OCTOBER 02, 2014

Should county cricket be allowed to monopolise UK sports pages?

Alex Bowden: How will sports like football survive if this madness is allowed to continue?
The government has blamed weekday crowds at Championship games for the economic slowdown © Getty Images
OCTOBER 02, 2014

Asian Games 2014-15

Kuwait's feelgood father-son achievement

Forty-year-old Shivnarine Chanderpaul and his son Tagenarine playing together for Guyana is one thing, but imagine a 58-year-old father joining his son in a national side. That was the case at the Asian Games this week, when Bastaki Mahmoud and his son Bastaki Fahad turned out for Kuwait in matches against Nepal and Bangladesh.

It is fair to say that Kuwait are not exactly a powerhouse in the cricket competition at the games - they were bowled out for 20 by Nepal and for 21 by Bangladesh - but they certainly provided one of the tournament's feelgood moments. That occurred when Fahad, a spinner, managed to claim the wicket of Tamim Iqbal, one of the top 40 batsmen in Twenty20 internationals, according to the ICC's rankings.

"Though it was a bad delivery, it gave me a lot of pleasure, especially because my father took the catch," Fahad told the Daily Star. "As I'm also a wicketkeeper, I have taken many catches off my father's bowling, but it was the first time today that the reverse happened. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life.

"I have seen these players on TV only. This is the first time I am seeing them in person and talking to them. It is a dream come true."

Not only did Fahad take three wickets, his father Mahmoud also claimed two, including that of opener Anamul Haque. Quite an achievement for a 58-year-old whose day job is heading the credit finance department of a Kuwaiti bank.

"By the grace of Allah, I am very happy and I thank the Kuwait cricket board for giving us such an opportunity to represent the national team," Mahmoud said. "I want to keep playing cricket for as long as I am fit."

OCTOBER 02, 2014

Cricket shirts: gotta love 'em

Russell Jackson: Cricket nerds love team shirts, especially ones from their childhood
OCTOBER 01, 2014

Cricket in unusual places

Colombia's first homegrown cricketer

Cricket may be about to spark to life in a tiny but significant way in Colombia, which is due to host the inaugural Amazon Cup, a triangular T20 tournament also featuring Brazil and Peru. When the tournament begins, a Colombia-born player, Jairo Andres Venegas, will represent his national team for the first time. The Guardian's John Ashdown profiles the wicketkeeper, who is "almost certainly the only Colombian to have a Lord's tea-towel framed and hanging on the wall of his living room".

For Venegas it represents the apogee of a journey that began not long before Allan Border's no-nonsense Australia side thrashed David Gower's fracturing England in 1989. And it's a journey that began, of course, in, um, Belgium. "I was six years old, we were living in Belgium because my father used to work for Phillips," he says. "My older brother and I studied at the British School of Brussels and while my brother actually played at school, I did Kwik Cricket or whatever it was called at the time. We came back to Colombia the next year and cricket became just a memory of good times."

A flirtation with rugby followed and the first time Venegas played what might be called "proper cricket" was in Bogotá, after an email to Lord's, conversations with ICC Americas, contact with the British Embassy in the Colombian capital and a long wait. The wait, though, has been worth it - now he is a committed convert and admits to being the "most cricket-obsessed Colombian in the country".

OCTOBER 01, 2014

Shastri's influence

Satish Acharya
OCTOBER 01, 2014

Australian cricket

'He's one that crept up on us'

Jake Lehmann, son of Australia's coach Darren Lehmann, is poised to begin his journey in senior cricket. After winning a rookie contract with South Australia last season, the 22-year old will be making his debut in the Matador One-Day Cup. Andrew Ramsey, writing in Cricket Australia's website, learns more about Lehmann junior

"He got a rookie contract this season and his body shape has changed completely and as a result - not just because of that - throughout pre-season he's got 50s and 60s and then most pleasing (last weekend) in the Premier League he scored his first hundred," said Darren Berry, the South Australia coach. "So he's right in the mix. He bats on the same side (left-handed like his father), he's got really good hands, and he's got an eye like his dad as well. He plays the ball late, and I think he's a really exciting talent - he's one that's crept up on us to be honest."

