CategoryNews

Bubbles, Toil and Troubles

England’s World T20 campaign kicks off on Saturday against the West Indies. It’s the appetiser for busy winter ahead. However, for many of England’s players it’s already the second course. They went straight from the English summer to the IPL and now on to Dubai. No wonder Moeen Ali decided to chuck in Test cricket. The likes of Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood will leave the World T20 and then head to Australia for three or four months. The schedule is...

The Worst Since 1994? England’s Ashes Squad

Good news. The Ashes is going ahead. It took some intense diplomatic wrangling but eventually the England players decided to commit. Even Jos Buttler chose to tour, which shocked me as much as it probably annoyed Ben Foakes. It’s not all good news, however. England’s squad is predictably weak. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that it’s the weakest to leave our shores for Australia since 1994. One could argue that the 2002/03 squad was just as bad but at least they...

Speed Demons: Brute Force Or Controlled Aggression?

The standard cricket ball weighs around 5½ ounces; it can be no more than 9 inches in circumference, with a diameter of no more than 2.86 inches. Its core is made of cork which is layered with tightly wound string and covered by a leather case with a stitched seam. The ball is then coated with red or white paint for use in long and short forms of the game. Roughly the size of a tennis ball, it is solid with sharp ridges created by the seam. In the hands of a pace bowler it can be a weapon of...

The Hypocritical Tourists: England’s Ashes Get-Out Clause

“When we come to your town, come on out, support the tour…and let freedom reign”. So said Bruce Springsteen when introducing Chimes of Freedom at a 1988 live performance in Stockholm. He was talking about supporting Amnesty International, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.  Granted, England’s 2021-2022 Ashes Tour to Australia is not quite the same as a major worldwide charity tour. And yet, the Boss’ famous words strike some similarities with...

Dale Steyn: Resilience Personified

Picture a bird swooping down, having spotted prey. Think of a river in spate, carrying everything in its wake in a flood. Imagine the fastest train in the world breezing past a small-town station. Then visualise Dale Steyn, ball in hand, running rhythmically to the bowling crease, focused as the bird, rampant as the river and rapid as the express train.   Watching Steyn in his run-up used to thrill me in a way few things on the cricket field have done. His bowling action appeared to be...

Afghanistan’s Cricket: Is The End Nigh?

As the Taliban begins to write a new story for Afghanistan and its people, there have been obvious questions about the future of Afghanistan’s cricket. As the world builds up to the Twenty-Twenty World Cup in October, this may very well be the end of cricket in Afghanistan. On September 8th, Cricket Australia released a statement saying it would cancel the one-off test against Afghanistan if the Taliban doesn’t change its stance on women’s cricket. “If recent media reports...

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