Cow Corner

  • Cricket pays tribute to South Africa’s ‘warrior’

    It was not supposed to be this way. South Africa stalwart Mark Boucher had trained and prepared vigorously for what he intended to be his final Test series, but things turned out very differently.

    The talismanic wicketkeeper was forced to announce his retirement from international cricket a day after undergoing eye surgery following a severe injury which he sustained during his side's tour match against Somerset at Taunton.

    Boucher suffered a laceration to his left eyeball after being struck by a bail, and underwent a lengthy two-and-a-half hour operation just hours afterwards.

    A spinning

    Read More »from Cricket pays tribute to South Africa’s ‘warrior’
  • Was England winning not enough?

    There was a certain impatience in the air as England nurdled their way towards a third straight one-day victory over Australia.

    The win was inevitable, the argument ran, so why not, with wickets in hand, put the foot on the accelerator and win with, say, 10 overs to spare, rather than 13 balls?

    Cowers should add a little context to the debate. It came as England were coasting to victory. Against Australia. The number one-ranked side in one-day international cricket. For the third time in a row. For a record ninth straight ODI victory.

    Yet here we were, arguing not about the result, but how it

    Read More »from Was England winning not enough?
  • Tributes flow as Maynard is laid to rest

    ECB managing director Hugh Morris said the game had lost an "extraordinary talent" as Tom Maynard was laid to rest in his home city of Cardiff.

    The 23-year-old Surrey batsman died on June 18 after being hit by a London Underground train, and a congregation of around 900 attended his funeral at Llandaff Cathedral on Wednesday.

    Alongside Maynard's father Matthew, mother Sue and sister Ceri were figures from the sporting world including England captain Andrew Strauss and former internationals Andrew Flintoff, Marcus Trescothick, Paul Collingwood, Mike Gatting and Alec Stewart.

    Wales rugby legend

    Read More »from Tributes flow as Maynard is laid to rest
  • Ramprakash by numbers: Career of a legend

    Mark RamprakashMark Ramprakash is to retire from cricket after an extraordinary career that has spanned a quarter of a century.

    When the Hertfordshire-born cricketer made his first-class debut 25 years ago Margaret Thatcher was still Prime Minister and Madonna was at the top of the charts with 'La Isla Bonita'.

    Back in April 1987, he made his debut against a team featuring Archie Sidebottom, a man old enough to have a son, Ryan, who is himself on the verge of retirement after a glittering career at both first class and Test level.

    We decided to take a look back at the career of the man they call 'Bloodaxe'

    Read More »from Ramprakash by numbers: Career of a legend
  • Does this series really matter?

    Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke at The Oval

    It said something of the status of the five-match series between England and Australia that many cricket supporters were surprised to hear that the tourists were even in the country before it started.

    The series has flown under the radar for the most part and has divided opinion, even amongst those who profess a deep love of the game.

    'It devalues the Ashes and the contest it represents'; 'it is all about money and nothing else'; 'there is no good reason for this series to be taking place' - just some of the views which have been expressed.

    The fact is, England v Australia matches sell. They

    Read More »from Does this series really matter?
  • There was always going to be a backlash, only the ECB were perhaps not expecting it to come from Australian poker player and former cricketer Shane Warne.

    When Kevin Pietersen announced his retirement from pyjama cricket - knowing full well that the ECB grouped both one-day internationals and Twenty20s together - the judgement of the governing body was inevitably called into question.

    Far be it from KP to ever court controversy, but he made it patently clear from the outset that his intention was to retire from playing 50-over cricket, while still wanting to play in the game's shortest

    Read More »from Have the ECB mismanaged KP’s situation?
  • Scathing reaction to Flintoff’s Atherton outburst

    If Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff believed his astonishing expletive-laden outburst towards fellow former England captain Michael Atherton would garner support and sympathy, it has backfired quite emphatically.

    Flintoff launched a remarkably ill-judged and incoherent tirade towards Atherton - now a Sky Sports pundit and cricket correspondent of The Times newspaper - while at a party and gave the reporter carte blanche to publish the quotes in full.

    "He's a p***k. He's a f****** p****," Flintoff told the London Evening Standard. "He sits there making judgments about players that are much better than

    Read More »from Scathing reaction to Flintoff’s Atherton outburst
  • Cricket a poorer place for loss of Maynard

    We expected that when Tom Maynard's name hit the headlines, it would be because he had earned himself a call-up to the England squad.

    Instead, the news that filtered through on Monday was that the Surrey batsman had died at the age of 23.

    23 - a desperately low number, which takes some time to absorb.

    In cricket, with that number of runs to your name, you are starting to settle into an innings. But as in life your best moments, you hope, are ahead of you. Should your innings in the game end on 23, you are left to rue what you might have achieved. If you fail, well, there's always next time.

    Read More »from Cricket a poorer place for loss of Maynard
  • England v West Indies: Series ratings

    England versus the West Indies will not go down as a classic series, despite some tense sessions of play and some cracking individual moments.

    Both sides were much-improved from those that took to the field three years before. England still won the series 2-0, but without great fanfare, while the West Indies won plaudits for their resilience and fight, if not the end result on the scoreboard.

    With a showpiece summer series against South Africa drawing ever closer, who shone and who floundered for England?

    Andrew Strauss (8/10)

    He needed a big series — and he delivered it. His last two Test

    Read More »from England v West Indies: Series ratings
  • It all comes back to Sir Viv

    The fourth day at Edgbaston was dominated by two big performances from West Indies players, but a superstar linked them both.

    Denesh Ramdin hit the second Test century of his career, and celebrated by unfurling a message scrawled on a piece of paper to Caribbean legend Sir Vivian Richards.

    "Yea Viv talk nah" was not exactly a line which could have been lifted from a Shakespearian play, but the message was clear enough.

    The words were a response to criticism Richards had made of his batting contributions for the team — a criticism not without merit. Going into this Test, the talented

    Read More »from It all comes back to Sir Viv