This blog attempts to function as a confluence of thoughts from the blogosphere on any matters pertaining to international cricket.
June 2008 - Posts
Clearly New Zealand were robbed of a victory against England in the recent ODI:
The New Zealanders were desperate to complete the 20th over, which
would have allowed them to win under the Duckworth/Lewis regulations if
they had scored seven further runs without losing a wicket.
But to the agony of Brendon McCullum, who was unbeaten on 60,
the umpires decided that the conditions had deteriorated too severely
and the game had to come to an end.
But was it because of the rain, the fixed length break between innings, or simply because England bowled at an astonishing rate of 13 overs an hour? The latter, surely? But the fix is in for the fixed length break only:
Umpires will now have the option of reducing it to a minimum of 10 minutes to try and ensure a result.
ICC regulation 15.1 now reads: "The duration of the interval shall be
agreed mutually by the umpires and both captains subject to no interval
being of more than 30 minutes' duration or less than 10 minutes'
Meanwhile, the BCCI is being generous enough to discuss the possibility of a Test Championship with the ICC, whilst also warning the English counties of the consequences of picking ICL players in the English Twenty20 league. And, on another note entirely, here's Q's great post on switch hitting.
The MCC are due to consider the legality of Kevin Pietersen's remarkable switch-hitting sixes against New Zealand. Looks like it was already on the agenda, but batsmen switching stance and grip will now be considered seriously:
Unlike bowlers, a batsman does not have to notify the umpires and bowler if they opt to reverse their batting style.
However, the shot raises a number of questions for umpires, including the lbw and leg-side no-ball laws.
But despite the controversy, Pietersen believed he has broken new ground with his stroke.
The first six flew over deep square leg boundary (for a left-hander) at
Chester-le-Street, while the second bore more of a resemblence to a
Marcus Trescothick slog sweep over the ropes at long-on.
"Reverse sweeps have been part of the game for however long, I am just
fortunate that I can hit it a bit further," Pietersen said.
And the new challenge system for out decisions will be trialled during India's tour of Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Sledgehammer argues that Twenty20 and ODIs augment Test cricket not push it aside:
Test cricket survived the onslaught of ODIs and Kerry Packer. In fact,
it flourished once ICC and cricket boards made ODI cricket a victim of
overplay and greed (roughly mid-90s and beyond). And Test cricket
actually benefited from ODIs - players picked up the pace, and teams
wanted positive results.
Will dreams of a West Indies victory against Australia. At lunch on the last day they are 316 for 5... And in Chennai, the DMK party have switched up in their own way, organising a Ten10 "Karunanidhi Gold Cup" with over a thousand teams playing.
Pakistan have won the Kitply Cup. Dileep writes about Younis' batting in particular and Kartikeya writes of India's continuing woes in ODI finals:
This was India's 13th defeat in 19
tournament finals in this decade. They have won three finals, of which
only the NatWest Final at Lord's in 2002 was a sudden death game. The
two finals India won in Australia earlier this year were part of a
three match finals playoff.
This is a telling record, especially for a team which has won more than it has lost against good opposition in the same period.
Geetha digs up an old proposal to do away with the toss in cricket—captains bidding runs for the right to bat first—and considers the role of tradition in cricket. And Nilankur Das reports on women's cricket in India generally and the fast bowler Jhulan Goswami in particular.
Andy Bull interviewed Allen Stanford and lived to tell a tale about intimidation and money...40 odd billion of it:
With money and power come natural charisma. Stanford commands
through more than just his cash. He has presence, the kind that stops
the pianist on a heavy chord when he comes into the room. He is, for
one thing, big. Bigger than Viv. His handshake crushes rocks and his
voice makes your guts tremble. Interviewing him, I didn't so much ask
him questions as simply listen to him speak. He was intimidating and
evangelical, a mix I've since seen in Nigel Benn after he took up
preaching. Stanford isn't just buying people, he's selling to them. The
man has serious plans and, after an hour in his company, I was sold.
