Cow Corner

  • Lukewarm start to the English summer

    The opening
    day of the international cricket summer was a lukewarm affair - and in more
    than just the literal sense.

    Striding
    out before 90,000 spectators on a sunny day before a raucous Australian crowd
    was only five months ago but must have seemed an eternity to England's players as they began the first Test
    on a wet, blustery day before a sparse crowd in Cardiff.

    Where were
    all those who stayed up at all night and watched Ricky Ponting depart in a
    strop for single figures before going to work on three hours sleep?

    The Swalec
    Stadium, belonging to Glamorgan, was less than half full with one

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  • Please pick Bopara over Morgan

    The
    disadvantage for cricket writers of England having a settled and successful
    Test side is that there is not too much room for debating selections.

    But with
    the first Test of the summer fast approaching there is one decision that needs
    to be made and debated - picking the retired Paul Collingwood's replacement.

    If the question
    stands out like a sore (probably fractured) Nasser Hussain thumb, then the answer
    is less clear at first.

    There is
    little to choose between the two outstanding candidates, Ravi Bopara and Eoin
    Morgan.

    They are of
    a similar age - Ravi turned 26 last week, Morgan is

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  • Is England’s best asset Zimbabwean?

    Andy
    Flower continuing his work as England team director might sound like a relatively
    trivial piece of news, but it could be the most significant development as
    England plan the next four years.

    After
    a World Cup there's always a period of change and restructure in international
    cricket. Several teams have already changed their coaching set-ups, including
    India, who were believed to be quite keen on parachuting Flower into the top
    job.

    And
    though the decision to keep him on board was simple, there were considerations
    which made an extension less than certain.

    The
    time away from home that

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  • Australia plumb new depths

    Through much of this Australian summer, home fans will have thought things couldn't get any worse. On this the 24th scheduled day of the Ashes series, they reached their nadir. And even worse, as at the MCG they will have to come back for a futile morning session before England fans and players get an early start on celebrations. 

    Matt Prior's 118 and Graeme Swann's late slog took the score to 644 all out, their best ever in Australia. Yet another record for England on this tour beating a mark set 72 years ago.  A Swann-led assault saw Mitchell Johnson's last two overs go for 35 runs. As Mitch

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  • Pick your ultimate West Indies pace attack

    So rich is the history of West Indies fast bowlers that whittling any list down to a specific bowling attack is hugely problematic.

    Even if the task were to select an all-time entire West indies team of pacemen, there would still be some notable omissions.

    Let's start with the distinguished era of Learie Constantine, George Francis and Herman Griffith, through to Manny Martindale, Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith, to the formidable quartet of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Colin Croft (pictured, above).

    Oh, and there's always Malcolm Marshall, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose etc,

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  • Five reasons why England didn’t win the World Cup

    After yesterday's post on how England could win the World Cup, it is only fitting to answer our question with a resounding NO.

    England's attempt to reach a first 50-over World Cup final in 19 years came to a shuddering halt in Colombo on Saturday.

    Andrew Strauss' side also managed to break their streak of being involved in close games by suffering an old-fashioned mauling as Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga made hay against a listless England attack.

    Cowers starts the post-mortem on why England failed to win the World Cup in the old fashioned way - by blaming someone else.

    Giles

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  • Million dollar bash

    Another day, another new competition - it's not just the New Road outfield that is in danger of being saturated.
     
    The England and Wales Cricket Board are announcing details of a lucrative new Twenty20 link-up with Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford - he of the stetson, black bats, big ego and even bigger pockets.
     
    After the weekend annoucement of the new Twenty20 Champions League, we now have a series of one-off matches between England and the Stanford Superstars in Antigua plus a new four-team international tournament in London.
     
    While the county/state/regional game exist merely to service

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  • Swann on song in Chennai

    11:30: India 155-6 (45 overs): WICKET! Some chat out in the middle and maybe Yuvraj gets distracted as he drives loosely at a wide-ish delivery from the returning Harmison and bucket hands Flintoff takes the catch at second slip. Cranky shot eight minutes before the close and it's definitely been England's day.

    That's stumps! Join me back here at 4am tomorrow for more from Chennai. We are definitely looking at a positive result in this match.

    MATCH SCORECARD
    MATCH GALLERY

    11:15: India 136-5 (42 overs): Cook is flying through the air like a salmon at backward point and gets a fingertip on a

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  • Were the Windies the greatest of all time?

    Cowers usually only gets away from its field to look up obscure cricket statistics (to check, for instance, that Gerrie Snyman did indeed once score 230 in a Namibia innings of 282 all out).

    So it was a rare treat when it had a chance to talk to West Indies legend-turned-commentator Michael Holding about the great Caribbean team of the 1970s and 80s.

    Their feats are celebrated in a film, Fire in Babylon, which looks at the success of the team and the remarkable role they played in galvanising a region, and triumphing at a time when sport, politics and race were colliding across the

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  • IPL looms large over county season

    There's barely been time for half the captains in international cricket to fall on their swords, and scarcely enough for India's collective post-World Cup victory hangover to ease - but we're all set for another seven-week tournament in India.

    Players will therefore do their best to pretend that they are not suffering from burnout and rouse themselves for the prospect of travelling to India to play a string of Twenty20 matches for rupees aplenty.

    After much wrangling, the IPL organisers have got rid of chairman Lalit Modi, brought in two new teams (Kochi and Pune), excluded two more (Rajastan

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