A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

Some Matters at the Start of the Weekend

Posted on June 25, 2011 by in Tests

1. Although the international T20  between England and Sri Lanka at Bristol may struggle to compete for media attention with Glastonbury, Wimbledon and the final of the European Championship Division Two T20 (we’re tipping Austria, apart from Nichael who has a funny feeling about Belgium), an exciting contest might just respark interest in the forthcoming ODI’s following the tepid finish to the recent Test series. The first issue will revolve around Stuart Broad. Although it will be intriguing to see how he captains, his bowling will be of equal importance with him needing to perform well in his four overs to back up all the ‘good performance just around the corner’ talk of recent weeks.

Stuart Broad captains England for the first time today

2. Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter return at the top of the order. Will they be able to find the form that helped England win the World T20 little more than a year ago, or will they struggle to set the tempo that may be required to match Sri Lanka?


3. Will Luke Wright bat? Will he bowl? Will be make the occasional diving stop on the cover boundary? The selectors’ fondness for him still bemuses everyone at 51allout, but he’ll be as keen as mustard to demonstrate his purpose, if only to clarify exactly what it is.


4. After the years of discussion over his weight and fitness, Samit Patel has a lot of pressure on him to show why this has been such a significant issue. Some of us here aren’t convinced that he’s a good enough spinner to justify international appearances and feel that this has been overlooked in the debate about his commitment and eating (or should that be commitment to eating), but in this format of the game he at last has the chance to show what he can do.


5. Will Sanath Jayasuriya turn back time? We have already questioned his ‘selection’ here for cricketing reasons, and there are valid objections to his playing from a political perspective too (in short, he’s a Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament that is criticised by Amnesty International amongst others), but in a twenty over bash he still has the potential to score plenty of runs at a rapid pace. Despite our reservations, we still harbour a slight hope that we can see him smash 50 from 20 balls.


6. The most important cricketing occasion this weekend does not take place in Bristol, but in Hong Kong, where the ICC’s five-day conference starts on Sunday. Although we don’t hold our breath, there may be a conclusion on the use of the Decision Review System (it has been unanimously recommended by their cricket committee) and the format of the 2015 World Cup vis-a-vis the Associate members. Other matters on the agenda include the small matters of cricket in the Olympics and political interference in the sport.

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