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Why I’ve Come To Love The IPL

Today Alex Ferguson explains why, after initial scepticism and hesitancy, he’s fallen in love with the greatest show on cricketing turf… The IPL wasn’t the first of the big T20 competitions. That was the T20 Blast in England, replete with its late-into-the-evening revelry, closed-in boundaries, and fun shots galore. Finals Day at Edgbaston remains a staple of the cricket season. Whether the four-day or five-day gamers like it or not, it’s the best cricketing atmosphere in...

Sam Robson: Hope Springs Eternal

Today, Rob Stephenson wonders whether the solution to England’s opening woes has been under our noses, plying his trade as a county stalwart, for years. England have tried an awful lot of openers since Andrew Strauss and then Alastair Cook retired. Most of them are pretty good red ball players at county level. The odd bolter was not – step forward Alex Hales and Jason Roy. Another player mentioned for a possible recall (before the squad was officially announced) was Sam Robson. I do...

Back to the Future: What England’s Real Best XI Looks Like

Today Harry Eckersley gives his reaction to Key and McCullum’s first Test squad… Anti-climactic would be one way to describe England’s latest Test squad announcement. With a new Managing Director, Head Coach and Captain in situ, the sense of anticipation was heightened. So much so, the ECB even used it as a data capture opportunity – a most fitting conclusion to the era of Harrison. Innovating, ideating and commercializing right to the bitter end. Come and have your first look...

Good Riddance To Tom Harrison

I don’t like being unkind on this forum. However, on this occasion I feel compelled to give a visceral, and totally authentic, reaction to Tom Harrison’s departure from the ECB. The headline above summarises my feelings succinctly and honestly. And, because I’m not a paid cricket journalist, I don’t have to pretend to be objective. Sorry if my blunt approach below offends you. Tom Harrison joined the ECB seven years ago. And, as far as I’m concerned, it was seven years too long. He was a...

Brendon McCullum – The Ultimate Punt

Sometimes I don’t understand Andrew Strauss. He was conservatism personified as England captain. And yet, since becoming an administrator, he’s turned into Mr Funky. We’ve had his irrational support for The Hundred, his decision to prioritise white ball over red ball (even though he was more of a red ball player), and now he’s appointed a high-risk / high reward candidate who everyone thought was a better fit for the white ball role, as England Test coach. What’s more, in doing so, he eschewed...

Playing The Fielder: Friction Burns & Occasional Glory

The fielder is cricket’s labourer; the unsung hero who toils to save runs for his team. There is rarely any glory in this functional but vital role; the plaudits are usually taken by the bowlers especially when a delivery sends the stumps flying in a frenzied visual delight. But periodically the fielder steps into light when he takes a catch or engineers a thrilling run out. Breathtaking running in the outfield or reflex actions at slip can turn a match. However, a dropped catch can be...

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