I suppose the irony of doing this blog tonight is that it wont mean an awful lot to all my US readers, but apologies, just humour me for once. Yes, that strange sport you dont understand, Cricket.
The things it has in common are England, Australia, and a ground in Leeds, named Headingley, given thats the district of Leeds where the ground is.
Back in 1981, England seemed to be losing yet another test match to the old enemy. Well into their second innings they hadnt scored as many runs as Australia had in one. Then Ian Botham found a partner who would hang around with him, named Graham Dilley, and they managed to add a lot of runs, and at least make Australia bat again, even if they didnt need to score that many runs to win anyway. Then Bob Willis bowled like a demon, the Australian batsmen froze like rabbits in headlights, and the rest was history. Yes, from the pits of defeat, England actually won the game. I never saw those events, was working, and then at club cricket when this all happened.
So, to this week! Same venue, same teams, and… When Australia batted first, and only made 179, it looked like England were set for glory…maybe? To cut a long story short, a few hours later, England were all out for 67! Pathetic! So out went Australia to bat again, and totalled 246 this time around, leaving England the seemingly impossible task of needing 359 runs to win, and keep the series alive.
Not long after that, England were 15-2, and 59 looked challenging, let alone 359. For a while from there, things improved, and it looked like maybe a miracle was possible. Then finally, they collapsed again, and the last batsman, Jack Leach walked to the wicket, with England still needing 73 runs to win. But there was another batsman there, named Ben Stokes who proceeded to put on a batting masterclass. So here we are, now 351-9 when the fun really begins.
Teams are allowed 2 appeals against Umpiring decisions, and at this point, Australia rashly used their second for a LBW decision not given by the umpire, that even a short sighted biddy like me could tell couldnt possibly be out. Without getting technical, where the ball had pitched, LBW cannot be given. A decision that came back to bite them.
6 runs later, when Australia would still win by 1 run, the bowler dropped the ball that was passed to him to run out the last batsman, so England survived. A matter of balls later, the ball hit Stokes on the pads, in front of the wickets, but the Umpire didnt give it out. If they hadnt made that pointless appeal 6 runs earlier, they could have appeal, the off pitch umpire would have given him out, and Australia would have won.
Then Leach went and faced the next over, managed to score a run (his first, and only one in his lengthy innings) to tie the scores. Stokes then scored the winning runs, and the series continues in a meaningful way. Yes, this time I saw the events play out, and would have done, even if not now disabled, as it happened on a Sunday. Seriously, if I hadnt seen it, I would never have believed it!
Oh, and something more my American friends, a piece of Baseball irony. Just got an email from Seattle Mariners (signed up for trip, never cancelled), and apparently, having just played my beloved Dodgers, thats where the Yankees have now gone. On Wednesday night, Justus Sheffield (ex Yankee) will pitch for the Mariners, and James Paxton (ex Mariner) will pitch for the Yankees. I think they actually changed teams in the same trade! In other circumstances, it could have been reversed!
OK, video time. If Clara Johnson had been around 40 years later, or if in my teens, I’d been a dancer, just like her (with her looks, and non intersex), well, this could have been me. Magic?
Well I would guess its go surprise to people here if I do a Transgender posting here, even if strictly I’m intersex, but I will still always relate to mtf transgender issues, even when I do finally get the operation out of the way, and yes, I hope the brain issues wont stop that at least. But making a post where I disagree with the transgender crowd, well…
Its fair to say at my age, even ignoring the new health issues, that I’m never going to play sport again at my age. The only sport I really played at anything more than basic level more than a couple of years after leaving school was cricket, and though I was a decent player (I played both at school, and club levels), I was never going to be a world beater. I did play a little recreational golf after I left school, but that soon stopped after a couple of years, due to lack of time, and not being a Nick Faldo/Laura Davies at the game, it was never going to go further. I think at one point I was a 13 handicap, which isnt amazing, but not awful either. I did try again, about 25-30 years later, but lets say I was more like a 113 handicap by then.
