The Champions Trophy #GetLostXI : They Came, They Saw, They Flopped

It’s bigger, it’s badder, it’s here.

After much consideration, the #GetLostXI selectors have spoken.

Once again, thousands of you have given your opinions on who should be in the worst team of the Champions Trophy via Twitter and Facebook, and so it is only fitting that we give you the worst team of the tournament whose name isn’t ‘Australia’.

Selectors’ Notes:

1. THOUGH neither player featured in the Champions Trophy, both Jade Dernbach and Richard Levi were amongst the most popular submissions to the panel.

Jade Dernbach: Gone, but his awfulness is not forgotten.

Jade Dernbach: Gone, but his awfulness is not forgotten.

A consensus was reached in that though both players would have undoubtedly endured a terrible Champions Trophy, including them in our #GetLostXI would have meant opening a Sreesanth-sized can of worms.

2. DEW to the short nature of the tournament, ‘one-shit wonders’ have been considered for particularly awful performances. Unlike previous editions, there is no requirement for minimum matches played.

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1. David Warner [AUSTRALIA]

One game. 9 runs off 21 balls.

On the night of Australia’s opening game defeat to England – perhaps the first of many in the next twelve months – David Warner went on a drunken rampage and punched a helpless child.

Well, that’s how it would have been spun had Joe Root been a member of public, and had David Warner been Jonathan Trott.
david-warner

Warner’s indiscretion at a Walkabout in Birmingham was bizarre, though truth be told, it was about as surprising as a South African semi-final exit. Though Warner struck a mere glancing blow to a young man who passing midwives still instinctively check for an umbilical cord, the media were keen to emphasize how The Incident was a symptom of deep fractures within the Australian side.

Time will tell whether The Incident was a one-off or evidence of a deeper malaise (details will no doubt emerge in an English cricketer’s autobiography soon enough). What we know is that just like Warner’s solitary innings, his tournament ended as soon as he threw that jab.

The severity of The Incident in Australia’s eyes was underlined by Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, who described Warner’s act as “despicable”, a term usually reserved for war criminals, those who imprison others in dungeons, and N Srinivasan.

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2. Imran Farhat [Pakistan]

 4 runs in 2 innings.

How many chances does Imran Farhat need to prove himself unworthy of being an international cricketer?

Farhat is truly Pakistan cricket’s enduring mosquito: he simply can’t be swatted. When his father-in-law resigned as chief selector in 2011, it was largely hoped that Farhat would too fade into an obscurity more becoming of his mediocrity.

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George Dobell

@GeorgeDobell1

If Imran Farhat fails just 1 thousand more times, his place will have to be in real jeopardy…

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However, the same was hoped when Farhat joined the ill-fated Lahore Badshahs in the ICL, and while there was some respite, it only proved to be painfully temporary. Effectively, Pakistan fans had been in a Farhat-induced remission.

Imran Farhat, after another exhausting two-run innings.

Imran Farhat, after another exhausting two-run innings.

In other news, 2013 is the year where Imran Farhat is no doubt celebrating his tenth anniversary. That is, of course, the tenth anniversary of his first – and only – ODI century.

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3. Luke Ronchi [NEW ZEALAND]

23 runs in 3 innings @ 7.66.

Ronchi has endured a horror start – and most probably, finish – to his New Zealand career. Given a chance to open at the top of the order, Ronchi looked the most helpless batsman in the tournament by a comfortable distance, uncertain whether to defend, attack, or move back to Australia.

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Alt Cricket @AltCricket

Luke Ronchi moved country & waited 4yrs to play for NZ. Might have had more luck moving country & waiting 4yrs for a shag with Beyoncé.

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His performance against England’s seamers made Johnson Charles’s drunk samurai act against Dale Steyn look Amlaesque, but on the plus side, Ronchi is now the first player in history to represent three international teams: Australia, New Zealand, and now, the Get Lost XI.

Australia's cricketers struggle to come to terms with Luke Ronchi's announcement that he's moving to New Zealand.

Australia’s cricketers struggle to come to terms with Luke Ronchi’s announcement that he’s moving to New Zealand.

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4. Kusal Perera [SRI LANKA]

14 runs in 4 innings @ 3.5

Much had been expected of the man who commentators compare to Sanath Jayasuriya as often as Perera nicks behind.

Despite an incredible start to the year in Sri Lanka’s domestic circuit, the harsh realities of international cricket became all too clear for Perera, as he fished tentatively outside off-stump in a tournament-long homage to fellow stalwart Phil Hughes.

Wearing a shirt three sizes too big for him, we present to you, Kusal Perera.

Wearing a shirt three sizes too big for him, we present to you, Kusal Perera.

Frankly, throughout the tournament the sun was seen more often than a convincing stroke from Kusal, but don’t discount him just yet – once he learns to buckle down and weather the early storm on tough pitches, Perera could easily become a fixture in this Sri Lankan side.

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5. Phil Hughes [AUSTRALIA]

43 runs in 3 innings @ 14.3

“Phil Hughes did far better than I expected,” remarked one esteemed member of the secret Get Lost XI panel.

And so, it is a testament to how far Hughes has fallen in our eyes that even a horrific, tortuous series of innings can be classed as “significant progress.”

"No. No he is not."

“No. No he is not.”

Hughes’ innings were typical of what we’ve come to expect from a man with a technique that lends itself to playing away from his body with an angled bat – two ingredients that typically don’t combine to form a prototype international no. 3.

Thus, it was no surprise that Phil Hughes’ edges saw more action than most street-walkers see in a lifetime, and his numbers only serve to back up his abortion of a tournament.

