• There is a reason I like the Champions League very much and it has very little to do with the IPL (which I am quite happy to say I enjoy) or indeed the fact that it airs on ESPN-Star sports (with whom I have had a very long relationship). I like the Champions League because it gives the simple, hardworking cricketer a platform to showcase himself. Bombarded as we are by international cricket, those that play just below the stars, and are actually pretty good themselves, play in anonymity, before small crowds; they become a statistic in First Class records that only their relatives will see.

     

     

    These are people who must make the most of the opportunity they get and so you get to see a fantastic range of emotions. You felt for the Auckland Aces, you rejoiced with Somerset and as always, you get carried away by the energy and joy that Trinidad and Tobago bring to their cricket. There is a charm in seeing them play on the big stage, giving the fancied teams a run for their money,

    Read More »from Real Joy in Seeing Lesser-Knowns Shine
  •  

    Ankit Bawne, named India Under-19 skipper, was dropped from the squad. The date of birth he'd provided to the BCCI and the one on his passport did not match. He said the agent goofed up while submitting details to the passport office, which may or may not be true.

     

    But instead of crucifying him, I'd address the mess Indian cricket has repeatedly found itself in - players forging their age. Unfortunately this malpractice isn't restricted to a select few or a couple of states. It is widespread. The reason for illegally tinkering with one's age is to remain eligible for age-group tournaments longer since they are the stepping-stone to bigger things in cricket.

     

    The Bearded 12-Year-Old

     

    I distinctly remember an Under-16 match against Punjab in which one of the bowlers had a fully-grown beard. The player went on to play for India and that's when I got to know that he was four years younger to me, which means he was 12 in that Under-16 match. Is it possible to grow a beard at that

    Read More »from The Scourge of Age-Fudging
  •  

    In the third Test between Sri Lanka and Australia,
    Mike Hussey provided the 43rd instance of a batsman making a ninety and
    a hundred in the same match. He had made 118 and 93.

     

    He's the ninth Australian to do it. The list:

     

    No

    Batsmen

    1st

    2nd

    Team

    Opposition

    Ground

    Mon/Year

    1

    RM Cowper

    92

    108

    Australia

    India

    Adelaide

    Dec 1967

    2

    PM Toohey

    122

    97

    Australia

    West Indies

    Kingston

    Apr 1978

    3

    AR Border

    98*

    100*

    Australia

    West Indies

    Port of Spain

    Mar 1984

    4

    MA Taylor

    334*

    92

    Australia

    Pakistan

    Peshawar

    Oct 1998

    5

    DR Martyn

    114

    97

    Australia

    India

    Nagpur

    Oct 2004

    6

    JL Langer

    191

    97

    Australia

    Pakistan

    Perth

    Dec 2004

    7

    RT Ponting

    101

    99

    Australia

    South Africa

    Melbourne

    Dec 2008

    8

    SR Watson

    93

    120*

    Australia

    Pakistan

    Melbourne

    Dec 2009

    9

    MEK Hussey

    118

    93

    Australia

    Sri Lanka

    Col-SSC

    Sep 2011

     

    Hussey is the third batsman to do so

    Read More »from A Hundred & Ninety In The Same Test

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