Posted at 9:55pm on Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 by Andy
The final really didn’t let us down. To the wire, between two old rivals (and two nations who really can change the shape of international cricket too).
Some say that Twenty20 is a flash in the pan, not real cricket. Others say that it is the future of the game. I, for one, have enjoyed the tournament way beyond my expectations. I am a 5 day cricket lover above all other forms of the sport, but after the dreary fiasco of the World Cup this ICC World Twenty20 has been a real shot in the arm.
Friends who have repeatedly told me that cricket is boring have watched matches without my encouragement. Friends who are cricket fans who were bored by the world cup have talked incessantly about the performance of teams they previously could not have cared about.
It has been an eye opener. And it made my experiences of One Day Internationals over the last few years seem rather dull in comparison. Fifty over cricket has a problem.
Simply put, between overs 20 and 40, with the fifth bowler at one end and the slow guy at the other the match is dead. We go to the bar, we converse, we wait for the tempo to pick up again. As Lawrence Booth says, unless teams start thinking that 180 off 20 should equate to 350 off 50 the fifty over game is in trouble. And if Twenty20 is to replace it, I’m not sure I’m that worried.
Just please please please don’t bugger up 5 day cricket along the way.
Posted at 12:28am on Sunday, September 23rd, 2007 by Andy
A sporting competition ended up with the right result, it would be the word Twenty20 final being India Pakistan. Here’s hoping it lives up to the billing.
Posted at 9:06pm on Friday, March 30th, 2007 by Andy
Here’s an idle thought…. Spot Fixing is alledgedly prevalent in Pakistani cricket.
How’s this for a theory?
Darrel Hair knew about a particularly large bet (and a related fix) on a specific period of the now infamous 4th Test between England and Pakistan (the Ovalgate test), and deliberately blew the bet by adding the 5 penalty runs for ball tampering; the only way he could stop the fix going ahead, and explaining the huge overreaction from the Pakistani team.
Like I said, just a thought
Posted at 3:37pm on Friday, March 23rd, 2007 by Andy
So. Bob Woolmer’s death was murder, not natural causes. The rumours are going that Pakistan threw their first match against the West Indies as part of a betting fix and that Woolmer was killed in case he blew the whistle.
Here was a man whose love of cricket was apparently boundless, whose record as a player was exemplary and as a coach revolutionary. To end his career coaching a side riddled with politics was bad enough. To end it managing a team that appears to have chosen to fail for financial gain even worse; a side that often had little respect for either him or the game and whose worst excesses were often tacitly supported.
He is quoted as having found managing Pakistan trying – saying after the fiasco at the Oval in 2006 that he was “just trying to get [him]self in a place where [he] can enjoy [his] cricket“. What wasn’t as apparent then as it seems to be now was that match fixing was dogging his career again (he was the coach of South Africa during the infamous Hanse Cronje match fixing scandal).
Pakistan’s 1999 World Cup campaign was dogged with match fixing allegations, during which the current Pakistani captain Inzamam-ul Haq was fined for not assisting the enquiry. Since Woolmer took over as coach in 2004 Pakistan had remained relatively free from allegations of player corruption, but during his tenure Woolmer himself had made proposals to the PCB for ways to resolve match fixing within the side.
To coach a side that chooses to fail must have been unbearable for a man like Woolmer. To die at the hands of those that had made his life so unbearable for the last few years is hideous.
Where to now? How does international cricket cope with these events? ICC Chairman Malcolm Speed has said that the World Cup will continue, despite calls for it to be cancelled. He has to, of course. To cancel the sport’s major event would cause financial chaos; cricket worldwide is funded by TV revenue which isn’t going to be received if the games aren’t played.
But what of Pakistan? Do we turn our backs on them as a cricketing nation? I personally am going to find it hard to enjoy watching matches in which they are taking part for a long time…
Inzamam dedicated their victory over Zimbabwe to the memory of Bob Woolmer. Perhaps your boys could have chosen to win a few more, Inzy? Then maybe just maybe all this shit wouldn’t have happened.
Posted at 6:16pm on Sunday, March 18th, 2007 by Andy
Yesterday was all about the cricket. Sadly it looks like today is all about events off the field:
Yesterday was better
Posted at 10:54pm on Saturday, March 17th, 2007 by Andy
Today is the day of the minnow. Ireland knock Pakistan (one of my, and many other people’s, tips for the competition) out of the World Cup and Bangladesh score an emphatic victory over India. Like the Rugby World Cup in a few months it looks like being New Zealand vs Australia for the final. The Kiwis are sure to win the rugby – here’s hoping they take the cricket as well.
Posted at 10:41pm on Tuesday, March 13th, 2007 by Andy
It’s begun. 51 games in 47 days. My tips (which, if they’re anything like my Six Nations predictions are worthless, but hey)… Australia (obviously), England, New Zealand and Pakistan. I’d love to think the Windies have a chance (and they played beautifully today), but I think it’ll be one of those 4. Here’s hoping it’s England.
And just to whet your appetite, the fastest ever ODI century from the most dangerous man in cricket, Shahid Afridi:
Posted at 9:50pm on Friday, November 3rd, 2006 by Andy
As quietly as expected, Hair is sacked.
Posted at 4:39pm on Wednesday, November 1st, 2006 by Andy
What an ignominious end to a fantastic career. I feel strangely sorry for him, despite his obvious misconduct.