But then, since I started to transition, apart from the issue of getting old, I decided it was the end of my sporting career anyway. I know, strictly, I could play as a woman, especially after transition was confirmed, but even if I’d been in a position to play sport as a woman, I dont think I would. I know, you look at me, and apart from perhaps the height issue (I’m 5ft 9 tall/ 1.74 m?) I’ve got the build of a woman, but anyway…
I know some have, and more will, but its just how I feel about things, OK?
But it seems that some are so determined to make it at sport, that they have less morals about matters than me. It seems one team in the Kent Women’s Cricket League are so determine to succeed that rules, well… Now let me say I’ve only read one article about this, and the club, and the player involved dont want to say anything on the subject, but… One ladies team seeming include a ‘woman’ who is strongly built, 6ft 1 in height in their team.
Fine, but this is seemingly a woman who hasnt declared to be transitioning, isnt taking female hormones, and according to reports only declares as a woman on cricket match days, which seems very convenient. Of course she’s scoring lots of runs, taking lots of wickets, and all that stuff. So suddenly a moderate team has become a league winning capable team, isnt that handy?
Now, I wouldnt want to say she isnt genuine in the transition, but if so, why isnt she living as a woman for 7 days of the week? Yes, I do cynically wonder if this will be a 1 year wonder, or not? Handily for them, in England, unless you get into National Squad contention, you dont get sex tests done!
In the sense of glory, I dont care how desperate this team are to win, by doing things like this, but my concern is the simple one, if as I suspect it will, this is proved to be a fraud, where does it leave genuine transgender people in the future, both in terms of general life, and things that are gender related, from public conveniences upward? But yes, life is hard enough for us, without people working the system for the sake of glory, because lets face it, as has happened with this, its eventually going to get out, and probably in a negative way.
OK, rant over. Mind, I’ve acted as a woman, even before I started transitioning (long before in fact), but that was just a part I was needed to play, that I didnt cheat anyone out of, so… The fun is, if it wasnt for the health issues, I might have been acting this autumn as a woman again, ah well…
Right, video time. One of my favourites of all time, in truth. Yes, I’d love to be the lady in grey, with the helmet in this, seriously
OK, its a play on words, given what this blog is about, and oh fine, the video too.
I mentioned in the previous blog about the Test Match starting next Wednesday between England, and Ireland at Lords, the first between them. Its too much to hope for a repeat of what happened to the 1966 World Cup winning soccer team, giving they played Scotland, as world champions, and lost. But goodness, wouldnt that be funny.
But before then, there is actually a major sporting event happening in Ireland, The Open, for the first time since 1951 is being held in Northern Ireland, at Portrush. Not that I will be around that far into the future but I hope it doesnt take 68 years to return again.
I was politely asked if I could request an Irish Passport, to get round this whole Brexit thing, but sadly I’m one generation too far away for that. I remember visiting ancestors on my father’s side in Tralee, Kerry when I was a child, though given he left my mother when I was 9, and never saw them again, I have no idea where anyone on that connection of my ancestry is now. Lets face it, its over 50 years since I had any contact, so…
The thing I never remember doing is visiting anyone on my mothers Irish side of the family, ever. Now whether thats because by then there was no one left in Offaly on that side of the family, or if someone, somewhere along the line was disowned, I have no idea. But yes, being of Nicholls extract, from Banagher, living in Haworth has amused me for all of my life. Confused? Look up Charlotte Bronte’s husband, and… clearly I have no idea how strong, or loose the link is, given I’ve never had any connect to that side of the family, but I think its fair to assume there must have been some?
But now, getting back to the golf…I was watching early, and it was mentioned that Shane Lowry’s family would be heading up from Offaly, as he is currently (at time of writing) joint leader in the Open. No, he’s not from Banagher, he’s from Clara, about 20 miles away, but many decades ago, there was a railway line between the 2. Clara is still served by Irish railways, Banagher isnt! In truth, I guess the place I havent visited that I really should have done is Banagher, but not sure I ever will now. Hey, I dont even know if my ancestors were still living there, when they emigrated! I know, Clara’s birthplace county in Oklahoma ranks close second, but…
So yes, I might not have Lowry in any of my fantasy golf teams this week, but wouldnt stop me being so proud if someone from Offaly made it big!
