physically the body feels great, but the mental side of it is another thing.”
Glenn McGrath on why he decided to quit

“What we are striving to do in the 50-over game is have more consistency. We can beat the best on our day but we can also put in some pretty substandard performances and that is what we are looking to do.”
England’s chairman of selectors, David Graveney, doesn’t quite say what he means while announcing the squad for the NatWest Series against India

“I can’t afford to take a step back in income because we are looking for a bigger house at the moment.”
Scotland’s Glenn Rogers highlights the differences between the big boys and the Associates after a course arranged by his employers caused him to miss a Scotland match

“They should be forced to play their next game in short trousers.”
Veteran cricket writer John Woodcock on England’s childish behaviour at Trent Bridge

“I’m driving a Porsche Carrera; what’s your car?”
Sledging by an England player picked up on a stump microphone at Trent Bridge

“People say that sport is not a matter of life and death, but for a few seconds there I thought my number was up.”
Kevin Pietersen is not too proud to reveal that Sreesanth’s beamer was the first time he was shaken up on a cricket pitch

“There is no phantom sweetie-thrower in the England side. Boys will be boys and during a drinks break we started chucking the beans at each other. We were just messing about and there was nothing sinister in it.”
This time, Pietersen shows his sweet tooth

“The ICC has taken the initiative and appointed a two-member committee, and the issue is expected to figure at an ICC meeting at Dubai on August 6.”
What issue? Yes, the jelly bean issue. At least, that according to Sharad Pawar, the president of the BCCI. The ICC, on the other hand, deny his claim

“They definitely came from a fielder and I just felt it was insulting.”
Zaheer Khan explains why he was unhappy with an England ‘prank’ of lobbing jelly beans in his batting crease

“I think he prefers the blue ones to the pink ones.”
Paul Collingwood pours petrol on the fire. Zaheer had the last laugh with five second-innings wickets

“For f***’s sake.”
Non striker Michael Vaughan after Sreesanth bowled a head-high beamer at Kevin Pietersen. Sreesanth was later fined 50% of his match fee after earlier barging into Vaughan deliberately

“The problem is when you behave like he behaves, then people will start to ask questions.”
Michael Holding’s views on Sreesanth after a head-high beamer to Kevin Pietersen

“He’s a batsman with a pair of gloves, maybe for no apparent reason.”
David Lloyd doesn’t give Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s keeping a huge vote of confidence as he fumbles the ball

“I know it’s not me because I prefer Wine Gums.”
Matt Prior absolves himself of any responsibility following reports that a Jelly Bean was spotted on a length during the Test

“When I was 17, I started watching it on the telly as it was a great way of occupying five days before the next dole cheque came in.”
Rock band Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell explains his interest in cricket

“My kids don’t keep their room very clean but I don’t kick them out of home.”
Darren Lehmann hopes Australia’s Centre of Excellence has not overreacted by sending three players home for having a messy room

“It’s worth noting that Mark is a fine young man, albeit an untidy one.”
Rod Marsh, the SACA’s high performance manager, on Cosgrove.

“We’ve now got an outdoor swimming pool – fifty metres or so? It’s probably the biggest swimming pool in England.”
Worcestershire batsman Phil Jaques isn’t too downhearted about the lack of indoor training facilities at the flooded New Road

“As far as I’m concerned cricket is like a biscuit, and anyone can make a biscuit.”
Dean Jones’ witty response when asked about the stringent opposition to ICL by the BCCI and the ICC

“I don’t know all the rules, but I don’t know all the rules of Quidditch either.”
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe on his conversion to cricket – he attended the Lord’s Test on his 18th birthday this week.

“If he plays like this every time he takes a week’s holiday, perhaps the selectors should let him have a week off more often. Maybe he should take the rest of the batsmen with him.”
Geoff Boycott after Kevin Pietersen followed up his earlier criticism of the packed international calendar with a century against India at Lord’s

“I never showed my unwillingness to attend the press because as a captain I have to face it and I am not at all a coward. What I learnt is that you people demanded our coach.”
Mohammad Ashraful reacts strongly to speculation that he was afraid of facing the media after losing the one-day series to Sri Lanka

“It was a waste of time. The boot camp was a different way to reinforce the same things. My way would have been to lock us all up in a pub.”
Shane Warne gives his alternative to Australia’s controversial boot camp last year

“I’m not a big fan of John Buchanan. I didn’t think he was a very good coach. What was his role? How could he teach someone to play a cover drive? How could he teach me to bowl? Some people thought he was fantastic and didn’t get enough credit – I found that hard to believe.”
Warne speaks bluntly about Australia’s erstwhile coach

“The patches are not sponsorship – I wish they were!”
So, Mueller representatives, if you’re reading give Shiv Chanderpaul a sponsorship deal

“The npower logo … when viewed upside down … becomes a new and exciting logo for a company entitled Jamodu. I have therefore set up a company with this name, and appointed directors. We simply need something for Jamodu to do or make.”
Sir Tim Rice invites ideas for his brand new company

“There are many closet cricket fans among the nationalist community.”
Martin McGuinness, a former senior member of the provisional IRA, admits he – and others – are unlikely enthusiasts

“Remember to say ‘Good areas’, ‘Work hard’, ‘Keep it simple’.”
What cliches? A mischievous journalist passes Monty Panesar a note ahead of a press conference. Panesar said it just once in 15 minutes.