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By this point, you probably need a strategic tea break. Listen to an expert’s take on fast bowling in India while you’re dunking your biscuit in a cup of chai… Stream: YouTube.com/AltCricket

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6. Shoaib Malik [PAKISTAN]

25 runs in 3 innings @ 8.33, 1 wicket @ 27.

Malik epitomizes the naive, wide-eyed, battered hopelessness that Pakistan cricket so often tragically engenders in its cricketers.

A former captain, over the years Malik has been treated by Pakistan’s selectors worse than Inzamam treats his first-course salads: dismissively and disdainfully.

shoaib malik pakistan cricketer

To put this into context, Malik has batted in all positions from number 1 to 10. His most successful positions are between 1 and 4, where he has scored all his 7 ODI centuries, and averages an impressive 40. However, he has only batted in the top-order 26% of the time, giving the impression that despite the signals, Pakistan’s coaching set-up bizarrely seem to view Malik as a utility player, there to make up the numbers.

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Osman Samiuddin

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Hafeez, Farhat, Malik, Shafiq, Kakmal = 25 runs. Between them. Over two games. #ct13

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Still, even though we can sympathize with the less exciting Shoaib’s lashings at the hands of Pakistan’s ingrate selectors, we sadly cannot afford him the carte blanche of utter shit that he seems to have nevertheless abused – despite being thrown about the order like a Munchausen’s baby, Malik’s top ODI score in the last four years is a paltry 43.page separator7. Kamran Akmal [PAKISTAN] – Captain, #GetLostXI

23 runs in 3 innings @ 7.7

“In life, only three things are certain: death, taxes, and Kamran Akmal dropping catches.” It wouldn’t be a #GetLostXI without an Akmal, would it? It just wouldn’t feel right.

kamran akmal millionaire

pic thanks to @AlternateRowan

The Champions Trophy was a homecoming of sorts for Kamran Akmal, in the way that a robber returns to the scene of his crime.  This was the first time that Akmal had set foot in England after Pakistan’s infamous 2010 tour, after which the presiding judge in the spot-fixing case determined that both his and Wahab Riaz’s roles were ”deeply, deeply suspicious” but unable to prove their involvement in fixing “beyond reasonable doubt.”

Back to shadiness on the field, Akmal drops catches like Dhoni cashes cheques, and though his keeping wasn’t abysmal in this Champions Trophy, his batting more than made up for it.

Pakistan fans will no doubt be distraught to hear Akmal’s post-tournament thoughts, in which he asserted: “I will play for at least another 4-5 years,” which, as sounds go, is on a par with hearing David Gower say, “It’s raining heavily, so Nick Knight will be giving us his thoughts for the next few hours.”

Akmal was voted in as Get Lost XI captain after receiving 48% of the vote, with David Warner coming a close second. Bad news for Kamran, but at least he’s for once involved in a result which nobody would ever question.  page separator8. Denesh Ramdin [WEST INDIES]

11* in one innings, one dropped catch

We didn’t think it possible for a wicket-keeper to look guiltier than Kamran Akmal. Then, this happened:

As a result, Ramdin was charged with a Level Two offence by the ICC, fined 100% of his match fee, and banned for two ODIs. In a deliciously ironic twist, this charge was announced a year to the day after Ramdin’s infamous ‘Yea Viv, Talk Nah’ brouhaha at Edgbaston.

Most people somehow still seem to be siding with Sir Viv Richards on that one, and the next time Denesh holds up a sign it should just probably just say “Sorry”.page separator9. James Franklin [NEW ZEALAND]

12 runs @ 6, zero wickets.

“James Franklin embodies the Get Lost XI ethos: jack of all trades, master of none,” noted the selection panel. With an ever-present expression that wouldn’t look out of place on a serial killer, Franklin has typefied mediocrity for as long as we can remember, and as such deserves be rewarded for sheer consistency and longevity.

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MIA MATT @TheGreatMWall

@AltCricket Does Franklin qualify as an all rounder because he is equally as bad fielding, bowling and batting?

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After 12 years on the international circuit, Franklin averages an impressive 24 with the bat and 41 with the ball – stats that any English bits and pieces all-rounder from the 1990s would be proud of.

Be honest: if an international cricketer went on a murder spree, you wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be James Franklin.

Be honest: if an international cricketer went on a murder spree, you wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be James Franklin.

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10. Mitchell Marsh [AUSTRALIA]

31 runs @ 10.3, zero wickets in 3 games.

When it was announced that an Australian had thrown a punch in a bar, it was mildly surprising that the man in question was not Mitchell Marsh.

That is the only positive that Marsh can take out of his Champions Trophy.

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Pavilion Opinions @pavilionopinion

Dale Steyn says he’s only got himself to blame for his side strain. “I shouldn’t have watched Australia bat yesterday,” he admits.

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mitchell marsh 2

Australia’s great white hope was a great big flop in England, and surely needs a few more years maturing on the domestic circuit before another chance at the top level. Failing that, there will always be an IPL franchise willing to spend big bucks on an Australian all-rounder with a ‘reputation’…

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11. Rory Kleinveldt [South Africa]

47 runs @ 23.5, 1 wickets @ 91

Kleinveldt came into the South African team on two occasions, both when Dale Steyn was injured. A bit similar to having your Rolls Royce break down, and your insurance company sending you over a banged-up Nissan Micra as cover.

Despite a brave innings of 41 against England, Kleinveldt’s bowling throughout the tournament was as generous as his midriff, but with far less movement.

To be fair, Dale Steyn posted a gruesome photo of Rory’s bloodied feet after the England game showing how he’d bravely bowled through the pain barrier.

pic thanks to Dale Steyn.

pic thanks to Dale Steyn.

When he’d already given so many batsmen so much pleasure, however, there’s no way we couldn’t have had Kleinveldt leading the attack for the Get Lost XI.

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