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Happy birthday Ashley Noffke

As Mitchell Johnson decides what to do with his one-fifteenth share of Australia's $US 2.24 million prizemoney for winning the 2007 World Cup, spare a thought for his Queensland team-mate Ashley Noffke. And wish him a happy 30th birthday today. If things had gone just a little differently over recent years it could have been Noffke, not Johnson, sitting in the dug-out watching the Australian eleven thrashing the daylights out of all comers without making a single World Cup appearance of his own.

Graham Roope 1946-2006

Sad news this morning of the death of Graham Roope on Sunday while on holiday in Grenada. He didn't tour Australia but I remember him well from the 1977 series when England regained the Ashes from a WSC-shaken Australian side.

An outstanding slip fielder and a stalwart for Surrey for nearly twenty seasons, Roope played 21 Tests for England, scoring 860 runs at 30.71. In all first-class cricket between 1964 and 1986, he scored 19116 runs at 36.90.

Here's the announcement of Roope's passing on the

Carn the Brown Caps

The Surrey training shirt goes well with braces. (October 2004)It’s official. The Surrey Lions are no more. From this season onwards, the Surrey CCC limited-over team will be known as the Surrey Brown Caps.

Why? Because, funnily enough, they wear brown caps.

Which, of course, explains the colour of the Surrey training shirt that I bought at The Oval in 2000 (picture at right) has the official story.

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Dee-fence Surrey, dee-fence!

I haven't ranted much about Surrey on these pages for a while. Their performances in their last seven days - played over ever-decreasing durations - do not leave me with any great feelings of joy.

In the past week, Surrey has:

  • drawn a Championship game with Gloucestershire after scoring 603 and enforcing the follow-on;
  • beaten Yorkshire in a day-night National Leaguer by three runs;
  • failed to defend a fifty-over total of 358 to lose to Hamphire in the C and G Trophy quarter-final;
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