While gazes have been a-fixed on Australia’s somewhat Audley Harrison-esque attempt to dethrone England as holders of the Ashes, it might come as surprise to learn that 2010 – a ragtag collection of 365 days – is coming to an end.
If I were an ITV commissioning editor, I would have already lined up a series of D-List “celebrities” for a whimsical End of
Pier Year shindig in which the frankly laughable Corrie tram crash would be fawned over as if it were current affairs.
But thankfully (for you), I have no affiliation with ITV. And so all I can offer with the following splurge of words is the men and/or performances that I think to be worthy of honourable mention in this cowboy autopsy of the year gone by:
Tamim Iqbal – Bangladesh arrived in England during the summer to provide a some pre-Ashes frivolity a la 2005. You know the old adage “prepare for the best by playing the worst”. It fell apart with the Australians’ slide into mediocrity, but further compounded by the determination of one man in particular to prove that the Tigers were here to be counted. And so it came to pass that Tamim Iqbal was to join luminaries such as
Punter and Sachin on the Lord’s Honours Board with a breathtaking hundred. All thanks to Boycott apparently…
Mark Cosgrove and Gareth Rees – I am determined to continue milking this one for all its worth, because it doesn’t happen often. Having conceded a 125-run deficit against Leicestershire, the Glamorgan bowlers dismissed the hosts for just 77 runs to leave a chase of nearly 200 to win. Being Glamorgan, this target would normally induce a nervous panic that precludes a collapse. Not this time. Messrs Cosgrove and Rees were assured, unwavering and unflappable in the pursuit and wrapped up a 10-wicket win that was better than winning the league. Looking at you there, Sussex…
Paul Collingwood’s England – World Twenty20 champions. What the fuck?
Ricky Ponting – Give Ricky his dues, he’s now surrendered the Ashes on three separate occasions. You could suggest that 2005 was the more spectacular, with the resources at his disposal (Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist etc) but there was some fortunate luck involved there for England. Winter 2010/11 marked the time that the Poms thrashed Punter’s men. Regardless if those ‘men’ include Steve Smith, Mitchell Johnson and Philip Hughes. Cricket Australia can’t dismiss him though – the alternatives would be like appointing Keith Chegwin to lead the United Nations.
Paul Russell – The changes implemented at Glamorgan during the close season would make Stalin proud. The BBC has since commissioned a new game show – 101 Ways to Leave The Swalec.
Nottinghamshire – For being the winners of what proved to be an epic County Championship season. Somerset fans can look away – it was about to be them ’til the Trent Bridge boys got their freak on. And what do they get for their troubles? The reward for their efforts? Four days in Worcester next year. Life isn’t fair.
Salman Butt – “D’ya want a 99 with that wad of cash?”
[tweetmeme source=”petehayman” only_single=false]Robert Croft – Murali bags his 800th Test scalp and Sachin racks up his 50th Test century – mere footnotes to the greatest achievement of the year recorded on a lukewarm Swansea afternoon. Crafty Crofty – the Leek of Tweak – picked up his 1,000th wicket, a mere 59 years after making his Dragons debut. Doesn’t look a day over a 40 y’know.