Antarctic T20 Ice Blast! (Silly Point Ultra-Exclusive Story!)

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Cricket’s administrators recently proposed suggestions to help preserve Test cricket. This was in part due to the potential risk of some billionaire creating yet another global T20 franchise tournament and stealing players. Well those moves may have come too late because an unnamed mogul is rumoured to be ready to inject millions into the launching of a new T20 competition. The Antarctic Ice Blast is believed to be prepped for launch as early and appropriately as 2020. Like the identity of the league’s founder, the potential franchise owners remain unknown though TV’s Jon Snow, former Netherlands footballer Arron Winter and New Zealand cricketer Tim Southee are all rumoured to have put down a deposit. Silly Point has however seen the names of the proposed teams and they are as follows:

Bentley Subglacial Trench EmperorsLake Vostok LakersMcMurdo Station PinnipedsMount Erebus MountaineersOnyx River NematodesRiiser-Larsen Ice Shelf IcefishRoss Island Seals and Vinson Massif Explorers.

Englishmen Samit Patel, Ravi Bopara and Joe Denly are all rumoured to have signed up for the inaugural draft as is Test captain Joe Root. There is even a suggestion that recently retired Kevin Pietersen may come out of retirement for one last Blast. English players are perceived to be a vital addition to the franchises because of their experience of playing in cold conditions. Northerners in particular, players from the likes of Durham, Yorkshire and Lancashire are particularly sought after. Franchise owners are rumoured to have been dialling the mobile numbers of Steve Harmison, Darren Gough and Andrew Flintoff in audacious bids to lure the former England trio out of retirement.

West Indies’ Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, Indian skipper Virat Kohli, Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan and Australia’s Michael Klinger as well as former national skipper Steve Smith, are also rumoured to have put their names forward for the first draft. With Silly Point having seen exclusive advertising, we can advise that former Italy all-rounder Gareth Berg has already emerged as the league’s poster boy. Soon it’ll be hard to move around London Underground, Sydney Business District or the streets of Mumbai without seeing Berg’s flop of blond hair, his arms folded, in front of a mass of ice and a set of stumps… made of ice! That’s right, they’ll be replaced every time they’re broken or maybe they’re unbreakable ice!

It’s understood that the Blast’s benefactor is willing to contribute funds towards the building of renewable energy laden environmentally friendly stadiums for each franchise. These stadiums will have both training and accommodation facilities as well as purpose built wickets. Retractable roofs will come as standard.

Again, Silly Point has gained exclusive access to information and the names of the stadiums are set to be as follows:

Bentley Ballpark, Vostok Park, McMurdo Station, Erebus Arena, Onyx Bowl, Riiser-Larsen Cricket Ground (RLCG), Ross Dome and Vinson Field

The league’s creator is also set to launch their own airline, Antarctic Fantastic Air, to assist fans when travelling to matches.

Some in the cricket world are sceptical regarding the prospect of yet another T20 league in an already congested calendar, about the less than desirable cricket weather and how exactly fans will attach themselves to a team. For some though this is seen an excellent advert for spreading the global appeal of the game. Given the reduction of teams at the 2019 ODI World Cup, many cricket lovers as well as administrators are delighted to see cricket venture into an untapped market. The ICC are already lining up Antarctica as host for both an ODI World Cup and T20 World Cup as well as Champions Trophy venue post 2030.

One frustrating thing about the proposed tournament is that it’s expected to be played out behind a TV pay wall. Rumours are that the competition will have its own channel and will cost a one-off fee of around £250.00 before requiring subscribers to enter a 20 digit code followed by another 20 digit code on their remote control. Pommie Mbangwa, Michael Slater and everybody’s favourite insighter Graeme Swann, are tipped to be among the commentary and punditry team. Instagram and Dave are believed to have exclusive rights to highlights packages whilst if you sign up with the league founder’s rumoured planned new mobile phone company, Antarctic Connexions Mobile, you can gain exclusive access to almost immediate video wicket alerts! Continuing on the screen front, renowned film maker Werner Herzog is set to return to Antarctica and shoot a documentary about the competition’s inception, infancy and general learning to walk.

