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only two receiving touchdowns (A.J. Green in Week 1 an

in Gästebuch 04.02.2018 01:46
von jcy123 • 790 Beiträge

Before we went to the 1992 World Cup, the Zimbabwe cricket board asked the players: do you want to play international cricket or go back into the South African cricket system? To a man, the cricketers put their hands up to go back into the South African system. There were only 60 cricketers left in the country - how could we possibly play Test cricket?Im proud that so many young African cricketers are playing cricket in Zimbabwe, which goes back to the early 1980s, when we went into the townships, teaching the game.I first met Graeme Hick at Prince Edward School at 13, where I was coaching. We had known for some time that he was this precocious talent, scoring a monumental amount of runs at Under-12 level. One day, he didnt show up at nets. It turned out his parents had sent him to see an educational psychologist because he wasnt doing too well with his schoolwork. We all sort of looked at each other, as if to say: well thats a waste of time, because hes not going to be a doctor, hes going to be a cricketer. As long as he can count from one to a hundred, hell be fine. As it turns out, he could count to 400...During my only overseas Test hundred, I broke my instep in mid-innings. The bowler was swinging it out but got one to reverse, which hit me flush on top of the foot. I was on about 50. I set off for a run and collapsed. The physio said, Whatever you do, dont take off your shoe. Ive seen the replay and were going to send a runner out. On 99, they put in a ring of nine fielders and bowled at me like that for 45 minutes. They eventually got tired, took the new ball, and Chris Cairns bowled me a bouncer which I gloved for four.I played a lot of rugby at school, and my brother, Billy, was captain of the hockey team. They were going on a tour of Cape Town and didnt have a goalkeeper, so I went along. I stopped a few with my boot, worked at it and ended up playing a few internationals. It was a very short-lived career. I got the Best Defender trophy after a series against Pakistan. They were No. 1 in the world at the time and we were mid-teens, so its hardly surprising I had to stop a few!Id love to say, looking back, that I was delighted we were playing Test cricket and wanted to embrace it, but the truth is, I was embarrassed we were playing. People were saying theyd have to rewrite the record books. I was worried we were going to get turned over inside two days and people would say, I told you so.I love the uniqueness of county cricket, the amount of cricket thats played. If you ask any cricketer, theyd rather play than practise.We played a Test in Colombo, and Sri Lanka were 130 for 5, chasing 330 on a turning wicket. Aravinda de Silva was still in, and [Arjuna] Ranatunga came out with a runner, which was annoying to say the least. On top of that, when he stood at square leg he was leaning on the umpire, KT Francis shoulder, which really did annoy us a lot. Over the next day, we reckoned we got these guys out comfortably 15 times - and not just bog-standard lbw standing in front of the stumps, but caught at slip, caught at gully. The players wanted to walk off before the end, but as coach I encouraged them to stay on. They wanted to boycott the post-match presentation. The match referee, Raman Subba Row, said, No, itll be an international incident. We went into their dressing room to shake their hands and none of them could look up at us.In terms of the most knowledgeable person Ive ever stood next to on a cricket field, Duncan Fletcher wins by miles. He basically coached us while he played the game. And he was a much better cricketer than his stats show.As youngsters, we all had national service to do. You got a call-up paper that said you were going into the army, the air force, the police, whatever. In my case, I went into the police as a regular. I did my six-month training, then a stint as a traffic policeman, then in the charge office at one or two suburban stations. At the time, the Independence War heated up, and I was transferred out into the Special Branch. At the end of the war, in early 1980, I tried to stay on for another two years but it became pretty clear that there was a need to have the rapid advancement of black policemen through the ranks - they had been held back under Rhodesian rule - which meant my career was at a stalemate.I played for three years at Quick CC in the Hague. Coconut matting on a concrete strip. Id been there on a hockey tour and always wanted to go back.We got 312 against Sri Lanka in our first game of the 1992 World Cup, which at the time was a world record. Unfortunately we only held it for about four hours because they got one more than us.There was an exodus in the late 1980s: Hick, Trevor Penney, Kevin Curran, Peter Rawson - probably the best seamer weve ever had. I had opportunities to leave but I didnt want Zimbabwe to go downhill and never play again.The club structure, which was so strong in the days when we came through, has almost disintegrated. Weve still got a fantastic school structure, but they come out of school and theres nowhere to play.I made my first first-class hundred against Oxford University, in the same game as Graeme Hick made his. He was 19 and I was almost 29. It was a shame to lose him but there was nothing to keep him in Zimbabwe: only a World Cup every four years.I kept wicket for ten years, before I got an injury from repeatedly catching the ball over a period of time that closed all the blood capillaries. I noticed it while playing in Holland, when I took off my glove after a wicket had fallen. My hand was freezing cold and I didnt know what was wrong. A guy in the opposition said, Whats up with your hand? Its a different colour. He happened to be a surgeon, and told me to go