11th August 2015
Around the World in 2 – a few occasional off-breaks
Each week for ‘Mason & Guests’ I compile & broadcast a brief summary of cricket events outside the Caribbean, round-up the week’s notable WI birthdays & anniversaries, & throw in a few “Did You Know, Andrew?” facts:
“Hello! This is David Oram taking you ‘Around the World in 2‘:
“Eng have regained the Ashes! 19 months after a 5-0 hammering down under they exacted revenge emphatically, winning by an inngs & 78 runs in the 4th Test, which featured the millionth ball bowled in Test cricket in Eng. Aus were shot out before lunch on Day 1 for a paltry 60 in a mere 18.3 ovs, or 111 balls, the shortest ever 1st inngs in Test history – Extras top-scoring with 14. MoM Stuart Broad took 8-15, the best ever Ashes figs for a quick bowler, including his 300th Test wkt with the game’s 3rd ball – & he’s leapt to no.2 in the ICC Test bowling rankings. Joe Root went one better, topping the batting rankings with his 130. Eng declared on 391-9 with Steven Finn 0no – the 15th time in 25 Tests he’s failed to register a run in the 1st inngs. Eng took an unassailable 3-1 lead with 1 to play completing victory just 40 mins into Day 3. Did You Know, Andrew that their Edgbaston & Trent Bridge wins on seaming pitches were collectively accomplished in less time than it takes to play a full 5-day Test? Before the match Aus’s capt was seen staring grimly at another grassy, green-tinged track by journalist Peter Lalor, who said that Michael Clarke ‘looked like a man peering into his own grave’. Following the defeat Clarke announced he’ll retire from intl cricket after the final Test at The Oval – & if Eng win that too they’ll leapfrog Aus to be no.2 in the rankings. And Did You Know, Andrew that the combined number of letters in the England player’s names, 53, was the fewest ever for a Test team? The victors cracked open the customary champagne (although bowling coach Ottis Gibson was seen to prefer the delights of a very well-known brand of Bajan rum!) – but spare a thought for Sky’s Ian Ward who was drenched with fizzy spray by the celebrants. “Also spare a thought this week for SA’s ‘A’ team, on tour in India, where 10 players in their squad were struck down with food-poisoning & hospitalised in Chennai. India themselves begin the 1st of 3 Tests v SL in Galle tomorrow.
“Meanwhile, in Zim, NZ came back from 1-down to win the 3-match ODI series 2-1 – & then took the only T20 intl by 80 runs in Harare.”
A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:
“A very busy week sees birthdays in the next 7 days for former Test umpire David Narine who’ll be 66; while fellow Guyanese Shivnarine Chanderpaul will be 41, Narsingh Deonarine is 32 & Veerasammy Permaul will be 26 – as will Dominica’s Tyrone Theophile. Jamaica’s Reg Scarlett will be 81; Barbados’ Pedro Collins will be 39 & Kurt Wilkinson will be 34; while WI’s coach Stuart Williams, who was born in Nevis, is 46.
“But Did You Know, Andrew that today is Sir Hilary Beckles’ 60th birthday? The former vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Professor Beckles previously served on the board of the WICB & was the author in 1999 of a 2-volume history of West Indies cricket.
“Today also marks 50 yrs since the death of Bill Woodfull. One of their most successful & popular skippers, he capt Aus to Ashes victories in Eng in 1930 & 1934, & was leader during the notorious ‘Bodyline’ series when he told Eng manager Sir Pelham Warner that there were ‘2 teams out on the field – but only 1 was playing cricket’.
“Thurs marks the 70th birthday of Eng’s Robin Jackman. Nowadays a popular commentator on TV in SA, Jackman took 1402 1st-class wkts between 1966-1982, mainly for Surrey. He also appeared in 4 Tests. He was called up by Eng as a replacement for the injured Bob Willis during the 1981 tour of the WI – but his time previously coaching in SA angered the Guyanese government who refused him entry for the scheduled 2nd Test – leading to the cancellation of the Georgetown match.
“Sat is the 65th birthday of Aus fast-bowler Jeff Thomson. Thomson wreaked devastation upon Eng in 1974/5 with 33 wkts in a 4-1 win; & upon WI in 1975/6 with 29 wkts in a 5-1 triumph. At his peak he was clocked at 99mph.
“And finally, Sat is the 50th birthday of off-spinner Joseph Vikram Harris. Born in Madras, India, Harris played for Barbados U19s in 1984 & twice for Barbados in the Red Stripe Cup in 1989 – but failed to take a wkt & scored only 4 runs. Moving to Canada, Joe blossomed when he converted to batting & rose to capt Canada – leading them in the 2003 World Cup in SA, which included a shock win over Bang – but was followed by defeats to WI, SA, NZ, Kenya & SL, when they were bowled out for a pathetic 36 – although Joe did top score – he made 9.
Until next time, this has been ‘Around the World in 2′ with David Oram.”
The Mason & Guests show is broadcast live every Tuesday from 6.15-8pm ECT (10.15pm-midnight GMT) on Voice of Barbados 92.9fm, and can be heard by clicking on ‘LISTEN LIVE’ on the website page via the link provided. To catch up on previous broadcasts, click on this link to the show’s archives.
David Oram is an Englishman following West Indies cricket from Islamabad. When I lived in the region, I was the resident ‘statto’, co-host and sometime presenter of ‘Mason & Guests’ – http://www.vob929.com/weekly cricket talk-show, the sport’s leading radio show in the WIndies – hosted by the Caribbean’s principal radio commentator, Andrew Mason. You can tweet me at DavidOram@colblimp1983.