Recent Comments

July 2008
« Jun   Aug »

John Stern: Over-weight and over here

July 12th, 2008 by John Stern in South Africa in England

A mate of mine texted me this morning to say that he thought certain members of the South African team had “literally grown fat on the riches of the IPL”. Quite a good line I thought and I’m inclined to agree with him. As indeed does David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd who told me over a (light) lunch that he had been quoted in the South African press saying that he thought one or two of the tourists were not perhaps in the best shape of their career.

There has been plenty of media chat – some of it in print – about how bulky the likes of Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis are looking. Someone also thought Ashwell Prince could be a bit trimmer though he’s currently beyond reproach after a tremendous innings.

Cricketers’ weight and girth has always been a topic of discussion down the years and of course you can always find spurious reasons why a team isn’t performing. But it’s worth remembering that not so long ago the South African fitness trainer Adrian Le Roux resigned because he felt there was a clique of non-compliance within the team. And also that South Africa used to pride themselves on being lean, mean and athletic.

This match, and the series, may yet turn on its head but, as of the third evening, South Africa look a team short on preparation and long on lunches. England, on the other hand, look lithe and athletic – which other fast bowlers would have taken Jimmy Anderson’s goalkeeper’s catch at deep mid-on?

John Stern is editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in South Africa in England | 5 Comments »

John Stern: Can I count on your vote?

July 12th, 2008 by John Stern in England, South Africa in England

As a piece of electioneering, it was a pretty feeble effort. David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party, was at Lord’s yesterday showing off his alleged cricketing credentials to Test Match Special listeners. He was just about to enter the TMS commentary box when he noticed Sir Ian Botham pacing back and forth earnestly, mobile phone clasped to ear, outside the neighbouring Sky Sports TV booth. Cameron stopped and waited until he could make eye contact with the great man. Then he bowed sycophantically in the manner of a courtier to a royal. But there was not a flicker – even of recognition – from Botham who simply carried on his phone conversation. I suspect he’ll always be a Maggie man.

John Stern is editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in England, South Africa in England | 7 Comments »

Site by Anson Robson Marketing © 2010 The Wisden Cricketer All Rights Reserved