Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Sky/ECB 0, ITV/Lalit Modi 1

The IPL is back and – for the first time since 2005 – so is live cricket on UK free-to-air TV.

After all the hype about the IPL-YouTube deal, I’ve actually found myself watching ITV4’s live stream more of the time. The one thing I've been struck by so far has been the contrast between the IPL match commentators and the ITV studio pundits. It’s as if the former are on ecstasy – hallucinating “unbelievable” shots, DLF Maximums, Karbon Kamaal Catches and Citi Moments of Success at ten second intervals – while the latter have been sedated: just what do presenters Mandira Bedi and Matt Smith need to do to get Graeme Hick, John Emburey and co. to sound even vaguely enthusiastic about what they're watching?

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Cook's amazing buffet

England Nets Session
I do love a good bit of declaration bowling.

It's a scenario that recreational cricketers know all too well: the team batting first in a friendly game has used up half the time available, is short of runs but has plenty of wickets in hand. The fielding skipper does the decent thing - he calls for his grenadiers. Long hops, full tosses and half volleys are lobbed up in the hope that the batsmen charge out their trenches in a shot-making frenzy, thus hastening the inevitable declaration.

By and large, international skippers don't have occasion to employ such tactics, but shortly before lunch yesterday, Alastair Cook did, albeit in a slightly different type of situation. With little chance of a result in England's three-day tour match against Bangladesh A, Cook wanted to ensure his team got a decent number of overs of batting practice in their second innings. The hosts didn't have much of a lead and were creeping along at two-and-a-bit per over, so Cook decided to serve up a bit of a buffet to spice things up.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Royalists, Thomians and Stallions

The 131st Royal-Thomian

When IPL 3 gets underway this weekend, most of the cricket world will be on Youtube, watching the site's live webcasts of the goings on in Mumbai and Mohali. Over in Sri Lanka, however, virtually all cricket lovers will be following the climax of a different match. Saturday is the final day of the Royal-Thomian, the biggest event in Colombo's cricketing calendar. The annual schoolboy contest between Royal College and St Thomas' is older than the Ashes and unlike Eton vs Harrow has never been interrupted by war. This is 131st consecutive year in which the game has been played, with St Thomas' ahead 34-33 in the overall tally. Christopher Martin-Jenkins conveyed a sense of the atmosphere at the event in a Wisden Special Report in 1994, entitled "Sri Lanka's great game:"

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Getting on a (superblog)roll

Give It Some Air has just been listed over on Cricket Superblogroll, the Blogroll for Cricket Blogs. I'm grateful to the folks over there for acknowledging my presence in the blogosphere!

At this point, I ought to add a proper "About Me" page for the benefit of new visitors to these parts. I plan do so shortly but in the meantime here's roughly what it will say...

I’m a Sri Lankan-born Brit who has been a cricket lover ever since – as a three-month-old baby – I met my namesake Imran Khan. My cricketing heroes include Murali and CLR James, while my own heroic cricket often involves my off-breaks landing beyond a boundary. I have room in my heart for both the Ashes and the IPL, but am just as interested in Chris Martin’s batting exploits and Afghan T20 campaigns. My writing has appeared in student newspapers and also on Cricinfo’s Inbox Blog.

When I first came on to bowl for my school's Under-11 cricket team, the master in charge told me I needed to "give it some air." A number of years later, I find I am still reluctant to flight my off-breaks but am keen to air my thoughts on the game.
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