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Milestones

9 Oct

120124010605-cricket-ponting-story-topRight so, it’s been a year since I went onto WordPress and started up an innocently yet hilariously self-indulgent blog called ‘alexbritten.wordpress.com’. In my defence, I made a mistake. I thought that was a username, or something, and I could call it something more related to cricket rather than just my name. Obviously I was wrong, but it has given me plenty of material for self deprecating jokes over the past 12 months, so it’s probably been worth it.

I was seriously naive when I started this blog. My genuine belief was that I’d write on this for 6 – 10 months, then I’d start getting money through it because of adverts (and because I don’t understand the internet), then I’d get a pleasingly grovelling email from the sports editor at the Guardian begging for me to come and write for him because Mike Selvey and Andy Bull really are letting the side down. Modestly I’d accept my post, move to North London and live like a king, occasionally using executive phrases such as ‘filing my copy’ and ‘just popping to Lord’s for a spot of lunch with Gus Fraser’. I’d imbibe gallons of Beaujolais, smoke cigars and take baths in tubs full of dollar bills.

The reality – I moved from a student hovel in Manchester back home to Suffolk, only met Mike Selvey and Andy Bull at Guardian HQ once (on an excellent ‘How To Be A Cricket Journalist’ masterclass – check them out); I have filed no copies (unless writing online and self publishing counts), went to Lord’s just the solitary time (didn’t meet Angus Fraser) and have drunk no expensive wine, smoked any cigars nor attempted to wash myself using dirty money.

Luckily, I was asked to edit thecricketmagazine.com, and so I’ve been filling up internet space blathering on about that incessantly. And, equally luckily, some excellent writers have written things (filed copies?) for that, showing me how one should write about cricket in a witty, informative and engaging way. People like the wrongunatlongon, Ruth Thielke, Jud Ong, Davis Harrigan from Beyond Realisation, Matt Carter and so many more that I’ve forgotten them. Thanks guys.

So has this blog has sort of achieved an aim, in that I am now a bit more of a cricket journalist than I was before the 8th of October 2012? Maybe. I’m not as much of one as I want to be and I most likely act and behave like more of one than I really am. One of the other stated aims on this blog was to discover more of the internet than YouTube and Buzzfeed – so has this succeeded? I guess that has too. I now know about webmail and, sadly, am addicted to Reddit. I think that means the past year has, therefore, been good? Jesus.

Anyway, seeing as blogs are, in their nature, incredibly self centred things, I’m going to write a list of objective that I would like to achieve before the 8th of October 2014:

1) Update this blog more regularly, and not with those really annoying ‘read more on The Cricket Magazine’ links because whenever I see something similar on another website it irritates me to the point of immediate combustion. That isn’t to say I’ll stop doing those things (because what is a loyal audience for if not for conning them for hits?), but I’ll try and do more articles solely for Thoughts of a Cricket Addict. You lucky devils.

2) Get paid. Lololol.

3) Build up Twitter followers, both on TCM Twitter and personal one. I don’t know why it surprises me that, despite my numerous bellicose tweets about the bloody ICC they still don’t follow me, but it does. And they should. Also, the ECB (same reason for them not following me) and just generally more people who don’t govern cricket, but just like it (probably more than the ICC, but that isn’t hard).

4) Be less bitter/jealous about other journalists and writers who are more successful than I am. And to that end, stop whining about nepotism. It happens, it’s always happened, and as long as certain people’s fathers are major cricket correspondents, they’ll always have a foot in the door irrespective of their own questionable ability to write words about cricket. Grumble.

5) Stop grumbling.

6) Stop rambling.

So there we go. Another year older, another year closer to death. It has actually been a lot of fun. I’ve done things that I never thought I’d do, and that is all because of this blog and, far more importantly, because of you. Yes, you, anonymous internet person. Just clicking onto this has made it possible and I will be forever grateful for it. Should I ever meet anyone who says ‘Hey, we both like cricket, why don’t you check out this great blog I read, it’s called Thoughts of…’ I’ll spontaneously erupt with joy and jubilation and probably lick that person right on the face.

Here’s to another year.

Alex

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My Test team of the Past Year

8 Apr

With the current break in the International calendar so the rich can rake in their money in India it seems an appropriate time to compile my fantasy Test XI from April 2012 to now.  Just for transparency, I’ve gone for just a Test team – surprisingly I find watching the IPL a transcendentally sickening experience, yet one which I cannot switch off.  Which makes me feel weird.  Anyway, I’d be interested to hear your opinions on my team and what your XI would be, so just comment below.  Or text me, seeing as I know most of you personally. Continue reading

Leather & Willow

19 Mar

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Dear reader.  You may have noticed the new banner that I have on my blog and got very confused.  This is understandable, for it has incontrovertibly changed.  Leather & Willow?  This sounds like a furniture magazine.  Well I can assure you that it is not a furniture magazine, writing about one thing I don’t really know much about is hard enough for me. Leather & Willow is actually a cricket magazine.  It’s a new Club and County cricket magazine that I have started.  And it launches soon.  Sound interesting?  You BET!   Continue reading

XI of the Worst Tail-Enders

27 Dec

Whilst watching this video yesterday, I started considering who would make my XI of the worst tail-enders of all time.  So here are the XI cricketers who I feel are probably the worst batsmen ever.  If I had a choice between any of these guys in my team or Geoffrey Boycott’s mother wi’ a stick o’ rhubarb – give me the rhubarb any day.  

Offence intended.

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India v England – Second Test Preview

22 Nov

So that was that then – India’s victory by 9 wickets went perfectly to plan.  The spinners did their job, the seamers chipped in, and England capitulated just as they’d hoped.  So, going into the 2nd Test, what can we expect from both India and England?

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Remember Me? XI of the Least Inspiring Selections for England from 2005 – 2009

20 Nov

Honorary mention – Amjad Khan. One Test against the West Indies in 2009, his first over was a 9 ball, 7 run anti-climax. Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

After the Ashes victory in 2005, English cricket was in a spin.  That team never played together again due to injuries and subsequent retirements, leading to some slightly rogue characters being chosen – particularly for the shorter formats.

This is my XI of the most uninspiring, short sighted and just plain bad selections during that era.  This is by no means a slight against the cricketers, most of whom have had successful First Class careers.  Rather this is a criticism of the selectors at that time who chose odd cricketers, many of whom weren’t ready, and then were shelved after not surprisingly, failing to fire after one match. Continue reading

India v England – 1st Test Preview

14 Nov

On the eve of the massively anticipated England – India series, I thought I’d give a brief preview of where England are, and my thoughts for the prospective XI that will face an India side that are looking genuinely vulnerable to conceding a home series against England for the first time since 1985.

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