Watch England vs Ukraine online

In a brilliant new innovation, England’s forthcoming match against Ukraine will be made available only in the online format. This means that there is absolutely no way to watch England vs Ukraine live on TV. The only way you can watch the game live is to stump up some of your own cash up front.

Over at Siberian Light, my other blog, I’ve published a quick guide to how to watch england vs ukraine online, but this is the very basics.

If you’re quick, and book by Wednesday, the cost is just £4.99 to watch the game. However, on Thursday and Friday the price goes up to £9.99 to watch the game. And if you’re one of those latecomers who only decides to pay to watch the game on Saturday, you’ll have to pony up £11.99 for the privilege.

There is one way that I know of to watch the game online for free. But even so, this still requires you to stump up some cash. Simply sign up for online bookie Betfair, and make sure that your account is in credit. They’ll be letting their subscribers (the in credit ones at least) watch England vs Ukraine free on Saturday evening. It’s not clear if you can then withdraw your money straight away, but if not, at least you have the chance to do a bit of gambling.

I definitely recommend booking quickly for this match though – the company running the online broadcast have set an upper limit of 1 million viewers, so that they can make sure their servers don’t throw a hissy fit at having to stream video to so many people at the same time. If you’re too late, you’ll just have to wait and watch the highlights after the event!

Ian Botham, Viv Richards, Joel Garner, et al

The Sunday Times profiles the Somerset cricket team of 1981, which brought together Ian Botham, Viv Richards, and Joel Garner into the most spectacular one day team of its time. 

“We were a wonderfully varied group of players, with university graduates, salt-of-the-earth players from Somerset and some superstars,” recalls allrounder Vic Marks. “Temperamentally we were better suited to one-day cricket because we had players who could turn it on rather than grind it out day-in, day-out, which is what you have to do to win a championship.”

Each member of the team, which won five one-day trophies in as many years, is profiled.  Including the mighty Dennis Breakwell, who taught me to bowl when I was nine.   

The etiquette of sex doll rafting

In Russia they hold sex-doll rafting races. No, really, they do.  Anyway, this year’s event, however, has not been without scandal – one of the competitors apparently getting a little over friendly with his raft:

Over 400 “sportsmen” took part in the Bubble Baba Challenge tournament. “It’s fun and difficult to swim 1200 meters in stormy river with an exotic apparatus, as inflatable ladies slip out of hands”, tournament organizer Dmitriy Bulaviniv said.

At a juries’ command participants jumped into the water. Strong wind and flow snatched out resilient dolls from strong men’s hands, and only Osipov,40, resolutely approached to the finish.

“I was shocked, I think it was an expression of his great desire to win,” Osipov’s friend said. The jury then noticed Osipov’s strange position and told him to moor. When he came out of the water, gazers saw signs of recent sexual activity on the swimmer’s doll.

At least they didn’t ask him to dock.

This post brought to you by the Mosnews Appreciation Society.

Cricket umpires make terrorists

The Guardian, in it’s Leader comment, implies that disputed sporting decisions make terrorists:

[The decision to abandon the England vs Pakistan cricket match] turned an incident that could have been resolved into a childish and destructive stand-off. The dispute was not between England and Pakistan, which may allow the forthcoming one day series to continue. But it can only fuel the alienation felt by some British Muslims at a time of great strain.

I don’t know what they were smoking at Guardian HQ, but I want some.

England vs Pakistan abandoned – who is to blame?

As the Test match between England and Pakistan is abandoned amid acrimony, Guardian sports columnist Mike Selvey displays some spectacularly poor judgement as he raises the finger of blame straight at the two umpires:

That an international match of such profile can be terminated simply because two officials have had their integrity questioned – for that is what we are talking about here – is a disgrace to the game.

The reaching of such a sorry state of affairs is the fault neither of England nor Pakistan.

I don’t know if Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove were correct when the awarded a 5 run penalty against Pakistan for ball tampering. But, if Pakistan really felt hard done by, they should have appealed the 5-run penalty to the match referee. It’s a relatively trivial amount of runs in the context of the game, and the decision could have comfortably been overturned at the end of the days play, had it been judged that the umpires’ decision was incorrect. This incident did, after all, only take place on the fourth day of five.

(To my American readers – yes, cricket games really do go on that long. And, yes, they are often drawn at the end of those five days).

But I am certain that they did the right thing in awarding the game to England when the Pakistan team refused to come out of their dressing room to resume the game.

Simply refusing to play the game is not the way to address any dispute. Imgaine if, in the World Cup final, France had refused to continue playing after Zidane was sent off. The press would have – rightly – had a field day, and France would have been thrown out of the tournament.

The ICC must back the umpires and their decision to the hilt. Anything less would damage the integrity of the game, by sending a message that Umpires decisions are not final, and that throwing temper tantrums is the only way to get ahead in the byzantine world of international cricket.

Update: Woohoo!  I’ve been quoted by the BBC!

If you’ve come from the Test Match Special site, welcome.  Feel free to take a look around.  A good place to start is the homepage, or you could check out my two other posts on the forfeited match – For the love of the game and Cricket umpires make terrorists.

Excuses, excuses

After missing the no-ball which allowed Leicestershire to snatch victory in the 20-20 cup final at the weekend, Umpire Allan Jones is rightly contrite:

“I looked at it on TV when I got back and it was a no-ball. It was a marginal one but it was a no-ball. I must say that I was concentrating on the four men inside the circle and keeping the water out of my eyes at the time, because it was raining very hard. And I had the lights in my eyes.”

Tough job, this umpiring. 

Laura Bush forces Latvian Hockey team to train

Laura Bush did her bit for international diplomacy on Saturday after her Secret Service protection team forced the Latvian ice hockey team to wait in their training arena in full gear for 40 minutes.  All because she was watching the US women’s hockey team play Switzerland in the next arena:

“That’s not normal,” Latvian forward Aleksandrs Semjonovs told the newspaper Diena. “The third period is only half way done and she was not yet ready to leave. Why couldn’t we leave the arena?”

Commenters at All About Latvia are incensed:

And who the hell do they think they are putting people to inconvinience in a foreign (not USA) country! Our presient should make am official protest.

But, let’s look on the bright side – the Latvian hockey team got 40 minutes of extra practice time.  Think how well prepared they’ll be for their next match.