Is cricket a batters game these days?

Captain McCullum of New Zealand walks off with his team after losing to England during the final cricket match of their one day international series at Eden ParkUmmm…No. I could just leave it there, but let me explain.

We are hearing cricket commentators, talk radio hosts, lounge-lizard commentators complaining that cricket has become a game for batsmen to the sake of the bowlers. This is rubbish.

Sometimes a batter dominates a game, see Gayle 215, Warner 178, Villers 162* etc…sometimes a bowler dominates, see Southee 7/33, Starc 6/26, Boult 5/27 etc…What about Vettori 3.21 runs per over, Tredwell at 3.57, Starc at 3.67. Seems some bowlers are happy to dominate the game, and not allow the batters to run the show.

Most importantly though the theme to much of this commentary is batting dominates the game now. Lets look at that.

To date at the Cricket World Cup 2015 the average winning score has been 266 runs. That includes results like match 26 when Australia won by close to 200 runs and Game 13 where India scored 130 more runs that South Africa. So all the largest totals are in that 266 average, regardless of what the losing score was.

At the 1992 Cricket World Cup the average winning score was 211 and at the ’92 World Cup there wasn’t the minnows as there are now, and we didn’t see the massive disparity in some scores. That means today the average is higher than ’92 due in part to several massive blow-outs thanks to the smaller nations.

Even taking that into consideration, the difference between the average winning score today, and 23 years ago is around 50 runs a match, or 1 run per over and I’m respectfully sorry Sir Curtly, an average increase of 1 run per over does not equate a balanced competition of two decades ago, turning to an unfair batting advantage in 2015.

Natalia Kills performance is worthy of a Razzie

So there area  couple of possibilities here with the “controversy” around Natalia Kills and her husband Willy Moon.

I could go all ‘third form bitchy girl’ on her and point out that is she is looking for originality whilst producing tedious, benign, pablum…and I quote

Sex, love, control, vanity
Sex, love, control, vanity
Sex, love, control, vanity (and the mirrors gonna fall tonight)
Sex, love, control, vanity (and the mirrors gonna fall tonight)
Sex, love, control, vanity (and the mirrors gonna fall tonight)
Sex, love, control, vanity (and the mirrors gonna fall tonight)
Vanity, vanity

Or point out that her husband seems to have stolen the idea for his video as pointed out beautifully on Youtube by Lauren Mulcahy

Or that why would someone be looking for originality in a talent show where everyone sings covers…anyone else see the problem there?

I could point out that Willy Moon’s most successful song ever got itself to #175 on the French music charts, or indeed not how successful Ms. Kills has been getting several of her songs into European charts, notably a single getting all the way to #96 in the Netherlands.

I could also point out that whist she was berating the contestant, the host was standing beside him…dressed exactly the same.

I could point these things out, but I won’t because that would be playing their game.

There are two possibilities here, the first is that Natalia Kills was instructed by Producers to go off on someone to make the show more engaging, the second is she genuinely did it herself. Both possibilities unfortunately show that Ms. Kills may be gifted as a musician, but intellectually she is lacking.

If the Producers of X-Factor instructed her to play the Simon Cowell card, then she deserves this years Razzie award for worst performance ever as she well over shot, demonstrating no understanding of the market she is in, showing no judgement in how she went about it, and now faces the backlash. If she genuinely believes what she said, which is basically “my husband owns the intellectual property to slick hair and a suit” (something Stuff.co.nz debunked beautifully today) and got offended that someone had copied him, then she is a genuine moron.

My gut tells me that the comments were a ruse, either under instruction or not, to ‘liven’ up the show. If Natalia made the comments off her own volition then my guess is she is trying to do a Keith Urban and move from a smaller market to get picked up as a judge in the UK on a larger show.

I haven’t watched any of X-Factor other than the video of the incident today, and I don’t think this will cause me to start watching. The idea of creating controversy to gain audience doesn’t work long term, especially in NZ, some viewers may tune in tonight to see the train wreck, but it’ll likely hurt the programme long term and it doesn’t held the individual as we’re not a big enough market to make the ‘news’ turn into massive sales.

So, if we agree that Natalia Kills ‘aint the sharpest tool in the shed, we then have to also acknowledge that her husband is far dimmer than even she as he went off on a rant accusing the contestant of looking like Norman Bates and because of his wife’s critique, suggesting he looked like he was going to kill everybody. Does he realise that he just said that they guy…who looks like him…looks like a serial killer?

