Thought I'd do a short blog tonight to celebrate the attainment of 200,000 hits. I have to say that I never expected to get to that stage, certainly not in three and a half years and thanks to all of you for helping to make it a success.
Since I last wrote Martin Guptill has scored another century against Zimbabwe, an attack he must wish he could carry around in a bucket. Genuine Test quality or not, runs are runs and they all look the same on the career record. At the end of the day, there'll be days when batting against Morkel and Steyn isn't quite so easy, so Guptill is wise to cash in when opportunities arise. By the same token, he is a batsman of increasing presence and I genuinely expect him to become one of the world's best over the next three years.
On the county scene, I was pleased to see ex-Glamorgan man Michael Powell linked with a move to Kent, at the same time as an array of players are supposedly leaving as there's no money to pay them. I haven't a clue what sort of side they will field next season, but there's a fair chance that the word 'transitional' will be used fairly often.
In South Africa, seam bowling hope Marchant de Lange took five wickets against Australia and I know from a couple of Saffer mates that there are high hopes that he will become their next genuine quick bowler. He and Vernon Philander did pretty well and a good finish is in prospect if the Saffer A tail, marshalled by Robin Peterson, can add another 50 or so runs tomorrow.
Somerset have lost and will miss Charl Willoughby, but there's little other news on the county circuit as we enter November.
In closing tonight, it is impossible to not comment on the completion of the spot-fixing trial. A guilty verdict, even from this distance, looked a certainty and I feel especially sorry for Mohammad Amir, a bowler of particular talent. What happens to his career from here is anyone's guess, but I'm left thinking he exchanged considerable long-term success and wealth for a fast buck. At 19 he was the best young fast bowler in the world with it at his feet. Time alone will tell if he ever realises enormous potential.
More soon, have a good one.