Cow Corner

National Ryan Day

Cow Corner

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Ryan Sidebottom capped a memorable year last night by being named England's "overpriced official mobile phone provider" Player of the Year.

Britain and the Netherlands have the fewest bank holidays among EU countries with just eight, compared with Spain and Portugal which have 14.

So Cowers would like to nominate today as a Ryan Sidebottom National Holiday.

So don your ginger wigs, roll over your left arm and tell your boss, you are going down the pub to celebrate.

Here's ten things you need to know to celebrate Ryan Sidebottom Day.

1) He has his own song, to the tune of Robin Hood: "Sidebottom, Sidebottom, running through the air; Sidebottom, Sidebottom, with his curly hair; he bats at eight or nine, his hat-trick was sublime... Sidebottom! Sidebottom! Sidebottom!"

2) Duncan Fletcher does not like the cut of his jib. For six years and ten months Sidebottom was the new Joey Benjamin or the new Charlie Absolom, Kabir Ali, Alfred Archer, John Arnold, Victor Barton,  Mark Benson, Ian Blackwell, Dennis Brookes, Simon Brown, Alan Butcher, Douglas Carr, William Chatterton, Stanley Christopherson, John Clay, Cecil Cook, Alec Coxon, James Cranston, Alfred Dipper, Arthur Dolphin, Andrew Ducat, Jack Durston, George Emmett, John Evans, Leslie Gay, Edward Grace, Fred Grace, Gavin Hamilton, Jon Lewis, Andy Lloyd, Jack MacBryan, Charles Marriott, Tony Pigott, Arnie Sidebottom, Mike Smith, John Stephenson, Fred Tate or Neil Williams. Yes he was a one-Test wonder before being recalled for the second Test of last summer against West Indies at Headingley. He took 0/64 on his debut against Pakistan at Lord's in 2001 and was frankly rubbish.

3) Did you see Arnie Sidebottom in that list before you got bored. That's his Dad and not Robert Plant as you may have thought. He helped Manchester United win the Second Division in 1975. Second Division, United - those were the days.

4) Ryan wasn't a bad footballer having trials at Sheffield United as a centre half but failed to impress then manager Dave Bassett.

5) Ryan's initials are RJ and what does the J stand for you ask - it turns out it stands for Jay.

6) His favourite drink is Gin and tonic and Guinness. We are not sure whether they are all in one glass if so we recommend only drinking them in halves.

7) His nicknames are Sid, Jazz and Sexual Chocolate, the latter given to him by Craig White at Yorkshire. We are trying to confirm what happened with that flake at Headingley.

8) He is the tenth best bowler in the world after his man-of-the-series performance in New Zealand with a haul of 53 wickets at 25.24. At that rate he only needs to play another 75 Tests to overtake Ian Botham as England's leading wicket taker which should mean sometime around 2106.

9) Cowers once saw Sidebottom in a bar in Leeds. He was with a woman with shorter hair than him.

10) Actually his bottom is not on his side but directly beneath his back.

- - -

No hot dogs, soggy pies and reheated Cornish pasties at Grace Road today.

Biltong, boerewors, droewors and Potjiekos are the order of the day as there are currently nine South African-born players involved as Northamptonshire go in search of their first LV County Championship win of the season at Leicestershire.

Two of them, Andrew Hall and Johannes van der Wath, are making their first Division Two appearances of the season for Northants after winning appeals that allow them to participate in county cricket.

Kolpak, like Tupac and Lurpak, is alive and kicking.

- - -

THANKS BUT NO THANKS: Mark Vermeulen has offered to help rebuild the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy - the same building he burned down in an arson attack in 2007.

TALKING POINT: "IPL? Who cares? There's excitement a-plenty, but none of the beauty of any aspect of the 5-day game," nickbroberts gives a massive thumbs up to the gourmet meal that is Test cricket rather than the pop and crisps of 20-20.

"Calm down chaps and whilst enjoying the weather sip on a Pimms to ease your obvious strained selves," nice touch craig.washington but Cowers prefers a pint of Pernod on a warm afternoon.

Today - Is Sidebottom the best left-armer we've had since Greg Thomas? How many wickets will Sidebottom take against New Zealand. A Yahoo! pen for anyone who gets it spot on. HONEST! One guess only though pen fans.

COMING UP: Ackerman and Dippenaar are at the crease for the Transvaal Tigers against Griqualand West - LIVE SCORECARD

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