Thursday, 15 May 2008

New Zealand 'B' vs England, first test preview

Cricinfo is all over the first test. From stats, to the weather (wet) to interviews and tour diaries. It is not often that a New Zealand 'B' tour gets this much fanfare. I can't wait to see what sort of coverage Shane Bond and the rest of the 'A' team get when they arrive.


As my excessively heavy use of the 'B' team literary device and my tips over at Sportsfreak indicate, I am not particularly optimistic about our success on this tour. Even worse, even at this stage I am not particularly enthusiastic about it either. The two-faced treatment of Shane Bond; the defections of Lou Vincent, Hamish Marshall et al; the shabby treatment of Stephen Fleming - all these things have taken a toll on my love for the game. I know I will still be staying up to watch the first session on Sky. And I know my heart will still beat at a million miles an hour in the build-up to the toss. But right now any excitement lingers a long way behind some real bitterness.

Luckily none of that bitterness extends to any of the team. And once the real cricket starts, all the administrative blundering is just going to become a bad memory. So, as of tonight, my posturing and complaining about this being a New Zealand 'B' side is going to stop. The players with ferns over their breasts are my team, and I am going to damn well support them.

So out with the bitching, and in with the cheering. Go kiwi! Smash 'em McCullum! Show us yer cover-drive Ross! Rip out their stumps Tim! Go lads, GO!


Q said...

You guys will have to have more faith in your own boys. These are your international stars so its not the "B" team or the "A" team, its the New Zealand :-)

Southee, Taylor, McCullum - these guys are world class!

Vettori should come into his own as a captain.

And Martin will start using his bat as he's mentioned.

Redmond will be the new Mark Richardson who will annoy the hell out of the bowlers all day.

Its all looking bright for the Kiwis.

Good luck, I really hope u guys do well.

Ben said...

Cheers for the gee up q.

Personally I am feeling strangely upbeat about this series. We are on a hiding to nothing, what with our top 5 having just 51 caps amongst them, and that's including McCullum's 32, a converted no. 5. But I'm really excited to see how the youngsters Taylor and Southee handle things and to get a look at the test debutantes. We're going to get beaten, maybe thrashed, but it won't be painful like it was in 2004.

Also, I don't buy this 'B team' thing. (First off, in cricket your B team is called the A team.) It would have been nice to see Bond in England, but the chances of him being there after a home series and an ICL tournament were slim (and apart from one Hampshire innings, he's had a very average year). And it isn't clear who "the rest" would be. Bell and Sinclair?

We were due for a round of retirements. It's tough that they all came at the same time, but it is a fantastic opportunity to build fresh new team.

Q said...

Yep, it is a good opportunity and the youngsters seem to be exciting prospects.

We Asians are backing you and also looking forward to see what Taylor and Southee will do in England.

For more Geeing up, read this post and the comments in it :-)