March 17, 2009

Cricinfo

The reading room

Sambit Bal

It's only the second week and I am already running a day late. Apologies, and here's the recommended reading list from the last week or so.

Australia surprised most cricket followers, and perhaps themselves, by swiftly demolishing South Africa to keep the Test mace. After a series of pieces on depressing subjects, Gideon Haigh was delighted to be able to write one on the new boys who made the feat possible.

And Christian Ryan, recently the author of a biography of Kim Hughes, the golden boy who presided over one of the lowest periods in Australian cricket, found the Australian win all the more rewarding because it involved struggle.

As South Africa lay in disarray, Brydon Coverdale, Cricinfo's man on the tour, reported on the tension and confusion in their camp with such clarity that one of the members of the home side's management team remarked on how accurately it captured the mood and the goings-on in the dressing room.

Of course there was no getting away from cricket's troubles. Peter Roebuck captured the feeling in this evocative piece that posed this question: what now for cricket?

Just to remind ourselves how beautiful it all once was and how beautiful it can be, I leave you with this one, an extract from Rahul Bhattacharya's Pundits from Pakistan.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by alvin on (September 29, 2009, 23:04 GMT)

Isn't it strange that England suddenly made alow score in the decisive match against New Zealand in the current ICC tournament in SA. It looks like a sell out,so that SriLanka would be knocked out

Posted by Ralph Zimmermann on (March 23, 2009, 7:37 GMT)

As an addendum to the above comment, it was great to see that the women's world cup final did indeed hit the main headlines, in great style! Good stuff!

Posted by Ralph Zimmermann on (March 21, 2009, 17:27 GMT)

Off topic, but I'd just like to suggest that the coverage of the women's world cup could have been given greater prominence on the front page in the last couple of weeks. There's been some great upsets, some great performances, but they've been reported almost entirely in the least-prominent headline spot.

Cricinfo does give a lot of space to women's cricket, which is great. I wholeheartedly appreciate that plenty of column inches have been devoted to the world cup - blog entries, audio interviews, recollections of past world cups, match reports...

I just wonder why the match reports could not have been pushed higher up? It'd contribute that little bit more to raising the profile on the women's game. After all, if the men's world cup were going on, half the site would be devoted to it.

Could the argument about the market audience being predominately male, etc, not be pushed aside on principle?

It'd be fantastic to see the world cup final as one of the big headlines tomorrow.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sambit Bal
Editor-in-chief Sambit Bal took to journalism at the age of 19 after realising that he wasn't fit for anything else, and to cricket journalism 14 years later when it dawned on him that it provided the perfect excuse to watch cricket in the office. Among other things he has bowled legspin, occasionally landing the ball in front of the batsman; laid out the comics page of a newspaper; covered crime, urban development and politics; and edited Gentleman, a monthly features magazine. He joined Wisden in 2001 and edited Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo Magazine. He still spends his spare time watching cricket.

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