OCTOBER 01, 2014

Escape from St Thrower's

Andrew Hughes: In part two of our hospital drama, two chuckers try to trick the doctor
OCTOBER 01, 2014

Remembering Tony Greig, the allrounder

Stuart Wark: It's easy to forget that some popular commentators of our time were excellent cricketers before they took up the mike
SEPTEMBER 30, 2014

The work that is county cricket

Jon Hotten: Players toil all season, but fans don't really get a sense of the scale of effort involved
SEPTEMBER 30, 2014

What Shaz is really doing with the Indian team

Trish Plunket: And what Ajmal should do during his ban
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

New Zealand 9/1 for World Cup surprise

ESPNcricinfo staff: The World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is looming large and it is the smaller of the two host nations that are worth taking a look at, available at 9/1 to triumph next March.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

Indian cricket

A quintessential fighter who kept coming back

In an interview with Shirin Sadikot for the BCCI, Gautam Gambhir opens up about his brand of cricket, leading Kolkata Knight Riders' to their longest winning streak, and being left out of the Indian squad while dealing with a personal tragedy.

This phase was the most difficult one of my life, not only from the cricketing point of view but also personal. I lost two of the closest people in my life within the span of a year. I was trying to get my career back on track by going to England and playing for Essex. I scored a century and I began to regain my confidence, started to believe again. Just then I got the news of the death in the family. I had to fly back home and miss two championship games. The hardest part was when I had to go back to England just four days after the tragedy. My wife couldn't travel with me because she had to be with the family. I was on my own there, coping with the loss while trying to resurrect my career. It was a very difficult time. But then these are the times that teach you a lot about yourself.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

Ryder Cup '14: Mankaddy Madness

James Marsh: Golf and cricket come together in a new game where European cricketers are pitted against the rest of the world
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

Following Durham's fortunes from Upton Park

Jonathan Wilson: Tuning in to a cricket final while on Premier League duty
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

Desperately googling ambidextrous bowlers

Beige Brigade: The boys discuss the wisdom of switching between right-arm and left-arm, Jeetan Patel making the County XI, and wonder if Mathew Sinclair will step out of retirement
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

Six, six and ouch!

Philip Brown: Remember when Stuart Broad got his nose broken earlier this season?
SEPTEMBER 28, 2014

World Cup 2015

New Zealand's no-no to nudity

Fines, not fun. That's what awaits you should you decide to streak at World Cup matches in New Zealand next year. And that's if you're lucky. Else you might find yourself locked up for three months.

Keen to 'showcase New Zealand in a perfect light', the powers that be have sanctioned penalties for streakers which include fines up to NZ$ 5,000 (US$ 3900 approx) and jail terms of up to three months, the Dominion Post reported. "We will have waited 23 years for the return of what is now one of the world's biggest sporting events," a World Cup spokesman was quoted as saying. "This is not the time to let the side down."

SEPTEMBER 28, 2014

County Cricket

Leicestershire's turmoil

Leicestershire have not won a county championship game for two seasons. They are stuck in the second division. They lost promising young talent to other teams as well and were forced to issue a press release accepting the situation needs to change. BBC spoke to former and current players from the county, coaches and administrators to get to the root of the problem and Shiv Thakor, a recent export to Derbyshire, mentioned the off-field support was lacking.

"Leicestershire are going through a rebuilding phase - both on and off the field - and I felt I need to be somewhere where they had an established programme in place. "I really wanted to make a push to play for England and I want go somewhere that will give me an opportunity me to do so and has a structure in place immediately.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2014

Dhoni biopic

Satish Acharya
SEPTEMBER 28, 2014

All hail the other West Indies

Roger Sawh: The women's side's understated rise to No. 1 could inspire young girls - and boys - and break barriers to gender equality in the region