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. Continue reading “Merry Ashesmas!”
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:
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.
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.
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. Continue reading “Australia’s one-day competition: 49 not out”
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 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).