Out!

Here’s another cricket themed drawing.

My latest attempt was made with my fancy new sketch pad and fancy new sketching pencils. Though there were 2 HBs and no 5B in the case, I bravely soldiered on!

Obviously the image is a silhouette and does at least look like a dismissed and dejected batsman but the intricacy of the gloves in particular let it down. Still, it’s early days and I enjoyed drawing it.

Because I Just Can’t Stop!

In this drawing, I again drew a box but marked halfway points both horizontally and vertically. I drew the image freehand based on an online drawing of Indian great Sachin Tendulkar (But we’ll call him generic centurion!). As was the case with the original image, I applied a hint of colour to provide some contrast.

I guess that I ended up with the legs looking a little thin for the body but again, hopefully not a bad effort for such an inexperienced ‘artist’!

Another Cricket Drawing

Here’s another drawing of a cricketer. This time I’ve drawn a bowler (Well I’ve tried to anyway!).

I printed an image from the internet then drew four straight line borders (Later erased) and traced four corners to act as reference points, so the top of the head and left hand as well as the bottom of both feet. I then completed the drawing freehand by looking at the printed image and attempting to replicate it in my own drawing. Despite the arms looking far from equal length, I don’t think that it’s a bad effort. It’s easily identifiable as what was intended.

Duckett Dropped!

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No wonder he looks surprised!

How exactly do you think that the conversation went?

England Management: Ben. You know how you scored a career best 63 in only your third ODI in challenging and alien to you subcontinental conditions to help us chase down 277 and win the deciding ODI and ultimately the series in Bangladesh?

Ben Duckett: Yeah.

England Management: Well your reward is that you’ve been dropped. We’re bringing back the guys that were too scared to come and haven’t played any cricket recently.

Ben Duckett: !^*/~’^(/<**!

Let’s hope that Duckett was seething. Okay, there’s some logic in that he’s struggled in the Tests in India and will be facing the same bowlers in the same conditions but he could quite conceivably, having got shackled in the Tests, have gone out there with a bit more freedom and regained confidence. He definitely won’t have regained confidence by being told that he was “desperately unlucky” to miss out. What he must do now is start the 2017 domestic campaign with the sort of glutinous run-scoring that he maintained throughout the 2016 season. He is also only one injury (Or birth of Joe Root’s child) away from a recall.

Whilst Duckett’s absence is surely only temporary, Steven Finn’s time may be up. The Middlesex man misses out on both limited overs squads. Nottinghamshire’s Jake Ball has clearly leapfrogged Finn in the pecking order in all forms of the game following his strong showing (7 wickets @ 19.85) in the Bangladesh ODI series.

Chris Jordan also makes the T20I squad with Chris Woakes rested.

For the record the squads are as follows: (Players in bold match Silly Point’s predictions as per yesterday’s post)

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/england-to-name-squads-for-india-odist20is/

ODI Squad:

Eoin Morgan (Captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Liam Dawson,  Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes

Silly Point’s selections that didn’t make the cut were as follows:

Tom Curran, Ben Duckett, Steven Finn

T20I squad:

Eoin Morgan (Captain), Moeen Ali, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales,  Chris Jordan, Tymal Mills, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey

Silly Point’s selections that didn’t make the cut were as follows:

Steven Finn, Dawid Malan, James Vince, Chris Woakes

That’s a reasonable strike rate when it comes to our predicted squads.

ODI Squad: 12/15 correct

T20I Squad: 11/15 correct

In the actual squads named today there wasn’t much in the way of rotation / resting players and maybe we (I) got a little too experimental with call-ups for Tom Curran and Dawid Malan.

Reminiscing About Usman Afzaal

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We all had a favourite player when we were growing up but not for many of us was that player… Usman Afzaal!

Scores of just four and two on Test Match debut in the first Ashes Test of 2001 at Edgbaston, when batting at seven and playing as a specialist batsman is just the sort of performance that will endear someone to me. Not for me are the Test bow double centurions. After his mammoth contribution of six runs on his first outing Afzaal was sent back to the county circuit seemingly forever destined to retire with a Test batting average of a not quite Bradmanesque 3.00. Cue none other than Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar appearing on English TV calling for his mate to be provided another chance.

The England selectors obviously heard the Rawalpindi Express’ cries because come the fourth Test at Headingley, though with the series already lost Afzaal earned a recall. After delivering a career best 14 in the first innings Afzaal guided England to victory with an average propelling four not out in the second innings aided in no small part by Mark Butcher’s masterful 173 not out.

In the fifth Test at The Oval Australia compiled a modest 641-4 declared with Afzaal claiming a quarter of the wickets to fall, that of Adam Gilchrist caught by Mark Ramprakash for a quarter century. In doing so Afzaal ensured that Gilchrist was the only Australian to bat that failed to reach 62!

With his confidence boosted by having a Test bowling average Afzaal went out to bat with the sort of swagger that enamored him to the fans, well me at least. In a partnership of 89 with good against Australia but not so against everybody else Mark Ramprakash, Afzaal struck a counter attacking 79-ball 54 with 36 of those runs coming in boundaries. Upon reaching his maiden (Only) Test half-century Afzaal promptly celebrated like a man that had brought up a quintuple hundred. His exuberance and passion brought smiles to people’s faces, well mine at least. Dermot Reeve though wasn’t happy, suggesting that Afzaal was a little too pleased with himself. Maybe Afzaal did get a little overexcited as after hitting Glenn McGrath for his ninth four he promptly had his innings terminated just 46 runs short of a maiden Test century the very next ball. He only made five in the second innings bringing his average down to mortal 16.60… and that was it for Afzaal’s international career bar a superb catch as a sub-fielder in New Zealand.

He seemed like a natural limited overs player but when an experimental squad to tour Zimbabwe that autumn was named Afzaal’s name didn’t feature. On the winter tours England coach Duncan Fletcher brought Afzaal’s weight into question and he never made the final XI. Afzaal flirted around the county scene for a few more years before drifting out of the game. It’s seems absurd that he’s still only 39. In 2013, more than three years after his last professional appearance he popped up playing a couple of List A games in Bangladesh alongside Bilal Shafayat.

He might not have scored thousands of Test runs and even features in some people’s Worst England XI but I’ll always remember his Test half-century and the joy he brought as he celebrated it like a kid at Christmas.

Due to image rights I have provided my own poor quality drawing of Afzaal for this blog post.