“It felt quite weird when we buried it, but it was exciting. I am glad that part of me will be at Sophia Gardens for ever. That is my legacy to the club and it feels right.”
Glamorgan’s Mike Powell who had complications in surgery and had a rib removed… and then buried at Sophia Gardens

… “I didn’t realise how small the rib would be, so I dug a massive hole. At least there is no chance of seeing it again, it’s more than two foot under. The grass should grow back no problem.”
The head groundsman Len Smith‘s reaction

“I can remember someone asking me ‘Why is she called Michelle, is it because she looks like Michelle Pfeiffer?’.”
Close but no… England’s Jenny Gunn on Holly Colvin’s new nickname Michelle Pfeiffer, for the five-fors she keeps getting

“I’ve been a bit of a grump at times so they’re probably looking forward to me playing for England again more than me.”
A slightly alarming sentiment from Andrew Flintoff whose family can’t wait for him to recover from injury

“I only played one game in front of three people and I was more nervous than when I go out to bat for England.”
Alastair Cook couldn’t take the heat when playing darts – his surprising passion – against a female world champion, Trina Gulliver

“My janitor has a better sweep than you.”
A very thirsty member of the Dublin crowd offers advice, or something like it, to Niall O’Brien

“England’s level of performance in limited-overs cricket is so bad the Eskimos would beat us.”
The recently-knighted Ian Botham on England’s ODI defeat in The Mirror

“I had to ask if he was a batter or a bowler – I didn’t really know who he was.”
Liberty X singer Jessica Taylor on fiance Kevin Pietersen

“They sometimes call me by my name. But most of the time they call me ‘champion’ or ‘legend’.”
Danish Kaneria on life with his Essex team

“My mum and grandma are always on my back saying, ‘Don’t you cut your hair. And you’ve got to listen to your mum, haven’t you?'”
Ryan Sidebottom explains why he’s had the same hairstyle for years and years

“The curfew is off tonight.”
Chris Gayle prepares to let his hair down after West Indies won the one-day series against England

“You have cricket in confusion, no organised approach, we mention financial statements, all you scattering like cockroach.”
But some other West Indians aren’t laughing: Dave Martins, of the Tradewinds band, has written a song slamming the board

“If I acted like them I’d expect to have my backside kicked, but nobody seems to take responsibility.”
The Professional Cricketers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan on the ICC

“It was raining men. I thought I was dreaming. I was almost tempted to ask for a date.”
Sussex dweller Lisa Morrison who was walking past the county ground when a team of RAF parachutists, who had been doing a display at the cricket, were blown off course and landed in local residents’ gardens

“People pay their money but some feel it gives them the right to shout abuse to different players. Perhaps that is a bit of football mentality coming in and as a player that is not particularly nice.”
Surrey’s Mark Ramprakash joins in the debate on crowd behaviour at Twenty20 matches

“In Harare a few years back, Robert Mugabe told me that he thought cricket civilised people and he wanted Zimbabwe to be a nation of cricket-lovers. I tried explaining the game to George Bush Senior, but when I told him that it could last for five days and there might not be a positive result, I could see his eyes glaze over. I saw Bill Clinton in Moscow a few weeks ago and he asked for a copy of the book.”
Britain’s former prime minister John Major on educating politicians on the game

“You can only write an obituary on this scorecard but not a report.”
A veteran journalist reacts after Bangladesh were bundled out for 62 on Tuesday

“I don’t know what prompted it – although I’ve been watching huge amounts of cricket – but for some reason Andrew Strauss was being paid to stalk me.”
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe reveals an alarming nightmare

“They were on the rampage for hours and even charged around the outfield from time to time before their owner managed to tempt them back home.”
A player at Barnack CC explains the unusual difficulties in hosting an Over-50s match between Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire – cows stopped play

“Anybody who can help is asked to bring a bucket, hard-bristle broom (if possible), cloths and sponges and their marigolds.”
Desperate times at New Road as Worcestershire CCC appeal to their members to help clean up after the floods, but something may put them off…

…”The odour is pretty bad.”
Worcestershire’s chief executive Mark Newton reveals another unfortunate consequence of the flood damage

“Jeez, that’s going to be bad”
Shane Warne on England’s smoking ban that came into effect on July 1.

“Now that they actually have to try to do something they haven’t got a clue what to do.”
Michael Holding lays into the West Indies board

“There might be some clubs who will be reluctant to employ security guards, but how expensive is a life?”
Umpire Peter Willey bemoans the lack of security at some Twenty20 matches

“The board have to take the lead, their job is to lay a platform for potential success. Quite frankly, they have failed to do that. They have mismanaged and bungled too many simple issues.”
Ian Bishop backs Chris Gayle’s outburst against the West Indies Cricket Board

“Perhaps they may ban the yorker and the outswinger also.”
Dennis Lillee when asked about the proposed free-hit rule in ODIs that the ICC may implement in near future

“It’s just a joke. But I’m not surprised – that’s the Irish Cricket Union for you.”
Ireland’s Jeremy Bray isn’t laughing about their push for professionalism

“I wonder over the wisdom of PCB inviting Lawson and Done for the job. Both were basically bowlers and Pakistan’s weakness has been batting failure as the bowlers have done far better. What these men will do to improve our batting?”
Hanif Mohammad questions the wisdom of the board

“Hopefully this role will bring out the best in Paul Collingwood.”
He’s not even been England captain for 24 hours, but already it seems that Paul Collingwood has caught third-personitis

“It was hugely frustrating to see Duncan pick loads of young bowlers, throw them in at the top level and then decide they needed to work on their run up or action.”
Mark Ramprakash kicks off the ‘perhaps Fletcher wasn’t all that great’ backlash