OK, the video is corny, but I had to include something green, lets face it. And besides, flapper wise, was that a speakeasy hidden behind that green door?
Well, the British among my readers at least might have noticed that England won the World Cup Cricket on Sunday, for the first time. But given the first cricket world cup was only in the 1970’s, its slightly fewer years of hurt, but more relevant to me, anyway.
To say it was a crazy game of cricket would be to put it mildly. A tie on the 50 over game, a tie on the 1 over play off, so England won it on the number of boundaries scored in the game! The irony being that the original game was only a tie because the umpires gave England 6 runs for an ‘overthrow’ in the last over, that should only have been 5, because the players hadnt crossed for the extra run at the time, and the fact it accidentally hit the bat of one of the batsmen, and flew to the boundary only made it more crazy.
But then the funny stuff started, all the ‘Little Englanders’ started saying how it proved that England produced all the greatest cricketers in the world. The thing was, as was quickly pointed out to them, one of the players (the captain) was from Ireland, one of the heroes of the team was born in New Zealand, a leading bowler was from the West Indies (and literally only qualified for England weeks before the event), and another was the son of a Muslim immigrant family, you know, the sort of people they generally hate. So more than a third of the team… oh dear! So playing for England, maybe, but of grand English stock, well… oops!
In truth, England’s next cricket match is special for me, its a test match at Lords, against Ireland! To my annoyance, Sky seem to be ignoring this historical moment, only talking about the Ashes series that follows! Ah well… Not that Ireland will win, but we can hope, for now!
OK, video time. I know, the song is about the football team, but could I do better? This seems to be a hastily put together version of the famous song when England started doing well last year, before finally adding to the years of hurt!
Well, everything permitting, and assuming nothing truly dramatic happens tomorrow, most should be able to work out what the blog after this will be about. In truth its now got to the point where I dont care what they tell me, I just want to hear the news of what it is now. At least then I can make a few plans, regardless.
So lets do something totally different, cricket. If you listened to most people in this country, there is a forthcoming series of matches, that are the all important cricket matches of the summer, The Ashes, England against Australia. And in truth of cricket history, thats probably right. But in terms of a match that easily tops that for competition, both between the players, and the fans, it happened today, in Manchester. Yes, India, and Pakistan.
For those old enough to remember the comment (I think it was Enoch Powell?) about supporting the country they live in, well its fair to say today that he’s be rolling in his grave if he saw that, lol! Hated the man intensely, but I thought of it today watching the home fans supporting ‘their’ teams!
Considering that until 1947 they were one country, under British rule, I guess its no surprise that since the separation, the hostility between them has been immense. And the departure of East Pakistan, to become Bangladesh did nothing to quell the storm.
But it shows the difference between fans of various sports. Today, at Old Trafford, 26,000 avid fans of both countries entered the ground together, and could happily sit together to watch the game. Yes, when you think of what that might be like, with football (soccer) fans, I shudder at the thought. And yes, England, and Australia, the same will happen, however much enmity there may be on the ground, in both cases.
One last cricket fact that amused me, and set Twitter on fire. If you play a cricket tournament in England, in May, and June, you have to expect rain at some point. When fans bemoaned the fact their teams game had been called off due to said rain, the Indian fans were just happy to say it was fate, and they had to accept. Then, New Zealand, against India was rained off, and you would have thought it was the end of the world, judging by the Indian fans reactions. So yes, fate, until it affects them, how ironic? But anyway, I’m sure the ICC will ensure they win in the end, lol.
Video time. I wanted something with a sub continent feel to it, but at the same time, very British. Think this qualifies on both fronts?
Strictly, as of 4.00 yesterday afternoon, until a week on Wednesday, I’m not on medical leave, I’m on holiday. Ironically, as with March, it would have been my Saturday (every 5th week) to work this week. Of course, as history has dictated, I havent worked since that fateful day in March, and of course, accordingly to several medical sources, it seems that March 9, 2019 will go down as the last day of my working career. So why, you ask, does this week count as holiday, technically at least?
