Posts

Australia Return the Ashes

Well, that was quick.  And not at all unexpected, although still disappointing in that it didn’t have to end the way it did.  A couple oversights, though, a lack of concentration, some naiveté on behalf of one or two people who should’ve known better, and here we are.  I’m not talking about the length of time since my last post nor am I describing what will surely be the underwhelming quality of this one.  No.  I’m talking about that thing the other day that featured a few dubious new ingredients that turned out alright but were ultimately let down first by the tried-and-true characters expected to carry the way to victory and, second, by a desiccated patch right smack-dab in the middle of the thing.  The lasagna I made last night, reader, just didn’t get the job done. 
Normally, my wife does the cooking, not because we subscribe to any traditional gender roles, mind you, but because she’s the better cook, plain and simple.  She has the experience, the know-how, the overall culinary…

The Ashes 2017: A First Test Post-Mortem in Six Mind-Numbing Blunders

Since the first test of the Ashes has been well and truly put to bed, and the second test from Adelaide commences later this evening (an awkward 9:30 pm start time for me), it’s probably time to organize my thoughts and discuss Australia’s victory at the Gabba a week or so ago. As you know, if you’ve read the blog before, I’ve been looking forward to this particular series for some time now.  I knew Australia would be heavy favorites, and I knew England had some serious flaws—particularly down under, where the conditions don’t exactly suit them—but there existed a strange calm from the British guys, and, I thought, a real cohesive concentration on the daunting task that lied ahead.  Think about that early Mark Stoneman 50 at the Gabba: a light, almost embarrassed wave of the bat, and then it was back to business for the young opener.  He knew a half-ton wouldn’t get the team across the finish line.  He was shooting for much more knowing full well that something extraordinary would be…

An Ashes Review and an Ashes Preview, Style, Lakmal, Australia, England

Let me tell you a little story about fashion in the small, Catholic grade school I attended from the ages of seven to fourteen.  In short, there wasn’t much of it.  We had a fairly strict if classic dress code: White polo style shirt, blue slacks, dress shoes or tennis shoes, and then if anyone wanted an outer layer, it was either a navy blue cardigan or the school’s own navy blue sweatshirt featuring the St. Michael’s crest on the customary left breast and, garishly, the names of all your classmates in two equal rows down the sides of the back.  Not exactly a lot of options.  You could wear tennis shoes if you chose to, and you could wear a cardigan.  Other than that, all the boys dressed exactly the same.  Again, fairly common when it comes to Catholic school garb—any movie or television show divulges as much.  What’s different here is that my seven-year-old-self didn’t really like the tennis shoes with blue slacks look and wore penny loafers instead, and I found the school sweatsh…

Decisions, Writing More, Writing Less, Nicking Off, Ben Stokes, Early Ashes, Halloween Costumes

My initial decision to start a cricket blog spawned out of a New Year’s resolution to write two-hundred and fifty words a day for an entire year.  I found after about three weeks of this exercise that a) I had trouble keeping myself at two-hundred-and-fifty and often the following day picked up where I left off, and b) I was, more often than not, writing about cricket in one form or another.  So The Beehive kicked off with an initial goal of writing about 1000 words every day on the very subject I had been writing two-hundred-and-fifty words every day anyway, and for a good four months or so, I stuck to the plan and enjoyed a favorable response both from an increasing readership and within my own self-reflection: I found the exercise fun, in that it got me indelibly involved in the sport that I love—no one could ever contest my original enthusiasm, I have a blog to prove it!—and I was able to improve my writing to the point where I might finally have a chance at completing the longti…

On Coaching an American High School Cricket Team

The closest sporting comparison for the American cricket neophyte in terms of rules and gameplay is the national pastime itself, baseball, in which a player also tries to hit with a wooden bat a ball propelled at her, and then, after hitting the ball, runs toward a specific zone where she is considered safe from being called “out.”  Fielders in both sports first attempt to catch the ball in the air, and, if they can’t, they must at the very least endeavor to keep the ball from going past them before throwing the ball back toward the specific safe zone to which the batsman runs hoping to curtail the batting team’s total score.  There are innings and an outfield and an infield.  Umpires, pads, masks, etc.  The two sports are undoubtedly similar in this regard.  So as I recruit players for the high school cricket team I have started, I tend to go after former or out-of-season baseball players the way an Italian language teacher might comb the Spanish class for dissatisfied students in o…

Literary Criticism, Gravestones, West Indies, Early Ashes Stuff

Well after a lengthy furlough, I’m back—for the time being, at least.  I’ve taken the past month or so to complete an application for a Literature PhD program as it’s one of those things that’s always been in the back of my mind, one of those life goals that a person must attempt to accomplish or else go to his grave with the nagging feeling that, no matter what he’s done with his time on earth, he’s out for 99.  I’m inspired by Dawid Malan and Toby Roland-Jones, what can I say?  If you’ve read this blog before, and I know that’s not a lot of people, you’ll know that Malan is my favorite player and Roland-Jones—a good Middlesex man—ranks high on my list, as well.  Both of these players looked as though they might miss out on England selection despite their relative dominance in the County championship over the past few years and, in Malan’s case, some impressive spells in a couple foreign T20 leagues.  Recently, though, they’ve gotten their caps and played well enough to join their c…

Allrounders, Big Cities, New Orleans, Kids, England Test Cricket

We’ve a new allrounder on our team, Sachin, who, like his namesake did for any team he was in, transforms the very nature of our side from not very good to hey, we might win every once in a while.  A fast bowler, a batsman capable of putting in a big score on his day, we reaped the benefits when Sachin moved to our town from Los Angeles.  And before you go thinking that he honed his skill against tougher competition—the massive L.A. must have a better overall standard than the biggest city in Missouri—Sachin himself insists this isn’t true.  There are a couple of world beaters there, he says, but the overall standard remains higher in St. Louis, he says.  There are more leagues in L.A.—probably twenty times more—but because of that, the talent tends to spread itself all over Orange County whereas, in St. Louis, cricket hotbed that it is, all the talent condenses into just two or three super-leagues, creating, he says, the highest standard of competition he has faced outside of India.…