Archive for the ‘child of empire’ Category

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Wrist-Spinner Breakthroughs: Yadav and Chahal

September 20, 2017

Alagappan Muthu, coutesy of ESPNcricinfo, 19 September 2017, where the title is Kuldeep, Chahal, and cracking the India XI”

Wristspinners are becoming an indispensable part of one-day cricket. They are fun to watch – even on bad days – but on the good ones they have the ability to make the strongest batting line-ups seem like the second XI of a village team at a county fair. While Australia might not have been so terribly undone – the margin of defeat in the series opener was only 26 runs via DLS method – Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav might feel like they are at the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

On Sunday, they were playing together for the second time — having done so earlier in the fifth ODI in Sri Lanka. That was the first time a pair of specialist wristspinners bowled in an ODI for India – that’s across 43 years and 922 matches. The statistic is certainly eye-popping but there is another implication to it. That only rarely do teams need more than one of these tricksters. Clearly there’s a debate here, so let’s get into it.

Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates after dismissing Glenn Maxwell Associated Press

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Brian Lara’s Cowdrey Lecture Revealing Reflections

September 5, 2017

George Dobell,  courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, where the title is “Embarrassed by how West Indies played in the nineties – Lara”

Brian Lara has implored the top sides in world cricket “to ensure that the integrity of the game is upheld” and admitted there were times he was “truly embarrassed” by the behaviour of the West Indies side he represented.

  Michael Holding kicks the stumps in anger Getty Images

Lara, delivering the MCC Spirt of Cricket Cowdrey lecture at Lord’s, not only called on batsmen to “walk” but suggested the leading sides had a responsibility to “show the way and lead the way” in which the game is played.And, despite the outstanding record of the West Indies sides of the 1980s and early 1990s, Lara felt they were occasions when the tactics they employed resulted in them “playing the game in a way it should never, ever be played.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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That Outstanding Bangladesh Test Victory

August 31, 2017
  • ONE+ Mohammad Isam in Mirpur,  courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, August 2017, where the title is “Shakib’s quest for excellence inspires Bangladesh”

    Some people might never agree to put Shakib Al Hasan in the same league as the legendary quartet of allrounders from the 1980s. For starters, he doesn’t bowl pace. He has played too many matches against Zimbabwe, and a series against a depleted West Indies. Even his position as the No. 1 allrounder in the ICC rankings is a result of the side he plays for, as he constantly gets more rating points by playing against higher-ranked teams.

  •  Bangladesh’s cricketers celebrate a famous victory over England Getty Images
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    Not that Shakib has tried to force the issue on anyone, but the numbers and list of achievements are growing. He played a central role in Bangladesh’s thrilling 20-run win in the first Test against Australia. In Bangladesh’s first innings, he struck a fifty and strung together a counter-attacking partnership with Tamim Iqbal to lift them from 10 for 3. He was then a constant threat in both of Australia’s innings, and finished with a second 10-wicket haul.

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The Media Personnel at the Cricket in Lanka, mid-2017

August 31, 2017

Scenes from the Galle Media Desks

Rex and Sa’adi

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Don Bradman as Youth

August 27, 2017

Ashley Mallett, courtesy of CRICKET MONTHLY and ESPNcricinfo where the title of this article is “Bradman as a Boy”

At Bowral Primary School in the summer of 1915-16, Don Bradman, not yet eight years old, built a reputation as a cricketer. When the bell tolled to end another school day, Bradman didn’t dally to chat with others. In a desperate rush to get home, he ran helter-skelter through the small township of Bowral, turned into Shepherd Street, hurdled a white picket fence, breezed through his front door, and tossing his school bag in the hall and grabbing his cricket bat, yelled, “C’mon Mum, how about bowling me down a few?” Emily Bradman smiled. She discarded her apron, shifted the kettle on the stove and dutifully followed her son into the backyard. As Mrs Bradman wheeled down her own brand of left-arm deliveries, she could never have imagined that the small boy facing her at the other end of the back lawn would one day become the greatest batsman the world has known.

 Bradman at 21, about to set sail for the 1930 Ashes, with a trophy for his world-record 452 made earlier in the year

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Paranavitana for a Pakistan Tour

August 15, 2017

Bipin Dani, courtesy of  Pakistan Observer, where the title is  “Sri Lanka’s Lahore terror attack victim Tharanga Paranavitana welcomes move to play cricket in Pakistan”

Tharanga Paranavitana

Former Sri Lanka opener Tharanga Paranavitana, who was one of the six victims in the March 3, 2009 terrorist attack on the team’s bus in Lahore, said Sri Lankan players going to play in Pakistan should only concentrate on the game. After a security assessment, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief Thilanga Sumathipala cleared the team to play three T20s, including at least one in Lahore.

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Outstanding Cricket Songs

August 14, 2017

Benjamin Golby  ….. https://benjamingolby.bandcamp.com/track/in-memoriam-p-m-r

So far as I know, there are two great cricket songs.  Writing on Roy Harper’s ‘When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease’ in (the now defunct) The Word magazine, David Hepworth said that it,  summons the shade of every village cricket pitch we have ever gazed hungrily upon or glimpsed from a passing car… Both John Peel and John Walters wanted this song played after their deaths. There is scarcely an Englishman who wouldn’t wish for the same honour. [1]

Like most reflections on cricket, the song is more than the mechanics and narrative of the game. From depicting everyman’s park cricket match in dear, gentle hues, the lyric strides to the elevated plain of existence and death. The game is not used merely as an allegory though. It would be a dull, unsporting soul who held so. Rather, cricket is recognised as the superb use of existence that it is, as delivered in the second verse,

… as those footsteps trace for the last time out of the act
Well this way of life’s recollection, the hallowed strip in the haze
The fabled men and the noonday sun are much more than just yarns of their days.

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