Archive for the ‘Cricket’ Category

The Resurgence of Australian Sport


Over the last few years, Australian sport has taken a real battering. We pride ourselves on our ability to better much larger, more established nations in a great variety of sports. The swimming pool, the running track, the grainy sand of the beach, and the soft green of the cricket pitch are all established settings to so many Australians. But, after a glorious run following the Sydney Olympics, Australian sporting professionals have experienced diminishing returns for their efforts. A few major events spring to mind: our rugby team’s Bledisloe cup results since 2002; James Magnussen’s disappointment at the London games; the departure of many of Australia’s greatest cricketers.

But, mercifully, things finally seem to be turning around. The media’s fixation on the doping scandals that have plagued various sports on an international level have allowed Australian professionals to refresh, resurge, and refocus away from the spotlight. And now, we’re starting to see the seedlings of positivity emerge once again.


Pride comes before a fall. This mantra proved to be all-too-true following the disappointing performance displayed by Australia’s swimming team at London’s 2012 Olympic Games. Some of the old guard have since departed from professional sport in favour of Celebrity Apprentice, with exciting new talent beginning to shine through.

At November’s World Cup in Beijing, the Australian team – comprised, to an impressive extent, of new up-and-comers – put in an impressive performance. Even those who failed to meet their own self-imposed expectations in London have begun to pique curiosity once again, with James Magnussen recently professing that his confidence is starting to rebuild.


Over the last decade, Australia’s favourite game has been overshadowed by egos and wags. We haven’t won the Ashes since the 2006-07 series, and in recent months tensions within the team have grabbed headlines. In an open letter to fans of the game, Darren Lehmann – the coach of the Australian cricket team – expressed a desire to return Australia to its golden era of cricketing achievements. Let’s hope he puts this desire into action in time to effect the outcome of the current Ashes series, which began in November.


Our tennis achievements have been less dramatically changed than in some other sports. Although our status on the circuit is not as impressive as it was ten years ago, players like Sam Stosur have helped to keep us well-represented. Now, younger players like Bernard Tomic and Casey Dellacqua are beginning to deliver on the promise they have shown, with Tomic recently taking on a new coach in time for our summer tournaments.resurgence-stosur

Tennis Australia has also acknowledged the importance of recognising its highest-achieving players, with the Newcome Medal predicted to be awarded to Stosur for the fourth consecutive year. Just like any workplace rewarding its best and brightest, Tennis Australia clearly recognises the benefits of encouraging and motivating its key players.

It’s time that we regained our reputation as a truly great sporting nation. The thirst for accolades exhibited by our sporting stars reveal the way we, as Australians, thrive off of positive reinforcement. Whether it’s a globally coveted trophy, or an employee recognition plague or trophy, we love being recognised for our efforts. And we certainly love resurgence. Let’s hope the trophies – and the results – keep rolling in over the summer months.

Sachin Tendulkar Retires


Sachin Tendulkar, arguably the world’s greatest cricketer has retired, playing his final match against the West Indies in his hometown of Mumbai. As the whole country came to a stand still to watch the Little Master play his final innings, India took the match and the series, in a thumping win. Tendulkar walked off the field as the West Indians were bowled out for the second time on the third morning to a standing ovation, a guard of honour and a tear in his eye.

Tendulkar retires at the age of 40 after serving his country for over 24 years, amounting nearly 16,000 test runs over two hundred matches.  His one-day record is equally impressive with 18,426 runs, a world record. Interesting to note that his nearest competitor has yet to reach 14,000 runs.

His records, however, don’t end there. He has scored the highest number of test centuries with 51 and ODI centuries with 49. He is the highest scorer in World Cups and also the holder of the most man of the match and man of the series awards in ODIs. If I were to keep on going, I would be going on all day.

Sachin Tendulkar became far more than just an amazing cricketer. He was a man that was adored all over India and highly respected around the cricketing world. One would have to be quite a fool to ever question his ability. The amount of faith that was put in him every time that he came out to bat was greater than anything any cricketer, or even sportsman, has ever faced.

Never again will we hear the cheers of ‘Sachin, Sachin!’ ring around the stadium every time he comes out to bat. Never will we feel the excitement of what may transpire every time he faces up to a bowler. And never again will hundreds of fans switch off the television in frustration when he’s given out.

Sachin Tendulkar, a true legend of the game.

Australia Wins Second ODI


Australia has managed to take their first victory of the Ashes series with a win in the second one day international at Old Trafford in Manchester. A century by Australian captain Michael Clarke proved crucial in ascending to an impressive first innings total of 315, one that an experimental English squad struggled to come close to.

After a stammered opening over which saw Shaun Marsh caught behind to Steve Finn and Shane Watson saved from an LBW decision by a referral, The Australian set a steady ground work and built a heavy total. The batsmen were clearly targeting James Tredwell who was taken out of the attack after seven overs after conceding at a rate of 7.5 an over.

