Ireland beat Pakistan!

It’s at times like this that I suddenly recall that my nineteenth-century forebears had names like Kalaugher, Kelly, Driscoll, O’Reilly, McCarthy, MacGuire and McAuly (not to mention plenty of eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish Brookes), and I feel more Irish than I actually am…

… although it looks as if you have to be called O’Brien to play for the Irish cricket team.

(Similarly, one of the minor pleasures of watching Wales beat England is the affinity provided by the knowledge that my great-grandfather Alfred Mathews took the field for Wales against Scotland on 9 January 1886. It was his only cap, and Scotland won on the day, but it’s enough for me. It’s interesting to be diasporic in an almost entirely non-diasporic kind of a way.)

TCB (Friday Edition)

Readers with long memories will recall that Enkidu became interested in cricket almost immediately, after coming to live with us in the Summer of 2005. Here and here, for example. And now that the Ashes are being contested again, Enkidu’s interest has reawakened.

I’ve been leaving the radio on at night, very quietly, so that I can fall asleep while Justin Langer is scoring runs, wake up while Ricky Ponting is scoring runs, lucky me, and if I drift into consciousness in the middle of the night I can easily register the latest score before drifting back into sleep. And after finding alternative places to sleep for a month or more, Enkidu chose Wednesday night, the first day of the Test Match, to come and settle down at the foot of my bed again: he was there at the start of play and still there at the close, and I don’t think he went anywhere else in between. So that’s a lot of Test Match Special that he got to hear.

He slept on my bed last night, too, though he had pushed off by the time the England batsmen were starting their innings. And here he is, later this morning, watching the highlights being streamed through the BBC website:

A Goat at the Gabba

Richard Williams, in tehgraun:

If they go on to lose this series, that first ball will inevitably come to be seen as a bellwether – a term deriving, incidentally, from the ancient rural practice of placing a bell around the neck of a castrated goat chosen to lead a flock of sheep.

MORE: I liked this comment on one of tehgraun blogs from

Bottle of red wine then listened to the first hour not a good idea. Have to say Aggers description of the first ball was great. Although when he said “its gone straight to 2nd slip” I almost fell off the sofa – didn’t realise the guy hadn’t actually hit it.

If Monty Panesar is dropped from the Ashes Tests in favour of Ashley Giles I may turn violent

The press are suggesting that Trescothick going home somehow means no place for Panesar in the England XI. Awful if true. More likely, as a colleague suggested to me, Fletcher prefers Giles because it’s easier for Jones to catch the ball when it isn’t spinning. Grrr.

UPDATE [22.11.2006]: Don’t miss Chris Dillow on Monty Panesar and Market Failure.


I kept wicket for sixty overs yesterday, and for the first half of the morning it’s been pretty difficult getting down the stairs. When I bent over to feed the cats, I made an involuntary strangulated miaowing sound, which took them a little by surprise, but not so much to put either of them off their breakfast.