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December 15, 2012

Cricket News Hurl

Not just metaphorical death

Jarrod Kimber
Lasith Malinga sends down a delivery, Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Stars, Big Bash League, Perth, December 12, 2012
A largely pointless game being played in front of no crowd  © Getty Images
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It was sad, but the end has truly come. A form of cricket died this week.

Only a few fans turned up to the ground that doesn't feel like it's for cricket. It's hidden in such a remote location most cricket fans don't want to go there. The travel-weary fan who did make it barely showed any emotion as a painfully slow-scoring, predictable game inched its way towards a climax no one cared about.

At the Sydney Olympic Stadium on December 14, 2012, T20 cricket died. It will be missed. That's what happens when a largely pointless game is played in front of no crowd, isn't it.

But no, despite the many, many, many obituaries to T20 cricket in Australia this week, Jesse Ryder saved it with his 75 off 26 for Wellington. But, even with that, and a 162 in a first-class game, Jesse couldn't save New Zealand cricket.

McCullum, the captain of all three formats until he is accidentally fired, wants Jesse, but who doesn't?

The NZC have apologised to their former captain. "The board has reviewed all aspects of the captaincy issue and wishes to publicly place on record its apologies to Ross Taylor and his family for the manner in which events have unfolded."

Chris Moller, NZC's chairman said: "No heads are going to roll. There were no hanging offences in all of this. Yeah, the ball's been dropped, absolutely. Could we have done things better? Absolutely. Are we going to learn from those mistakes? Well we hope so. Is there any reason for anybody to have their heads taken off? No, and that is a decision the board has made."

It makes you wonder what mistakes would get you fired by NZC, other than an accident. A country can lose their best player for a Test series because of incredible ineptitude and no one can lose their head.

But thanks to Martin Crowe, one New Zealand cricket blazer was burnt. @MartinCrowe299 - "Burnt NZ cricket blazer Dec 7, 2012. RIP." Although it turned out later that it was a metaphorical blazer, and the real one remained in Crowe's closet.

In other parts of the world, administrators apparently go out of their way to save their captains. That's if the former Indian selector, Mohinder Amarnath, is to be trusted. He has claimed that Srinivasan did not approve a unanimous decision to sack Dhoni after their eight-is-enough losses against England and Australia. Amarnath went on to say: "Neither will I say yes nor will I deny it, okay."

The new Indian selection panel has not done much better than Amarnath's lot. On a brilliant cricket pitch made to Test batsmen and bowlers, in front of a captivated audience, India struggled to fightback against England's latest boy wonder, Joe Root. It seems weird that there is a world where a person who looks like a 12-year-old boy can bring down N Srinivasan's personal selection.

In Hobart for the first time since Kumar Sangakkara was dreadfully sawn off in one of the best innings ever made by a human, Sri Lanka have turned up with a bowling attack that no one, even themselves, seems that keen on. Plus they have to face their nemesis, Phil Hughes.

The other big cricket game this week was the final of the visually impaired T20 World Cup in India, which was won by India. You can imagine how hard visually impaired cricket is by watching how hard most of us make non-visually impaired cricket look. India defeated the Pakistani team, who in visually impaired cricket are the best there is.

Earlier in the week, the captain of Pakistan's team, Zeeshan Abbasi, had drunk diluted acid. Depending on where you read about it, he'd either drunk it accidentally, or had been poisoned because of the cricket. Either way, he drank acid, and that sucks.

This week in the Indian province of Uttar Pradesh, something even more disgusting happened. A 15-year-old boy was allegedly killed when he dropped a catch during a match with friends. This is a real death, of a real boy. A cricketer just playing with his friends. I mean the kid was 15, he's supposed to drop catches, fumble run outs and give away overthrows. He is not supposed to die for it. In some reports he was identified as Simran.

The thought of anyone dying because of a cricket match, whether it be a Test or game at an Oval Maidan, is, well, it's sick and wrong, and it's hard to work out how something like this could happen.

While cricket is often darker than the gentlemanly image it likes to project, death should not be the result.

This week a petition to cancel Pakistan's tour to India was circulated on the internet in honour of those killed in Mumbai. The petition was aimed at Indian politician Sushil Kumar Shinde, and currently has 49 supporters in a country of a few billion. Surely cricket is something that should inspire these two countries to come closer together, not be used as a political pawn by people with dark agendas.

If the tour does go ahead, which it should, it will do so without Pakistan's new batting coach, Inzi. However, Pakistan will travel with their psychologist, which may say more about Pakistan cricket than anything else. It is a shame that Inzi won't be in the nets with the lads, as it would have been interesting to see how he could do throw downs while sitting in a chair.

Another lumbering cult hero did well this week. This very website, espnCRICINFO, defeated the evil American multinational internet consumer-to-consumer auction site. We defeated them 383,000 hits to 140,000 hits made by UK civil servants while at work. We also beat Amazon, and comeonyouspurs, which I think is a country and western themed site.

While our win was stunning, the best win of the week has to go to the Melbourne Stars (the team that copied the Pakistan shirts) who won a T20 match by batting for 13 balls thanks to Duckworth Lewis, the Perth Scorchers, umpires who wanted to play in the wet and a spell of bowling by Lasith Malinga of 6 wickets for 7 runs.

A special mention should go to Hinton Charterhouse who collected their first win in four attempts in Division 1 of the Bath Indoor League. They defeated fellow strugglers Bath Hospitals by 56 runs.

Although the biggest winner was Shakib Al Hasan who married his Minnesotan girlfriend Umme Ahmed Shishir in Dhaka this week. There is no truth in the rumour that Tamim Iqbal tried to marry her earlier, but flamed out after a good start.

Tamim's favourite ground, Lord's, became ever more posh this week when the MCC was given a Royal Charter by the Queen herself. This does not mean Allen Stanford once landed on royalty, but it does mean that the MCC members cannot be sued as individuals. It will make those potential Middlesex v Derbyshire T20 clashes at Lord's that much more special.

Almost as important as a Royal sanction, the West Indies now have cricket's favourite word, Premier, in their domestic structure. The Caribbean Premier League will have six teams, dancing girls and average domestic cricketers playing ordinary shots off part-time spinners.

This week Rob Quiney won a match for the Melbourne Stars by leaving a ball. Saving T20 cricket, one leave at a time.

If you've got anything you think should be in next week's cricket news hurl, emailcricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. The next time someone drops a catch in a game you're playing, give them a hug.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

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Keywords: Cricket News Hurl, Offbeat

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Posted by Malay Deb on (December 18, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

@Kimber

The pakistani cricketer you mentioned drank diluted phenyl (not acid), that is used to clean the hotel floor. Though, it still sucks.

Posted by Vivek Bhandari on (December 18, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

Amazing piece, subtle humour, and brilliant choice of words, Jarrod. I love how precisely you've collated all the news items in a weekly round-up. I especially love the piece on the Melbourne Stars win. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Azhar on (December 16, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

Jarrod, I like your style. You cover a lot of things in a very simple manner and it is very informative. e,g. Shakib's girl friend, the death of 15 yr old, etc. Keep up the good work. I think I am hooked!

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