So what do we do, firstly I think it would be brilliant for the contestant (who no doubt will now get the highest votes tonight) should cover a song either by Mr. Moon or Ms. Kills next week (that idea is copyright Pat Brittenden :) ) and the rest of us should probably be happy that Mediaworks is obviously an equal opportunity employer allows the mentally deficient to work on camera.

UPDATE

Obviously in late breaking news Ms. Kills and Mr. Moon are now no longer part of the X-Factor Family

Cricket World Cup Knockouts are lining up to be…

So I’ve geeked out and had a look at the likely line-ups for the Quarters and Semis for #CWC15.

In my predictions the only guess that I’m not so sure about is if England or Bangladesh will be there but either way they end up in the same place in the Quarters, to be knocked out by India.

So my predictions for the final pool positions, and the run through the knock-out stage looks like this.

CWC table

I have taken out my abacus and worked some MS-DOS based logarithms to get the right teams in the correct Quarters as some teams (if there) are guaranteed certain games, but if you see an error I am happy to be corrected.

I also think that QF1 is ripe for an upset and Sri Lanka could knock out South Africa and there’s a slim chance that Pakistan could upset Australia. When it comes to the Semis it’s actually anybody’s game and I won’t stand by them with such certainty.

I do think that if Australia is in the final, they will win…that’s my head talking, not my heart obviously.

Go the Blackcaps!

Questions for Deadheads

TWDAbout a month ago I discovered The Walking Dead and have spent the past four weeks watching the first four and a half series and now I’ve caught up to where the series is at.

With my overdose of TWD I have a few questions that I hope some other aficionados of the show may be able to answer.

  1. Why don’t the survivors sleep in/live in the trees? I mean if they can assemble walls and communities then surely they could make a community off the ground. But even if they didn’t live in the trees, wouldn’t sleeping in them at night be a better idea than on the ground?
  2. Why don’t the survivors head to the water? If there are vehicles that have petrol, then surely there’d be boats etc that could be utilised to live off shore.
  3. Why doesn’t anybody refer to the ‘dead’ as Zombies? Series one was set in present time. This means that every character that lived in the world before it fell would have had an understanding of the mythical idea of Zombies, these are Zombies, why does no one use the word?
  4. How did the dead get such strong teeth? As the rest of their bodies seem to fall apart at the slightest touch, what has happened to make their teeth so strong to tear through skin and muscle.
  5. Why does it seem there can only be one main male black character? T-Dog dies the same episode Tyresse turns up, Tyreese dies just as Noah becomes part of the core cast.

Anyway I realise that it is a drama and doesn’t need to always connect the dots, but maybe you have some thoughts around the programme or maybe just want to share you love of TWD

By 4pm today NZ will be at war

John+Key+Prime+Minister+John+Key+Welcomes+taXx7-vF6yhlBy 4pm today New Zealand will be at war, not ‘possibly’, not ‘figuratively’ but literally at war and it will not be by consensus of the New Zealand Government.

The National Party of New Zealand, under the Prime Minister will have decided to put our troops in harms way without the approval of the people of New Zealand, or the majority of our representatives in Parliament.

There are many things that concern me about this, and to be clear the least of them is retaliation on home soil by an extremist group, but one of the most concerning issues is that even John Key doesn’t seem so clear on the issue.

This morning Mr. Key was on TV 3’s Firstline talking over what is to be announced today with reference to sending troops to Iraq. Mr. Key made a flimsy comparison to what Helen Clark did when she sent engineers to Iraq. This is a practice that the National Government uses often, which is saying “well they did it, so so can we.” It’s an attempt to block attacks from Labour and to try to paint them as hypocrites if they criticise the National Government’s moves. This is a valid manoeuvre if the comparisons are equal and opposite but unfortunately for Key in this instance they are not.

The Helen Clark led Labour Government sent “two rotations of 61 engineers [to spend] a year in Basra from September 2003, performing engineering and humanitarian tasks.” This can hardly be compared to training soldiers to kill in combat circumstances.

The most concerning issue is that Mr. Key claims we are not going to be war, but then also acknowledges that he is not sure if this is war or not.

From the interview when asked if we are going to war.

…on the basis that we provide training neither would we be [going to war]. So, you know, if you’re out there and you’ve got your soldiers running around involved in fire-fights and, y’know, your bombing people or whatever the ‘Yup’ you’re at war, but I’m not sure that’s the same case if you’re providing training.

I’m not sure that’s the case” are the six most concerning words to me in this whole debacle.

There is every chance that NZ soldiers are going to end up in fire fights (whilst training Iraqis) and be killed…and John Key is “not sure” if we are at war or not.

To me it sounds like how Vietnam wasn’t a war but a ‘Police Action’ and my vote is to stay out of it.

