Archive for September, 2016

h1

Two New Kids on the England Block

September 17, 2016

George Dobell, in ESPNcricinfo, 16 September 2016, where the title is Duckett and Hameed set to vie for Cook’s approval”

Alastair Cook has kissed a few frogs in his search to find a new opening partner, but will now be hoping that either Haseeb Hameed or Ben Duckett turns out to be his prince. If all goes to plan, one of them will become his 10th opening partner since the retirement of Andrew Strauss (at the end of the 2012 season) when the first Test against Bangladesh starts in Chittagong on October 20.They are far from like-for-like selections. While Hameed is a fairly classical looking player – he is no blocker, but he has a solid defence and pleasing armoury of conventional strokes – Duckett is a bold choice in the modern sense that he seems naturally inclined to attack and has every shot in the book, as well as several that are not. While he has scored his 1,338 Championship runs this season at a strike-rate of 79.45 – a rate that, not so long ago, was considered respectable in List A cricket – Hameed has scored his 1,154 at a strike-rate of 39.33. Hameed, however, has been opening in Division One, while Duckett has been opening in Division Two.

haaeeb-hameed Haseeb Hameed ben-duckett Ben Duckett Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Ian Bell Poised for Fairy-Tale Return?

September 11, 2016

John Ashdown in The Guardian 31 August 2016, with the title “

The Warwickshire batsman’s possible England comeback for the tours to Bangladesh and India has divided opinion, but history shows returnees can rediscover their magic touch. ian-bell England’s middle-order problems have opened the door for Ian Bell’s possible return to the England side at the age of 34. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Glue or fairweather friend? What is it about Ian Bell? In his own quiet way he has been almost as polarising a figure as Kevin Pietersen over the past decade or so.. For some he was the ultimate cult hero, the most aesthetically pleasing cog in the England machine, the often-overlooked glue that bound the flashier elements together. For others, he was a flake, a fairweather friend, a frustration. And each camp’s existence helped entrench the other. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Pictorial: Galle Test Ground after the Tsunami

September 11, 2016

roberts-3jpg Pic from Bandula de Silva Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Afghanistan & Sri Lanka at Opposite Ends about Two-Tier System

September 8, 2016

ESPNcricinfo, 7 September 2016,….. SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala pushes for four-day Tests _ Cricket … 

iccWhile expressing differing views on the ICC’s decision to withdraw the proposal for two-tier Test cricket, Full Member boards welcomed the discussions opened up at Wednesday’s chief executives’ meeting on ways to sustain the longest format of the game. Thilanga Sumathipala, the SLC president, called for boards to market Test cricket more vigorously, and suggested four-day Tests as a step towards increasing the excitement around the format.

“[Withdrawing the two-tier proposal is] a very wise decision as far as SLC is concerned,” Sumathipala said. “It’s going to give us more time to revisit and to see how, while we are maintaining our top 10 Test-playing nations, we could allow emerging Test-playing nations to join, while making sure that the tournament effect is taking place. We’re going forward together in this. I’m happy with the new line of thinking, and I’m happy we are not pursuing the seven-five two-tier system.”

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Clementine’s Reflections on Cricket in Lanka Today

September 8, 2016

Rex Clementine, in The Island, 8 September 2016, where the title is “The Carnage at Pallekele”

Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell relaxes ahead of the second T-20 International against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Friday. Maxwell’s sensational unbeaten 145 at Pallekele helped the tourists to take a 1-0 lead in the two match series. ‘Let’s rewrite history’ said a billboard at Pallekele, the venue for the first T-20 International between Australia and Sri Lanka. That’s exactly what Sri Lanka did conceding a World Record 263 on Tuesday night. Sri Lanka’s record for most runs in an innings in T-20s had stood for nine years and it was snatched away by Glenn Maxwell.

maxwell Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell relaxes ahead of the second T-20 International against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Friday. Maxwell’s sensational unbeaten 145 at Pallekele helped the tourists to take a 1-0 lead in the two match series. 

The heavy defeats in first T-20 International and the ODI series have brought some people back to earth after the euphoria of the Test series win. The 3-0 whitewash in Tests was great, but intoxicated by the rare achievement, some were wandering around two feet above the ground level. The stark reality of our cricket has brought them to ground level. The great game of ours is a fine leveler.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Mad Dog Maxwell murders Sri Lanka at Pallekelle

September 7, 2016

Michael Roberts

When I first witnessed Glenn Maxwell on the field i thought that he was as electric as mad … quick a cross the grass, adventurous in whatever he did and, with those gleaming eyes, an epitome of the demonic and dangerous. Subsequent cricketing events on the world stage have proved me correct. Take the World Cup in Australia New Zealand for example…… and THEN yesterday — at the appropriate ‘jungle setting’ of Palle-KALAY — he mauled the Sri Lankan bowlers in hammering 145 runs in 65 balls at a scoring rate of 223.07 … almost as much as the Lankan batsmen could accumulate in 20 overs. 

