Richard Gibson: Jimmy’s comic turn, Petersen’s tweets

James Anderson’s straight man role in Graeme Swann’s Ashes video diaries has led to him being invited to appear as a guest on BBC comedy game show Shooting Stars. The dry-witted Lancastrian features on the May 10 episode of the programme, hosted by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.

Meanwhile, Anderson’s boyhood club Burnley have taken the unusual move of appointing a current first-class player as their new chairman. Surrey opening batsman Michael Brown is now the figurehead for the Lancashire League club that has produced several notable county performers in recent years.

In addition to England fast bowler Anderson, Brown, his younger brother David, now at Glamorgan, and Derbyshire all-rounder Jon Clare have all emerged from the youth system at Turf Moor. It is hoped their profiles and connections can help improve revenue streams.

Long gone are the days when players stayed behind for a couple of pints after practice and Burnley CC are therefore intent on developing other uses for their pavilion facilities away from its primary cricket function, in addition to securing increasing income from sponsorship.

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Glamorgan might have craved a proven leader willing to wear his heart on his sleeve when they controversially appointed Alviro Petersen as captain over the winter. But it might be an idea for the South African to keep his thoughts to the privacy of the dressing room rather than put them on public display.

After the second day of the recent County Championship defeat to Essex, he posted a couple of stream-of-consciousness tweets on his Twitter account that hinted all was not well in the Welsh camp.

“I’m playing the worst cricket of my career, people always upset with me, responsibility, some like it when I fail. Can’t get worse,” he wrote. “I will never quit though, and will only take those with me who support me. Its (sic) a lonely place when things aren’t going well.”

Petersen has subsequently tweeted thanks for the support he has received from the Glamorgan players and coaching staff, to suggest there is hope for the new regime.

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Lasith Malinga’s absence from the Test series between England and Sri Lanka will be keenly felt by those yearning for a competitive three-match campaign, or even a genuinely fast bowler, but the tourists will have a Malinga-clone amid their ranks.

Uncapped paceman Nuwan Pradeep also possesses a slingy action, and a remarkably similar background to Malinga, now the world’s most coveted Twenty20 bowler. Pradeep, 24, did not even play with a proper cricket ball until 2007 but was in a Test squad to face India three years later.

Like Malinga he played softball cricket until spotted by a talent scout, who sent him to Sri Lanka’s national cricket academy, and is the latest find of a country with a rich tradition of unearthing maverick bowlers.

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Maurice Holmes’ emergence with Warwickshire is well timed, coinciding as it does with Sri Lanka’s arrival on tour next week. Off-spinner Holmes, 20, who made his one-day and County Championship debuts this month, bears a distinct resemblance to Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan in delivery and has flexible joints that enable him to bowl the doosra.

The Kent-born Holmes might sound like a well-kept secret but he is already known outside of this country, having been hired by New Zealand two years ago as a net bowler in preparation for their tour of Sri Lanka. Topically, his rise to prominence comes days after a 144-year-old record was broken for the youngest English first-class cricketer. Holmes’ middle name is Gibson, as in 15-year-old Yorkshire schoolboy Barney.

Follow me on Twitter: @richardgibson74

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