Tag Archives: scriptwriter

BUMBLE"S TEST DIARY: How the utter madness of England sending in Jimmy Anderson left me calling for Sunny and Cher

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: How the utter madness of England sending in Jimmy left me calling for Sunny and Cher

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UPDATED:

13:38 GMT, 16 November 2012

SAME OLD WAY TO A SORRY DEFEAT

England must get away from their habit of ‘thinking English’. They need to think how India have tried things, such as opening the bowling with their off-spinner. In India’s innings, just three of the first 18 overs were bowled by the spinners and they were 84-0. In England’s innings, 13 of 18 overs were bowled by spinners and England are three down.

SOFT HANDS NEEDED TO AVOID SOFTER DISMISSALS

England haven’t got a clue how to move the fielders around the bat. The top three (Cook, Compton and Trott) are very static batsmen. Trott’s dismissal – pushing forward with his bat rigid straight and being caught at bat-pad – summed up the problem. They need to play with soft hands. The young lad Pujara has given England a lesson. He’s not a blaster, he just moved the ball around.

Bad Trott: England's top order, especially Jonathan Trott, must learn to play with soft hands (FILE IMAGE)

Bad Trott: England's top order, especially Jonathan Trott, must learn to play with soft hands (FILE IMAGE)

ENTER KP THE SCRIPTWRITER

England have talked a good game for months, saying their players are good players of spin, but we are seeing no signs of that. Only Kevin Pietersen has come up with a system. As soon as he came in he went down the pitch to the spinner. He found a way. The rest will get out if they just sit and block. This match is nailed on to finish in four days unless KP can write a different script.

Swashbuckling: It's all down to Kevin Pietersen now - he should have been promoted up the order in the final session (FILE IMAGE)

Swashbuckling: It's all down to Kevin Pietersen now – he should have been promoted up the order in the final session (FILE IMAGE)

MIND THE GAP

I talked yesterday of psychological pressure leading to players dropping catches. And it’s the same with scoreboard pressure. India racked up 520 and when England came out to bat it suddenly looks a different track, a different game…but the pitch has not changed. It’s just pressure which was created by MS Dhoni, with his declaration, opening with the offie, and crowding the bat.

More of this, please: England practise their catching last year (FILE IMAGE)

More of this, please: England practise their catching last year (FILE IMAGE)

And less of this: England rue another missed chance (FILE IMAGE - v South Africa last summer)

And less of this: England rue another missed chance (FILE IMAGE – v South Africa last summer)

SENDING IN JIMMY AN UTTER WASTE OF TIME

The nightwatchman is a total and utter waste of time. I was really disappointed when James Anderson came out. I turned to Nasser Hussain and said: ‘He won’t last three balls’. He lasted six. He’s also pushed Graeme Swann down to No 11. Madness. Instead of a nightwatchman, they should have promoted KP – he would have broken the shackles.

SOUND THE ALARM

I had a bit of a senior moment. I was convinced I’d set my alarm for 2.30am but, during one of my frequent bathroom calls in the night, I glanced at the clock and noticed it was 3am and I was due on air in half an hour! I then realised I had indeed set it for 2.30…but in the afternoon!

CHER-ING THE LAUGHS… I'VE GOT YUVRAJ

It’s a different atmosphere commentating from the studio here rather than at the ground. You struggle to ‘feel the game’. It’s a different discipline but we are determined to ensure we do as good job as possible. We still had our lighter moments yesterday, talking about our favourite lollipops, and when the great Sunil Gavaskar came on Indian TV, and they did their 'ask Sunny' segment, I asked him: ‘Where’s Cher'

Sunil Gavaskar

Cher in 1991

Sunny and Cher I: Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar (right) and songstress Cher (right)

Sonny Bono and Cher

Sonny and Cher II: Or rather the original husband-and-wife partnership belt outa tune in 1966

VIDEO: I've Got You Baby, by Sonny (not that one) and Cher…

Martin Samuel: Ryder Cup 2012: It might get even harder, but it can"t get any better than this

It might get even harder, but it can't get any better than this

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UPDATED:

00:26 GMT, 1 October 2012

In the end, it came down to four losers. One imagines, at times like this, that in a room on some celestial plane somewhere, there is a scriptwriter convulsed with laughter.

The 39th Ryder Cup, three days of sweat and tears, if not blood, tied at 13-13, would be decided by a shoot-out between four players who had not won a single point between them all week.

