New Zealand have named four spinners in their squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka which marks the beginning of the World Test Championship for both teams. Offspinner Will Somerville and left-armer Ajaz Patel are reunited after their role in helping New Zealand to their 2-1 victory over Pakistan in the UAE last year. They are joined by Mitchell Santner, who played his last Test in December 2017 before being sidelined by injury, and legspinner Todd Astle who made his debut in Colombo seven years ago.
William Somerville took New Zealand towards an unlikely win on debut Getty Images
The two semi finals of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 will go down in cricket history as ones that reminded us all again that this great game we call cricket which has stood the test of time is also the greatest leveller.
While more than a billion Indians reflect on opportunities missed in a dream shattered, Australia had their batting tested and bowling seriously embarrassed. It has often been debated that both losing teams have from time to time displayed arrogance and conduct not consistent with the spirit of the game. They were both humbled way beyond expectations.
In 1996 Brian Gilbertson sang both the Australian and Sri Lankan National Anthems at the Australia Day Test match at Adelaide Oval. It was the first time a visiting national anthem was sung at a sporting event on Australia Day. This practice is now a tradition. The Weekend Australian reported “..his performance saw the Sri Lankan cricketers jump to attention …. a Sri Lankan fan hugged him, saying his attempt was ‘better than I can do and I can speak the language.” Follow Brian Gilbertson’s singing tips page. https://www.facebook.com/singingtipsb…
Jarrod Kimber, in CRICKET MONTHLY, courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, April 2019, entitled “The ugly Australian: the evolution of a cricket species” …. How did Australian cricket come to be synonymous with hostility, gamesmanship and verbal abuse? A year on from Sandpapergate, we explore a thorny subject
Something hit me in the chest, hard. Knocking me a step back. Why was this guy purposefully bumping into me? It wasn’t a normal under-14 game. This was a special event. The crowd was full of not just parents but senior players from the club. The one umpiring was a thickset middle-order batsman from the 1sts named Darren; most called him Dazza.
Mid-pitch I looked around to see if anyone had seen the bowler charge through, but no one had. So I went on batting until I ended up at Dazza’s end. He whispered: “If he does that again, hit him with the bat.” It would never have crossed my mind to do that. I grew up in a tough league where everyone played hard, aggressive cricket. But I was 13 and having fun. Cricket was the thing I loved the most, and as much as I wanted to win, it was still just a game.
Rex Clementine,in Sunday Island, 31 March 2019, where the title runs “Marvan on ‘Mankading’ Buttler in 2014”
There are certain places visiting teams would hate play overseas. As for Sri Lankans, they avoid Wanderes in Johannesburg like the plague as it always seams around there. So is Edgbaston in Birmingham where the seam bowlers come into the equation all the time. Sri Lanka have played at Edgbaston on five times but won only once. That win came in 2014 in a bitterly contested ODI. These days teams tend to make most of the scheduling and invariably the hosts would want to play the final game of a series at a venue that favours them, just in case if that happens to be a decider. So was the case in 2014. The five match ODI series was squared 2-2. Sri Lanka won a low scoring thriller with Lahiru Thirimanne and Mahela Jayawardene posting half-centuries to wrap up the series 3-2. Rather than celebrating a famous series win, the cricketing world was busy discussing the ‘Mankading’ of Josh Buttler. Some ex-England players found fault with the Sri Lankans.
Sachithra Senanayake gestures to the umpire after ‘mankading’ Jos Buttler.
Mevan Pieris, in Daily FT,5 March 2019, where the title runs thus: “Moments that make memories of the Battle of the Blues”
Cricket that had germinated among schoolboys of Britain received prominence in the 19th century when leading public schools such as Eton played Harrow as a big match and a few years later in 1837, the only two universities of that time, Oxford and Cambridge played each other for the first time to be labelled as England’s Battle of the Blues. About the same time in Ceylon, an academy sprang up on top of San Sebastian Hill and a few years later in 1851, Bishop James Chapman, an Etonian cricketer himself, started S. Thomas’ College (STC) on top of Mutwal Hill.
None other than Harry Solomons of Galle & Sydney and Doug Walters of Sydney, NSW and Australian cricket in yesteryear. Are we not glad to see them downing beer, signing autographs, chatting about old times, et cetera …. and still retaining some of their hair!
This is an updated version of an article originally published to mark ESPNcricinfo’s 20th anniversary in 2013
QUIZ: identify these stars
Cricket’s early amateur spirit was reflected in ESPNcricinfo’s first avatar. Students, in American universities, and also in the UK and Australia, starved of cricket and desperate for scores of matches being played across the world, used Internet Relay Chat to post and search for score updates. After Simon King, a student at the University of Minnesota in the early 1990s, who was the first to realise the value of automated updates, developed the CricInfo bot that would send users a private message every time they asked for scores, several people in various universities volunteered to keep the scorecards updated, later taking the time to add old scorecards, match reports and other information to Cricinfo’s database. Continue reading →
Sidarth Mongain ESPNcricinfo, 5 December 2018 where the title is “Is this the tour when Australia-India “rivalry” grows up?”
Australia the country and the cricket team have held a special place in the minds of Indians of a certain age. That certain age happens to be roughly that of the people playing in this team. We grew up watching Australia dominate world cricket. Everything about Australian cricket – the glitz, the hard hits, the bounce on the pitches, the sunburnt venues, the zinc cream, the commentary, even the advertisements – was loved in India. People barely remember the 1987 World Cup, but 1992 they do in photographic detail. Kids wanted to be like Australia, play like them, win like them, look like them.
Virat Kohli and David Warner exchange words Getty Images