The new Paul Henry show

PHENRYI have had some dealings with people inside the new Paul Henry show of recent weeks along with some of the sales team at Mediaworks and I find it intriguing to see the nature in which they are ‘selling’ the new venture.

It’s being spoken of as a Goliath of a show that is going to take the world by storm which makes sense as Mediaworks is currently trying to ‘big up’ the product.

I’m as interested as anyone to see the final product, but I wonder what the new show is actually going to achieve…other than save money.

Radiolive has been the bit-player in a theatre that is talkback radio since it’s inception in 2005 with Newstalk ZB being dominant and not ever taking a hit from having competition in the market place. As an example when I was working 3 – 4 overnight shows on ZB I had the number one show in the country with an average or 100,000 – 120,000 listeners nationwide, per week consistently for 5 years. Over the same period, in prime time day slots, Michael Laws and Willie and JT on Radio live, 5 days a week had about 50,000 listeners. The same discrepancy could be seen if you compared drive show and breakfasts shows on the two stations and things haven’t really changed all that much. Yes there’s been a 5% growth here and a 2% drop off there, but for the most ZB is correct in their advertising that “daylight comes second.” Why there is such a discrepancy between the brands is for another day, but I think I can speak to that as well having worked for both brands.

Up until 2014 there were two products on the Mediaworks brands, Firstline on TV3 and Marcus Lush on Radiolive, so to take both products and make them one will undoubtedly save money, not necessarily in year one as there is a major capital outlay for a new studio etc…but if you now have half (my assertion) the staff you had you are going to see savings long term so I can see the new Paul Henry product as a money savings product but as a challenge to ZB or indeed Breakfast on TVNZ…I don’t see that in the stars.

I see no evidence that people will turn off ZB or TVNZ and head to the new hybrid show. TV3 and Radiolive, as individual entities, have put up good options in the past to challenge the status quo to no avail, in fact Paul Henry was one of those people when he work on the Drive show on Radiolive, which made no depreciable difference to Larry Williams audience on ZB. I don’t see this Paul Henry as anything other than the next incarnation of an attempt to take down the established order. Now, I like Paul Henry, so don’t see me as a ‘hater’ but we have seen very talented broadcasters before try and fail…why should this be any different.

When Sir Paul Holmes went to PrimeTV the audience didn’t follow, we are creatures of habit and those stations which the industry calls ‘heritage brands’ have loyal audiences who don’t travel. TVNZ and ZB are heritage brands. You might see that people float around for a few months then it’s highly likely normal transmission will resume. I’m sure we’ll see press releases that point to a 5 point swing in the 25-54 demographic, but if you see that it usually means “we’re still getting our butts kicks and we need to find any positive point in this whole thing.”

There is also one last issue that the producers of Paul Henry’s new show have to address, and it’s the elephant in the room right now, and that is that this idea that a cross media platform may actually deliver an inferior product to what is currently available. It might actually turn people off both products as the show tries to be a jack of all trades as it may end up being the master of none. The radio game especially has some very exact nuances that may be lost, overlooked or just impossible to achieve when making a television product. Is this going to be a television show that is broadcast on the radio, or a radio show with pictures…both of which will leave viewers/listeners of the lesser valued medium unsatisfied, or will it be a genuine hybrid of both radio and television? But my question is how will that work and is it even possible?

My suspicions are that you will see an improvement on the audience for TV3 that won’t effect the Breakfast audience, and not a significant change to the Radiolive audience.

Honouring all New Zealanders this ANZAC Day

CoinHello team, I’m back for 2015, been a busy few months for me and mine as we’ve moved to Dunedin, I am hoping to blog once or twice a week from the Promised Land and I look forward to your input in 2015

I love, love, love the idea of a commemorative coin for the 2015 ANZAC Day celebrations but I have a question for the Reserve Bank…who are the soldiers on the just announced coin? I notice that there is a Maori design behind the soldiers, but it seems to me that the jaw lines and recognisable facial features of the soldiers seem very Caucasian.

Please correct me if I’m wrong (and I’d dearly love to be wrong) but it would appear to me, that in a country with a bi-cultural agreement we are celebrating two Pakeha soldiers and the Queen (on the other side).

If the designer of the coin could let us know who the soldiers are modelled on I’d happily withdraw my speculation, but from here that’s how it reads to me and if I am correct then someone needs to be educated about Maori who fought and spit their blood on the beaches of Gallipoli.

Again if I’m wrong please let me know so I can redress my observation as I certainly don’t want to cast aspersions.

See video of the making of the coins here or the official announcement here

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