Tuesday, 23 August 2011

England v Dravid - a final word

A smiley Broady getting Dhoni
Fantasy Bob would like to apologise to Stuart Broad for any impression he may have given him earlier in the summer that he was useless, a plonker and a general sulk bucket.  FB may inadvertently have suggested that Broad would be lucky to make it into FB's own All Stars Carlton 4th XI. 

As the modest man he is FB would disclaim any credit for Broad's rehabilitation, but he notes that his stinging criticism in earlier posts had their desired effect.  Clearly Broad was concerned that a place in the All Stars that had been his for the asking might be grasped from him.  FB's warning did the trick and Broad showed all round excellence of a sort not seen since the high points of FB's own career. 

25 wickets at 13.84 and a SR of 36.6 (compare his lamentable 8 wickets at 48.75 against Sri Lanka);  182 runs at 60.66 (57 at 19).  Even among all the fine performances from every England player including double centurions, this was a major contribution.  He even stopped the sulking and pouting - almost.  Well done, son.

That aside, there doesn't seem very much more to be said about the England v Dravid series.  The buckets of pre-prepared whitewash were duly sprayed around as England confirmed their superiority in every department.  Over the series they scored 2809 for 47 wickets against their opponents' 2044 for 80 wickets.  Dravid scored 461 of those at 76.83.  He faced 965 balls and ends the series as the batsman who has faced most balls in Test cricket.  He seems good enough to play for Scotland.

Strauss with £30,000 of mace
 and a connection to FB and Mrs FB
 England now hold the Reliance ICC Test Championship Mace which was commissioned from British jewellers Asprey and Garrard in May 2001.  Its design is described as based on a cricket stump as its shank, topped by an orb that represents the cricket world – both geographically and through the inclusion of the emblems of all 10 ICC Members to have played Test cricket.  It is plated silver and gold and valued at £30,000.  One dictionary definition of mace is a weapon that is used to bludgeon opponents.  England look ready to bludgeon all comers.

Asprey and Garrard are now Garrard and Co following some corporate rejigging in 2006.  The company has an interesting history and connects FB, Mrs FB and Kate Middleton - as well as Andrew Strauss - in one seamless link.  Hard to imagine?

Stephen Webster sparklies
Garrard was appointed Royal Jewellers by Queen Victoria in 1843 a position it held until 2007.   If you must know it designed the sapphire and diamond ring that now adorns the Duchess of Cambridge. Jade Jagger was Garrard's chief designer from 2002 until she was replaced by Stephen Webster in 2008.  Webster is the favourite jeweller of Mrs FB and legions of lesser celebrities.  Garrard was also known for precision engineering, designing range finders for the British Artillery during the First World War.  More recently they produced a celebrated range of turntables/record decks finally ceasing production in 1992.  FB had the Garrard SP25IV for many years and excellent it was too.   So you see - everything connects.

Garrard SP25IV

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