Steve Stricker versus Martin Kaymer, Tiger Woods versus Francesco Molinari. Spot the odd man out. Yet Woods in a match-play format is like a replicant.

It won't get better: Europe's Ryder Cup team snatched victory on the final day at Medinah

It won't get better: Europe's Ryder Cup team snatched victory on the final day at Medinah

More from Martin Samuel…

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Why has friendly, beautiful Chicago got the second city blues
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Martin Samuel: Rory draws on his iron will: Steely McIlroy won't fear being US target
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Martin Samuel: Woods on a Medinah mission after admitting he has let down the US in the past
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Martin Samuel: Why Watford are a snapshot of all that's wrong with the modern game
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Martin Samuel: A minor skirmish at Anfield – but it mattered
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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Some said Davis Love sent him out as the guaranteed anchor man; others because, with the United States leading 10-6 going into the final day, what harm could he do in 12th position Plenty, as it transpired.

Woods, ticked off, led for one hole at the 13th and Molinari buckled slightly on the 17th, but the singular failure to master a player so completely in his shadow, put incredible pressure on those ahead. Stricker missed a vital putt on 17 to put Kaymer in the box seat.

His putt on the 18th was pitiful; a 24-handicapper would have been disappointed with the read. Kaymer, a former world No 1 and PGA champion, claimed the Ryder Cup for Europe.

Poor Stricker. The captain's pick, he ended the competition without a point, having formed a consistently losing partnership with Woods.

Then again, had Woods been safely back in the hutch, where he should have been, Stricker would not have been landed with such a burden.

Has 2012 been the best year for sport in Great Britain After this, there can surely be no doubt. The Olympics and Paralympics, the title decided with the last kick of the domestic football season, Chelsea the Champions of Europe, Bradley Wiggins the first Briton to win the Tour de France, Andy Murray the first tennis Grand Slam winner in 76 years.

And now this: Europe's Brookline, but without the boorish conclusion. How did they do it

Stand-out: Ian Poulter was in exceptional form all week

Stand-out: Ian Poulter was in exceptional form all week

Stand-out: Ian Poulter was in exceptional form all week

Stand-out: Ian Poulter was in exceptional form all week

RYDER CUP 2012

Read Derek Lawrenson's report from the final day at Medinah here

How did they beat an American team that had at last seemed to have mastered the concept of Ryder Cup unity Make no mistake: this is America's harshest defeat.

Worse than the annihilation at Oakland Hills; worse than any of the modern era Ryder Cups decided in Europe's favour. They thought they had it won.

We all did. They thought they were a good team. So did we. The reversal of fortune was quite stunning.

Just before 11am central time, Bubba Watson came bounding over the elevated walkway to the first tee. Not walking, as golfers commonly do. Bouncing.

There was no measure in his stride, no restraint, no casual saunter. He came down the stairs like a rock star, or one of those American quiz show contestants, plucked out of the audience and going obligingly crazy on their way down to the stage to meet the Price Is Right host.

As Watson leapt on to the tee, the noise level went up another decibel.

Planes may have been travelling over en route to Chicago O'Hare, train whistles might have sounded from the Metra Milwaukee District West Line.

Wake up Rory! Rory McIlroy (right) almost missed his tee slot, but still managed to beat Keegan Bradley (left)

Wake up Rory! Rory McIlroy (right) almost missed his tee slot, but still managed to beat Keegan Bradley (left)

Impressive: Bradley put in a brilliant shift at Medinah

Impressive: Bradley put in a brilliant shift at Medinah

Medinah is not a quiet course. Yet nobody would have heard a cannon roar above the sheer wall of raucous nationalism. Watson milked every last drop of emotion from it.

He shook hands, he handed over his cap to a boy in the front row. He posed for the official photograph and puffed his chest out.

This was going to be America's time. 'Remember, everything they invented, we perfected,' Tom Watson told his team when captaining the United States at The Belfry in 1993.

He was talking about the game of golf. America believed they was about to update that message here in Illinois.

The Americans had seen what it took to win a Ryder Cup, and sought to refine it.

After two days they had all but overwhelmed what many believed to be Europe's strongest team.

It took one of the greatest rearguard actions in the history of sport to tame them, and to send this tournament to a quite astonishing conclusion.

The Europeans wore Seve blue. He would have loved this, the stuff of life itself. In an uncommon reverse, America, having won the pairs events, lost the singles badly, 8 to 3.

It was a Herculean effort from Europe to unpick so much damage from the pairs events on Friday and Saturday. America looked to be a team on fire. Europe has the best golfers, but America played better in tandem this week.

