Test cricket which is free to watch (in the UK at least) starting today at 06.00 GMT, from Abu Dhabi.

The Afghan squad has quite a few new names (to me) so we’ll have a few new Test cricketers today.

They played a friendly warm-up match a few days ago and Zimbabwe scored 501 for 6 declared. On top of that, the story is that Rashid Khan won’t be playing because of a minor fracture to a finger on his bowling hand.

The game is on Freesports, which is on freeview as well as Sky, Virgin, BT etc, and you can also watch it on with only an email address and a password to ‘subscribe’ as they call it. You don’t need to put in card details.

Pussy time!

As the BBC are insisting on doing their Sports Personality thing tonight, the White Cat thinks it right to insist on doing this year’s Pussies.

Here goes:

Faithful Pussy of the year: Everyone who has ever read or commented here. (17,262 views, 1,461 visitors, 5,775 comments this year.)

Poetic Person of the year Pussy: Billy

Essex supporter of the year Pussy: Fridaylongshots

Most promising newcomer Pussy: Brian

Minor County statistical outcome of the year Pussy: HPG

Most European of the year Pussy: Sophie

Most Scottish of the year Pussy: dalgairn11818

Briefest shorts in winter Pussy: Chopper

Bus replacement Pussy of the year: Wegie

Most St Andrews/East Fife/Cellardyke commenter of the year Pussy: dalgairn11818

Funniest commenter of the year Pussy: Sophie

Commenter with the longest name including spaces Pussy: Son of the Desert

Staunchest defender of Jonny Bairstow of the year Pussy: Sophie

Guest editor of the year Pussy: Mes

Rant of the year Pussy: So many candidates here, the jury decided to give them all a solid gold Pussy: OldPendle, Thamessider, Overrated, Galactus, and anyone else who’s said what they think on here.

Special Pussies are awarded to everyone around the world who has suffered this year (production plants are overwhelmed) and gold-plated ones go to people having a bad time now.

Solid platinum Pussies made of titanium/carbon fibre for anyone the White Cat’s missed.

Please add your own awards.

And Finally…

And finally…, it’s the final.

The last game. The end. My only friend, the end.

I’m looking forward to the match tomorrow but I’m not looking forward to its end, and even less to the morning after. As we pass the equinox, we plod into the heart of darkness. The void, the nothing, the no more proper county cricket.

Still, always look on the bright side of life, count your blessings, love your neighbours, forgive those who trespass against you, stay forever young, never walk alone, imagine, don’t send for whom the bell tolls because you really don’t want to know, look after your pecker and maintain it raised, don’t grumble because you’ve been told you mustn’t, know that you’ve got a friend somewhere over the rainbow, and if there’s no milk today there will surely be that and honey tomorrow or some other time in the future.

Let’s go round again

charley says

There was I, sitting quietly on the patio with a nice glass of rosé from the vineyard of Gérard Depardieu, when le chat blanc comes up to me and – in a scene very reminiscent of the “Charley Says” public information films of my childhood – said to me: “meow-awo-eeow!” Well, in the short time le chat blanc has been here, I’ve discovered that it pays to listen, because you might learn Something Important!

Le chat blanc was asking me if I had thought about putting up a new page, with this being the intermission between the West Indian Test series, and the Pakistan Test series. And then there was something slightly garbled*, which I took to be a reference to Bob Willis.

Continuing in the same vein, le chat blanc went on to remind me that we really need to thank both the West Indies team and the Pakistan team for coming over this summer. For without them, there would be no Test cricket to follow. And then something about Hope and Glamorgan, but that was totally incomprehensible**.

Well, I thought that this was a splendid idea by le chat blanc, and as we all enjoyed the the first round of Test cricket, I thought the best thing to say was: “let’s go round again.”

Le chat blanc had not heard that tune for quite some time, so I put on some of Dundee’s finest funk. Le chat blanc also appreciated the change from Charlie Parker***, Thelonious Monk and Stax on the turntable, and said I should put the tune up on here for everyone to enjoy. As the saying goes: “you do not train a cat, the cat trains you.”

*I will admit that I’ve not yet fully mastered all the linguistic intricacies of le chat blanc, who seems to have a strange mix of Greek, French and meowing but I grasped enough to pick up ‘Bob Willis’.

** I’ve yet to break the news to le chat blanc about Marnŵs fach not being available.

*** I’ve not yet explained to le chat blanc that Charlie Parker was known as ‘Bird’. I fear for my vinyl collection should I broach the subject and the linguistic calamities that would entail.