Well back at the end of last Summer, we are asked to pick our 2 preferred weeks of holiday, and this week, starting tomorrow was the start of the first of mine. I hadnt ever got to making any serious plans for this, in truth. So where would I be, if fate hadnt stepped in, who knows? Its actually possible I’d be where I am now, sat at home, as the US trip this year was always going to be September. I might also have been in Belfast, as Ireland are playing 2 cricket matches there in these few days (first was today), but had not made any definite plans by March on that.
I know where I would love to have started my holiday week, a day early, and that was Pine Bush, New York. Yes, yesterday was UFO day there, and yes, Stacie was there (its not far from here), and yes, I’m jealous. I will state now that if I’m allowed to still do International Travel after having been by the neurologist, its on my target list for next year, believe me. And yes, if I do, I’m definitely doing the full Alien look, and if I can find a flying saucer/space craft to travel there by, yes, I’m doing it, ideally in said Alien outfit. Or new Alien body, who knows? 😉
Why did I pick this week, you may be asking? Well, a week tomorrow is a Bank Holiday, so I would have got an extended holiday, thats why! But now, does this even count as a holiday any more? Technically yes, but strictly, well?
Video time. This is most definitely not live, however much they might want it to look like it is. Apart from anything else, the male ‘singer’ didnt even sing on the record. Oh, and the lead singer’s outfit, yes, I’d love it, if anyone is offering?
When I first went to first class cricket matches, which at a guess would be towards the end of the 1960’s, the only action that took place outside of the cricket field tended to be the polite applause of the crowd from time to time, combined with the tea and sandwiches at the tea break. Getting the signature of a player was akin to mission impossible, as seemingly they all seemed to think they were above the need to sign books for young cricket fans. Didnt stop us trying, mind. It also was the case that one of those early games was the first time I was seen on TV, as my mother told me she had seen me running across the field after the game, presumably in search of said elusive autograph.
Nowadays, especially in India, the game has changed beyond belief. Apart from the craziness of the fans over there, we even have cheerleaders, and live music happening during the games, between overs at least. Yes, I know, it would be great fun to be a cheerleader like that, but I’m far too old, far too fragile now, and far too intersex (lol) to ever do a thing like that.
The strange thing about baseball is that it seems to be the one big sport that lacks cheerleaders. Maybe because there really isnt a suitable moment for them to do there thing, who knows?
In truth, the cricket season here in England has been ticking over for a while now, relatively quietly. But yes, the reason I’m doing this, tomorrow, just outside Dublin (Malahide, to be exact), there will be a 1 day international between Ireland, and England. By fate, and tradition, this game seems to end up being affected by, or even abandoned by rain, but lets hope its fairer conditions tomorrow. No, I wouldnt have been there, even if my health hadnt gone AWOL, and of course the irony is, weather permitting, I will now get to see it on TV, as opposed to being at work while it was going on. I had considered going to some games later this month, in Belfast, but clearly that wont be happening now.
But the real cricket event of the summer, involving the same 2 countries, the first ever test match, being played at the home of cricket, Lords. I hadnt considered attending previously, but clearly wont be doing so now. To think, the first time I visited Lords, which would be around 1977, ladies werent allowed in the hallowed pavilion then! That was for a county game, as one of my bosses at the time was a member of Middlesex, and I thought I was male, so… I wonder if that makes me the first woman ever to watch a game in the pavilion at Lords, lol? I doubt it, but?
I have no idea if there will be cheerleaders at Malahide tomorrow, there certainly wont be for the test at Lords, for sure. But yes, I still, despite everything have that ambition to dress like a chorus line dancer, or cheerleader. Yes, Clara Johnson, you havent quite stopped me yet, though I suspect dancing is now beyond me.
The video? Well, strictly yesterday would have been more apt, but it fits in for today, so we will have to live with it. To say this video is a bit crazy, is putting it mildly. This is the 12″ version of the song, but in honesty, I’m not sure its better than the original. But you can easily find that, so…
Would you believe, with a title like that, that the inspiration is cricket, not politics? Oh, and a bit of LGBT issue too.
