Steve Smith wins the 2019 Midwinter-Midwinter

Australia’s Steve Smith is the winner of the Midwinter-Midwinter for 2019.

Smith accumulated the most points during the 2019 Ashes for the Best-on-Ground awarded on each day of each of the five Tests as announced on the @rickeyrecricket Twitter account.

Smith, playing his first Test series since his twelve-month suspension for a Cricket Australia Code of Conduct breach, scored 774 runs in four Tests at an average of 110.57, with a top score of 211 among his three centuries. In only one of his seven innings did he fail to reach 80.

The first player in Test history to be substituted because of concussion, Smith missed one-and-a-half Test matches yet was still rated Best On Ground on five separate days during the series.

With the best three players ranked each day on 3-2-1 basis, Smith amassed an exceptional 19 points for the series. This was Smith’s second victory in the Midwinter-Midwinter, having come first in the 2017-18 Ashes with a score of 17.

There was a three-way tie for runner-up between Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Jofra Archer, who each scored 11 points.

Full tally:
19 – Steve Smith;
11 – Jofra Archer, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins;
8 – Joe Root;
7 – Stuart Broad, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes;
6 – Rory Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon;
5 – Matthew Wade;
3 – Mitchell Marsh;
2 – Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tim Paine, Chris Woakes;
1 – Sam Curran, Travis Head, Jack Leach, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, David Warner;
0 – Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Craig Overton, Jason Roy, Peter Siddle.

In total, Australians scored 67 points to England’s 54.

The full spreadsheet of the daily scores can be seen here.

The Midwinter-Midwinter is the @rickeyrecricket BoG (Best on Ground) award given for the most valuable player of each Ashes Test series.

There is no physical award as such, and the Midwinter-Midwinter is not endorsed by any cricket board, advertising agency or anti-doping authority. But most importantly, it’s not the Compton-Miller Medal.

Points are awarded for the best three players on each day of a Test match in the series, on a 3-2-1 basis. 

The Midwinter-Midwinter is named for Billy Midwinter (1851-1890), the only person to have played Test cricket for both Australia and England in Test matches against each other.

Further explanation of the Midwinter-Midwinter, its background, the scoring system and past winners can be seen here.

Sydney Thunder pre T20 era XI

As part of a debate that developed downstream from a team listing put together by Brad Hodge and tweeted by @7cricket a few days ago (see below), I have assembled a hypothetical Sydney Thunder squad of players from the pre-T20 era.

Criteria for inclusion:

  1. They must have played for a club (or a predecessor) that competes in the Thunder Conference of the 2018-19 Kingsgrove Sports T20 competition in NSW Premier Cricket (that is: Bankstown, Blacktown, Campbelltown-Camden, Fairfield-Liverpool, Hawkesbury, Northern District, Parramatta, Penrith, Sydney University, Western Suburbs, ACT, Central Coast)
  2. They must not have played in a major T20 tournament since the birth of the format in 2003. (I have included the ICL in this definition, which disqualifies Michael Bevan)

Continue reading “Sydney Thunder pre T20 era XI”

Abraham Benjamin

This is the way to announce your retirement these days:

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On the banning of the #sandpaper3

Today’s sanctions, imposed on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft by Cricket Australia, are not about a botched roughing of a cricket ball. That was dealt with by the ICC the other day.

Today’s sanctions were about conspiracy. About the dishonest confession of that conspiracy. Continue reading “On the banning of the #sandpaper3”

Sydney Thunder BBL07 player assessment

Sydney Thunder are out of BBL07 following their defeat by the Melbourne Renegades on Wednesday January 24. They will finish either in sixth or seventh place with a 4-6 win-loss record in the first expanded season where each team play ten games. Continue reading “Sydney Thunder BBL07 player assessment”

Steve Smith wins the 2017-18 Midwinter-Midwinter

Australian captain Steve Smith is the winner of the Midwinter-Midwinter for 2017-18. Continue reading “Steve Smith wins the 2017-18 Midwinter-Midwinter”

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.
Continue reading “Merry Ashesmas!”

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:


Continue reading “A hat-trick to Rashid Khan”