Posts filed under ‘Cricket’
Despite tough economic times some people know no end to their generosity.
When we were searching for sponsors for our Super Rugby coverage of the Emirates Western Force’s Australian conference matches on the station, one individual who wished to remain anonymous bought the air time and donated it to the Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation.
The goal is for us to raise as much money as we can for this extremely worthwhile charity. The patron of the Charity former Australian cricketer Justin Langer kindly gave up his time to record the message asking for donations.
Progress has been steady but we are asking as many people as possible to help support this charity drive. It is a great cause and was a wonderful gesture from our very kind sponsor. $10 will help, and if you can’t afford that please share this link with as many people as possible.
There is no doubting West Indian Chris Gayle’s record-breaking 175 for Royal Challengers of Bangalore will be an innings that is talked about for many years to come. A century in 20 balls is a truly remarkable feat. His 175 coming in just 66 balls and including 17 sixes and 13 fours, statistics that beggar belief.
This innings may also increase the divide between cricket fans of differing generations.
His incredible innings was compiled in a T20 match in the Indian Premier League, an officially recognised first class fixture, but a form of the game that many traditional fans of the game frown upon. A game in which it is frequently a case of hit and miss – as Gayle is testament to – and a form of the game where brute strength is a substitute for solid technique.
So where should this innings stand? Is it the greatest ever played? Or is that determined by the context of the game and not the number of runs scored and how quickly. There is no doubt Chris Gayle probably doesn’t care.
Chris Gayle opted to make himself a ‘gun for hire’ after he fell out with the West Indies Cricket Board, just as T20 was becoming popular. He knew he was talented, and he also realised if he was to make a living from cricket he better focus on T20 where the opportunities were far greater. Immense credit must go to Gayle who has adapted his technique to suit this form of the game. He uses minimum footwork which is complimented by his ability to transfer his weight by leaning back or forwards. He then lets his long arms from his 6-foot 4-inch frame swing freely through the arc to great effect. Another aspect he has tinkered with and which works exceptionally well in this form of the game is staying deep in his crease, which enables him to get under the ball and combined with his huge strength lift it over the boundary. This innings being a perfect example of that ploy.
There have been many great innings in the game of cricket, in the one day version as well as the Test arena, so where does Gayle’s latest effort rate amongst them.
Some wonderful innings that spring to mind to start the debate, are Viv Richards 189 not out in a One day International in 1984 at Old Trafford against England. Who can forget Herschelle Gibbs 175 off 111 balls against Australia at the Wanderers in 2006. Many forget too that the ‘little master’ India’s Sachin Tendulkar did what many believed impossible scoring 200 in a one-day international against South Africa at Gwalior in 2010.
There have been many outstanding innings in the test arena as well, who can forget VVS Laxman’s 281 against Australia in Kolkata in 2001, or Ian Botham’s 149 not out at Headingley in 1981, also against Australia. Then there is Gordon Greenidge’s 214 not out against England at Lords in 1984, and Steve Waugh’s 108 at Manchester in 1997.
The hardest thing is to work out where such an innings sits, especially in a format of the game where caution is thrown to the wind. There is no doubt it was impressive, destructive, powerful and a sight to behold, but as great innings go in the context of affecting a game or a series, it fails to register. But then again the modern followers of the game who are much younger than this writer may well disagree.
(Please note the memorable innings mentioned were all ones that the writer was fortunate to witness on television or live. There are undoubtedly many others he has not witnessed).
Australia’s women’s cricket team won their sixth one day World Title overnight. In doing so they posted the biggest wining margin in the final in the history of the competition, winning by 114runs.
Australia were the favourites going into the final against the West Indies and winning the toss elected to bat first. Opener Rachael Haynes scored 52, but Jess Cameron gave the team crucial momentum with 75 including 19 off one over from Tremayne Smart. Her innings won her player of the match as it came from just 76 balls and swung the game back into Australia’s favour. Australia made 7/259 and many felt this would not be enough but it was vital that the West Indies run chase started well.
Double International Ellyse Perry soon put paid to that with an inspired spell of bowling as she took three wickets for two runs in three overs. Her control, her line her length and her variation of pace were superb and constantly left the West Indies batters second guessing.
What made this performance all the more incredible was Perry had missed the last two games due to an ankle injury and was in serious doubt going into the final. A decision was made to pick the experienced Perry, although still only 22years old,ahead of promising fast bowler 17 year old Holly Ferling. It was a gamble that paid dividends.
A partnership between Deandra Dottin the scorer of the fastest century and fifty in T20 Internationals, and skipper Merissa Aguilleira caused a few hearts to flutter but then Lisa Sthalekar struck dismissing Aguillera. The same bowler then bowled Dottin and took a spectacular one handed catch to win the match.