Stanford Financial is worth around $43bn (£21bn). "The key players,
Giles Clarke and David Collier, waited at the foot of the steps in
obeisance, their hair buffeted by the helicopter's blades," wrote
Atherton of Stanford's arrival at Lord's. It's a cute turn of phrase,
but what else was he expecting? Something like that scene in 300 where
King Leonidas shouts "This is Sparta!" and pushes the messenger into
the bottomless pit?
Looks like Peter Moores and the selectors are beginning to feel the pressure of all that money:
Competition for places is expected to be intense, along with the pressure on the selectors who will decide the final squad.
But Moores said only merit will guarantee a player their flight to Antigua.
"The fact that it's worth more money doesn't matter, you still use the same judgement to pick the side," said Moores.
Meanwhile, here's a wonderfully thoughtful piece by Mukul Kesavan on the BCCI's Stalinist tendencies regarding ICL players and officials.
Homer covers the possibility of an Twenty20 champions league. As does Miriam, both with not much enthusiasm. The main issue being how to reconcile which team a player should play for if two or more of their teams make it to the league. And of course the ever present ICL problem. Homer on Modi on both:
As Commisioner of the IPL, it is Mr Modi's responsibility to take care of the interests of the IPL ( and the franchises). It therefore follows that Mr Modi will make a strong case for the IPL
franchises that are going to be involved in the "Champions League".
Hence the first priority over players. ( This is a dichotomy that the
English Counties will face also, given the number of Kolpak
and overseas players ( two per team per last count) present in the 18
Counties. How they intend to resolve this is yet to be determined).
Whether this is viable and will come to fruition is a whole different story altogether, but Mr Modi would be doing the IPL and the franchises a dis-service if he said anything otherwise ( to the detriment of the IPL franchises).
Then there is the question of the ICL players -the IPL ( and the BCCI) had taken a hardline against the ICL and I don't see why that would change for the Champions League.
King Cricket reviews the state of England's cricket team. First the batting, and then the bowling. Suave's is altogether more succinct about the series as a whole. And here's a great take on batsmen taking guard by Gideon Haigh. And an account of quite possibly India's best cricket writer by Suresh Menon.
Lots of articles on the IPL of course, usually pushing the "IPL = Bollywood + cricket" angle. The BBC News article includes all the little incidents during the tournament, the Hindustan Times pushes "cricketainment." Rahul Bhattacharya mentions the branding issue at the Guardian:
Cricket had never seen such a PR blitz. Journalists, commentators,
players, coaching staff were all first IPL spokespersons. In newspapers
the IPL was covered every day on the front page, the city pages, the
celeb pages, the business pages, apart from monopolising the sports
If the corporate money pumped into the tournament gave it the
profile, it also brought with it a grating intrusiveness. A six in the
IPL, every 622 of them, was no longer a six, it was a 'DLF Maximum.' A
sharp catch came branded as a 'Citi Moment Of Success'. Commentators
tripped over each other to make these plugs. A future where a batsman
executes a Toyota Front-Foot Drive against an Intel Faster One may not
be the stuff of satire.
Dileep Premachandran and Srikanth talk a little more about the actual final game between Rajasthan and Chennai.
And the Times of India lays out the business case for the IPL in detail, with this titbit on ratings from the Hindu Business Line:
Broadcaster Sony Entertainment Television sold the 200-odd seconds
saved from the inventory for the semi-finals and finals at rates of Rs
8-10 lakh each. “We can’t predict ratings, but given that a good match
has gone up to 6-7 TRPs (television viewership ratings), we hope the
finals to fetch us between 8-10 in vierwership ratings,” said Mr Rohit
Gupta, President, Network Sales, Licensing and Telephony, Sony
According to media buyers, the DLF IPL is mopping up a significant
amount from the market during the period. It’s a huge window, and
unlike the World Cup, which takes place once in four years, the DLF
IPLs will be an annual opportunity.
Finally, by no means last, Stuart MacGill has announced his retirement from Test cricket.
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