“Essex will be looking into it very seriously. If it is considered that our particular eagle has any Nazi connotations then we will remove it henceforth.”
As Barclays Bank consider removing their eagle – after 317 years – for fear of Nazi associations, an Essex spokesman, possibly with tongue-in-cheek, assures the public that the Essex Eagles’ logo will also be weighed up

“It was nasty … nasty … complete nastiness. We’re watching something that is just totally ludicrous. Anybody who thinks that is a cricket shot, come and see me after.”
Darren Powell might do well to keep out the way of Sir Viv Richards after his hoick to get out at Chester-le-Street … in both innings

“I can’t forget the time he once told a team meeting – ‘The day I stop thinking of money, I will stagnate’.”.
Bishan Bedi on Sunil Gavaskar, his former Indian team-mate

“It was a disgrace to be caught playing foreign games. We did it under assumed names and hid behind the bushes to change into our whites.”
Tony Francis quotes an Irish player about the problem of playing cricket a few decades ago. Some players even wore masks to avoid identification

“Don’t go what’s safe, do something different… for crying out loud … the people of England don’t care what colour his hair is or does he have some danglers in his ears or round his neck … “
Geoffrey Boycott argues that Kevin Pietersen should captain England’s one-day side

“Fidel Castro is bowling with real aggression here.”
We’re not quite sure Sir Vivian Richards is right, but we think we know who he means

“If my mum was alive she could captain England to play West Indies … hopeless, aren’t they?”
Geoffrey Boycott shoots from the hip

“If computer know-how is all that matters, then [Microsoft chairman] Bill Gates should have been the best cricket coach in the world.”
Javed Miandad continues swinging at whatever comes his way

“When I was growing up, James Bond was my biggest hero and I’ve never really worked out why I’ve never got the part.”
Shurely some…Sir Ian Botham accepts his knighthood, but wishes he could have been a film star, too

“All these future tours that just get chucked in here and there, they don’t make me happy.”
Kevin Pietersen has a dig at those who cram in as many international fixtures as they can

“Every Tom, Dick and Harry will go there [Bhurban] and enjoy. It is not that easy to earn money these days. This is sheer wastage of precious funds. Since there is no accountability, no constitution and no planning, those at the helm are destroying everything.”
Javed Miandad criticises the Pakistan Cricket Board for holding meetings in a holiday resort at Bhurban, a hill station

“The television has always been on in the background, whether it’s at the gym when I’m training or at home when I’m having a meal or changing a nappy.”
Matthew Hoggard on time spent recovering from injury

“I don’t know what that’s all about, mate. The only person I can remember doing it was a wrestler called the Rock.”
Jason Gillespie can’t remember anyone else referring to themselves in the third person, as England players such as Michael Vaughan are getting into the habit of doing

“Start the car, launch the pedalo.”
David Lloyd gets very excited as Steve Harmison takes two quick wickets on the final day at Old Trafford. Andrew Flintoff was watching from the England balcony

“I hope he would knock Smith’s teeth out. He should shut his mouth and captain his country.”
The former Warwickshire player Paul Smith reckons Kevin Pietersen would beat Graeme Smith in a fight

“It doesn’t matter about John Emburey because he’s not our coach anymore … he’s got other things on his mind.”
Owais Shah when asked what John Emburey “his county coach” might think of his training

“I might apply for that … it’s a good job that … I like India.”
Tongue firmly in cheek, Darren Gough on the coaching vacancy in India

“He was sacrificed in the first Test … he was set up to fail because they knew someone had to be dropped for Michael Vaughan. It was political.”
Colin Croft on the decision to bat Owais Shah at No. 3 against West Indies at Lord’s

“He said if we finished if off tonight then he’d put his visa card behind the bar.”
Andy Caddick on Marcus Trescothick’s incentive to his Somerset team-mates to complete a two-day win over Leicestershire. They failed, only getting six second-innings wickets before the close

“Did you see that finish, right in the top corner? I think he’s just ordered two extra helmets.”
Alastair Cook on Steve Harmison’s rap on the helmet by Fidel Edwards

“I think it’s completely out of order, I think it’s despicable, I think it stinks.”
Lancashire chairman Jim Cumbes on Michael Vaughan’s criticism of Andrew Flintoff’s behaviour during the World Cup

“It had its controversies and detractors, but ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 will go down in history as one of the most memorable World Cups ever. “
The World Cup organising committee’s spin machine continues to try to rewrite history in its final World Cup newsletter. Memorable for too many dull matches, poor treatment of spectators, and appalling and money-grabbing administration?

“It is not viable because there is very little public interest in the absence of big names.”
Nimbus chief Harish Thawani explains his company’s decision not to broadcast the Afro-Asia Cup, underlining what almost every cricket fan has thought for a long time

“The organisation of [the 2007 World Cup] was the best I have seen.”
No April Fool’s Day joke from former ICC president Ehsan Mani. Is this where the rewriting of history begins? And we all thought the tournament was an utter shambles … seems it wasn’t when looking out from the comfort of a corporate box

“Does Ryan Sidebottom have the longest hair of anyone who has played for England? Let’s go.”
Michael Vaughan has had enough of the stats after hearing he has equalled Peter May’s record for Test wins as England captain and that it was England’s coldest day in Test history

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pedro Collins playing in the next game.”
“Er … they didn’t bring him.”
Ian Botham shows that his research is not what it should be before being corrected by Michael Holding

“Feed him to the Alsatians … then he won’t come back.”
Geoffrey Boycott with a to-the-point opinion when asked how to deal with an interruption by a drunken spectator during the Leeds Test

“I suffered one or two defects … I wasn’t good enough.”
Former prime minister John Major on his time in politics …er, sorry, on his abilities as a cricketer