How strange is that Indeed, early in the day, it seemed Europe were close to falling apart.

Rory McIlroy got his central and eastern time zones mixed up and almost missed his slot on the tee to great hilarity from the Chicago crowd.

He took it all in good part – he even won his match, bless him – yet it raised the question: how was he left to travel to the match alone

Come here you! Jose Maria Olazabal (right) embraced Luke Donald after he blitzed Bubba Watson in the singles

Come here you! Jose Maria Olazabal (right) embraced Luke Donald after he blitzed Bubba Watson in the singles

Not today: Phil Mickelson lost his match to Justin Rose on day three

Not today: Tiger Woods conceded the final hole to half his match with Francesco Molinari

Not today: Tiger Woods (right) and Phil Mickelson (left) both failed to win their singles matches

Where was the logistical back-up, the gofers, the assistance

No sporting event takes place with as many sundry members of humanity as the average Ryder Cup game. Where were they all Didn't anyone think it strange that there was no sign of the world No 1, 30 minutes before he was due on parade

'Wakey-wakey, Rory,' the locals taunted. Unfortunately for Keegan Bradley, he did just that. And so did Europe's big beasts.

Webb Simpson, an impressive presence in the first two days, lost to Ian Poulter, the stand-out performer on this European team.

Luke Donald trounced Watson. In the most surprising win of the day, Paul Lawrie beat America's form golfer Brandt Snedeker 5&3.

Suddenly, mission impossible was on. Yet spare a thought for the Americans. Nobody can claim they lost because they did not care this time.

There is a new generation of American golfers that have shown the old timers the way this week.

They were not raised on childhood memories of American domination, or the idea that Sam Ryder's trophy was no big whoop.

Nerves of steel: Martin Kaymer held firm and putted on the 18th to ensure Europe retained the Ryder Cup

Nerves of steel: Martin Kaymer held firm and putted on the 18th to ensure Europe retained the Ryder Cup

They grew up on the good old US of A getting a hiding; and they did not like it. They haven't always won, those boys like Watson, Bradley and Jason Dufner, but they came here with the game face that said 'not on my watch' and it has dragged others along.

Even in defeat, America have embraced the team ethic, Woods' petulance on the last day aside.

Get a few old soldiers in or wear a big hat: that used to be the limit of American team sophistication.

So it needed a quite stunning display of singles matchplay from Europe to produce this win, plus a last chance saloon tactic from Jose Maria Olazabal that royally paid off.

Trailing 10-6 he had no option but to frontload the team and hope for an early hit. Yet the drama was created by America's young generation taking on the old continent at its own game.

In doing so, they demanded new levels of energy and excellence from some of the greatest golfers and inspired them to new heights.

It was quite breathtaking to watch, impossible to predict almost to the last. Europe beware, though, from here as American resolve stiffens, it may get even harder. It is hard to imagine, though, that it will get better.

Time for champagne: Sergio Garcia (left) and Graeme McDowell celebrate with a drop of Moet

Time for champagne: Sergio Garcia (left) and Graeme McDowell celebrate with a drop of Moet

Sid Waddell dies: The "voice of darts" was 72

Darts in mourning as legendary commentator Sid Waddell passes away

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UPDATED:

12:18 GMT, 12 August 2012

Darts broadcaster Sid Waddell has died at the age of 72.

Waddell had been battling bowel cancer since last September and the news of his death was confirmed on Sunday.

Scroll down for Waddell quotes compilation video

Voice of darts: Legendary commentator Sid Waddell has passed away

Voice of darts: Legendary commentator Sid Waddell has passed away

A statement from his manager Dick Allix
read: 'With great sadness, we announce that following a long illness,
broadcaster and author Sid Waddell died peacefully with all his family
around him late last night, Saturday August 11th, 2012.'

Waddell was a central part of Sky
Sports' coverage of PDC darts events since 1994 and was known for his
colourful and excitable commentary style, with his best-known lines
including “There's only one word for it – magic darts”.'

He also noted, while watching Eric
Bristow become world champion: 'When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he
cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to
conquer…Bristow's only 27.'

Waddell's other commentary work
included pool's Mosconi Cup, while he also made a one-off appearance as
the BBC National Lottery's 'Voice of the Balls'.

In addition, he has had 11 books
published and wrote the sport-based BBC children's programmes Jossy's
Giants and Sloggers, receiving a nomination for best scriptwriter from
the Writer's Guild of Great Britain for the latter.