Clarke’s 105 was clearly the backbone of the Australian innings, with his deputy George Bailey holding down the helm. Cameos from Watson and Aaron Finch proved handy in reaching the final total.

The English innings proved a struggle from the beginning with Michael Carberry and Jonathan Trott falling early. Kevin Pietersen, Joseph Butler and captain Eoin Morgan held some ground, but as the rest of the team collapsed around them, England was bowled out for 227, 88 runs short of their target.

Post match, Clarke spoke highly of his players and the impact the result had on moral, stating that picking up crucial wickets at crucial times proved the difference.

“Sometimes it might not look pretty or feel great, but if you get over the line and get that winning feeling it’s a nice side of the fence to be on” said Clarke.

After the first match of the series was washed out. Australia now sits in the drivers seat to pick up the Natwest ODI Series. Three games now are remaining, with the next match taking place in Birmingham on the 11th of September.

Sreesanth charged over spot fixing in IPL


Shanthakumaran (S.S.) Sreesanth, along with 38 others, have been charged with links to organized crime and cheating following developments indicating their involvement in match fixing during the Indian Premier League.

Sreesanth and two teammates from the IPL team Rajesthan Royals, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, along with numerous bookkeepers have been arrested over recent allegations of spot fixing and betting during the year’s tournament. During the trial court, Police stated that the cricketers “knowingly abetted the operation of this international organized crime syndicate”

Rahul Dravid, former India captain and the man who led the Royals during the last edition of the IPL, has been named a witness in the case.

Delhi police stated that the accused where only “part of a larger betting syndicate”. It is thought that it is under the control of underworld crooks Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel, who have also been included in the charged list.

Dawood has been associated with a number of crimes over the years, including the 1993 Mumbai Bomb blasts. He is an Indian citizen currently though to be residing in Pakistan.

Sreesanth, who has played 27 test matches and 53 one-day internationals for India is the most prominent of the three players named. Injuries and disciplinary issues have kept him out of the international squad since 2011.

Match Fixing has become a serious problem in the cricketing world, with more and more cases of the scandal being brought to attention. The most famous of which in recent years was the 2011 London trial that had three Pakistani cricketers jailed.

Sports’ betting is restricted to horse racing in India, though illegal gambling organizations do exist throughout a number of sports. This may be due to the lack of specific enforcement in the problem. It is estimated up to $427 million was gambled during the 2009 edition of the IPL.

Australia’s Position for the First Ashes Test

cricket ashes

It seems a lot has been happening in the Australian cricket scene over the last week or so. And with the Ashes tournament looming just around the corner, there has been much debate on how well the team will perform this year.  The news has been a bit mixed lately: with Mickey Arthur being cut loose for not have enough discipline with the team, then the newly appointed Darren Lehmann already taking control of the team and helping boost confidence and morale as the new coach. He has already made a few changes to a shaky batting order and things are already starting to look up for the Australian side.

Lehmann has big plans for the squad over the next few years and is hoping to make a big difference between now and 2015. One of those changes has been to shift veteran Chris Rogers up the batting order to open alongside Shane Watson at the first Ashes game on 10th July. Watson has been averaging an impressive 43 as an opener and Lehmann is sounding confident that he will handle his role well. Chris Rogers was a tough choice for the new coach, yet Lehmann became more confident after deciding to slot Ed Cowan in after the first wicket falls.

Michael Clarke, was only recently confirmed fit to play for the opening match this season and will lead the team with Brad Haddin as his vice-captain. There continues to be speculation over David Warner’s possible involvement in the test, although at this stage he remains ousted from the team despite the new coach’s high regard for his diligent training ethic. However, it’s important to note that Lehmann may make further changes as we get closer to the opening ball of the series.

According to some of the reports, the English side are not going to be taking their Australian counterparts lightly. Despite all of the big changes for Australia, England are taking no chances with their squad and training hard in the hopes of taking a 3rd win in a row for the Ashes Tournament. Lehmann and the boys will have to put on quite a show if they want to make a good start to the first test match of the series.

Indian Premier League – IPL


The Indian Premier League, or the IPL, is a professional Twenty20 cricket tournament based in India. Held every year during the months of April and May, it began in 2008 and is considered the premier tournament of the shortest version of cricket, Twenty20. With both Indian and international players taking part in the competition, it is an exciting concept seeing players from different countries contesting with each other on the same team, and playing against those from their home country.

IPL Format

Currently, the IPL consists of 9 teams based around India, each play a round robin competition for the first stage of the competition, and then the top four teams would progress to a play-off series, the winner of which would be crowned IPL champions for that year.

IPL Regulations

There are a number of regulations governing the teams and their organization. The composition of the teams is heavily standardised. The following rules are a few examples:

  • Minimum of 16 players per squad
  • Maximum 11 foreign players in the squad, with 4 players maximum in each game’s lineup
  • A minimum of 14 Indian players in each squad
  • A minimum of 6 Indian under 22 players in each squad.

