The covers are finally off

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WELCOME to 2014 and if the festive season is anything to go by, well, what a year we are in for.

It’s good to be back after the rain delay and hope you are all well. I am glad the covers were on for a while as some events that transpired, I would not have predicted and would have got so wrong I would have lost all credibility as a columnist.

It is difficult to find a starting point with all the goings-on in the world of cricket; England losing the Ashes 5-0, Regis Chakabva blasting 244 in a Logan Cup Match, Correy Anderson smashing Shahid Afridi’s 17-year-old record for the quickest one-day international (ODI) 100, another record crowd for the Boxing Day Test in Australia, Jacques Kallis retirement and Piers Morgan taking on Bret Lee in an attempt to show that some Englishmen still have guts after the raw pace of Mitchel Johnson blew the English away.

Any of the above would make interesting reading. Let’s throw in the now much-publicised financial woes of Zimbabwe Cricket and we should have a best seller.

Unfortunately ladies and gentleman, it is only one publication and while I am itching to have a go on the green top that has been under covers for such a long time with all the moisture around, I will take a breather and maybe bat on it and test out the technique of my batsmen in trying conditions.

I hope we fare much better than the English who have gone from hero to zero almost overnight. I have spoken to many of my colleagues and listened to as many interviews as possible to try and make sense of how England wilted so badly in Australia.

No one has a good explanation so I won’t even go down that road.

I will, however, question the mental toughness of the team. Where in the world has it ever happened in whatever field that two senior members quit in the middle of a series? Given, Jonathan Trott is South African by birth. It seems to me when the going got tough the weak got gone.

That has to go down in history as the worst show of patriotism and manhood ever displayed. Trott averaging 50 in Tests and Graeme Swann always among the wickets, brought an embarrassing end to their careers and it will be hard to remember them for anything else, but their cowardly way out.

There was so much talk about the pace of Johnson who finished as the man-of-the-series with 31 wickets and the England management were at pains to explan to the world that they did not fear him.

Well Alister Cook actions speak louder than words and the action said “spineless”. So bad was the English batting TV personality, Piers Morgan, got himself into trouble for running his mouth about the team’s lack of guts.

To his credit he accepted a challenge to face up to former Aussie speed merchant Bret Lee.

The stage was set during the fourth Test at tea time and with the world watching, Morgan with his dodgy technique stood up to Lee, got bowled once and pined a couple of times, but hey, he still showed more guts than the English team.

Where to now for the English who failed to go past 200 runs on six occasions? The unforgiving English Press have been calling for heads to roll, I just wait to see whose and how many.

Can people become bad players in a series?

The Aussie bowling attack has me salivating at the prospect of their showdown in South Africa in March.

  • The Logan Cup season eventually kicked off very quietly and a lot of the big name players were conspicuous by their absence. Fringe national team player Regis Chakabva blasted 244 the top individual score since the start of the franchise era.
    The season was thrown into turmoil as the players refused to play the next round of fixtures. Contrasting stories were given, but it appears the players have downed tools until their dues are met. We wait to see what will transpire as the season is pencilled to continue next week.
  • I could not finish without mentioning the incredible innings from New Zealand’s Correy Anderson. It takes a lot of will power to watch cricket in Australia and New Zealand because of the time zone.

    This time the sacrifice was worth it. This was truly something special and Afridi’s 17-year-old 36-ball 100 record looks like it would last forever. Records are made to be broken and Anderson shaves two balls off it on his way to an incredible 131 off just 47 balls and strikes 15 sixes.

  • Wow!

    Happy 2014 everybody.