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Catching up on some of my favourite writers, and how they are reporting the Ashes.
If Shane Warne is the Don Juan of world cricket, is Ashley Giles the Juan Carlos?
While the morning belonged to the Sheikh of Tweak, the Sultan of Spin, the afternoon belonged to the King of Spain, Prince Wheelie bin Giles. (Dammit, I should be writing for WWE.) The hyper-testosteroned English media are calling His Ashliness' dismissal of Damien Martyn "the ball of the century". In Ashley Giles' case, it probably will be his best ball of the century (and of the last one).
Poor old Marcus likes being on the receiving end of a milestone, doesn't he? First he was Glenn McGrath's 500th Test wicket, now he is Shane Warne's 600th - and with the very same dismissal, Adam Gilchrist's 300th as wicketkeeper.
Aye, six hundred - when I were a lad you only needed 300 wickets for a world record. I can recall vivdly, back in February 1976, Ian Redpath getting out to Lance Gibbs at the MCG and then walking up the pitch to shake the Guyanese offie's hand for being his 308th Test victim, taking him one clear of Frederick Seward Trueman.
Oh dear. In the last hour I have had two messages, one via email and one via a blog comment, with questions to put to Dean Jones and Greg Matthews. Please read Google carefully.
They don't make cricket balls like they used to. Only seven days after Glenn McGrath trod on one in pre-match training at Edgbaston, he is back in action for Australia in the Third Test at Old Trafford. Brett Lee has also had a miracle cure, so there's no room for (a) Mike Kasprowicz (b) Shaun Tait (c) Stuart Clark (d) Stuart MacGill (e) all of the above.
Michael Vaughan won the toss and elected to bat. Half an hour into the first session, England are 19 without loss. The burning question of the day is: who will be Warnie's Number 600?
I firmly believe that there is nothing more exhilirating in sport than a good game of Test cricket. This game at Edgbaston was one of the best. England by two runs.
I put this alongside the two Tests I consider the two best that I have seen in the past: the 1977 Centenary Test at the MCG, and the 1993 Test at the Adelaide Oval when the West Indies beat Australia by one run.
Saturday at the Edgbaston Test. Everyone dresses up in their best gear. There's those blokes dressed up as bright purple whoopie cushions. The Aussie fans wearing their authentic replica 1980-81 ODI gear - you know, the gorgeous canary yellow body-hugging kit with the tasteful lime green panels under the armpits. And it was good to see the Beatles re-forming to see if they could still fit into their Sgt Peppers uniforms. (No, don't ask me how John and George got tickets to the game.)
The Primary Club is a charitable organisation that raises money to provide facilities for visually impaired people. To be eligible to play for the Primary Club you should have been dismissed at least once in your life for a golden duck, ie, out first ball.
Matty Hayden: the URL to sign up is http://www.primaryclub.org/shop/join.php.