Don’t know why it took me so long to set this team up. It did turn out to be more difficult than I planned though.
First up, the bowlers: Graeme Swann(t), Steven Finn, Xavier Doherty, and Doug Bolinger. Swann was a gimme as my favorite player and I think Finn is due. Doherty is a new name for me so I thought I’d give him a shot and I’ve been impressed with Bolinger since he showed up.
Next the Batsmen: Eoin Morgan, Michael Clarke, Ian Bell, and Usman Khawja. I think Morgan is amazing and Clarke is always solid. Bell had a good knock against the Aus XI the other day and I think he’ll pull it out. Usman is another new name for me, but he’s got a First class average of 50 so hopefully he’ll have a good debut.
All Rounders: Broad for his bowling and Watson for his batting
Wicket Keeper: Matt Prior.
I think my biggest problem with these fantasy games is I never tend to them well enough. There’s a good chance a few of my players won’t play the first match or at all really. That’s going to kill my score, but oh well, it’s still fun.
The team name is AMCricketFan on cricinfo. Feel free to list your teams in the comments.
I have been reading some troubling news about the leadership of the USACA. It started with this, which isn’t terribly helpful. On the surface, I have to say that I’m sorry that Lockerbie is gone. I don’t know all (or any, really) of the details, so there may be a very good reason. I then read this story which suggests that there is more trouble happening.
I don’t know anyone involved in this personally, so I can say that all I’m concerned about is the future of American cricket. The most troubling news was in this article which says that there may be some concern about the finances of the organization. I was excited about the plans that Lockerbie had set out for American cricket. The New Zealand/Sri Lanka match in Florida was one of the best experiences with the two friends that I took with me. I am worried that these developments may endanger the future of International matches in the U.S.
The USACA has had problems in the past. I hope whatever is going on here gets resolved soon. I suppose I can live without an American T20 tournament for the short term, but I will be really disappointed if the partnership with New Zealand falls apart and we miss out on more international matches.
One of the greatest things about being a fan of international cricket is that it is year round. It is also one of the most frustrating things. Because cricket moves to the Southern Hemisphere during my fall – winter, all of the matches happen in the middle of the night. The Ashes starts this week at 7:00pm for me.
The solution of course is to play all Southern Hemisphere matches in Argentina, or maybe Brazil. I will have to email the ICC about that. The only real consolation for this is the replays available on willow.tv. This has backfired a little bit in the last test between Sri Lanka and West Indies. I guess they only got the rights to broadcast the match live. Because of this hiccup, I could watch Gayle’s 333.
Truth to tell, because of the school year, I wouldn’t be able to watch many matches live anyway. This is just one of the frustrations inherent in following a sport that is not played much in your home country. It must be like a person living in Australia trying to follow American Baseball.
Just woke up in time to watch the tail end of the Australia v. All Stars match, about the last 3 overs or so. Matthew Hayden was captain and put himself on to bowl the last over. The interesting part of this was that he was wired for sound with the commentators. I think this was the most interesting on field interview I’ve heard so far. As as side note, I really like that cricket has the concept of the on field interview. This should be done more often and other sports should find ways to implement it.
Anyway, I liked Hayden’s attitude throughout the over. From what I gathered from what little I saw, this was a charity match as much as a warm-up for the Ashes, maybe more of a charity match. Hayden’s tone was light, even though the match was still very much up in the air, especially after a 6 or two. In the end, he finished the match very well with a wicket.
I can’t say that I cared all that much about the actual outcome of the game. If anything, I would have loved for the Australia team to lose a little confidence before Wednesday.
Looking forward to Wednesday and Swann taking like 15 wickets,
Just wanted to take a sec to say how much I am looking forward to this year’s Ashes series. I am very proud of England for taking the Ashes last year, but I know that England plays much better at home than they do on the road. Australia have gotten onto a pretty consistent losing streak lately and I just have to hope that it will hold up over the next couple of months.
My biggest problem this year is my ability to watch the games in full. The last Ashes was during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer, so as a teacher I had plenty of time to watch each game in full. This year I have two hurdles (kind of three). Because the games are in Australia, they will be played in the middle of the night here. Willow.tv resolves that issue by allowing me to watch full replays. I know test matches are incredibly long to rewatch in full, but I’m glad the offer the option because I really do like to watch (or at least hear) every ball. My second, larger problem is the fact that I have to work. This is mitigated somewhat by the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, but I will still be very busy.
On a side note, I will be traveling this December and I won’t be able to get to a computer. I had hoped that the iPhone stream at Willow would get me around this, but as of yet it is live only. I hope they will have the replays available in time. If not, there is another option. One that will deserve its own post when it happens. That is the new Skyfire browser for the iPhone. right now it only does flash video, but the website claims they will support Silverlight in the future.
So, anyway, back to my excitement over the Ashes(assuming I can watch). I have high hopes that this is one of the best opportunities to beat the Aussies down under. But I am trying to not get my hopes up too much. As well as England has been playing lately, I have seen them collapse too many times to be overconfident. What I’m really looking forward to is seeing Graeme Swann bowl. Quick bowlers can be very impressive, but there is just something about watching a cricket ball change directions to an almost mind boggling degree. I would also really like to see Swann grow into the all-rounder that he obviously has the potential to be. A five-for and a century in the same innings would do the trick I think.
Happy Watching and Go England!