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Jesse Ryder inspired Luke Ronchi to make a hundred in each innings for Wellington against Northern Districts this week. Ryder could have made the hundreds himself, but selflessly decided to help New Zealand cricket by showing just how good Luke Ronchi is.
Ronchi is very close to becoming the latest dual-international player. The slog-happy former Aussie keeper is so good that he will play probably days after he qualifies for New Zealand unless someone at NZC stuffs up his forms.
At the moment NZC are focused on other players and are having a meeting with a bunch of their former Test captains to improve relations with the current crop. It's going to be an annual event, not unlike when they fire their coach annually. The former captains will all have to bring their blazers to burn them in a bonfire while running around it as John Buchanan records their times on a clipboard.
New Zealand's tour of South Africa is going as bad as NZC's public image. A touring party that was already missing their talisman, Daniel Vettori, their best batsman, Ross Taylor, and their future, Ryder, is now also missing their best bowler of recent times, Tim Southee, after he injured his thumb. They do have Ronnie Hira in their side, and if you've never seen what Ronnie Hira looks like, go over and look at his powerful 'come hither' stare. The result of the first T20 does suggest that you shouldn't watch this series if you have a fragile disposition. All Kiwis should watch it from behind their couch.
Not that everyone can watch it, thanks to the SABC's decision to only show a couple of hours of Test cricket a day free to air. The SABC have decided that broadcasting Mad About You, The Young and the Restless, 227, Hawaii Five-0, All My Children, The Cosby Show and Salt Water Moose will deliver better ratings than Test cricket in South Africa. It's a sad day when a salt water moose can trample cricket, but rumours are that shorter freshwater mooses are actually doing even better in the ratings.
The news comes the same week that Twitter user @iamhassan9 was banned for tweeting illegal feeds for the cricket. One has the cricket and doesn't want to show it, the other wants to show it any way they can. One's a pillar of the cricket community, the other a parasite.
Better news from South Africa is that Cri-zelda Brits is back playing women's cricket. Cri-zelda is a name so perfect that she deserves to be playing international cricket for a long time to come. Cri-Zelda is a former captain of South Africa and truly a legend.
India's legends have reasserted their global dominance, and in one game shown why the previous Test series meant nothing by winning a T20 against England. James Tredwell's unbeaten 1 was not enough to carry his side to victory against the impressive Yuvraj Singh. The win almost came at a cost when, as Rediff reports, selector Sandeep Patil was so upset that he had to sit near spectators in a private box he almost left the ground in a huff. Patil was sitting near Shah Rukh Khan at the time, and was clearly upset by just how devastatingly handsome the actor was, and how plain Patil looked in comparison.
Next year, Shah Rukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders will have to lift their game, as the newest IPL team has been named. The Hyderabad Sunrisers have blasted on to the scene with by far the coolest logo of any IPL side. The Sunrisers are essentially the Deccan Chargers team with a new name, and (we can only hope) without that ear-murderingly dreadful "Go the Chargers" song.
A less "premier" league in Bangladesh currently has no contracts with its franchises, but they've had an auction and each of these unsigned franchises has up to ten overseas players that they probably can't afford. Names such as Shane Harwood (Victorian), Phil Mustard and Ireland heartthrob Paul Stirling were signed up. If Paul Stirling can't save your T20 league, you simply cannot save it.
The BPL is not the only T20 league in trouble. Surprising absolutely no one is that the news that the American T20 league may have lost its benefactor and may be struggling. It seems like America will have to do without having an unsuccessful T20 league after all.
Not that we need Americans in cricket to come up with overly expensive gimmicks to make T20 cricket better - the Big Bash unleashed the FoxKopter this week. It is, as Fox describes it, "a revolutionary eight-propeller airborne camera". If Spydercam were to accidentally fly into FoxKopter's airspace it would be destroyed in super slow-mo as Shane Warne had just predicted would happen.
There was nothing hovering above the ground at Hobart, and few fans inside the ground, as Australia threw everything they could at Sri Lanka, including the cool bowling styles of keeper Matty Wade. They finally won on a rough fifth day pitch in the last session. Nathan Lyon practically ran through his overs like a mechanical bunny as Mitch the Second (Starc) gave up his friendly half-volleys for his demon reverse swing. Peter Siddle bowled until even those watching were sweating.
Losing the Test to Australia was bad but the Sri Lankan players were also annoyed when the SLC leaked private correspondence about how money allocated to the players from the ICC should also be given to support staff. In Mahela Jayawardene's words: "As the captain of the national team, I am disturbed and deeply disappointed that a confidential document handed over to Sri Lanka Cricket has been published in the Daily Mirror on December 19 causing much concern, embarrassment to players and other staff members." He followed that by saying: "As a result of what has transpired, I have lost all confidence in dealing with SLC in the future." Considering the SLC is a mess, broke and comically run, you'd have to wonder what took him so long.
In Serbia, government involvement in cricket looks like a good thing as they have agreed to partially fund development of cricket. "This is a great step forward for cricket in Serbia, because according to this decision, cricket has become completely recognised by the state," the Serbian cricket board said. As most people will know, Vlade Divac was a brilliant keeper before he left for the States. Vlade's work up at the stumps to wrist spin was an inspiration to young cricketers in Serbia.
Vlade Divac is still not convinced by the use of Duckworth Lewis in T20s, but even he would have been impressed by cricket uber-geek Frank Duckworth's performance this week on the BBC quiz show University Challenge. Usually, UC is a show where presenter Jeremy Paxman bullies uni kids who can't remember answers to questions about which opera singers played polo while reworking Greek tragedies. This week they had on former students and Duckworth's team, the University of Liverpool, won the day. It was clear that Duckworth was the MOTM.
Aaron Finch, of Colac, changed the world this week when he hit the roof at the Dockland Stadium in Melbourne and the Big Bash decided that from now on it would be a six, and not a dead ball like before. In some ways, his shot literally (not literally) took the roof off the Big Bash. Now we can all hope that Finch takes down the FoxKopter with a ground-to-air missile.
If you've got anything you think should be in next week's cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. Like Salman Khan, I also refuse to play in any celebrity cricket teams.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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