Cow Corner

  • After draw, it’s advantage England

    When England fans gathered in Trafalgar Square to welcome the 2005 Ashes success, a rather dour friend of Cowers said that no one should be able to join the celebrations unless they were watching the match at Lord's in 1993 when Michael Slater, Mark Taylor and David Boon scored hundreds and Mark Waugh was on 99.

    After 17 years it felt like the wheel had come full circle as Australia's wretched bowling was carted around by Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott on their way to unbeaten scores of 235 and 135.

    Not that there were many Aussie punters in the house to see it and fewer still who will admit

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  • Haunted by ghosts of Ashes past

    Dozing off in Bay 60 the ghosts of Gabba past returned - a recurring nightmare that visits every four years.

    The standard ritual of watching England in Brisbane from the sofa involves falling asleep deep into the small hours with our boys struggling to dismiss Aussie batsmen - and waking up four hours later only to find the same batsmen are still at the crease.

    For Matt Hayden and Ricky Ponting (272) in 2002, Ponting and Mike Hussey (209) in 2006, read Hussey and Brad Haddin in 2010 - the worst of the lot, 307 runs.

    Haddin came to the crease at 2.10pm on Friday and departed at 3.25pm on

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  • Bowlers arrive but Mr Cricket masters wicket

    You wouldn't have blamed James Anderson if he spent the morning with his head out of his hotel window - like my Brisbane landlady's mutt Bluey does out of the front of her ute - hoping for any sign of humidity in the air.

    As it happens, there was none at all - but it didn't matter as Jimmy proved to himself and the Aussie naysayers that he can still be a handful in unhelpful conditions.

    Two wickets was scant reward for a fine bowling effort which left the Australian batsmen wafting at balls outside off stump like they were bad smells. Ironically his worst ball of the day, drifting down the leg

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  • How to pull an Ashes all-nighter

    If you find the idea of completing an Ashes all-nighter about as likely as Kevin Pietersen walking past a mirror without checking himself out, we might just have the solution to get you through the upcoming series in Australia.

    What follows is a comprehensive 10-point guide to staying awake for the long haul.

    1. Go Australian

    We don't mean switch your allegiances, of course, but try adopting an Aussie lifestyle during the winter. Set the alarm for 10pm and go to bed after lunch. Turn up to work in the freezing cold wearing nothing but a string vest, Bermuda shorts and flip-flops, and spend

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  • Absurd Australia squad reveals anguish

    "It is with delight that I reveal those selected for Australia's Ashes squad..." a rather sheepish Andrew Hilditch announced in front of barely 50 wide-eyed passers-by at Sydney Harbour with a paucity of support from any of them.

    This was supposed to be a 'moment of Ashes history', according to the marketing men, but all it ended up being was a rather farcical and disjointed announcement which saw everyone in contention for the squad remain in exactly the same position. X-Factor judge Cheryl Cole would have been proud of the selectors showing such trepidation and lack of conviction.

    Fans were

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  • Gobby Ponting leads the chunter ahead of the Gabba

    The ICC FTP means a busy schedule for Cowers - blogging after every day's play - but following a six-week hiatus since England's last international action, we are back direct from Down Under as Ashes build-up gets into full swing.

    This is usually around the time at which players from both the England and Australia camps roll out the 'talking must stop' platitudes, but Ricky Ponting is locked in his own war of words.

    The Australia captain undoubtedly goes to bed with his baggy green and jock strap on, and his passion has been unbridled in the lead up to the first Test at Brisbane in a

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  • Strauss bulldozes Bangladesh at building site

    With
    half the ground under construction and more builders in fluorescent bibs than
    spectators, Edgbaston was an interesting choice of venue for the third and
    decisive one-day international between England and Bangladesh.

    But
    the copious amounts of cement, scaffolding and half-read copies of The Sun
    lying around on MDF did nothing to deter Andrew Strauss from bludgeoning an
    epic 154
    as England posted their third highest ODI score ever.

    Strauss,
    along with his able, and only slightly slower, accomplice Jonathan Trott, murdered
    some frankly atrocious bowling from the Tigers, who were about as

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  • Summer clean sweep… next up the Ashes

    England have been the Butt of a few poor jokes in recent weeks, but Andy Flower's trailblazers completed a clean sweep of series wins this summer with an emphatic win at the Rose Bowl.

    Again it was Graeme Swann who ripped, twirled and bamboozled his way through the Pakistan batting line up to seal the win after Eoin Morgan unfurled his usual staggering array of strokes in notching up a slick century.

    Andrew Strauss looked as smug as a man handing over his winning betting slip as he won the toss and played an imaginary cut shot to indicate to any hard of hearing observers that he would bat

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  • No Butts, England were outplayed

    Pakistan's players should be roundly commended for their valiant efforts in squaring the series at Lord's, but PCB chairman Ijaz Butt should be given short shrift after his seemingly defamatory diatribe.

    With Giles Clarke as the chairman of the ECB, it would be pretty rich to deliver an entirely damning assessment of his Pakistani counterpart Butt, but Cowers will nevertheless do exactly that.

    England's players reportedly had "strong misgivings" about participating in the match on the hallowed Lord's turf after Butt's "potentially" (Cowers can't afford to be sued following his visit to the

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  • Nothing’s dull around Umar Gul

    For the people who decided that they may as well go down the pub suspecting yet another Pakistan drubbing, they will be greeted with a surprise in addition to the ticking off from their other half: the tourists won.

    Pakistan have so often looked as though they would rather be taking a mini-bus tour round Milton Keynes than playing cricket this summer, but Shahid "Broom, Broom" Afridi revved up his side to an almost crazed intensity and was left to drive off into the sunset as the magnificent Umar Gul hit top gear.

    The seamer, who famously (or not, if you were also down the pub on this

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