Hello, I’m Nichael Bluth. You may remember me from such 51allout specials as “Shane Warne Nose Job” and “Five Fabulous Weeks of ‘The Saj Mahmood Show'”. Tonight we’re here to honour the internet’s favourite non-professional cricket website with the number 51 in its name. You’ll see long lost sentences, never before seen material from your favourite articles, old favourites that you can’t see anymore after the legal team made us take them down. So join me, won’t you, for the 51allout 1,000th article spectacular!
51allout began as the brainchild of writer Steve Grant,
the already-famous creator of such cricketing websites as “Men Rubbing Their Balls”, “Third Man?” and “Holding The Bowler’s Willey”. In 2011, Grant teamed up with some writers we can’t even remember, such as Robert Hillier
and James Knight.
And what better place to premiere their creation than blogspot.com, the internet’s showcase for rubbish jokes and cat gifs? On May 25th, 2011, the internet first met 51allout.
Fast forward more than three years and 51allout has now reached 1,000 articles. Which seems a lot to us, but is probably about three weeks’ worth of Cricinfo‘s time. Nevertheless, we felt that we deserved to take the opportunity to (a) steal almost a third of a Simpsons episode to use as an intro and (b) reminisce about what we’ve done in an attempt to smother the painful truth, which is that all we have to show for this effort is six long-since-drunk bottles of Kingfisher and a few retweets. Hence we got together three of the 51allout ensemble to talk about the good old days.
Matt H: I would say the commentators piece on Danny Morrison, which still attracts new comments more than a year later (and not just comments from people trying to flog us Louis Vitton luggage), but as that was basically me being angry, I will instead say this Mattifesto for England cricket, which basically shows that we know what we are talking about, cricket-wise, even though we generally don’t.
Matt L: It’s unfortunate that my five part opus on Test cricket and the music of George Handel is still incomplete. I am hoping that once it is published I will finally be able to wrest the Most Pretentious Piece of Cricket Writing award away from its decade long domination by Gideon Haigh. Until then I will go with the Steve Smith International Cricket piece, purely because of the awesome cover art.
Nichael Bluth: Personally, I’ll plump for my piece on England’s spin options post-Swann. Not only did it turn out to be an accurate prediction for once, but also it had an Eastenders/County cricket simile that I feel sums both up beautifully. It never received a single comment – and it’s that all-encompassing hatred of our readers that drives me on to produce more low quality articles for them to ignore, in a cycle that clearly helps no-one.
MH: You mean apart from scoring 54 runs on my return to playing cricket after nine years?
MH: Ah. Possibly something involving Kumar Sangakkara. In fact, anything involving Kumar Sangakkara.
NB: It’s attention to detail like that that our reader loves. For me, nothing will beat this classic Samit Patel moment:
ML: The rise (and rise) of Devereux. In centuries to come anthropologists will identify it as the defining cultural event of this era. That and the time Glenn Maxwell opened both the batting and bowling in a Test match.
NB: I’d forgotten about that! That whole Australian tour of India was just comedy gold from start to finish.
MH: We cover about two hundred ODIs of course. The lack of Test matches until next April, for England in any case, really is worrying. I’m actually considering cancelling Sky Sports, such is my lack of enthusiasm for the next few months. Obviously the World Cup is important (although it will drag on too long, as ever, and England will be mediocre, as ever) but between the end of the county season and the tournament starting the limited overs games will feel like a long, drawn-out and tedious set of practice matches. So although 51allout won’t go into hibernation, I can see it being a case of quality rather than quantity. Which is worrying, as we aren’t very good at delivering either. So the other option will be a series of filler articles such as a team of Test players with rivers in their names…it’s the only way Chris Jordan will get a gig anyway. But despite that bombshell, 2015 will be an action-packed year of red-hot super-cricket – notwithstanding another bloody Ashes – so if we’re still around in eight months time, we might finally be able to get back to 3,000 followers on twitter. And what else matters?
NB: I think that question was more in terms of which pub we want to start in.
ML: I foresee our critically acclaimed podcast continuing to go from strength to strength, as it seeks to further refine the fine arts of technical hiccups, factual errors and general inane chitchat. We may even, one day, pick up a second listener. That would be a 100% increase in audience size. How do you like them apples Cricinfo?
NB: Realistically, the pressures of having actual jobs and whatnot will eventually result in 51allout slipping quietly away into the night. But hopefully not for a while yet. For a start, we’ve got months and months of Ian Botham knob gags to do before then.
Anyway, thanks everyone – see you for our 2,000th article spectacular in a few years!