and see him the next day. An amazing bit of good fortune, really. I had an arteriography and it showed the closed capillaries, so I had an operation to force the blood flow on my right arm to the hand.We as coaches are having to freshen up every year. I dont coach batting the same way I did ten years ago.One of the things that happened in Zimbabwe - in the era growing up with Fletcher, Andy Flower, myself - was that you had to learn how to think for yourself. There werent going to be too many people who could pass you info on a daily basis.Andy Flowers a very good example of a person who worked out for himself how to bat.West Indies A sent all their up-and-coming fast bowlers in 1981. Wed seen guys like Garth Le Roux in the Currie Cup, but facing Malcolm Marshall, Wayne Daniel, Hartley Alleyne and Winston Davis was eye-opening. It was great exposure. We realised we could bat against these guys. At the end of the series Fletcher made a point of getting them to chat to us about where we could improve.We got to the last game [of the 1992 World Cup] and played England on a shocking wicket. We got 130-odd, and it was just a miserable feeling at the break. Geoffrey Boycott came to our dressing room and asked me to sign this brand-new white ball, which he was getting all the captains to sign. He said to me, You amateurs cant knock it around. You watch what the professionals do when they come out. England made about 125 all out in the final over. I couldnt find Geoffrey at the end of the game, because I wanted to have a quick chat with him.When I was keeping and Duncan was at first slip, the cricket conversations we had on the field were unbelievably astute and helped me hugely in my understanding of the game as Ive gone on.Damian DOliveira said to me, If you bullshit the players and they ever find out, youll have lost their respect and you might as well leave the next day.After school I joined the police, who were very strong at sport. After a couple of years I played for Rhodesia in the Currie Cup, first against Transvaal. It was a steep learning curve. After independence we were immediately withdrawn from all South African sports and accepted into the ICC as an Associate.I thought we were going to lose the next generation - the Flowers, the Strangs, Alistair Campbell, Heath Streak - so I put an ultimatum to the board in 1990: unless they were prepared to offer professional contracts, I was leaving.At school I played cricket in conjunction with other sports - tennis - my first love - as well as rugby, hockey and squash, which is particularly good for hand-eye coordination - which I believe kept your hunger for each sport.My ODI debut was against Australia in the World Cup. It was an amazing day. Wed only seen these guys on TV. Lillee and Thomson werent as quick as they had been, but they still had an aura. We didnt know how we could beat them. The one thing in our favour was, they had six left-handers in the top seven, and John Traicos bowled unbelievably well. And Duncan, of course.A few people have their private coaching clinics so they can make a living, but I dont think that necessarily helps Zimbabwean cricket. Cricket for the rich is not my idea of how you promote the game.I sat down with John Hampshire, whod come on board as our coach in our early days in Test cricket, and he said, Our aim is to try and make these games go five days. If you lose in five days, then youve achieved something. We brought it right back to absolute basics. Dont worry about scoring, just play up and down the line. If we could make 180 runs in a day, bat two days, thats 360. If we bowl one side of the wicket, well compete. And thats how we played our cricket for those first ten games.All my cricket, right up until the first Test in 1992, was on an amateur basis. The only first-class cricket we played after independence was against other countries A sides. If selected, we took leave to be able to play, which didnt please the wives too much.The first Test victory, over Pakistan, was an amazing feeling, but when you look back now, its tainted a little bit. It was around the time of Saleem Malik and all the match-fixing allegations.The thing that annoyed me at the time was, we were not getting Test matches against South Africa, who were our neighbours. I played one game against them, in 1995.Taking on the player-coach role with Zimbabwe was a very difficult couple of years for me. The boundary rope becomes a very dividing line, because Im not the captain. You do all the preparation, all the analysis of the opposition, all the plans, then you cross the line and the captain might change tactics completely. Im still on the field, but theres nothing I can do about it. We had some difficult times, Alistair Campbell and I, there were a couple of things we didnt agree on, and I had to realise this is not my realm now.I was playing for West Bromwich Dartmouth in the Birmingham League. I went to pick up kit for the winter from Duncan Fearnley, who was chairman of Worcestershire at the time, and he said to me, What are you doing next season? Why not captain our 2nd XI? You cant play county cricket, but Ill have you as captain/coach. Ill speak to West Bromwich and Dartmouth. Well take over your contract and lease you to them on Saturday. The day before I arrived, they released Kevin Lyon, the first-team coach. Duncan called: Youre going to have to do the 1st XI as well. So, Thursday and Friday I was with the first team, Saturday I played the Birmingham League, Sunday Id be with the firsts for the one-day game, and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday I was with the second team. It was a busy year.Wasim [Akram] and Waqar [Younis] bowled with serious pace, but the guys were queuing up to face the new ball. In Rawalpindi, we were 135 for 1 chasing 240, but the minute they made it reverse, it was a huge problem for all of us. The