The West Indies were dismissed for 145 and victory meant Australia’s women’s team are now the ODI World Champions as well as T20 World Champions and currently hold the Ashes. A superb effort by all concerned. The bar has definitely been set very high.
Sarah Taylor is on the brink of writing her name in the English cricket history books, by becoming the first woman to play for a men’s English County side.
Sussex contacted the Women’s national team coach Mark Lane to ask if they would be able to use her as a back-up wicketkeeper for their second team in the coming season.
Taylor who will play for a men’s side in Birmingham has been given the go-ahead to be on standby should Sussex require her services.
The 23 year old was quoted as saying it was ‘daunting’ but ‘brilliant that (Lane) backs me to do it in men’s cricket.”
Seeing as it was a woman who invented overarm bowling, why shouldn’t she be given such an opportunity.
For those who were unaware of the fact John Willes was the first bowler to use a “round-arm” technique. He was inspired by his sister Christina who had used the technique when practising with him. She was unable to bowl underarm due to her wide dress impeding her delivery of the ball.
Congratulations to The Perth Scorchers on a phenomenal win to make it to the final of the Big Bash League T20 Cricket competition. The way in which they came back after rain delays and having to beat the good old Duckworth-Lewis system was incredible. It now means Western Australia has both the male and female teams in T20 Finals with the Western Fury taking on the NSW breakers prior to the men’s finals.
Sadly though, many of those fans who attended the semi-final on wednesday night are faced with a huge dilemma. The start of the men’s final is 5pm, and if any of those fans play in local competitions they will still be at their games, unless they have managed to record an outright victory.
No doubt the game will still be a sell-out and Cricket Australia and the bean counters will be patting each other on the back and telling each other what a success the competition has been, but they are forgetting one key element, you should never alienate your key supporters.
Those who play cricket in WA would make up a large percentage of those wanting to attend the final, a fair proportion would be WACA members, and now with the timing of the final they will be forced to decide whether to let their club side down and attend or simply take it on the chin that they are not going to be able to attend.
It is accepted in sport today that the players receive the big dollars due to television money, but does that mean the sports administrators should sell their soul for that money?
Not The Footy Show does not know if the WACA argued long and hard on behalf of its fans to have a later start, but shouldn’t the organisation that has won the right to host the final, a final from which they hope to maximise incoming revenue, not have a say in when the game is played? Is that not their right?
It would appear that Cricket Australia, has kow-towed to the television company broadcasting the final, who want to air it on the East Coast at a reasonable hour, thereby attracting top dollar from advertisers to this their key market. The fact that in Summer Western Australia falls to three hours behind the two key cities of Sydney and Melbourne has meant that the game must start at 5pm so that it can be aired at 8pm on the East Coast and should be finished by just after 11pm.
Some will say who cares, in fact when the game is sold out the WACA administrators may well not give the matter another thought. However sport is supposed to be for the fans, and if success sees your core fans alienated because someone has chosen to sell control to a third party that is extremely foolish. On a day that Western Australia should be celebrating many are accepting that it is indeed a very sad day for Cricket as this decision shows who truly controls the game, and it is not Cricket’s administration.
Former England cricket captain Tony Grieg has passed away aged 66 as a result of lung cancer.
Grieg who was known to a generation of Australian cricket fans as a Channel Nine commentator known for sticking his car keys into the wicket to reveal how tough it was and for his spats with fellow commentator Australian captain Bill Lawry, was also a handy cricketer in his day. Grieg who was regarded by many as one of the great All Rounders in English County Cricket was also handy in the test match arena.
He was born in Cape Province South Africa to a Scottish immigrant father and a South African-born mother. He was and educated at Queens College in Queenstown where many former Sussex players had been recruited to coach the cricket team. Greig’s talents were noticed and after a first-class debut for Border Province in the Currie Cup he was asked to a trial at Sussex when he was 19.
Grieg’s father has been credited as helping him decide between university or a possible career playing the game he loved. Grieg was quoted as saying, “He used to slam into me for not reading enough, for being generally immature. He would look at me sometimes and say ‘Boy, when I was your age I was fighting a war’, but in the end he grinned and said: ‘Go over to England for one year, one year mind, and see what you can do’”
Grieg took over the England captaincy from Mike Denness after a three test series against India and a further three against Pakistan that saw him average 41.5 with the bat and take 14 wickets.
After an Ashes series at home with no tour planned he headed to Australia for the 1975-76 season to play grade cricket in Sydney, where he established contacts that he would benefit from in the future. It was then that he started commentating.
Back in England he was soon in the headlines when in the lead up to the series with the West Indies he caused more controversy by saying he would make them “grovel.” a quote now immortalised in the documentary “Fire In Babylon.”
