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How good is Tamim Iqbal?!

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Hang on a sec. If Bangladesh are supposed to be so poor, why does one of their batsmen continually flay our bowling to all parts? When he did it a couple of times in his own backyard we thought ‘ok, it’s probably a flash in the pan’. But then came the hundred at Lords – which even one-eyed England fans had to admit was pretty special. And now the little blighter has gone and done it again. What...

Richie in paradise

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What a shame Richie Benaud isn’t in England enjoying this beautiful weather. Yesterday’s sun was perfect for topping up that brown-as-a-berry suntan (or should that be Bondi bronze?). What’s more, he would have gone absolutely off his face, Bill Lawry style, had he witnessed yesterday’s T20 fixture between Middlesex and Surrey. Of the top five Middlesex batsmen, three made scores of 22 (that’s...

Once, twice, three times a no-ball

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Warwickshire are about to unveil their new T20 secret weapon – the double bouncer. As The Times report today, the delivery is effectively an off-break released from the back of the hand, which pitches short of a length and then arrives in the blockhole on the second bounce. The technique has been developed by bowling coach Graeme Welch, and will be deployed by Bears allrounder Rikki Clarke...

How viable a prospect is Steven Finn?

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Everyone agrees we need a tall and fast bowler for Australia this winter. Someone who can provide a cutting edge, or at least augment the steadier, skiddier fare of Anderson and Onions. The selectors have decreed, probably correctly, that Steven Finn is the cricketer most likely to fulfil these criteria, the best we have available. He certainly looks the part, physically, and ticks a lot of boxes...

A new experience

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As England supporters we experience a rollercoaster of emotions – from the highs of 2005 to the horrors of 2006-7, from the most joyous of victories to the kind of gut-wrenching defeat which almost entirely breaks our spirit. Above all, we expect the worst, whatever the match situation. In the 1980s we assumed defeat in any series against the West Indies. In the 1990s the Ashes meant only...

The Ashes journey starts here

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When we were growing up, the start of first test of the English summer was a moment to cherish. Hearing Richie Benaud’s voice for the first time in nearly nine months was like ‘putting on a pair of old jeans’ to quote our old friend Billy Birmingham. It was the perfect fit: summer days lazing at home, Gower scoring a sublime century, making fun of Gatting’s ever expanding waistline, and good old...

T20 is brilliant, as we always said…

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We may have previously given the impression that Twenty 20 is a puerile and meaningless form of cricket, sustained only by the basest commercial motives, and misappropriated by greedy and insolent charlatans from India. We have, perhaps,  also inadvertently implied that Twenty 20 is nothing more than a crude and garish piece of exhibitionist nonsense, with no relevance to the game’s true...

We are the champions…of the world!

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For the first time ever, we can say – we are the world champions! How impossibly delicious those words sound, whatever you may think of Twenty 20. So nice, indeed, I’m going to say them again: we are the world champions! Say them as often as you can. Say them to everyone in the office – especially your Australian collegues.  Tattoo them on your forehead. Tell your aged...

Things we like about the World T20 so far…

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(Getty Images) 1. England doing really well. In fact we’ve probably been the best team of the tournament, as it currently stands.  How long can it last? 2. Kieswetter and Morgan. 3. KP back to his best. 4. South Africa were rubbish. 5. Witnessing the West Indies host a popular and successful tournament – in contrast to the dreadful 2007 World Cup. 6. Full stadiums; West Indian...

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