All entries for Thursday 13 January 2005

January 13, 2005

On Mark Butcher

Is time up for Mark Butcher?
His two Test Matches against South Africa produced one decent score (in the First Test) from 4 innings. His most notable other innings was his 13 from 70 balls. The pressure must have been on, you'd think to be forced down to a strike rate of only 24. Well, er no. England were on a roll after Strauss and Trescothick had put on 272 for the first wicket. Admittedly his innings lasted overnight, but if digging in was required, see Thorpe in that innings, who also scored a century.
In short, his form wasn't very impressive before he was injured, much like last summer.
Robert Key, whilst not the most proficient of batsmen, is producing the goods. Admittedly he had a duck in the last test, but then made a gritty 41 when England were on the rack in Cape Town, and is, as I write, approaching a century in J'burg.

Is there a way back for Butcher? There are many pros and cons. Key would be considered very unlucky to be dropped again come summer, for a potentially misfiring Butcher. But, generally speaking, many would say that Butcher is naturally a better batsman. one also need to remember that whilst Key is vulnerable to the short ball, Butcher appears vulnerable to injuries. It seems to me that Butcher is becomming increasingly reliant on that innings against Australia a few years ago to maintain his fragile reputation.

Even if Key fails to impress, who's in South Africa to take his spot? Ian Bell, who has been on the fringes of the side for about a year now. He even bowls a bit (Which Butcher used to do). He's surely going to be fancied for the Bangladesh series that preceeds the Ashes, and if he does well there…

Much as I like him, I don't think there will be many games left for Mark Butcher. When and if he gets back into the England side, he will have to cement his place immediately, otherwise he'll have to go back to Surrey and be outplayed by Mark Ramprakash…


On Prince Harry's fancy dress.

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4170623.stm

Storm in a teacup, surely.

Prince Harry was photographed at a fancy dress party dressed as a Nazi. As far as I'm aware that doesn't mean he is a Nazi, nor condones what they did. But apparently, according to Doug Henderson MP (And I pity anyone from Newcastle who is unfortunate enough to have such an idiot as an MP) this means he is "not suitable" for Sandhurst. Quite why, I'm not sure.

Personally, I think it was a very clever take on the party's theme, which was "Colonial and Native". Turn up as the latter, and he'd have surely be lambasted for racism and not being aware of other cultures. Dress as the former, and he'd be condemmed for condoning Britain's Imperial past – about which one could write lines such as "the trappings of a genocidal dictatorship" as appeared in Today's Jewish Chronicle.
Perhaps Mr Henderson thinks that sort of costume is more befitting a British officer.

Take this picture:

He's surely not suitable to be on our screens.
What's that you say, he's not really a Nazi? Just dressing up? Oh, my mistake…


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