“It’s a good German name and sounds like someone who lives high up in the mountains so he doesn’t have enough oxygen and that makes him crazy.”
Andre Nel explains his on-pitch alter ego, named Gunther

“On the upside, I’ve always got a decent stockpile of miniature toiletries.”
Ronnie Irani isn’t a fan of the amount of travelling involved in cricket, but doesn’t mind the odd perk

“Even I’m getting bored with the vast number of games.”
John Major, the former prime minister, speaks out

“He would rather go down to the bookies and lose his money on the horses.”
Ryan Sidebottom says his dad Arnie would be too nervous to watch him play his second Test at Headingley

“I’ve been rushed off my feet.”
A gate steward at Grace Road, who was sitting sunning himself and reading a book as a mere trickle of spectators came to watch Ireland boss Canada

“It’s a way of keeping me tuned in and relaxing. I can’t just concentrate, concentrate, concentrate. I’m no Einstein.”
Kevin Pietersen on his ongoing ‘conversation’ with Chris Gayle during his hundred for England at Lord’s

“A great advert for cricket.”
BBC football correspondent Mark Lawrenson is frustrated with a boring first half of the FA Cup final, played just up the road from England’s tussle with West Indies

“I was fed up with cricket by the end of the Ashes.”
Steve Harmison reveals all … as opposed to England supporters who were fed up with him by the end of the Ashes

“How does ICC call theirs a cricket governing body when it allows racist politicians to threaten [Zimbabwe] … just because it is a small country [it is] falling victim to the racist bullies.”
The comically-biased government-run Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe lays into the ICC

“This would be a first for Shoaib, who is widely regarded as a more committed playboy than cricketer.”
Journalist Malcolm Conn reacts to a quote from Shoaib Akhtar that he had been keeping himself in shape during his lay-off

“Having to stare at naked women? They didn’t have to twist my arm too much!”
Alastair Cook on the hardships of doing his bit for charity

“If there is a chance to play in an older guys’ Twenty20 then I’d be up for it.”
Darren Gough has finally accepted his England days are over

“The rising generation who are Africa’s future feel utterly betrayed and disgusted by the short-sighted self-serving stupidity of these sports bureaucrats.”
Former UK sports minister Kate Hoey savages the ICC for its inaction regarding Zimbabwe cricket

“We have no intention of picking him in the foreseeable future. We have to take it slowly. We tend to talk about Bristol City and Bristol Rovers rather than cricket.”
England’s chairman of selectors David Graveney when asked whether he had spoken to Marcus Trescothick about him returning to the England side

“Steve Harmison was seriously good for Durham against us. Brad Hodge came off and said ‘****, he was quick!’ That’s a good sign coming from someone like him.”
Stuart Law recalls Brad Hodge’s breathless comment after facing Steve Harmison

“I don’t know why this question is coming up again and again. They have other good players also.”
Mohammad Ashraful, when somebody asked him, for the umpteenth time, about the absence of Shourobh and Shochin in the Indian side to tour Bangladesh

“The war is on now.”
Mohammad Ilyas, former Test opener, to Salahuddin Ahmed, chief selector after Imran Farhat (Ilyas’s son-in-law) was not picked for the Abu Dhabi ODIs

“What a pity those ludicrous multi-national matches of 2005 were not staged in Harare. The scores would have been lost forever.”
As some Zimbabwe scores are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain Bill Frindall believes that the ICC Afro-Asia Cup and Super Series would be better buried

“He would rather go to bed early and read a book on sports psychology.”
Dave Houghton says that the ECB has no need to worry that their new assistant coach Andy Flower will go out drinking with the England team

“This is a horrific regime in Zimbabwe and we should take a stand against it, and included amongst those who should take a stand are our cricketers …. [but] we can’t, I suppose, formally ban them.”
Australia’s foreign minister Alexander Downer airs his views on the prospect of the country touring Zimbabwe

“It is not sufficient for a government to express a preference that its team not undertake a tour, or to express criticism of or condemn the activities of the government of a member (nation). A positive act of restriction or prohibition is required.”
An ICC spokesman makes clear where cricket’s governing body stands

“Maybe the TV umpires will gradually loosen their Masonic-like handshakes with their on-field colleagues.”
Steve James isn’t impressed with the new referral system

“This week she’s due and she’s hung on.”
Matthew Hayden is very appreciative that his wife didn’t give birth until he got home from the World Cup

“I had to look at the calendar, I thought it was April 1.”
Jason Gillespie was surprised to be offered a new contract

“I can only say it’s similar to the situation where you are sitting at home and the answer to a quiz question on TV looks very simple, but you just lose your train of thought when you are in that heated, pressure situation.”
David Richardson, the ICC’s general manager, is at a loss to explain the farce at the World Cup final

“Rudi is a South African, so he has a louder voice.”
Jeff Crowe, the match referee, clears things up

“I thought Aleem was having a bit of a joke with us when he said it looks like we’d have to come back tomorrow and play three overs. I said: ‘Mate, we’ve played the 20 overs, we’ve actually finished the game.'”
Ricky Ponting on that farcical finish

“Australia are the winners but cricket has been the loser. It’s not a money-making exercise, it’s about people.”
Nasser Hussain fires one last salvo

“He told me that, as I effectively replaced him in the Test side in 1994, he was looking forward to getting square by sticking the knife in and ending my Test career. Merv, of course, was only joking.”
Of course he was … Glenn McGrath shows that Merv Hughes remains as warm and cuddly as ever even though he is one of Australia’s selectors

