Yesterday’s papers today: the Brisbane Test of 1950-51

First Test, Brisbane, December 1-5 1950: Australia 228 & 7/32 dec, England 7/68 dec & 122. Australia won by 70 runs.

But first, an assurance by England captain Freddie Brown that all is well in the touring party: Continue reading “Yesterday’s papers today: the Brisbane Test of 1950-51”

Yesterday’s papers today: Broadcasting the Ashes 1928 1932

Broadcasting the Ashes of 1928-29 and 1932-33 – some clippings from the newspapers of the time as preserved by Trove, the glorious digital archive hosted by the National Library of Australia:

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Merry Ashesmas!

The biggest rivalry in cricket? Comparing The Ashes to other cricketing rivalries is like comparing Sir Donald Bradman to other batsmen. It beats everything else by a huge margin.

With about three hours till the start of the Ashes of 2017-18, both teams have their vulnerabilities. I’m predicting with some degree of confidence that Australia will regain the Ashes yet with the knowledge that fortunes could change at any time in this seven-week journey.
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The grim trial of strength that went mainstream: women’s Test cricket

Before the Australian women’s cricket team played their touring England counterparts in Brisbane in December 1934, the following directive appeared in the Courier Mail:

Excerpt Courier Mail 28 Dec 1934
“The word “test” must not be applied to any of these games, for both the Australian council and the English team refuse to associate with the games any suggestion of the grim trial of strength which the term applies.”

 

No one in the press or elsewhere paid any attention to this instruction, and the first women’s Test match concluded at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground on New Year’s Eve 1934, the visiting English winning by nine wickets.

It’s taken 83 years for Australia and England to come together for their 49th women’s Test (plus one washed out), and their four-day meeting at North Sydney Oval beginning on Thursday 9 November 2017 was a special occasion as the first to be played as a day-night fixture. Continue reading “The grim trial of strength that went mainstream: women’s Test cricket”

Two Starc hat tricks and a stunning NSW victory

Hurstville Oval’s first Sheffield Shield match turned into a cracker. Victory to NSW over WA by 171 runs at 6.14pm on the final day with Mitchell Starc taking his second hat-trick of the match.

I was at the ground for the final two sessions of the last day.
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A bit of light reading about the 1999-2000 England womens tour

England’s women’s cricket team headed to the Antipodes in January 2000 to play one-day internationals in Australia and New Zealand. By the time they were ready to head east across the Tasman, England had lost the ODI series to Australia 0-4 and Karen Smithies had resigned as captain.

Working for Cricinfo at the time I covered every ODI of the Australian leg of the tour, and I believe I have the only comprehensive documentation of these games. Continue reading “A bit of light reading about the 1999-2000 England womens tour”

Australia’s one-day competition: 49 not out

Australia’s male domestic one-day competition ends its 49th season today at Blundstone Arena, Bellerive, with South Australia playing Western Australia.

Shunted to the October pre-season but still a more substantial competition than the V&G Knockout or Gillette Cup of its early years, as the JLT One-Day Cup it now sports its eleventh naming rights sponsor. Not one, alas, that enables sausage sizzles cooked on the sponsor’s product on the hill, as sponsor number ten, Matador, did.
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Why do I love cricket?

This morning I was completing a “fan survey” commissioned by the ICC which they had publicised through their Twitter feed. Amid the feedback about the website, complaint about the lack of archival material on World Cricket League tournaments, and the likelihood they will have no idea why I referred to J.Barton King, I gave an answer to the question “Why do you love cricket”, the simplicity of which shocked even myself.

Let me repeat it here:

It is a unique sport, rich in competitiveness, diversity, heritage. It can unite people through a summer’s day and night like no other sport can.

Test cricket is not dying — the five day game still has a unique place in world sport

Test cricket deserves to survive, and will, alongside Twenty20 just as the marathon is as much a part of the athletics calendar as the 100 metres sprint.

It will never be the major money-earner of the game, that is the role of Twenty20 these days. But the advent of a functional world Test league, together with some smart scheduling including the occasional day-nighter, will reinforce the five-day game’s unique place in world sport.

My full article for iSportconnect can be seen here (free registration may be required).

A hat-trick to Rashid Khan

Afghanistan’s rising star, eighteen year-old Rashid Khan, took a hat-trick for Guyana Amazon Warriors against the Jamaica Tallawahs on September 6 2017. Here’s the hat-trick ball:


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