Thursday, February 01, 2007

Further Shilpa Shetty Shock

I'm not sure I can cope with this story. First, it's that Shilpa again and, secondly, there is a plan to rescue English cricket with a reality TV show. The greatest game ever invented will thus be linked to the nastiest, Big Brother. For my American readers I provide one of my own pictures, which, I think, expresses the true, timeless spirit of English cricket. Paunch, hat, bat, pads, thin, faintly contemptuous girl. Is there more to life than this? I don't think so.
PS. In the light of Andrew's comment, I feel I must point out that this is not a picture OF me, it's a picture BY me.


  1. Can't get that link to work, but let me guess...

    England are going to try to fill that awkward opening pinch-hitting slot (to take advantage of the fielding restrictions in those crucial first 15 overs) by training and gradually whittling down by phone vote a group of professional ballroom dancers who've never before held a cricket bat.

    Can't do worse than Mal Loye, I suppose.

    I regularly post on cricket but have long since given up trying to explain the joys of the finest game in the known universe to US readers. They have this strange biological urge to try to 'improve' every new sport they encounter.

  2. Works okay this end, Brit. On the Guardian site. And yes, David, beer of course.

  3. I've always thought that you can judge the quality of a person from whether or not they like cricket. A person who has no patience and no depth will simply find cricket 'boring'.

    Note the dirtied right-pad in the photo. Clearly the residual evidence of a lunging attempt to avoid being run-out by the evil and viciously accurate fielding of the thin girl.

  4. I am tempted to write that you are clearly not in line for an England call-up since the paunch disqualifies you from the gutless requirement. But that would be both corny and unfair so I'll have to desist.

  5. Is that the Rector of Stiffkey with one of those fallen women he was fond of "rescuing"? If so, the old fellah's put on weight, and looks more like a used car salesman. Now look, Shilpa Shetty could probably beat the present England X1 with one foot wrapped around her neck.

    Like David, I am reluctant to sign on to Guardian Unlimited, lest they grab my soul...

    Beer? What sweet mystery is this? Buy a copy of Bryan Appleyard's latest bestseller and receive a free pint of Woodforde's Wherry?
    Bring it on!

  6. susan b. of benighted USFebruary 01, 2007 5:29 pm

    I don't understand cricket: Does that make me boring, impatient, and dumb? On the other hand, do you all think you could figure out an American game of lacrosse instanter? I doubt it. To each culture, its games.


  7. Susan, it is quite simple:

    You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.

    Each man that's in the side that's in, goes out, and when he's out, he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out.

    When they are all out the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in out.

    Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

    When both sides have been in and out including the not-outs, that's the end of the game.

  8. I generally only apply my criterion to UK citizens Susan! Incidentally, why didn't cricket catch-on in the States? We seemed to export it pretty successfully to the other colonies.

    And, on another related point, do people remember Norman Tebbit's cricket test? Norman suggested a decade or so ago that if UK passport holding citizens, living in England, but of foreign descent, chose not to support the English cricket team, then it suggested that integration was failing. He was widely derided and slandered at the time by those who endorsed multi-culturalism, but perhaps if people had taken heed of his comments then, numerous innocent people would not have been killed in London in July 2005.

  9. Now, Susan. I hope you got that. Bryan, I think you missed your vocation; you would have made an excellent teacher. Gordon, I'm not one to hold grudges, so I'm willing to forget about the 800 years of subjugation. However,I would not be so forgiving if you had successfully exported cricket here. Maybe the Irish were just too wild and uncivilised (not to mention, hungry) for such a soporific pastime.

  10. Oops, I did think you looked a but grizzly, Bryan. Perhaps an England call-up is on the cards. Similar to my earlier comment, I am tempted to say you could hardly make things any worse. How are you at collapsing under the faint whiff of pressure?

  11. When I lived in Amsterdam for a time, I learned a bit about Cricket and Soccer.
    When did Cricket need to be protected?
    I will say that European beer did make my education of these sports quite pleasant.

  12. I seem to remember from your book that you have or had a proclivity for fainting(says he with a vague sense of confidence in his grasp of the meaning of proclivity). This could make an interesting variation on the batting collapses of the English batsmen. "McGrath approaches, bowls, Appleyard faints, ball hits middle stump."

  13. Had, Neil, not fainted for years. It would be an excellent response to McGrath. For Bret Lee, however, nothing beats a writ.

  14. Andrew, not Neil. The Irish cricket enthusiast as opposed to the Irish cricket non-enthusiast. I somehow can't imagine McGrath displaying much sympathy to the stricken Appleyard. In fact the rotter would positively revel in it, methinks. At least Flintoff could say afterwards, "There are positives to take from this, and who knows what might have happened if Bryan hadn't fainted."
    On the other hand, Geoffrey Boycott would thunder, "There are no excuses; we were garbage and Appleyard isn't the answer."

  15. Andrew, not Neil? Fine, so long as it's not sans a comma and a "not", or else we'd be back in Shilpa Shetty territory. Appleyard might not be the answer to England's cricketing woes, but see what happens when you bring back a sporting hero...get padded up, Beefy!

  16. Oh yeah, Botham would show them a thing or two! What was that memorable phrase, 'swiping bouncers from Dennis Lillee off his eyebrows, and into the confectionary shop.'