“I’d do the same thing, but hit it next time.”
So not the same thing, then. England’s Ravi Bopara discusses that ball against Sri Lanka

“Replace Peter Moores with, say, Jeff Everest or Rick Center-Parcs and we might be getting somewhere.”
Barney Ronay, writing for The Guardian, feels the name ‘Peter Moores’ [England’s new coach] doesn’t sound fashionable enough

“I’ve been joking around the rooms saying that I’m thinking about coming out of retirement.”
Glenn McGrath is up to his tricks in his last few days as an international cricketer … or so we believe

“Malcolm has been living in Dubai for too long. As I’ve said before, they’ve got a hotel under the sea there and a ski resort in the desert. It’s too far away from reality.”
Ian Chappell lashes out at Malcolm Speed for turning a blind eye on some obvious issues about hosting the World Cup in the West Indies

“There has been far too much negative comment which is ill-informed. I don’t mind criticism but you want people to get the facts right.”
ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed has a pop at the media over coverage of the World Cup. Ever wondered why there has been so much negativity, Malcolm?

“I definitely don’t think we choked. We just weren’t good enough.”
So that’s that, then, Graeme Smith‘s South Africa are not chokers

“I know people say losing the semi-final is like kissing your sister, but we can take huge positives out of the World Cup.”
Mickey Arthur, South Africa’s coach, on what people apparently say…

“The team that had bored and bungled their way around the Caribbean, baldy letting down their thousands of travelling fans, slipped in unheralded and largely unnoticed.”
The Mirror newspaper welcomes back England’s side under the headline “Prats of the Caribbean”

“The interminable World Cup continues and the words ‘police’ and ‘investigation’ seem to be poles apart. meanwhile, the game’s governing body have all become Trappist monks. Don’t mention the war and we might get away with it.”
Broadcaster John Inverdale on the low-key nature of progress in the investigation into the death of Bob Woolmer

“There may not be any attacks tonight because we are also watching the match.”
A Tamil Tigers spokesman on halting fighting for the Sri Lanka’s semi against New Zealand

“They will definitely win if they depart at an astrologically right time.”
A Sri Lanka astrologer claims the outcome of their semi depends on planetary positions

“The way we are going our first look at the ground will be on match morning – from about 6000 feet.”
An unnamed Sri Lanka player relates how it was better to be a piece of luggage as the players’ flights for the semi-finals were disrupted

“Trusting county committeemen to do what is best for the national game is like putting Brer Fox in charge of chickens.”
Wisden editor Scyld Berry on the way English cricket is run

“It’s disgusting. I have to pay US$100 dollars for a photograph with Sobers who I have had adored since my childhood.”
A supporter reacts angrily at being asked to pay for a snap with his hero. The newly-formed Cricket Legends of Barbados are trying to raise cash to build a centre of excellence

“At the very end, a man who throughout his career had done so much to mask the deficiencies of his team had been undone by the foible of a team-mate. It was sad, but it was apt.”
The Observer’s Will Buckley on Brian Lara’s final innings in Barbados

“He is not really talking to me at the moment, he has given up.”
Scott Styris on his friendly battle with Stephen Fleming, on who’s topping the run charts in the year. If Fleming appears grumpy, we all know why

“It is almost as if he is saying ‘go to hell the English public, I will write a book one day and make a load of money’.
Geoff Boycott fumes over Duncan Fletcher’s attitude after he was seen playing golf with Michael Vaughan soon after England’s World Cup exit

“I’ve not read the book.”
Cricketers are busy people so they can’t read all books that come their way, but surely Steve Harmison should have read the book he’s put his name to?

“Paul Collingwood is quite attractive for a ginger.”
Overheard on the Underground, courtesy of Time Out’s Overheard column

“I was at matches early in the event where there was a lot of noise. I can’t help it if people want to take a critical approach to all issues.”
Malcolm Speed comes out fighting against critics who have said games have lacked atmosphere. Clearly Mr Speed has been watching a different World Cup to the rest of us

“England have been humiliated and that’s not good enough. Duncan Fletcher has done some great things, but everyone has a shelf life, and his has expired. The camp looks split. They’re all over the place, in disarray, and I hope the ECB are looking for the right person. He has to be a strong character, with a proven track record.”
Ian Botham fires from the hip following England’s World Cup exit

“Get out the birth certificates … anyone who’s 32 or over, they’re out of it.”
Rampaging ageism from Bob Willis after England’s World Cup exit

“The chicken dance came out of when I am out on the dancefloor, the guys say I look like a chicken so that’s just a celebratory dance I’ve given to the guys.”
Ireland captain Trent Johnston explains the origins of his post-wicket celebrations

“The bulk of responsibility for the almost pulseless fiasco is quite properly being laid at the door of the International Cricket Council, a body as notorious for organisational ineptitude as it is for scuttling away from anything resembling an ethical principle. There isn’t a shovel big enough to pile on the opprobrium deserved by such a crew.”
Award-winning Sunday Times journalist Hugh McIlvanney warms to the way the ICC has run the World Cup

“There must be two Justin Langers in the world, I think.”
Ricky Ponting can’t believe that Justin Langer, never shy of a word or two himself, wants sledging stopped in county cricket

“It’s not Kevin Pietersen v Graeme Smith. We won’t be having a beer together afterwards.”
Kevin Pietersen reminds all of us that it’s two teams playing out there at the Kensington Oval and wants all distractions out of the way

“Somehow no one is talking him (Andre Nel) up as one to watch this tournament. Maybe it’s just because he’s a bit of a twit. Or rather less polite words to that effect.”
The Times’s Patrick Kidd is less than impressed with South Africa’s finest

