You have to hand it to the Murdoch comic books. One week they are celebrating - in advance - the Lord Of The
RingsText Alert's 700th wicket, the next week they are celebrating his 1000th wicket. With that rarest or rarities, the full page colour liftout commemorative poster.
So what are we celebrating again? Shane Warne's 1000th international wicket. As in all "full internationals". Let me explain, by introducing the rickeyre.com vegetable index (More about the fruit index later)
Let's say Tests and ODIs have as much in common as, for argument's sake, cabbage and broccoli. Shane Warne claimed his 707th career cabbage on Wednesday, one Mudhsuden Singh Panesar. Having cut down on his greens a few years ago, Warne has 293 broccoli to his name.
If it weren't for his mum's tablets and the failure to admit what we now know as Shoaib Akhtar's Defence, Warnie would have smashed the 300 broccoli barrier back in March 2003, and the House of Murdoch would have wasted a few more trees on colour posters.
It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge Sheikh al-Tweikh's track record in the fruit market. Prior to the Sydney Test he had racked up 3083 apples and 1018 oranges, one of the world's most prolific fruit-vege men of all time.
Warne doesn't have the most career vegies to his name, however. As at the completion of Tuesday's day-nighter in Christchurch, Muttiah Muralitharan had 1106 vegetables to his name: 674 cabbages, 430 broccoli, and... two brussel sprouts. Both brussel sprouts (Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor) were digested at Murali's only opportunity to date, at Westpac Stadium, Wellington on 22 December 2006.
Warnie has been restricted to eating brussel sprouts at domestic level, for Victoria and for Hampshire (as he will continue to do till September 2008).
Midwinter-Midwinter votes for Sydney Day Two: Brett Lee 3 pts; Stuart Clark 2 pts; Glenn McGrath 1 pt.