Andy Bull

Author's posts

Ireland’s test of character leaves Kevin O’Brien confident they can compete | Andy Bull

Century-maker proud of team’s grit in first five-dayer against Pakistan but says new blood is needed to cement progressThe O’Brien boys used to play at the Ashes in the back garden. During the summer they would stage long one-on-one Test matches, each …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/20/kevin-obrien-ireland-cricket-pakistan

Ireland’s moment in the sun comes just as it is setting on Test cricket

Malahide on Saturday saw the first Irish Test XI take to the field, against Pakistan, but the game was far from a sellout and they have only 16 more Tests planned for the next five yearsNorth Richmond Street, being blind, is a quiet street. There is no…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/may/15/ireland-moment-sun-setting-test-cricket-malahide-pakistan

Australia ball-tampering scandal may be a reality check, says Mickey Arthur

• They have paid a big price already, says Mickey Arthur• Pakistan visit involves a Test in Ireland and two in EnglandMickey Arthur hopes that Australia’s recent ball-tampering scandal will be “a reality check for world cricket” that makes everybody “s…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/apr/25/australia-ball-tampering-mickey-arthur-pakistan-coach-test-ireland-england

Patrick Reed found a way to cope with the pressure and Rory McIlroy did not | Andy Bull

After a nervous start for both on the final round of the Masters the Texan settled to play his game but McIlroy’s challenge diedThey say a Green Jacket costs around $250, though no one who knows will confirm that. Money talks in Augusta, same as anywhe…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/apr/10/patrick-reed-coped-with-the-pressure-rory-mcilroy-didnt

Why did Smith and Bancroft have to front up, only to break down? | Andy Bull

It’s not clear who benefitted from all the weeping and wailing, certainly not the playersFive days deep into the scandal, the Australia team finally hit bottom. Their coach has quit, their two openers are banned and their captain and best batsman since…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/mar/29/smith-and-bancroft-had-to-front-up-then-break-down

Swift and severe punishment for Smith and co but questions remain | Andy Bull

Cricket Australia has come down hard on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft but ‘tampergate’ will not end hereThe harder you step in mess, the more it spreads. Last Saturday Cricket Australia found a flaming bag of the stuff on its doorstep …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/mar/28/swift-severe-punishment-smith-warner-questions-remain

Steve Smith is enveloped in a perfect storm of cricket’s distant ideal | Andy Bull

Australia ball-tampering scandal is a brew of dishonesty, hypocrisy, public fervour and tarnished pride that has inadvertently proved the Spirit of Cricket is still aliveCricket Australia set to wield axe over ball-tampering scandalThey say one of the …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/27/steve-smith-australia-ball-tampering-scandal-spirit-of-cricket

You weigh Kevin Pietersen’s game by the memories you are left with | Andy Bull

The ex-England batsman made more moments you can still see in your mind when you close your eyes than any other postwar English player but for Ian Botham and Denis ComptonIt was Richie Benaud’s rule that “if you can add to what’s on the screen do it, o…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/20/you-weigh-kevin-pietersen-game-by-memories-you-are-left-with

Ireland’s Jacob Stockdale in rush to make mark in Ireland record books | Andy Bull

The 21-year-old wing has scored 10 tries in his first eight Tests and one more against England will break Six Nations recordJacob Stockdale remembers well the first time he saw Ireland play live but then it was not so long ago. His father took him to w…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/16/jacob-stockdale-ireland-six-nations-record

Jacques Brunel has brought France together, but can he bring success? | Andy Bull

Brunel took the job nobody wanted by succeeding Guy Novès and has lifted the gloom but now needs results, starting against England in ParisBack in 2009, Jacques Brunel made a bet with his players at Perpignan. If they won the championship that season, …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/09/jacques-brunel-france-england-six-nations-2018-rugby-union

Townsend’s ‘Toonie flip’ brilliance lives on in Scotland’s x-factor rugby | Andy Bull

Scotland’s win against England was made possible because their coach has fashioned a team who take risks as he didYou’re not supposed to throw slow, floated 20-yard passes off your left hand when you’re standing on your own 22. It’s something sensible …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/feb/27/gregor-townsend-finn-russell-scotland-x-factor-risky-rugby

‘The day we almost outfoxed England’: an oral history of Italy’s cunning ruse | Andy Bull

Italy arrived at Twickenham in the 2017 Six Nations having lost to England 23 times in a row. They needed a new approach …It was Brendan Venter’s idea, to begin with. In the early spring of 2017, Venter was Italy’s defence coach and like his boss, Cono…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/feb/01/england-italy-oral-history-cunning-ruse-six-nations

England’s Test demise is no surprise as T20 generation follow the money | Andy Bull

England’s victory at the MCG showed the difference between the Test and one-day teams, and where the priorities lie for players for whom the red-ball game is no longer the pinnacleIt was 5C in London last Sunday, unless you had Test Match Special on th…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/jan/16/england-test-one-day-t20-cricket-future

Soporific Ashes series may have been attritional but it still sells with ease | Andy Bull

The dead rubbers were harder to enjoy but while English TV audiences were limited, the paying public in Australia lapped it up and the hosts will do likewiseAn enthralling Test finished on Monday, 7,000 miles from Sydney and six or so hours after the e…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jan/10/the-spin-attritional-ashes-cricket-australia-england

Trevor Bayliss assumes rather a lot in choosing when to depart England | Andy Bull

Just after being walloped 4-0 by Australia is not a strong position for the head coach to make pronouncements about how long he plans to stayThe career of an England cricket coach is like that of a politician: it always ends in failure. David Lloyd wen…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/jan/09/trevor-bayliss-england-plans-to-go-in-2019-ashes-australia

Steve Smith, Betteridge’s Law and the mythology of Don Bradman | Andy Bull

The Don’s standing is, and always will be, unsurpassed. Not because of his statistical brilliance, but because of the context of his careerIt’s an old Fleet Street adage that any headline ending with a question mark is best answered with a ‘no’. It’s c…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jan/03/the-spin-steve-smith-don-bradman-betteridges-law