“You’re not getting in there without a shower cap”.
A steward at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua warns a long-haired female England fan about breaching health and safety regulations

“Calf strains are a very unusual thing in cricket. It might have something to do with this ground, the sandy, heavier ground, that guys are hurting their calves.”
Ricky Ponting wonders why Shane Watson got injured

“Did he get his run-up wrong? Was the little man in his head talking about something he didn’t want him to? Only he’ll know that.”
Paul Nixon tries to figure out what led to Dilhara Fernando’s aborted run-up before the final ball of the thriller at Antigua

“If I have to spend all my waking hours denying all that is appearing in the media, I will have no time to attend the meetings.”
Amidst all the chaos during the BCCI meeting in Mumbai, Niranjan Shah shows his sense of humour

“I always read in the international press where they say I am under pressure … but my contract doesn’t say that I have to win matches, it says as long as I am competitive, then my employers are happy.”
No wonder Zimbabwe coach Kevin Curran always looks so relaxed. Of their last 19 ODIs, his side have won once and tied once

“There has been a lot of talk about the so-called minnows devaluing the tournament. It is a charge that could now be justifiably made against the West Indies, once the kings of the game and champions of the first two tournaments.”
Tony Cozier reflects on the crisis engulfing West Indies, both on and off the pitch

“This has been a World Cup for the organisers, the visitors and the players but certainly not for the people. That’s why the stadiums are empty and that in itself is a con job. It’s the biggest con job ever passed off in this region.”
Jack Warner, the head of the Caribbean’s footballing fraternity, takes a swipe at the World Cup

“The International Cricket Council is … about making money, having rules, and siding with narrow commercial interests even at the expense of basic human decency, let alone local colour. The game’s bosses have wrecked their own party with their greed.”
Cricinfo columnist and former Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack editor Tim de Lisle with some home truths for the tournament hosts

“It is like watching cricket at Lord’s. It’s no bloody different.”
An English tourist expresses dismay after sitting through a match in Guyana

“We had to rely on the advice of the local organising committee to establish the prices of the tickets. It is, in retrospect, a little too rich for the local palate.”
Malcolm Speed washes the ICC’s hands of responsibility for empty stands throughout the World Cup

“At the moment we are doing this using a lot of spreadsheets and they just cannot cope with the sheer volume of the money and the projects that are coming in from it.”
Faisal Hasnain, the ICC’s chief financial officer, admits that there’s just too much money flooding in for it to cope. Not much solace to those in the Caribbean unhappy as inflated prices at World Cup venues …

“If Mr Gough’s parents are alive, then one hopes that they acknowledge that he is an embarrassment to the human race … the serpents and gorillas that live in Mr Gough’s mind compelled him to descend to a level of pitiful, sickening and Hitleristic journalism about Guyana.”
An editorial in Guyana’s Kaieteur News appears to take exception to the BBC’s Martin Gough who was less than complimentary about the country

“The nets are wet and the run-ups are wet … some of the batsmen have had throw-downs and after a major fight the bowlers have been allowed to practice on the outfield.”
South Africa’s coach Micky Arthur discovers first hand the state of the new Providence Stadium’s facilities. An ICC spokesman said they were “98% there”

“Please, organisers, please, give a thought to the people that really matter – the spectators – and get the grounds filled up.”
Mark Nicholas appeals for action as West Indies played their match with New Zealand against the empty backdrop of the Sir Vivian Ground in Antigua

“He’s a class player in both forms of the game, but the tempo of his innings probably wasn’t what they needed.”
Ricky Ponting tries to sound sincere after Jacques Kallis’s stodgy 48 off 63 balls as South Africa tried to chase 378 against Australia

“Malcolm Speed is not a man who elicits a great deal of sympathy from the cricket community. He is a cold fish, lawyerly in every respect.”
Michael Atherton on the ICC’s No. 1 mackerel … er, man

“Fifty overs is a long time for some of these minnows.”
Nasser Hussain in full patronising mode

“Nixon’s an extrovert, at least outwardly.”
Mark Richardson with just a hint of tautology

“If you were writing a fairytale, you wouldn’t write it this way.”
Rahul Dravid gives advice to would-be authors after India’s early exit went against the script

“Next time they will probably stick to the hotel bar.”
Darren Gough thinks the England players’ only mistake was getting caught drinking

“Cricket cannot be seen to succumb to a dastardly act such as this any more than society does to terrorism.”
Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, on why the show must go on

“It is all rubbish. I must say it is sensationalism at its worst.”
Pervez Mir, the Pakistan media manager, reacts to speculative reports that the players and officials were cross-questioned regarding Bob Woolmer’s death

“It was sort of four hours of hell. I spent four hours in the foetal position, basically. It was a nightmare.”
Shaun Tait becomes the latest World Cup player to have trouble on the water after going out a boat ride on his day off

“The boys are not stopping jumping in the dressing-room.”
Habibul Bashar sums up the mood in the Bangladesh camp

“Zimbabwe shouldn’t be playing international cricket on moral grounds, and the ICC overlooks that to its eternal shame.”
The BBC’s Jonathan Agnew has a go at a familiar target

“There is a history to this story. It’s not the first time. In Australia he had three or four warnings over his behaviour.”
Nasser Hussain points out that Andrew Flintoff is not a first-time offender

“I’m ashamed. I feel I’ve let people down, the team, the management, family, friends and the public back home. It has been a horrible few days to be honest.”
Andrew Flintoff isn’t impressed with himself

“I am shocked and badly hurt. We have lost a good coach and a good person.”
Pakistan’s captain Inzamam-ul-Haq on the loss of Bob Woolmer

“Some people go to bed at 10.30pm tired, other people like to go for a drink.”
Ian Botham excuses Andrew Flintoff’s behaviour, while the rest of the Sky commentators were less than impressed

“At least it shows that England’s cricketers are as crazy as their footballers.”
Former England football manager Graham Taylor on Andrew Flintoff’s Caribbean high jinx

“Before the game we said ‘Let’s make history today.’ Well, we made history.”
Dutch captain Luuk van Troost on Herschelle Gibbs’s six sixes against them.