Of my 3 main incidents of transphobic personal issues, 2 are related to people of West Indian origin. Thats not to say that all West Indians are transphobic, or that the issue purely relates to them, because neither would be true. Because equally, my biggest wolf whistle also came from someone of the same origin, not that I was ever sure if looked above my boobs, but anyway… Oh, and I know numerous others who have been nice to me too.
Oh right, back to cricket. One of my main issues with cricket over the years, has related to the so called ‘sledging’ that goes on, to the opposition. Personally I dont think its needed, though I remember one hilarious moment on Sky Cricket, where Niall O’Brien was sledging his brother, Kevin, in one of those televised 20 over games.
Anyway, supposedly, yesterday, one of the West Indian bowlers is said to have made a homophobic comment to the England captain, Joe Root. I dont know the actual words used (they werent picked up), but Root’s reply was,
“Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”
And Root is right, there isnt. Seemingly the bowler concerned said something apologetic in reply, but it wasnt apologetic to LGBT people, just to Root, judging by later reports. Its all gone over the top, in 2 directions on Twitter, anyway.
Firstly, there are those declaring Root worthy of sainthood for what he did, but in truth, all he did was what you would expect from any decent person. Great for him saying it, but hero worship is taking it a little too far.
The opposite is the homophobics on Twitter, saying that because we dont have the actual words said to Root, it isnt true. But hey, why would Root say what he did, and seemingly the umpires report after play to the match referees, if it wasnt true?
Anyway, regardless, I want to say thank you to a fellow Yorkshire man for standing up for LGBT folk. At the same time, I’m not going to declare endearing love, and hero worship for it, as some have done, seemingly.
But yes, things need (in an ideal world) to change, both in a sledging, and homophobic way. Sadly, I dont expect perfection in my lifetime, but who knows?
OK, video, some very early, very raw punk stuff from the Stranglers. 2 songs for the price of 1 video, lol
Also known as how to ensure you dont lose a cricket match.
I’m old enough to remember a time when all cricket matches were played in the daytime, though in truth, thats probably a thing many younger than me can say, though I do remember all the hype about the first game being played under floodlights.
Now even the odd test match is played under lights, and lots of limited over (especially the 20 over games) are only played under lights nowadays. Before today, my funniest memory related to this was an English game, Kent playing someone at Canterbury, and before the game even started, they knew the floodlights werent working. Now, knowing they had a couple of hours before it would get too dark to play, you’d think they’d reduce the overs, get the game in before it got dark, and get a result, right?
No, too simple for the jobsworth’s, they started a 20 over game, and about 4 overs into the second innings, it got too dark to continue, match abandoned, no result! Spectators were only ever going to get about 24 overs before dark, but if they’d had a 12 over match, they would have seen a result. Seriously?
So this morning my time (evening Australia time), one of the teams from Sydney, were playing Brisbane, in Brisbane in that 20 over league over there. Sydney batted first, made a pretty good score of 186 in their overs, and then Brisbane came out to bat. Quickly, their 2 star opening bats were out, and they were in a lot of trouble. Suddenly, as their second star bat is walking off the pitch, one of the banks of floodlights ‘fails’. ‘Remarkably’, given that it was the home team in a big hole, despite not much visible effort to sort the matter, they claimed they couldnt get the lights to work again, and the match was abandoned, how convenient? Even 10 minutes, and 2 overs later, they would have declared a result (Brisbane would have been losing heavily), so handy, wasnt it?
I know, it might have been a genuine issue, but the timing was rather immaculate if that was the case? Of course, suggesting someone conveniently switched off the lights, surely not, lol?
Fine, its a 14 game season, but if Sydney miss the playoffs by 1 point, then well, they might be a bit more than annoyed?
OK, video time. A rather cynical song for a Brisbane cricket team, given they did just the opposite. Oh, and before anyone thinks Christian Music, and an LGBT person promoting it, her Episcopalian Church is one that is very pro on LGBT issues! So thanks, Debby, in more senses than one tonight