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Best and worst of 2007
by Gulu Ezekiel
Jan 01, 2008
By Gulu Ezekiel

Here is the list of best and worst of cricket in 2007:

Flops of the Year I: The World Cup in the West Indies with the ICC proving to be the party pooper, raining on their own parade. The shock early exits of India and Pakistan did not help either.

Flops of the Year II: The Indian Cricket League. Yes, Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket was a flop in its first year as well and then bounced back. Subhash Chandra’s WSC doppelganger has every chance of doing the same next March. But judging by the response to its launch, they will have a tough task ahead.

Success of the Year: The inaugural Twenty-20 World Cup in South Africa. The ICC quickly learned its lessons from the World Cup flop and gave full rein to the party atmosphere that prevailed. Some great cricket too. Lights, camera, action…

Farewells of the Year: Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Brian Lara, Nathan Astle, Craig McMillan, Justin Langer, Damien Martyn, Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold and Sanath Jayasuriya. Most of them though will be cropping up in various 20/20 league avatars.

Innings of the Year (Test cricket): Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakarra (192 v Australia, Hobart, November). Glorious batting, even in defeat

Innings of the Year (ODIs): Adam Gilchrist (149 v. Sri Lanka, World Cup final, Barbados, April). From jus 104 balls, the highest score ever in a final.

Innings of the Year (20/20): Yuvraj Singh (58 v. England, T20 World Cup, Durban, September). From 16 balls! At a strike-rate of 362.50!!

Bowling feat of the Year (Tests): India’s Anil Kumble (v. Australia, Melbourne, December). His five wickets on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test was an extraordinary feat of endurance, skill and aggression.

Bowling feat of the Year (ODIs): Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga (v. South Africa, Providence, Guyana, March). The first bowler in the history of international cricket to take four wickets in four balls.

Bowling feat of the Year (20/20): India’s Rudra Pratap (4 for 13 v. South Africa, T20 World Cup, Durban, September).

Smash hits of the Year: For 130 years of international cricket there had not been a single instance of a batsman hitting six sixes in an over. Then in the space of six months there were two—first South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs v. Netherlands in the World Cup and then India’s Yuvraj Singh against England in the T20 World Cup.

Best match of the year: Twenty20 World Cup final, Johannesburg, September 24: India beat Pakistan by 5 runs.

Mysteries of the Year I: The tragic death of cricketer and coach Bob Woolmer—far too many unanswered questions even after numerous enquiry commissions.

Mysteries of the Year II: The strange case of Indian pace bowler Munaf Patel and his sudden underground disappearances and constant injuries. A bright though brittle talent whom Indian cricket needs to nurse carefully.

And finally, the award for most patient cricketer of the year goes to…Anil Kumble who got his first Test century in his 118th match and one Test later led out India for the first time at the age of 37.

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