Graeme isn’t going to be International!Graeme anymore. I will miss Graeme. I’m not sure how to watch cricket without Graeme. Although I hope he might be international commentator Graeme sometime soon. Graeme helped me recover from the trauma of England and Geraint and Hoggy and Ashes 2006. He introduced me to the game ’South Africans being exactly the same as they are in my head’. He’s the only sportsperson to have ever made my ‘hero’ list, (man, that 154 still makes me cry). He ate Tacos and cheated on bleep tests and yelled and pointed and had captainly hair and was a frontline spinner and batted without functioning arms and humiliated Australians and coveted trophies and got half the runs.

Thank you, Graeme, for the inspiration and for giving me my love of cricket back.

a summary of Graeme’s scores )

And, just to remind us all, Here were my suggestions for what to do to observe National Graeme Day:

1) Hit things really far
2) Get angry at administrators and have to be restrained by a colleague
3) Clean a cricket bat with nail varnish whilst half naked
4) Encourage your pretty young work colleagues to text you when they miss you
5) Injure both your arms and still insist on doing something that requires the use of both arms.
6) Eat a taco really quickly before anyone else notices
7) Be much larger in real life than people expect
8) Tell the truth even when it pisses off important people
9) Be svelte
10) get a huge crowd of Australians to cheer at you
11) Be statuesque
12) Covet other people's chips
13) Complete the to do list you have pinned to your fridge
14) Look surprisingly good in pink
15) Cheat on your fitness test
16) Have captainly hair
17) Point at people until they move
18) Be much better and significantly less whiny than KP
19) Covet shiny things
20) Try to touch your nose with your tongue when you're bored

Everyday should be National Graeme Day from now on
I'm not doing scores for everyone, for a number of reasons:

1) I might cry
2) I missed quite a bit of the last match because I was lost in some woods.
3) The world isn't fair, so it doesn't get my ratings. That'll teach it.
4) I might cry.

I will however rate Graeme:

Match points 110
Graemeyness points 674
Sveltness points 32

He gets 110 match points because that's his ten and everyone else's tens, seeing as no one else could be bothered to play cricket and Graeme did it all. That was a phenomenal innings, worthy of a win and certainly worthy of the man of the match award, (Owais Shah? Really? We're happy with that are we?). He scored half the runs (again) and one other person doing their job (whether bowler or batsman) would have secured that win.

Those Graemeyness points are because he was Graemey throughout, all biff-y and determined and so, *so* disappointed at the end. He's given up trying to explain why it happened again, because it's really nothing to do with him. Also, Micky Arthur clearly had to dash from the balcony to the dressing room to check he wasn't breaking anything important (like a bowler for instance).

It is about time they stopped making him do the post match conferences when they lose though. If they made the players who failed answer the inevitable questions, maybe it would make them buck up. ("So Jacques, when was the last time you contributed in a vital, pressure-filled situation?)

He's had more svelteness points before, I know. He was magnificently svelte this time, but almost to the point of being too svelte. It's getting quite hard to imagine him eating a Twix, and one of my favourite things in the world is imagining Graeme Smith eating a Twix.

Incidentally, if I were marking Strauss he'd get -4987. That's a lower mark than Jacques Kallis has ever received, and Jacques Kallis is related to Satan and has funny teeth. By all means refuse a runner because you want to win, but don't blame the umpires or the player concerned, and certainly don't try it when you've had your worst fucking fielder off the field for half the game. In fact, I'm still quite angry about this so I'm taking the ultimate step:

From this day forward StraussCat shall be officially known as BiffCat.
Twenty20 South Africa v India, Trent Bridge in which I saw Graeme runs, Herschelle drank juice and South Africans were awesome yet again )

On another note: If you're going to turn up at a cricket match with 8 overs left, quite drunk and then attempt to chat me up, asking a stupid question ("so what brings you here?") and touching my leg repeatedly until I kick you in the ankle is not the way to do it.
Thank God for Graeme Smith not being Stuart Broad.
First Test, Perth: In which Ricky Ponting was humiliated, The Australian public learned about Bovril and Graeme ordered a man to massage him in several different places )

And finally,

Dear Mr Ponting,

You should probably be a little careful about making pointed speeches about the team having too many "passengers" and about the need for "personnel changes". The two most noteable passengers in this match were yourself and Matthew Hayden. Feel free to pack your bags at any time.

No love, me.

P.S. Chokers

March 2014

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