Insight: Waddell offered superb knowledge of darts and spoke with humour

Insight: Waddell offered superb knowledge of darts and spoke with humour

Toon: Geordie Waddell was a Newcastle fan

Waddell conducting an interview

Former players and broadcasting colleagues queued up to pay tribute after news of Waddell's death.

Twice BDO World Championship finalist Bobby George wrote on Twitter: 'So sad to hear of the passing of the legend Sid Waddell or Sidly as I used to call him. Sincere condolences go out to the family x.'

Wayne Mardle, the 2003 World Matchplay runner-up, added: 'So so gutted, The legend Sid Waddell passed away last night. Thoughts are with his family right now.'

Sky Sports' Dave Clark, who worked with Waddell for many years, tearfully remembered his former colleague on Sky Sports News.

'He was the voice of darts,' said Clark. 'Darts isn't going to be the same without Sid Waddell.

'He had a child-like exuberance, he'd
be bouncing round like a young puppy in the commentary box, and mix
that with the intellect of Einstein.

'He was a brilliant man, a genius of the microphone – I'm going to miss my old mate, that's for sure.

Broad palate: As well as commentating, Waddell also wrote books

Broad palate: As well as commentating, Waddell also wrote books

'I know he's been really battling
this cancer for a long, long time and what I hear from the family is
it's a blessing that he's gone, but a tragedy.'

Another of the organisation's
presenters, Jeff Stelling, added: 'It's shattering news. Back when I was
working with him he made more of an impact than any of the players did.
He is totally irreplaceable.

'There has never been such a sports
commentator to make such an impact. He had a wonderful turn of phrase.
He was the leader of the gang and we were all in his gang.

'On the big occasion he was always
there – if he wasn't there it wasn't a big occasion. He was the doyen of
sports commentating.'

BBC Sport's Gary Lineker wrote on
Twitter: 'See that Sid Waddell has lost his fight with Cancer. He really
was the voice of his sport. A brilliant, witty, colourful commentator.'

In action: Waddell loved the game

In action: Waddell loved the game

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney Tweeted: 'Sad news to hear about sid waddell. Made darts so much better to watch. He will be missed. Legend. RIP SID'.

Tributes to Waddell extended beyond
sport, with former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott tweeting:
'Farewell to Sid Waddell – a man who did so much for darts and voiced so
many memorable moments. A double top bloke.'

Bristow told Sky Sports News: 'Sid was top dog wasn't he He's not going to be replaced, he was a one-off.

'I remember a game he was commentating on, Cliff Lazarenko was playing Jocky Wilson. Cliff was about 22 stone and Jocky was about 17 stone and he said they were two athletes. I just cracked up.'

A statement from Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis read: 'We all remember Sid's wonderful words, his great sense of humour and his passion for the sport he loved.

'Sid was a friend to all of us at Sky Sports, at the heart of our darts coverage since the early 1990s. He was a wonderful man and we will miss him deeply.

'Our thoughts are with Irene (his wife) and family at this very sad time.'

SOME OF THE GREAT WADDELL QUOTES

'That was like throwing three pickled onions into a thimble!'

'He's about as predictable as a wasp on speed.'

'Look at the man go, its like trying to stop a waterbuffalo with a pea-shooter.'

'The atmosphere is so tense, if Elvis walked in with a portion of chips, you could hear the vinegar sizzle on them.'

'That's the greatest comeback since Lazarus.'

'Big Cliff Lazarenko's idea of exercise is sitting in a room with the windows open taking the lid off something cool and fizzy.'

'As Freud said to Jung in Vienna, you can psych up too much for a darts match.'

'Bristow reasons; Bristow quickens; aaaaah Bristow!'

'Keith Deller's not just an underdog, he's an underpuppy!' – Deller would go on to win the 1983 World Championship final against Bristow with a 138 finish.

'He's as cool as a prized marrow!'

'He looks about as happy as a penguin in a microwave.'

'When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer….. Bristow's only 27.'

'The pendulum swinging back and forth like a metronome.'

'He's been burning the midnight oil at both ends.'

'That's like giving Dracula the keys to the blood bank'

'This lad has more checkouts than Tescos.'

'Even Hypotenuse would have trouble working out these angles.'

'Steve Beaton – The adonis of darts, what poise, what elegance – a true roman gladiator with plenty of hair wax.'

'Phil Taylor's got the consistency of a planet … and he's in a darts orbit!'