Tag Archives: Alex Britten

The Tea Break: Episode 1

10 Nov



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.


7 (irreverent) thoughts on the England v Australia ODI series

18 Sep

1673811) Australia are better than England at limited overs cricket

Maybe it’s because they have a more exciting domestic T20 competition? Maybe it’s because they are less constrained by the pressures of MCC-coaching and ‘correct’ shots? Maybe it’s because this group of players viewed the white-ball cricket as a release from the hammering they received in the Ashes? Perhaps it’s all of these reasons, or even none. After all, this was basically an England ‘A’ side. That’s not to take anything away from Australia – but England captain Eoin Morgan was severely hamstrung when looking for bowlers. During Michael Clarke and George Bailey’s partnership at Old Trafford, or when Shane Watson was whacking everything in the final ODI, the English bowlers were scurrying for cover when Morgan was searching his team for options, with James Tredwell visibly distraught as he attempted to hide from view behind the umpire. My point is – England have always been a bit rubbish at ODIs, and although they’re sort of good at T20s, anyone can be sort of good at T20s. I am not holding out hope for winning the World Cup in 2015.

To keep reading, visit The Cricket Magazine – as current New Zealand batsman Aaron Redmond calls it: “The only magazine!”

Mercurial Broad will always be an enigma

13 Aug

ImageIn 2006, England had endured a difficult summer. Coming after the buzz of the previous year’s Ashes antics was always going to be tough, but being pasted around the country by Sri Lanka and then Pakistan was particularly galling. The team had been in freefall since the end of the Ashes series with injuries and were looking for a new star to feel positive about. Four balls into his ODI debut, one very fresh faced Stuart Broad had become that figurehead.

To continue reading, visit The Cricket Magazine

Why are Australia so bad?

31 Jul

Australia-had-frustrated-England-before-opener-Shane-Watson-was-lbw-to-a-Broad-inswinger-for-46-Watson-challenged-the-verdict-but-had-to-go-after-DRS-showed-the-ball-clipping-leg-stump-That-meant-the-all-rounder-wouldnt-A lot has been made of the quality of this Australian side in recent weeks and months. Plenty of it has been English gloating whilst there have been some more considered approaches to understanding why the most successful cricketing nation of all time has suffered such a severe decline. Trying to avoid too much of the former, here I will try to work it out.

The difficulty for great teams is how to ease the transition process from old to new. The West Indies team of the 70′s and 80′s are still in a rut whilst India have just about managed to smoothly go from Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar to Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli and Jadeja. Yet Australia have not been as good at it, in fact, except for 2006/07 where they won the Ashes, Australia have been inconsistent and getting worse in the last 5 years as their great players retired.

To continue reading, visit The Cricket Magazine

Shane Warne’s wild swinging an embarrassment

16 Jul

1351089354_shaneOn the 16th of July, on page 12 of The Daily Telegraph’ssports supplement, Shane Warne wrote an article entitled “Australia believe they can take back the Ashes”. Finding it to be a deeply flawed, wool-over-the-eyes article, I have taken umbrage with it – and here is my considered response.

*Disclaimer – I am aware that Warne is a reactionary ‘journalist’ looking for someone to pick apart his articles and I am equally aware that I am about to fulfil this role for him. However, I hope that by writing this article I can show up the ludicrous nature of both Warne’s ‘journalistic’ credentials and the statements he made within said article, so that the readers of this website can draw their opinion too.

To read the rest of this article, view it on The Cricket Magazine.

My Flippant Champions Trophy Predictions

9 May

ICC-Champions-Trophy-020912I am writing this on a train.  I do apologise for the lack of activity on this blog in recent weeks and I assure you that there is a perfectly good explanation for this, however I have been checking every day and to see the numbers of you that still check it even when there’s nothing going up is a little bit humbling.  So to repay your diligence and commitment to my blog, I am going to write a vastly rushed, light-hearted and flippant piece.  Happy reading! Continue reading