problem was starting against it. If you happened to be in, then you had a chance.I made a hundred on Test debut, and got 40-odd not out in the second innings. One of my best friends sent me a message: Retire now. Youre better than Donald Bradman!No matter who you are, when you play against England its always a big series.We always felt that if we could stay in the game long enough then we had a chance of turning a side over, because the pressure was always on the other side. The longer we were in the game, the more mistakes they were likely to make under pressure.I kept for 50 overs in unbelievable heat [in the 1987 World Cup], and I couldnt get any water down my throat to rehydrate, so I said to Iain Butchart, Im going to have to do it in boundaries. I kept moving over and hitting the ball over square leg, so they pushed him back and brought up the mid-on, Martin Crowe. I hit this ball, got a big piece of it, but it went too high up. He ran about 30 yards back and caught it, diving towards the crowd. It was one of the best innings I ever played, but my main memory is, we got so close and gave it away in the last over.The team went straight from New Zealand into the 1996 World Cup, but I had to miss out with the broken foot. It was a clean snap, with one inch between the two pieces. It was the only time I missed cricket through injury.Bumble was right: they did murder us on the day [in Bulawayo in 1996], but we had to do whatever it took not to lose the game. John Hampshire, in his tough old Yorkshire way, had said to us, If you get hit by fast bowlers, dont show any pain. It only lasts two minutes and then goes numb. Were playing in Lahore and Waqar hit Grant Flower on the visor with his very first ball. It cut his cheek and knocked him on his backside. The 12th man ran out with some water and a towel, and Grant says: Is my two minutes up yet, because it still f****** hurts.Id played against South Africa A in a warm-up game for the Sri Lankans, and made 1 and 3 - a very bad 3, in which I was dropped two or three times. I said to Hampshire, I want to stop. Ive had enough. He said, Do me a favour and play the first Test. So I did, and scraped 50. Thats the best thing that could have happened, he said, and talked me into playing the next game. I got 266. Murali was turning it miles from outside off. At times he had just a slip and a mid-off and kept bowling it way outside off. There was no way I was going to drive, so on 199, I decided to reverse-sweep.Malcolm Marshall would be right up there, but Wasim was the best bowler I ever faced. He bowled with pace. He could seam and swing the ball at will. He could go past the edge six balls out of six.Im very much an African. Heading out into the bush in my flip-flops and going for a spot of fishing on the river: thats Africa to me.Id always wanted Zimbabwe Cricket to have an academy, but there were never enough funds. Watching what Ian Botham had done over the years, I thought: why dont I do that and see what happens? So I did the walk, from Bulawayo to Harare, and we raised the money to build the academy. Then a few years ago Mark Vermeulen torched it and they never put it properly back together again. If I do get back to Zimbabwe, that would be one of my priorities. 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CINCINNATI -- How badly does Bengals cornerback Adam Jones want his teammate Vontaze Burfict back on the field?The question was barely even out of a reporters mouth before Jones threw back his head and started yelling.Hell yeah! Jones bellowed Sunday, his voice echoing across the locker room. Cant wait till 55 gets here, and I dont give a damn who dont like it either.Jones pulled out his phone as he was speaking.Im calling him right now when I walk out of here, he said, following the Bengals 29-17 home loss to the Denver Broncos.Jones is eager to get his friend and teammate back, and he wanted everyone to know it. Burfict has been the missing presence in the locker room for the first three weeks of the season as he serves his three-game suspension for violations of player safety.He hasnt been allowed around the facility since the conclusion of the preseason. And while the defense gave his backup, Vincent Rey, deserved praise (he was the highest-graded defensive player in a loss to the Steelers last week), players are excited to see their team start coming back together, piece by piece.Vinny Rey did a great job. We couldve won any game with Vinny Rey, said cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. That guy played out of his mind. But getting [Burfict] back, thats another part of it.Thhe turnaround will be short for Burfict, as the Bengals are playing a Thursday night game this week against the Dolphins.ddddddddddddaving him back bolsters our linebacking unit, Rey said. It bolsters our defense in general, and our team. Were looking forward to having him back. Hes just another player here to make plays for us. Hes a big-time player and leader.The Bengals practice this week will be light, mostly walk-throughs, as they try to give players some rest on the short week. The short turnaround might not bode well for tight end Tyler Eifert, who is on his way back from an offseason ankle injury but wasnt quite ready to play Sunday against the Broncos after returning to practice for the first time last week.Eifert led the team in receiving touchdowns last season, so his return could spark an offense that has been inconsistent this season. The Bengals have only two receiving touchdowns (A.J. Green in Week 1 and Giovani Bernard in Week 2).Tyler is obviously so talented, said Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Hes been a big part of our offense since hes been here, especially last year. It would be great to have him back, whenever it is. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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