Chris Gayle' />

has been at it again, this time making a series of headline-inducing comments to a British journalist in The Times, on a smorgasbord of topics from pubic hair to caesarean births, from t'eesomes to his big bat, but also on being a father and claims that his critics are motivated by racial prejudice: "Successful black men are struggling because people do things to put them down. They would cover for other people, but not for a black man."

Dealing the 'race card' in this context is a massive call, and Gayle defending himself against claims of sexism with accusations of racism is an interesting approach, and one that Donald Trump would admire.

It also jars with the crazy pantomime that Gayle seems to be playing at when in the public eye.

It's impossible to take anything he says seriously, and he kissed any gravitas goodbye somewhere around the time he was self-appointed as World Boss, Six Machine and Universe Boss.



TWEET OF THE WEEK: Kudos to the Ashton On Mersey Cricket Club's ladies' XI in Manchester for this wonderful effort during a rain break in their Cheshire League match at the weekend. "Go in!" she said. And it did.


Brilliant to see the double Mikes - Hesson and Sandle - along with Craig 'Lid' McMillan all hanging tough at Black Caps' head office, and extending their contracts until the next World Cup. This is a team doing a lot of things right thanks to the chemistry between these blokes and the senior players. Having been lucky enough to get along to a couple of team gigs - one invited, one totally uninvited - there is a clear absence of inflated egos and self-importance in the culture. The no dickheads rule is in effect, and it starts with the people in these pivotal roles. When will Daniel Vettori get in the mix as bowling coach?

And speaking of egos, David White may have been right saying this but feathers will be ruffling among a few previous peacocks on the Kiwi cricket scene: "Mike's the most successful coach in New Zealand cricket history and, in my opinion, the best selector we've ever had." Brave!


Young Kiwi cricketer Glenn Phillips - no, South Africa you cannot claim him - has gone berserk with his bat in England, walloping a perfect 36 off one over of unfortunate bowling for the MCC in a 'friendly' against the Duke of Norfolk XI on Sunday. (Bowler's name? "Ibrahim".)

It was the first time the feat had been achieved in 121 years of trying at Arundel Castle, one of the world's most magnificent cricket grounds. Phillips' unbeaten 200 came from 123 deliveries, with a lazy 25 fours and 10 sixes as he channelled his inner Nathan Astle and blitzed his way from 150 to 200 in only 12 deliveries.

Glenn's brother Dale is also a decent cricketer, and fellow NZ U19 player - and their brother-in-law is Auckland all-rounder Donovan Grobelaar. At Lord's as an MCC Young Cricketer, Phillips follows in the footsteps of Ross Taylor, Hamish Marshall, Martin Crowe, Shawn Hicks and the inaugural recipient Vaughan Brown. Brown was there on the scholarship in 1979, but had to bail after breaking his neck in a car accident.


Lovely photo of former wicketkeeper and non-John Farnham fan Kiri Te Kanawa in her brown number one besties. But can you spot the England cricket captain holding a candle?


The Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar had a polite crack at the ban or policy or protocol that is preventing Pakistani cricketers from plying their cricketing trade in the Indian Premier League: "Really enjoyed my time in Ipl and in Kolkata. Sad to see Pak players are not able 2 showcase their talent, alongside a delirious pic of his standing lap dance with Shah Rukh Khan.

Pakistani players took part in the first edition of the IPL in 2008 but following the Mumbai terror attacks the Indian government suspended sporting ties with Pakistan. The upshot was that Pakistani players were never selected again, as the grim reality of politics seeped onto the cricket oval.

Osman Samiuddin summed things up: "It has become a yearly ritual. As auction time approaches, people start wondering whether Pakistan's cricketers will be in it. Players and officials from Pakistan will make some noises about wanting to be involved. Maybe a board or franchise official from India will express, in the most guarded way, an interest to take them on. Then it will emerge they have not been included in the auction list. There will be outrage, milder each year that it becomes more normal..."


READ: Oliver Roeder asks whether an astrophysicist can change the way we watch sports - it's not about cricket specifically but it's a very relevant concept: "Armed only with a camera, a laptop and their custom code, they're working on a system that calls a 3-pointer a swish or a brick, a volleyball serve in or out, a soccer shot over the bar or in the goal, all before the ball completes its flight."

LISTEN: The life and times and moustaches and tractor-related tribulations of Taranaki teacher Peter Ingram are in focus on this week's edition of The BYC Podcast . Violence Corner is in Hampshire, and the song of the week is from Gujarat.

READ: WTF is going on here : "Australia's fast bowlers will embark on their upcoming tour of Sri Lanka bolstered by technology more commonly used in military settings. Researchers have been able to develop a revolutionary algorithm using submarine and guided missile technology to reduce injuries and improve performance of the country's pacemen."

DOWNLOAD: The Laws of Cricket app , free for Android and Apple devices, with all 42 laws and a punishing quiz. Sample question and potential answers: "Which one of the following dismissals cannot occur from a no ball?" Run out. Stumped. Obstructing the field. Hit the ball twice. Handled the ball.

WATCH: Andrew Rule's Ross Tayloresque slog-sweep golf drive off the tee at the Wembley Golf Course is a gem - and unlike almost every international cricketer, I don't usually like golf.

I've developed a new golf swing #gunbarrel @andy_c90

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Middle & Leg is a cricket newsletter for New Zealand cricket fans who like a dose of optimism and a tablespoon of take the piss with their weekly cricket informational. It is tapped out by Paul Ford, co-founder of the Beige Brigade, and one-seventh of The Alternative Commentary Collective . You can email him here