IPL Global Interest

The IPL has generated a huge amount of interest internationally; with television coverage bring the game in to the living rooms of millions around the world. There has been a substantial increase in interest in the United Kingdom especially due to the telecast being switched from pay TV provider Setanta Sports to the free to air provider ITV4.

Television coverage, whilst allowing millions of cricket fans watch their favourite stars in action, also brings a huge amount o funds into the IPL. This allows for constant expansion and innovation in the league, helping it stay current and in the public eye.

Australia versus India 2013


The Australian cricket team has just completed their latest tour of India, presenting what was arguably their worst performance of all time in the sub continent. Loosing in a 4-0 whitewash, the Indian team was on top from the very first day of the series.

After the last Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2011/12 where the Australians dominated overall, the men in green and gold went into the competition confident. With a number of controversies in recent years, the rivalry between the two teams has escalated to a new level.

The First Test

The first test in Chennai began with the Australian openers starting well, but a mid-innings collapse forced by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin restricted them to 380. The Indian response was stuttered also be the fall of a couple of early wickets, but a fight back from veteran Sachin Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara brought the total to over a hundred. Virat Kholi scored a hundred, only to be overshadowed by captain MS Dhoni’s brilliant 224. This stance gave India a strong lead, which the Australian side dribbled past. India easily chasing down the target of the 50 in the final innings.

The Second Test

The second test brought the teams to Hyderabad, where after winning the toss and electing to bat, the Australian top order collapsed again. Whilst Michael Clarke’s 91 held the team up, this was not the Australian captain’s biggest impact on the innings. Making the unusual decision to declare at 237/9 towards the end the day’s play in an effort to gain early wickets, he felt the decision back fire incredibly when India summed a total of 503. A double century from Pujara was the highlight of the innings. The visitors weren’t able to match the total in their second innings, giving the Indian side a massive win. Interestingly, this made Australia the first team ever to declare in their first innings and then loose by an innings.

The Third Test

The third test was marred by controversies from within the Australian ranks. Four players – vice captain Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja – were made ineligible to play on the grounds that they failed to complete a homework task set by Coach Mickey Arthur. Clarke later stipulated that the ban was as a result of a series of misdemeanors, and not an isolated incident.

After the first day was washed out, The Australians managed to score a total of 408, with Mitchell Starc scoring an agonizing 99. The Indian response of 499 was highlighted by debutant Shikhar Dhawan’s record breaking opening stand of 187. Australia, responding with 223, set a target of 133 for the Indians. Because the first day was lost, the last day became a thriller as the Indians battled to reach the target in time. Jadeja and Dhoni, however, didn’t let the match get out of hand, taking the side over the line with a few balls to spare.

The Fourth Test

The final test saw Australia dismissed for 262 in the first innings, and fight back of sorts saw them dismiss India after they only took a ten run lead. It seemed that this final game, whilst not being critical in terms of winning a series, would be the tight game that we all were hoping for. This hope fell apart right after Australia was dismissed for 164 in the second innings. With the help of an 82 from Pujara, India eased to the target and won the series 4-0.

This test series was historic in the sense that it was the first in which India had won four matches to win a series. Ashwin was named Man of the Series with his 29 wickets. The Australians will look to rebuild over the next few months before their crucial series in England for the Ashes.



Cricket is a team sport for two teams of eleven players each. A formal game of cricket can last anything from an afternoon to several days.

Although the game play and rules are very different, the basic concept of cricket is similar to that of baseball. Teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs, while the opposing team fields and attempts to bring an end to the batting team’s innings. After each team has batted an equal number of innings (either one or two, depending on conditions chosen before the game), the team with the most runs wins.

(Note: In cricket-speak, the word “innings” is used for both the plural and the singular. “Inning” is a term used only in baseball.)

Cricket Ball:

Hard, cork and string ball, covered with leather. A bit like a baseball (in size and hardness), but the leather covering is thicker and joined in two hemispheres, not in a tennis ball pattern. The seam is thus like an equator, and the stitching is raised slightly. The circumference is between 224 and 229 millimetres (8.81 to 9.00 inches), and the ball weighs between 156 and 163 grams (5.5 to 5.75 ounces). Traditionally the ball is dyed red, with the stitching left white. Nowadays white balls are also used, for visibility in games played at night under artificial lighting.

Cricket Bat:

Blade made of willow, flat on one side, humped on the other for strength, attached to a sturdy cane handle. The blade has a maximum width of 108 millimetres (4.25 inches) and the whole bat has a maximum length of 965 millimetres (38 inches).


There are two wickets – wooden structures made up of a set of three stumps topped by a pair of bails. These are described below.
Three wooden posts, 25 millimetres (1 inch) in diameter and 813 millimetres (32 inches) high. They have have spikes extending from their bottom end and are hammered into the ground in an evenly spaced row, with the outside edges of the outermost stumps 228 millimetres (9 inches) apart. This means they are just close enough together that a cricket ball cannot pass between them.


Two wooden crosspieces which sit in grooves atop the adjacent pairs of stumps.