Cow Corner

  • Give Ian Bell the man-of-the-series award already

    Ian Bell has yet to receive a man-of-the-match award despite having scored almost 500 runs - and counting - at an average of 82, including three centuries.

    As astonishing as that is, he has also provided two hugely valuable half-centuries in addition to the three tons in four Tests, and continues to lead the England charge in the second innings at Chester-le-Street.

    It does not seem that long ago that Bell was derided as being 'carried' by England in the 2005 Ashes series victory over Australia and mocked for being an easy touch.

    Indeed, it has taken a very long time for his reputation as a

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  • "Cricket does not need gimmicks - it needs tried and tested technology that is reliable and accurate," said Geoffrey Boycott during another controversial day of Ashes action in Durham.

    Few would disagree with that statement from the former England batsman and uncompromising pundit, but it does not reflect the current situation, where a half-baked system employs a half-hearted piece of technology.

    Hotspot uses infrared cameras to determine whether the ball has struck the batsman, bat or pad, with any contact supposed to show up as a bright spot on the image, but its obvious flaws have been

    Read More »from Hot Spot… take a blow, then come back when you work consistently
  • Should Kevin Pietersen be considered an England great?

    He is the man many England supporters love to hate, the man known to opposing sides as 'The Ego', the man who has caused countless controversies with the ECB and his team-mates.

    He has been hailed a "genius", as "the best batsman of his generation" and as a "ludicrously talented performer", but that will never be enough for his critics, who say that he is "selfish", "arrogant" and "self-obsessed".

    Despite his unpopularity in some quarters, Kevin Pietersen is a brilliant cricketer. A batsman of prodigious talent and confidence to back up his supreme ability.

    He has the career statistics to

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  • England justified in batting incredibly slowly in Durham

    Durham has waited a very long time to host an Ashes Test, and after a desperately attritional and turgid morning session some must have wondered why there was so much hype surrounding the match.

    Alastair Cook always said that his side would not take unnecessary risks in attempting to build a big first-innings total, and he really, really meant it.

    England had their joint-fourth longest wait for a boundary in a Test innings over the last six years on day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street after Cook won the toss on a good wicket.

    The opening day in Durham saw England take 12

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  • Why England must make room for Onions in fourth Test

    There is a saying that is both endorsed and derided in equal measure when it comes to team selections ahead of Tests: 'horses for courses'.

    Some believe wholeheartedly that certain players should be picked according to the conditions, wicket, ground and other factors; others think it is absurd to drift from simply selecting the best 11 players at any one time.

    Equally, with England 2-0 up in an Ashes series, many believe that there is no need for tinkering or giving other players a chance: after all, if there are no fundamental problems, why change anything?

    But there is often more logic in

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  • A cricket action shot as seen via Hotspot

    The ICC has launched a probe into allegations some batsmen in the Ashes series have used silicon tape on the edge of their bats to confuse Hotspot technology, Australia's Channel Nine TV reported on Wednesday.

    England cricketer Kevin Pietersen angrily slammed such allegations as "hurtful lies", admitting he is "furious" to have been linked with such suggestions of cheating.

    On Wednesday, responding to the stories, he tweeted: "Horrible journalism yet again! My name brought up in hotspot crisis, suggesting I use silicon to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies."

    Pietersen went on to deny

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  • Why many England fans wanted Australia to win, not the rain

    Who would have thought during England's disastrous Ashes campaigns of years gone by that fans would be so underwhelmed by the manner of their side retaining the famous little urn?

    England survived to hold on for a draw on the final day at Old Trafford courtesy of persistent rain, and in so doing retained the Ashes in 14 days of play - their best effort since five-day Tests came in after the second world war.

    It was the first time that England have retained the Ashes with a draw, while Australia have done so on 11 occasions - six times in England and four times at Old Trafford.

    But it is the

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  • 'Why does cricket always shoot itself in the foot?'; 'Cricket has the most ridiculous rules'; 'How angry would you be having paid £75 for this?'; 'Cricket is its own worst enemy'.

    There are many ludicrous situations which arise during a Test match, and cricket is a strange sport at the best of times, but it's very hard to fathom for many to see the players taken off the field for bad light just after 4pm in an Ashes contest.

    That's right: the floodlights were very much on, but the players were very much off.

    A capacity crowd at Old Trafford were not in the least bit sympathetic to the umpires

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  • Do England still have a chance of an improbable victory?

    Amid all the talk of rain, declarations and series-salvaging performances, England are still not entirely out of contention in the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford. But what chance do they really have?

    After his crucial 113 in the first innings, Kevin Pietersen was adamant that his side 'could still win the match', while Michael Clarke was hastily telling the Australian journalists not to consider the margin of victory.

    Clarke prides himself on being a proactive, positive captain, and he will have to think very carefully about when he is willing to declare in a match that is constantly moving

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  • Pietersen punishes Australia for yet another DRS blunder

    Kevin Pietersen celebrates his century as Mitchell Starc looks dejected

    There has been a great deal of furore concerning umpiring decisions in the Ashes series so far, much of it entirely justified. But Australia only had themselves to blame on day three at Old Trafford as they failed to review a crucial decision.

    Kevin Pietersen was trapped in front of his stumps by Shane Watson, only for captain Michael Clarke to not back his convictions and take the chance to send the England dangerman back to the pavilion.

    Pietersen had 62 runs to his name when Watson all-but-dismissed the England batsman, and he went on to frustrate the tourists with his 23rd Test century

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