He respected Dilshan however: he did not use the “dilscoop”. He did not need to mind you.

Australia's Glenn Maxwell (R) is watched by Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper Kusal Perera as he hits a ball to the boundary during the first T20 international cricket match between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on September 6, 2016. / AFP / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell (R) is watched by Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper Kusal Perera as he hits a ball to the boundary during the first T20 international cricket match between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on September 6, 2016. / AFP / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)  

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

As Versatile as Vibrant, Tillekeratne Dilshan

September 6, 2016

Mahinda Wijesinghe, in The Island, 6 September 2016, where the title reads “
http://bam.nr-data.net/1/e0e2e66186?a=2756541&v=963.8b1290f&to=YQQDY0JTChZRURBRXlhONEVZHQ0LVFccFkFeEQ%3D%3D&rst=1138&ref=http://www.island.lk/index.php&ap=160&be=425&fe=698&dc=191&perf=%7B%22timing%22:%7B%22of%22:1473160511702,%22n%22:0,%22u%22:387,%22ue%22:396,%22f%22:0,%22dn%22:0,%22dne%22:0,%22c%22:0,%22ce%22:0,%22rq%22:364,%22rp%22:365,%22rpe%22:566,%22dl%22:365,%22di%22:600,%22ds%22:600,%22de%22:627,%22dc%22:1092,%22l%22:1093,%22le%22:1114%7D,%22navigation%22:%7B%7D%7D&jsonp=NREUM.setToken

In a recent press release regarding the retirement of TM Dilshan, a mere couple of months shy of his 40th birthday, current Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews said his contributions to the game are “on par with those of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.” Admittedly Dilshan, the right-handed batting all-rounder, has thrilled us all with his exciting stroke-play, scored centuries in all three formats of the game, captained the country, bowled off-spin, kept wickets, played in 330 ODIs, 87 Test matches, 78 T 20 games, ‘manufactured’ his own stroke (the ‘Dilscoop’), and is considered by most unbiased observers of the game as the best fielder Sri Lanka has produced during our Test era – and all of this in a career extending over a period of 17 years.

DILSHAN CATCH

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

English Cricket Documentary from the Hutton-Compton Era

September 5, 2016

Tom Farman

 This recently unearthed British Council documentary provides a snapshot of English cricket over 60 years ago. Narrated by Sir Ralph Richardson and the great BBC commentator John Arlott, it shows beautiful footage of Test cricket and the theatre surrounding it, as well as the more humble cricket on the village green. There is some splendid slow-motion footage of the Lord’s Test of 1948, featuring such legends of the game as Sir Don Bradman, Sir Len Hutton, Denis Compton and Keith Miller.

 dENIS COMPTON Denis Compton hits the winning stroke as England beat Australia and win the Ashes at the Oval, London, 19th August  1953
 BRADMAN Bradman in action

The Pathe documentary footage is also very strong on the crowd, the sense of occasion of a Lord’s Test that remains every bit as much of a national event today as it did in Sir Don’s last Ashes tour of England. It is a world away from Hot Spot, DRS and Snicko (and probably none the worse for that) but this video provides a glimpse of how cricket might have loked in 1948

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/england/10187355/Ashes-2013-Watch-video-of-1948-Ashes-series.html

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Samaraweera and Kalpage at Different Ends in the Bangladesh Cricketing Scene

September 2, 2016

Mohamma dEsan at ESPNcricinfo

Former Sri Lanka batsman Thilan Samaraweera has been appointed as Bangladesh batting consultant for the upcoming home series against England. This will be his second stint in this role with an international team, having already worked as batting consultant to Australia earlier this year. BCB president Nazmul Hassan said on Friday that Samaraweera would be available only for one series, but added that the contract could be extended. He also said that the BCB was looking for a spin bowling coach, who could be appointed before Bangladesh’s tour to New Zealand later this year.”Thilan Samaraweera, the batting specialist, has been hired for the England series as a consultant,” Hassan said. “We will see if we want to extend him. We are still looking for a spin bowling coach. [We will] get the best among those available. We hope to appoint one before the New Zealand series.”AA THILAN Thilancricspirit.com  RUWAN K PHOTO Kalpage –www.hirunews.lk 

Meanwhile, fielding coach Richard Halsall has been promoted to the position of assistant coach after Ruwan Kalpage was sacked last month for ignoring instructions to report to duty. Halsall was part of the major shake-up in the coaching staff that came about in mid-2014, when head coach Chandika Hathurusingha was appointed.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84