Note: Technical Talk being moved to:

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Royal Blunder

In the stamp collecting world, it has been common practice in the UK and some of the other countries in the Commonwealth, to not depict any identifiable living person on postage stamps, with the exception of British Royalty.

Australia first made a very deliberate decision to forego this restriction when it honoured Sir Donald Bradman as a "Living Legend" back in 1997.

In 2005 however, Royal Mail in England forgot all about this etiquette when it printed a stamp honouring England's Cricket Ashes victory. Several players in the squad ended up on one of two stamps, leaving Royal Mail red-faced. I wonder if all these players ought to be knighted to fix this blunder?

Monday, 8 October 2007


Sledging (a.k.a. mental disintegration) has been in the news recently, especially during the current India vs Australia ODI series. From where I'm sitting, it appears that India fired the first salvo of this recent war, declaring their intent of fighting the well-known Aussie aggression with some of their own. I reckon they've very soon realised that they are not cut-out for this stuff and it's all gone horribly wrong for them.

Whatever you may think of sledging, there sure have been some entertaining exchanges reported in the past. Here are my favourites ...

Rod Marsh v Ian Botham
It's become something of a traditional greeting, but cricket folkloreinsists that it was when Botham took guard in an Ashes match; Aussiewicketkeeper Marsh welcomed him to the wicket with the immortal words: "So how's your wife, and my kids?". The response from Botham was even sharper " - the wife's fine, but the kids are retarded"

Daryll Cullinan v Shane Warne
Another celebrated greeting to the wicket involved Shane Warne and his favourite South African batsman, Daryll Cullinan. As Cullinan passed by on his way to the wicket, Warne took the opportunity to announce that he had been waiting two years for another chance to humiliate him. "Looks like you've spent it eating," Cullinan retorted.

Glenn McGrath v Eddo Brandes
It's very possibly the greatest story about biscuits ever told. After the Zimbabwe number eleven played and missed at a McGrath delivery, the Aussie bowler wandered up the wicket and politely enquired: "Oi, Brandes, why are you so fat?
"Cos every time I f**k your wife she gives me a biscuit," replied Brandes.
Apparently, even the Aussie slips cordon was reduced to tears of laughter.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

First Cricket Stamp

The first ever "Official" cricket stamp issued was this 1962 stamp from the unlikely source of the Cape Verde Island

The country which appears to have produced the most number of cricket stamps is not surprisingly the West Indies.

To display or not to display - The Collector's Curse

Recently I purchased a set of 50, 1938 John Player & Sons cigarette cards from ebay for AUD$40. The estimated value for this set is around AUD$150, so I was congratulating myself on an astute purchase. However, I overlooked one very important point. The set I purchased had been lovingly opened and each card glued into the accompanying album. Some collectors would say this heavily reduces it's value and that I had grossly overpaid. I guess they would be right!!

With almost any collectable, to retain it's value, we are taught not to remove them from their packaging. Always keep them in pristine condition. The problem with this is, how do you then enjoy your collectable? Can you really appreciate the item you have obtained when you can't even hold it in your hands and have a bit of a play?

I myself, try and do both. If I'm able to obtain two signed autobiographies, I will carefully read one and leave the other one with the spine unbroken. If there is a collectable item with an accompanying album, I will try and obtain two, one to display and the other to keep sealed.

Wouldn't it be great if the new standard in collecting was to become the item which has been most enjoyed and tinkered with is considered the most valuable. Think of the amount of pleasure this would bring to all us collectors.

The Kindness of Strangers

In the early 1990's I created my first cricket website, inspired by an assignment for an Introductory Web course at Uni. I expected the site would just be a way for me to catalogue my collection and did not expect any interest.

To my pleasant surprise, the site began drawing in other enthusiasts and quite a few of them began to donate memorabilia to me and have become very close friends. I acknowledge these wonderful people on my site Hall of Fame

Saturday, 6 October 2007


I was born in Africa, spent my early childhood in Australia and moved to Pakistan when I was about 8 years old. I discovered cricket in Pakistan and was immediately known to the locals as an Aussie supporter but strangely enough after moving back to Australia, I started cheering for the Pakistani team. Man am I confused or what?!?