“The rum’s too strong for me here. But I’ll have a couple of beers.”
Herschelle Gibbs on his muted celebrations following his six sixes against Netherlands

“Anchor David Gower crowbarring in tedious references to calypso music, island paradises and Bob Marley. I’ve yet to hear him mention rum, rice and peas, or cannabis, but we’re only a couple of days in; give him time.”
Sky Sports’ coverage of the World Cup comes under fire in The Guardian

“What can you say? I told Daan after the third ball, ‘try to bowl a quicker one’ and he said, ‘I just did’. There were a few good balls in it and a few shit ones.”
Luuk van Troost is at a loss for words after Herschelle Gibbs’s onslaught against Daan van Bunge

“One of the things I realised pretty early is that I’m 40 and if I try to pretend I’m 25 I’ll fall flat.”
Canada’s Anderson Cummins is acting his age

”It wouldn’t be rash to suggest Sunil might find a fist flying into his face if he wandered into a pub in Sydney or Melbourne and repeated that line.”
Newspaper reaction in Australia after Sunil Gavaskar made comments about the behaviour of the late David Hookes

“I lost kilograms and joked with teammates that if my cricket career was over, I’d be able to get a job as a jockey.”
Scotland’s Glenn Rogers feared he may miss the World Cup when he contracted typhoid in Kenya six weeks ago – happily, he has recovered

“Doing a few raids on gang houses wasn’t particularly nice and mortuary stuff wasn’t great. There were a few dead bodies along the line. It puts everthing into perspective. If you get hit for four, you get hit for four.”
Shane Bond recounts his career as a cop

“He loves India. He has named his child India. His biggest player is actually Tendulkar. Right now I’m hoping Tendulkar does not hit a catch to him because he will probably drop it to watch him bat.”
Irvine Romaine on team-mate Lionel Cann who is just a bit overawed by being at the World Cup

“The only thing he has to worry about is finding criminals every day and play cricket on Sundays.”
Bermuda captain Irving Romaine on why left-arm spinner Dwayne Leverock, a prison van driver, can’t devote too much time to slimming down

“She tells me the same thing she always does, to back my ability, and it’s the same thing Troy Cooley says to us every day.”
Nathan Bracken‘s mother-in-law sounds like a good replacement should Australia ever need a new bowling coach

“Eat, sleep, gym.”
Does the slogan on Inzamam-ul-Haq’s t-shirt signal a new fitness outlook for Pakistan’s captain?

“And Ryan ten Doeschate all-of-a-sudden becomes Ryan fifteen Doeschate”.
Tony Cozier does some maths after Doeschate takes five wickets in the Netherlands’ warm-up game against India

“There’s no way I could make any money out of a book after how I performed.”
England’s errant spearhead, Steve Harmison, explains why he is giving the proceeds of his Ashes tour diary to a children’s charity, Bubble Foundation UK

“Let the players not follow us”
Somnath Chatterjee the Lok Sabha speaker in the Indian parliament, advices the Indian team to play with discipline and not emulate parliamentarians

“The Darren Goughs, Simon O’Donnells, Steve Waughs and myself had to have changes of pace because we weren’t super express.”
Bruce Reid talks about having to adapt to death bowling, but Gough won’t be happy and being clubbed in the same pace category as O’Donnell and Waugh

“If it means cutting the finger off, if that’s the worse case scenario, if that’s the last resort, I’ll do that, there’s no way I’m missing this.”
Jacob Oram, who is nursing a broken finger, is willing to go to scary lengths to play the World Cup

“Vision has been lost about what’s important and what is not.”
Tim May expresses his fears about the increase in Australia-India matches

“For us to beat Australia would be like the Faroes beating Brazil at football. In fact it might even be bigger than that – more like us beating Brazil when Berti Vogts was in charge.”
Scotland batsman Majid Haq on his country’s prospects in their World Cup opener next month

“I got some pretty funny text messages from him after every one of the games – ‘how are you … are you on the next flight over?’ and ‘you can have your job back, I don’t want it any more’.”
Ricky Ponting jokes about the text messages he had been receiving from his stand-in captain, Mike Hussey, during the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy

“My theory is that every time a batsman plays and misses he should be asked to take off one piece of protective clothing of the bowler’s choice.”
Michael Kasprowicz takes a novel approach in the plan to contain batsmen

“Message to Aussie cricket coach John Buchanan: please take your team home as the Black Caps are missing out on valuable practice for the World Cup.”
A pithy letter to the editor in Christchurch’s The Press

“I’m probably the best Brazilian cricketer in the world because no-one has actually heard anything in Brazil about cricket.”
Adelaide United footballer Fernando Rech

“I hate to think ‘typical Johannesburg airport’ but there is a bit of history.”
Pakistan’s coach, Bob Woolmer, bemoans the loss of his team’s equipment ahead of the fifth ODI. As a former South African coach, he’s familiar with the workings of the country’s airports

“Chris Read’s treatment has been scandalous. I’ve started calling him Lord Lucan because he has disappeared off the radar inexplicably.”
Ian Botham with some typically forthright opinions on England’s permanent one-day reserve