In 1977 he captained England at the MCG in the Centenary Test but he is best remembered that year for assisting in the recruitment of top players from around the world for Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket, a role that cost him the England Captaincy, and for which he was only forgiven this year when he delivered the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture.
Many say his reward for helping Packer set up World Series cricket was a job for live with Channel Nine, the television network he worked for up until he was diagnosed with Cancer in October.
Whether you loved him or loathed him he contributed a great deal to the World of Cricket and will be sadly missed.
One little known fact is that on his test debut against Australia in 1972 Tony Grieg took 4 wickets for 53 runs in the second innings. On his debut against Pakistan in 1982 his brother Ian took 4 wickets for 53 in the first innings. It is believed to be the only time two brothers on debut have recorded the same bowling figures. Another reason to remember him.
So former Australian Test Cricket Captain Ricky Ponting has announced that he would like a career in the media now that he has hung up his pads, and no doubt Channel Nine will jump at the chance of having him as part of their commentary team, if you can honestly call it that. This season the Nine line up has really emphasised that it is an old boys club and the lack of insight given by the so called experts as they banter between themselves as if they were mates sitting on a sofa at home has been embarrassing. For so long Nine has been the home of cricket, for many years it was the pace-setter so to see it fall so far as it has this season is regrettable.
However we digress, Ponting wishes to join his ex-teammates, which is probably no major surprise, it is a far easier gig than coaching. Ponting has had a habit of getting what he wants, let us not forget that he was the first player in Sheffield Cricket to be allowed to play for a state that he did not live in, Cricket Australia relaxing that rule to allow him to live in Sydney yet play for Tasmania. However back to his new career, like England football captain Alan Shearer maybe he should have thought about this during his career. Ponting like Shearer was far from media friendly during his career or his time as captain, yet now he like Shearer wants to join their throng. In England there was a great deal of annoyance that Shearer despite his at times truculent demeanour was rewarded with a role at SkySports. No doubt there will be some in the Media in Australia who wonder what Ponting has done to deserve such an opportunity, apart from captaining his country. Should a players co-operation with the media be taken into account before they are given such a role? Should they learn a little more about what it is like to be on the other side of the fence?
The problem with employing many ex-players is that few will be prepared to ask their ex team mates the hard questions, or be critical when criticism is required, which in turn lowers the level of the viewer experience for those watching on television.
It was also interesting to hear Shane Warne last week state that he was still keen to make a come-back to the Australian Test team, as he had something to offer the younger spin bowlers, if that is the case why not take up a role as a coach? One has to wonder if these ex players are too used to getting what they want to realise that like others there is a pathway that many have spent years working on before you get to the top in these new fields.
In a sport like cricket timing is said to be everything, but it would appear that the England and Wales Cricket Board have a thing or two to learn.
Not only did they announce the appointment of Ashley Giles as the head coach of their T20 and one day team on the eve of an historic test series win in India, but announced the county fixtures in the very hour the series was won. The timing was more than a little strange on the eve of such an historic victory and appeared to indicate a lack of faith in coach Andy Flower
There were many rumblings that Giles appointment meant that head coach Andy Flower’s position was in jeopardy, however Hugh Morris the Managing Director of England cricket was very quick to say that the move was made to protect Flower, rather than the way it was interpreted by many. Time will tell how secure Flower’s position is despite a magnificent victory in India.
On last night’s show following our revealing interview on the state of the game in England with Doug Steward from Hip Cricket, John Lee made an interesting observation on the development of players.
His view was that cricket has things back to front when it comes to bringing players through, and the more you think about it he could well be right.
Rather than introducing players to the game via T20 and the one day game, wouldn’t the game be better served making players play the longer version of the game first where they can establish a good technique and learn to build an innings? Then introduce them to the shorter versions of the game, where with a good technique they will be able to hit through the line of the ball effectively, and improvise occasionally.
Another point that was raised was how children are being restricted in the number of overs they are allowed to bowl. We are then surprised when they step up a level and suffer injuries. If you ensure that a young bowler’s technique is good, then the more he bowls the stronger he will become and the less likely he is to break down.
It would appear that the cotton-wool approach is in fact proving detrimental to the game and maybe some of the ways things were done in the past were not all bad.
Kevin Peterson may well have been included once again in the England squad but let us hope he has learnt his lesson about when to keep his mouth shut. In fact maybe he can learn from team mate Stuart Broad.
At the recent T20 World Cup Broad was approached on several occasions to comment on the anniversary of being struck for six sixes in one over by Yuvraj Singh in Durban at the Inaugural T20 World Cup. Obviously not something you want to be reminded of as a bowler and no doubt many responses were on the tip of his tongue, but Broad remained silent.
A good lesson for KP to follow.