Thursday, December 07, 2006
A good omen for England as Damien signs off
Well things have progressed slightly with a very odd ECB XI amalgamation consisting of Ashes squad players not to have yet played; three retired internationals (Alec Stewart, Adam Hollioake and Robin Smith) and academy players were beaten comprehensibly by a Cricket Australia XI. Really you would have thought that some of our test players could have done with an extra run out. But then hey, what do I know? I am not managing or picking an England team that is 2 down in the Ashes with 3 to play. Anyway, Monty picked up 2 wickets and Stewart top-scored. Yes, a man who is 43 and retired for, I think, 3 years top-scored.
But don't be put off, heaven forbid, for it is not all doom and gloom. Monty's in the wickets, Freddie has come through a fitness test and Damien Martyn has retired with immediate effect.
Martyn, with Langer and Warne, is my favourite Aussie player and I am over the moon to see him retire. although, he hasn't excelled in this Ashes series and had a dodgy time last time round, Martyn is sheer class. An elegant player with oodles of experience, Martyn had the ability of playing world class bowling like it was a stroll on the beach. Easy Like Sunday Morning could well have been written by Lionel Ritchie after watching a masterful Martyn knock. Suffice to say, I am really happy he's gone. At least, it gives England a bit more of a chance. The situation evokes memories of Nasser Hussain retiring with the prospect of being dropped - for Andrew Strauss - a very real possibility. Martyn was facing pressure from Shane Watson, Andrew Symonds, Michael Clarke and Adam Voges