With some international teams still reluctant to travel to Pakistan for security reasons, Pakistan are rumoured to have already enquired about the possibility of playing home matches there following some disappointing results in UAE conditions. English county side Hampshire are said to be extremely frustrated to have missed out to Antarctica as an English Test venue. Because of the technicalities of Antarctic ownership, it’s understood that all nations could potentially play home games in Antarctica if they wish. Boyd Rankin, Ed Joyce and Johan Botha are believed to have already relocated to the southern continent in order to meet residency requirements ahead of rumoured bids to join the Antarctic national team. Peter Moores is slated as coach… slated, he will be if results don’t go too well! Essex are believed to have enquired about whether players, hell just people, could join them on Kolpak deals as soon as this summer.

Silly Point is delighted to present this exclusive story to you and will keep our loyal followers abreast of any further developments.

Dawson to Debut in Chennai?

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Silly Point told you that Haseeb Hameed would debut in Rajkot…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/hameed-to-debut-in-rajkot/

… and then did the same when Keaton Jennings was summoned for Mumbai…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/jennings-to-debut-in-mumbai/

… well not wishing to put the mockers on things for Liam Dawson but the Hampshire spinner could become England Test cap number 676 in the fifth and final Test in Chennai that commences tomorrow. Aside from Silly Point jinxing things for the slow-left-armer, the aftermath of cyclone Vardah, namely a damp pitch might also cost ‘Daws’ his becoming a Test cricketer.

If Dawson does debut tomorrow, he’d probably be quite content if he claimed first innings figures of 4-134, ala the last Dawson to debut for England, former Yorkshire offie Richard ‘Dick’ Dawson (In 2001) but would prefer to finish his Test career with a not so Dawsonesque (Richard) bowling average of 61.54 which in itself is reminiscent of another former Yorkshire offie and is therefore almost a Battyesque 60.93!

International Duck Watch!

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India sealed an inevitable Test series victory against England with a comprehensive innings and 36-run victory in the third Test in Mumbai earlier today.

During England’s pitiful second innings 195 all out Chris Woakes joined yesterday’s ducklings Keaton Jennings and Moeen Ali in the bar at The Duck Club.

The teams now head to Chennai for the fifth and final Test and it’ll be interesting to see if England squad members such as Ben Duckett and Steven Finn (Both omitted from the limited overs squads) as well as the likes of Gary Ballance, Gareth Batty and the uncapped Liam Dawson are presented with a chance to salvage, or in Dawson’s case start their Test careers. You would imagine that captain Cook will want his strongest team available though as England attempt to save face and gain a consolation victory and for Cook, save his future.

Wise Man Jennings Jingles Bells!

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Just rock up on Test debut and score a century why don’t you?

That’s exactly what England’s Keaton Jennings did in Mumbai today and in the process helped England post 288-5 on day one of the fourth Test. 288-5 is a delicate sort of total that is poised somewhere between a collapse to 333 all out or a middle/lower order jolly to 419.

Jennings was born in South Africa but his mum is from Sunderland. Another opening batsman, Matthew Renshaw, made his Test debut for Australia against South Africa last month. He was born in Middlesbrough and his mum is a Geordie.

What next?

Will Sri Lanka’s new explosive opening batsman’s mum be from Stockton-on-Tees or a doughty Zimbabwe opener’s mother have been born in Peterlee?

Apologies for the headline. The letters K and J aren’t favourable when it comes to cricket related alliteration!

Jennings to Debut in Mumbai!

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Keaton Jennings will become England Test cricketer number 675 tomorrow, unless Liam Dawson also makes the XI for the fourth Test in Mumbai in which case Jennings will be number 676.

Durham opening-batsman Jennings outscored everybody in the County Championship last term (1548 runs @ 64.50) and struck an undefeated century for England Lions in Dubai last week, just a few hours after the excitement of opening the first door on his 2016 advent calendar.

India lead the series 2-0 with two Tests to play and so England will hope that Jennings can help lay the platform to post some competitive totals.