Home > Opinion > You Couldn't Make It Up - The John Littlerichard Column - July 2008
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You Couldn't Make It Up - The John Littlerichard Column - July 2008

Flaky Danish. Is he or isn't he? Danish Kaneria, the Pakistani and Essex leg-spinner, appears to be suffering some sort of an identity crisis.

picture of Danish canary
Danish Kaneria - "Cor blimey guv! I is English innit"

This time last week he threatened to sever cricketing links with the country of his birth and swear allegiance to the St. George's Cross (I hear the wages are getting better by the day).

But in less time than it takes to dispatch one of his long-hops into New Writtle Street, he made a spectacular U-turn; declaring that his loyalty (or should that be royalties) and future remained with Pakistan. The whole embarrassing mix-up, he maintained, was the result of shoddy journalism of course, and he would only consider playing for England if "Pakistan didn't select me for three to four years in a row in any form of cricket".

The poor lad is confused; trapped inside the wrong body I hear you say. Perhaps you are right but then again it is just as likely that he is merely in step with changing times. The ICC wields limitless power these days; nothing is impossible and even history is temporal. Umpires can be substituted if they offend the sensibilities of players, Test Match results can be changed, and the laws of the game will be revised if upholding them threatens the ICC's balance of power. Can you really blame an exasperated young man for resorting to extortion when his master sets such a bad example?

Well all this may be sadly true dear boy, but if national honours continue to prove elusive, and you are forced to survive on the meagre earnings of an overseas county professional, think again before declaring your lot with this green and pleasant land. Playing for England is restricted to those who through birth or circumstance can honestly call England home. It is a hard-earned honour and not a career alternative for ambitious or under-achieving foreigners. Hang on a moment - I might owe you an apology - it seems I had forgotten about Kevin Pietersen, Tim Ambrose, Matt Prior, Geraint Jones, and Darren Pattinson. My apologies Nani-Danny (it's his nickname I kid you not), and when you're ready: welcome aboard.

picture of Steve Harmison
Steve Harmison - "Barmy Harmy"

Wide of the mark

What's rattled Steve Harmison's cage?

The big geordie streak of piss is moaning about how Grimsby-born Aussie roofer Darren Pattinson got the nod above him for the Second Test.

Here's a reminder for you Harmo - Wide, 4 wides, no ball, four, six, wide fielded at third slip, pointless bouncer, full toss, etc., etc. Bring back Scott Boswell, all is forgiven!

picture of Mohammed Asif
Mohammed Asif - the drugs don't work.

It would take a team of the world's finest psychiatrists to work out what goes on inside Harmison's head when he pulls on an England sweater. It's OK to be mopping up Glamorgan tailenders on your way to a county five-for but Harmison's frailties in test cricket became an embarrassment. After being rightly dropped for the New Zealand series he threatened to quit cricket for good if he didn't get his England place back. I bet the good people at Durham were less than chuffed to hear this bearing in mind the countless hours of coaching and nurturing they have put in towards making this perennial underachiever the highly-paid player he is today.

Just say no!

My sympathies also go out to Pakistan fast bowler Mohammed Asif. It appears that despite being busted for drugs for a third time in about twelve months that Asif is still protesting his innocence. My heart bleeds. On behalf of this honourable and misunderstood man can I make a public plea - will the person who is following Asif around and secretely putting drugs into his system and/or his luggage PLEASE STOP because the poor man just wants to play cricket fairly and squarely. Then again you have nothing to worry about because like your mate Shoab Akthar the internal disciplinary system for Pakistan cricket worries more about bums on seats than the spirit of the game so you can make Pete Doherty look like Cliff Richard over there and still not get a slap on the wrists.

Un - bloody - believable!