“We are aiming for Pluto, but we may end up on Saturn or in the worst case we may end up in Mars, which still is where no man has gone before.”
Chris Dehring, the ICC World Cup managing director, when asked about the ticket sales

“Had it been in India or other parts of the subcontinent, where betting and match-fixing is rife, a number of Zimbabwe’s cricketers would have been locked up for questioning last night and probably appearing in court as early as Monday.”
Remarkable analysis in Zimbabwe’s government-controlled Herald newspaper after the side’s amazing collapse when poised to beat Bangladesh

“A poor decision from Darrell Harper who is, in my opinion, a poor umpire. He’s made too many shockers and yet the ICC don’t change their umpires … they see the footage and yet we see the same umpires, year in and year out”
Former England captain turned commentator Nasser Hussain can never be accused of sitting on the fence

“This is gross human rights abuse but I need to look after my family. Cricket is my job and I cannot risk my job for dreadlocks.”
An unnamed Zimbabwe cricketerafter he was ordered to shave his dreadlocks or be be dropped

“England have the opportunity to expose the limitations of the triangular format, by playing abysmally for most of the series before completing the ultimate heist: a couple of Duckworth/Lewis victories over Australia in the finals.”
Wishful thinking from Vic Marksafter England’s first win of the summer over Australia

“A few months ago Duncan Fletcher said he knew 10 or the 11 for England’s World Cup side … now they can’t even agree on who the best 30 are.”
Michael Atherton reflects on the news England want to pick their final World Cup side from outside the original 30-man squad

“Whatever talent the team management has seen in Raina, the youngster has done well to conceal it on the international stage.”
Krish Srikkanth questions Suresh Raina’s presence in the team

“The contract had run out: do your best, contrive spurious excuses and run home to check your bank account.”
Columnist Ian Wooldridge sums up England’s misery in Australia

“I feel cricket and football are for the rough guys.”
Zulfiqar Ali, who represented East Africa in the 1975 World Cup, on why he encouraged his son to take up golf

“Flintoff underneath it … he’s a good, safe pair of hands …er … a good, safe pair of hands when he gets to it.”
Michael Atherton puts the kiss of death on England’s captain who spilled a steepler

“I can’t see any problems with it except the ICC …which is an obvious problem.”
Nasser Hussain explains the obstacles to introducing changes to rules regarding third-umpire referrals

“I’m not a betting man… but if I was it’s anyone’s game at the moment.”
Mark Ramprakash hedges his (non-)bets on Pakistan’s chances of hunting down 191 against South Africa

“I was a bit concerned my name wasn’t going to fit on the shirt.”
We’re not quite sure what England’s latest call-up Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Camellia Rosamond Rainford-Brent means

“Go back to the zoo!”
What Herschelle Gibbs said, among other expletive-laden remarks, to Pakistan’s fans at Centurion. His outburst earned him a two-Test ban from the ICC

“I was thinking about the reverse Mexican wave where you get everybody to stand up and sit down in unison instead of standing up. I don’t know if it will be successful or not.”
Self-styled Captain Australia Brendan Lichtendonk, an Australia fan, has an idea to make Billy Birmingham proud

“Some people tell me I am a Ferrari without control. If they tell me I am a Ferrari, that is a top car. If I am a Ferrari without control, all I need is a steering wheel.”
Tino Best isn’t bothered by his detractors. He played his first game for Barbados this season after a long lay-off

“Bracks [Nathan Bracken] was bowling off about two or three steps and he was squealing when he was copping it in the thigh-pad.”
New South Wales’s Ed Cowan reveals that the marketing men got it all wrong when they decided including rugby league star Andrew Johns in the state Twenty20 would be a great idea

“Five minutes of a lovers’ tiff, but we’ve sorted it all out.”
Kevin Pietersen says he’s kissed and made up with Shane Warne, who he originally thought was “a dickhead” for chucking the ball at him at Brisbane

“‘Ask the coach?’ Steve, how long have you been around, mate? Do it yourself.”
Former England captain Nasser Hussain reacts with disgust to Steve Harmison’s assertion he will ask Duncan Fletcher what to do after the one-dayers when it comes to training before the World Cup

“Warne should retire and be a pantomime dame … made up in a great big dress with bouffant hair.”
Jonathan Agnew talking about Shane Warne’s on-field antics

“I feel so bad about mine I’m going to tie it round my cat. It doesn’t mean anything anymore. It’s a joke.”
Geoff Boycott on the decision to award MBEs to the England XII after 2005’s Ashes win. Shane Warne had earlier sledged Paul Collingwood, asking why he had got a medal for making 7 at The Oval

“Despite my reputation as a bit of a cricket anorak, I’m not a huge one for history.”
Ricky Ponting when asked about the possibility of the first Ashes whitewash since 1921

“No, I’m looking forward to getting away from it.”
Steve Harmison asked whether he will miss being part of the England tour when the Test ends and he returns home

“Everyone keeps saying ‘you’ll know when it’s time’. Well, at one o’clock two days ago I knew it was time – it just came to me.”
Justin Langer talks about finally knowing that it was time to end his Test career

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2 responses

  1. Desiguy

    Finally the blog ends…. Man I stopped to take a break in ur page and this is what u give. A 3 hr cricket movie with only dialogues. I was dead by the time I reached half and was wishing to die again in hell by the time I came 3 4th….

    August 9, 2007 at 10:02 pm

  2. Brainstormer

    Don’t temme you wrote the whole damn blog man!!! …can’t believe you are so bloody jobless!!

    August 11, 2007 at 6:58 pm

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