The Dobber

The Dobber

The Guardian's sport picture of the day has MCC members queing up at Lord's. And, impressively, Bacon and Egg socks.

The Wasted Afternoons demands cricket doccumentaries a la ESPN's brilliant 30 for 30 series.

So bearing all this in mind and given that this is a cricket blog, I think it is high time we campaign for some cricketing 30 for 30's. When I say that, obviously ESPN doesn't necessarily have to make them. Someone else can if they want. There are just so many great cricket stories that haven't really been told properly. I'm talking 'Fire in Babylon' quality docos too, not half hour profiles on famous players of the past.

Jon Hotton became an international cricketer when he played Japan.

The venue was Chiswick House, the match the first that Japan would play on a tour to mark the 150th anniversary of cricket in their country. While the Authors arrived in Chiswick via the usual combination of scrounged lifts, delayed trains and reluctant WAGs, Japan came on a coach. They looked chillingly young and they immediately embarked on proper fielding drills with those flexible plastic stumps and tiny traffic cones, apparently oblivious to the lumps and bumps of the early season outfield.

Ed Smith reckons great teams need leadership, data analysis and culture to succeed.

Thirdly, I believe in the power of culture. The recurrent success of some national sides cannot be explained by random cycles of dominance. Some sporting cultures achieve success because they get more things right, from grass roots to World Cup final. The All Blacks play a wonderful brand of total rugby. They rely on skills developed throughout New Zealand's rugby culture. In Dunedin this March, during rain delays in the cricket Test match between England and New Zealand, I watched Otago practise on the adjacent rugby ground. Everyone can pass, everyone has awareness, there are no donkeys and no under-skilled thugs.

England's Player Of The Year Matt Prior was lucky enough to ride bicycles with Team Sky.

Earlier this year I spent three days on a training camp with Team Sky. As England cricketers we are lucky to have many great opportunities, but that was a real highlight for me. I rode for two hours a day with the Team Sky peloton, with Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome at the front and me hanging on for dear life at the back.It was an awesome experience and I was lucky to have the chance to chat with Sir Dave Brailsford. He likes cricket and it was interesting to hear how they go about things and the similarities between both our approaches to sport.

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