30 June 2009

Vaughan to retire

David Keen has a post about Michael Vaughan's retirement. I think that Vaughan really brought something special to the England captaincy after what seemed like many years in the wilderness of international cricket. The main reason I rate him as a captain is the way in which his players have always talked about him as a leader. Cricket is one of those sports where there is a lot going on under the surface. In particular, field placements and bowling strategies often go un-noticed by the casual observer, but this was where Vaughan was strongest. He seemed to have an intuition for the game, and when to make those very subtle changes which would bring about a wicket. Then there was his batting. I always thought he looked massive at the crease. The bat seemed tiny in his hands, and when he was on form, he was a joy to watch; a truly graceful player. Finally, I respected his conduct. He always seemed to say the right things, even when there was a tricky situation. He seemed to grasp the bigger picture in the game; something that Strauss seems to be able to do too. It's good that he's chosen to opt out rather than being forced to retire, and I hope he makes the move into TV or radio where he would have a lot to offer.

29 June 2009

Check your wallets

If you have a 20p without a date on it, keep hold of it; it might be worth £50 according to the BBC.

One I meant to post about but didn't... catch the pigeon!

I've been meaning to post a a link to this clip of a Lancashire T20 game where Jaques Rudolph managed to bring down a pigeon with a return throw from the deep. I had 2 immediate reactions: 1) Poor pigeon, though it probably knew little about it, and 2) What a good throw! I bet he couldn't do that again.

26 June 2009

Back to the blog!

I've been 'enjoying' a break from blogging over the last few weeks. No doubt the avid readers of this blog will have been heartbroken at the break in inspirational and witty banter. The reason for the break has been something of a change in pace at work, which has been tiring, along with the ongoing pressures of Mrs Lanky's growing bump. Incidentally, all is well with the bump. According to the ultrasound scans everything is the size it should be for the stage we are at, and LittleLanky appears to be as near to average as s/he can be.

I felt as though today was the right day for a post for 2 reasons. The first is the timely return to batting form of Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff. Thanks to our Ashes-inspired resumption of a Sky Sports subscription, I watched Lancashire's victory over Derbyshire in the T20 championship last night. It's the first time since the famous 2005 Ashes series that I've seen him dominate a bowling attack in such an intimidating way. Hopefully the Aussies were watching and beginning to get a little bit nervous.

The second reason for my post is to mark the passing of the troubled superstar, Michael Jackson. I don't have much to say about him apart from that I feel sadness for him and his family. I know lots of people have opinions about his lifestyle and his alleged misdemeanours, but I can't help feeling sorry for him. There must have been reasons for the way he was, and they are likely to have been linked to his unconventional upbringing. Can we all just leave it there? Can we let him rest in peace and leave his family to grieve?