Dan Coliasimone, in ABCnet, 1 February 2020, where the title runs “The inside story of Don Bradman’s final innings duck”
“Out from the pavilion came the short, slight, little figure whose name will still be in bright lights as long as cricket is played.” This is how a contemporary newspaper report set the scene for Sir Donald Bradman’s last innings.
Bradman b. Hollies… 00 — Photo supplied by State Library of South Australia
On any other working Friday, the toss wouldn’t have held much significance. But this was different. Lasith Malinga was playing his final ODI, and had Bangladesh batted first, which Tamim Iqbal later said they were certain to do had they won the toss, Malinga’s final 10 overs may have played out in front of a half-empty R Premadasa Stadium. Not a disaster, but certainly anti-climactic.
However, as it turned out, Bangladesh didn’t win the toss, they didn’t bat first, and as the Sri Lankan innings started to wind to a close, the fans filtering in late were even treated to a rare a Malinga batting excursion.
Paul Farbrace paid tribute to Kumar Sangakarra who retires from Test cricket after the 2nd Test against India in Galle by classing him as the greatest ever Sri Lanka player. Farbrace, the current assistant coach with England, had two stints coaching the Sri Lanka national side. Between July 2007 and July 2009 he was assistant coach to Trevor Bayliss and then returned as head coach for a short but very successful stint between December 2013 and April 2014. He knows Sangakkara well and would trust him with his life…
“If I had to pick a batsman in world cricket to bat for my life I would pick him every single time,” Farbrace said. “In all forms of the game, in all conditions, I think he has been Sri Lanka’s greatest player. There were times when I’ve swayed between him and Mahela (Jayawardene) because they are both such quality players and they are people that you want in your team. The pair of them have been absolutely brilliant. Both during my periods there and other times.
Rex Clementine in Q and A with Kumar Sangakkara, in The Island, 12 August 2015,where the title is “Sanga on cricket and life after cricket”
The curtains will come down on Kumar Sangakkara’s illustrious Test career following the second Test Match against India at P. Sara Oval. The star batsman is the highest run getter (12,305) among those still playing while his batting average of 58:03 is significantly higher than several modern greats like Sachin Tendulkar (53:78), Brian Lara (52:88), Rahul Dravid (52:31) and Ricky Ponting (51:85). The 37-year-old, who returned home on Friday after his stint with English county Surrey, spoke to journalists here in Galle on the eve of the first Test on a host of subjects.
Question: What’s the reason for you to play only two Test Matches?
Kumar Sangakkara: The reason for the two and two Test split even though it is not ideal was the agreement I had with the previous selection committee when I was discussing my future. I had plans to retire immediately after the World Cup but they wanted me to try and play a bit more Test cricket. This was all I could offer them and I said as long as they were okay and the board was okay, I will be willing to play four more Test matches. They were ok with that and I said if they were not, to tell me that that would be fine. And that I can then retire after the World Cup. That’s why it’s a two and two split. Continue reading →
Don Hodges, courtesy of SPORT, 25 November 2013, where the title is“Ashes 2013-2014: Sooner or later, arms and ribs will be broken”
The news that Jonathan Trott is returning to England as a result of a “long-stand stress-related” condition puts England’s defeat in the First Test at Brisbane into perspective. Cricket is not, as Alastair Cook said at yesterday’s post-match press conference, “a war”. It’s a game. A highly professional, intensely contested, increasingly well remunerated game. But a game nonetheless.
It was very clear to everyone watching Trott’s nine-ball innings on Saturday that something was not right with the England number three. Normally so unflappable at the crease, he was unable to cope with the succession of short pitched deliveries fired down at him by Mitchell Johnson. We all thought it was an issue of technique. Now we know better. Comparisons will inevitably be drawn with Marcus Trescothick, the former England opener who was forced to return prematurely from their tour of India in 2006, with his own stress-related issues. But mental illness is by definition a personal condition, and no one but Trott himself is in a position to fully understand his reasons for leaving the tour. The best any outside observer can do is wish him well and leave him in peace. Continue reading →
First, it was the wait for the hundredth international century. That took just over a year and, let’s be honest, it was grim. The event, when it came, was almost morbidly bathetic: a century against Bangladesh in an Asia Cup qualifier in Mirpur which India lost. In the run-up India had been flattened on tours of England and Australia where spectators had turned out in their thousands in the hope, indeed expectation, of seeing history made. The comparisons with Bradman are never far away. This time however, irony is near the surface. It is not just that The Don never had to wait anything like as long for his next hundred (I think we can ignore World War Two for this purpose). It is more that, together with cricket’s other most iconic statistic, Jim Laker’s nineteen wickets at Old Trafford in 1956, Bradman’s Test average of 99.94 is a constant reminder that no player is greater than the game.
Now we are waiting to see when Sachin Tendulkar is going to retire. With his apparent yearning for statistical perfection, it seems plausible to think that he might want to bow out after India’s tour of South Africa in late 2013. The second Test will be his two hundredth if he plays. But then again, would he not prefer to say a proper goodbye at home, which would mean waiting for the West Indies visit in October 2014. It is all very difficult. Tendulkar’s extraordinary cricketing longevity makes it more so. It’s a bit like the Queen, in England. There are millions of Indian cricket fans who simply cannot remember life without Tendulkar. He, too – even he, perhaps especially he – must harbour the natural uncertainties about what will come after cricket. Continue reading →