Cow Corner

Seeing it like a golf ball

Cow Corner

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Unlike Premier League footballers, the average county pro does not live a privileged existence. They spend their winters doing normal jobs or as most of us call them "jobs".

Mark Ealham is a plumber during the dark winter months, Simon Cook is a property developer and Charl Langeveldt used to be a prison officer.

Kent's Matthew Walker is a PE teacher and he would have been thinking he shouldn't have put away his whistle after a second ball duck against Nottinghamshire yesterday

Luke Wright, Martin van Jaarsveld, Darren Stevens, Alex Wakeley, Kadeer Ali, Alex Gidman and Ian Westwood were other batsmen "seeing it like a golf ball" as they failed to trouble the scorers on the opening day of the county season

We were less surprised to see Sussex youngster Ragheb Aga get nought as we all know that Aga's are slow burners.

As you may have read on CC's bio, it has been known to bowl some military medium and once played against Walker whilst we were both in small trousers in an Under 15s match some years ago (in Walker's case they were particularly small as those who are not regulars down at the St Lawrence may not realise even as an adult he is both 3ft 9in tall and wide).

Walker got about 125 - which as it was a school match, pro rata is the equivalent of making 629 in first-class cricket.

Walker was also a hockey player of some repute and most people know that Phil Neville was a better schoolboy cricketer than footballer (insert your own jokes here) and Liam Botham played for Hampshire and then both codes of rugby at a decent level.

Even Jimmy Jackson, a stalwart of Conference football, managed to dip his wick against Cowers' bowling just to underline that some people are just plain good at all sports.

We even reckon Tiger Woods could make 20 against Derbyshire's attack.

CC is still wowing the after dinner speaking scene with tales of when he dismissed former Aberdeen midfielder Nigel Pepper twice in once season so if you have any claims to fame about which famous sportsmen you have dismissed on the cricket field we want to know - feedback at the bottom as always.

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It was a good day for National Selector Geoff Miller yesterday.

Miller, who took the role after the ECB did to David Graveney what the RFU did to Brian Ashton yesterday, was one of a capivated crowd (see picture) at The Oval to see Sir Fredrick of Flintoff come through his latest comeback with no ill effects.

Ballroom dancer turned Don Bradman impersonator Mark Ramprakash scored the first of the 82 centuries he will score for Surrey this season while Owais Shah also got a ton and Rob Key and Matt Prior also weighed in with runs.

The next cab on the rank queue is getting so long, it's starting to resemble the day at St Pancras when Aslef called a wildcat strike.

Expect most of those guys to feature when England Lions play the New Zealanders at The Rose Bowl from May 8.

What was wrong with England A or England B, now we have Lions, the rugby rejects are Saxons.

What loose historical reference will Fabio Capello's stiffs have as a suffix - Jutes? Thatcherites?

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Cowers can reveal the real reason players are forgoing county cricket for the IPL - it's nothing to do with the wheelbarrow full of rupees for a maximum of 16 days work but the quality of air travel.

We have successfully negotiated air travel in India with the pleasure of being served by some quite stunning air stewardesses on Kingfisher Airlines and with all our luggage - cattle prods included - safely waiting for us on the carousel despite an unforeseen stopover in Ahmedabad.

So you must feel for Andre Nel who less than four hours after landing at Heathrow from Johannesburg was taking the new ball for Essex albeit in a pair of borrowed boots after his cricket bag failed to negotiate Terminal Five.

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Early Doors was a green eyed monster yesterday as we weighed in with a 23-strong feedback, far outweighing ED's early efforts.

The quest for a club side of quite stunning mediocrity continues but we have some early candidates:

the old men from Haslingfield CC near Cambridge thanks to the_kop2003
"catches are things on the loo door" - the motto of Birdlip & Brimpsfield CC 2s now stunning the crowds in Division 7 of the Gloucestershire County League from theonly008uk
Frogmore CC whose post-match ritual involves something unspeakable with a Dyson via oldtimekopite
Malvern College U15 B's - whose average score is the same as their age - from weeman27bob

Keep them coming in, plenty of time yet for tales of quite stunning mediocrity

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THE INAUGURAL RICHIE BENAUD "WHAT A CATCH, MARVELLOUS EFFORT THAT" AWARD GOES TO: Hampshire's Jimmy Adams who snared a one-handed blinder to his left in the slips to remove Chris Nash of Sussex.

THE INAUGURAL IAN BOTHAM TAKE A WICKET OFF A RANK LONG HOP AWARD GOES TO: Sir Fredrick of Flintoff who was swiped down to fine leg by Scott Newman only for Oliver Newby to snaffle the catch.

TALKING POINT: Did Phil Jagielka once bowl you out with a leg-break, was George Chuter a pugnacious opening bat - give us your feedback about the time you played against a famous sportsman and remember if your team are useless, we want to now.

COMING UP: Seven Championship games are up and running - VISIT THE LIVE SCORES and find out how Ramps got out - yes, he's out.

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