JANUARY 31, 2015

Sledging/Spirit of cricket

Wanted at the World Cup: Respect

Stare away, fellows. Challenge a batsman. But everything can't be a scowl and a cavalcade of curses and spitting confrontations, writes Rohit Brijnath in Livemint. He says he will wait for a single gesture of respect from the players at the World Cup. For the game, themselves, the opposition, the crowd.

Loudly and crassly, and without much intervention, cricket has strayed from civility. Decency, once becoming and essential to sporting cultures, is almost considered sissy-ish. Quietly congratulating a batsman on a hard-earned century is viewed as weakness. You bowled hard, he played better, you struggle on, but no. Ignored amidst real war is the truth that for all its celebrity this is only sport.

JANUARY 31, 2015

The World Cup: one-day cricket's hour in the sun

Ahmer Naqvi: Except in the case of Australia, a World Cup win becomes a big part of the victorious captain's legacy
JANUARY 31, 2015

The best way to promote cricket

Andrew Hughes: Cricketers, please get on social media and voice your ignorant opinions. That will get you noticed by millions
JANUARY 31, 2015

The last of Sanga

Janaka Malwatta: Kumar Sangakkara has maintained excellent standards over a glittering career; a World Cup trophy would be a fitting send-off
JANUARY 30, 2015

Australian cricket

Shane Watson turns to meditation

Every morning now, whether it's in a quiet part of his home in Sydney or in a hotel room on tour, Watson will practise yoga for 15 to 20 minutes, then meditate, repeating a personal mantra while his eyes are shut, writes Chris Barrett in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"In my break in the off-season I just knew that I needed to find another way to be able to either de-stress or just handle situations a bit better," he said. "There are times when I haven't had a way to just let it all out. I started reading the Deepak Chopra book 'Perfect Health', which opened my eyes up to Ayurvedic medicine and I ended up getting a meditation teacher to teach me how to meditate. With that came yoga, which has been something that I'm not sure I would have been open to when I was younger. But that's made a huge difference."

JANUARY 30, 2015

Is cricket really vulnerable to physical altercations?

Russell Jackson: Cricket has had relatively few ugly on-field incidents when compared to other sports, so to start fearing the worst because of the verbal abuse going round is to take things too far
JANUARY 30, 2015

Seven superstitions we may see at the World Cup

R Rajkumar: A handy guide to the esoteric rituals and lucky charms you can expect to see at the tournament
JANUARY 29, 2015

Sri Lanka in a World Cup funk

Damith Samarakoon: For a Sri Lanka fan, the team's losing streak in the New Zealand ODIs is perhaps the equivalent of getting paralysed by poison. Your body is immobile giving the impression that you've died, but inside, you are still very much alive. Screaming.
JANUARY 29, 2015

More time

Satish Acharya
JANUARY 29, 2015

New Zealand's problem of plenty, and Clarke v Warner

Beige Brigade: The boys feel smug about how good New Zealand are looking before the World Cup, and discuss their dislike for certain Australian players
JANUARY 28, 2015

Backyard cricket

BC Lara c Valderrama b Teapot 48

In his piece for the Guardian's Spin, John Ashdown draws on his childhood memories and mulls on how the seemingly rigid rules of cricket can be warped - with a little creativity - to allow its practitioners a quick game anytime, anywhere.

Problems occurred whenever our dad could be persuaded to bend his back for a couple of overs. The problem for the batsman was two close catching fielders, Valderrama on the off side, a (usually) far less reliable human on the on. The problem on the scoreboards was that the new bowler would refuse to play the role of any cricketer since 1970, invariably nominating himself Fred Trueman or picking a random object from the kitchen. This led to several destructive spells against the cream of the world's early 90s international middle orders for Fiery Fred and the occasional frustratingly random "BC Lara c Valderrama b Teapot 48" in the books.

JANUARY 28, 2015

The World Cup's least memorable moments

Andy Zaltzman: In part one, we remember an inconsequential eighth-wicket stand of 23
JANUARY 28, 2015

When will we see the first truly freelance cricketer?

Jon Hotten: Will the likes of Pietersen become guns for hire in the full sense of the term, offering a complete package of services to the highest bidder?
JANUARY 27, 2015

English cricket

KP's blueprint

Kevin Pietersen did not hang around after the Melbourne Stars' BBL semi-final defeat against Perth, but has found time to spell out in more detail how he would take English cricket forward with the development of franchise T20 cricket. In his Daily Telegraph he says that many of world's best players would want to come and play if the structure was changed.

England has so many advantages on its side. It is on a great time zone, there is no other major cricket being played in the world in July, overseas players love coming to our country and the long summer evenings are perfect for Twenty20. We are also a country where the public will spend money to watch live sport. We love sport in England and there would be no problem getting bums on seats at a franchise Twenty20 tournament. It is just about getting the correct format.

JANUARY 27, 2015

Pakistan cricket

Sohail spooked by hotel 'ghost'

Haris Sohail has had a frightful experience in New Zealand. The Pakistan allrounder was spooked in his Christchurch hotel room, convinced he had felt a "supernatural" presence.

Naveed Akram Cheeva, the Pakistan team manager, said Sohail phoned a member of the coaching team to say he had been woken by his bed at the Rydges Latimer hotel being rattled.

Sohail was found shaken and feverish and would not accept the suggestion that it was the fever that had caused the experience. A quick examination by team doctor found nothing to be concerned about. He then moved to the coach's room.

"He's OK and he's concentrating on cricket as he should be," Cheeva said. "He had a fever. We think it was the fever that caused it but the player still believes his bed was shaken by something and it was a supernatural something."

A spokesman for the hotel said they knew of "no active ghost" on the premises.

Some reports in the Pakistan media suggest it was his 'encounter' that led to him missing Pakistan's first warm-up match, although he did play the second game where he scored 6 and bowled four overs.

Sohail is not the first international cricketer to feel an unworldly presence in a hotel. In 2005, Shane Watson hunkered down with Brett Lee after being scared out of his room in Lumley Castle near Durham's Chester-le-Street ground. Darren Gough didn't miss a chance to remind him during the one-day international.

And last year Stuart Broad had enough of his room at the Langham Hotel in London after being woken in the night with all the taps running. "I turned the lights on and the taps turned themselves off. Then when I turned the lights off again, the taps came on. It was very weird," he said.

JANUARY 27, 2015

The many crickets of an Indian boyhood

Sankaran Krishna: Growing up in India, you play a number of varieties of the game, each contributing to the development of certain skills
JANUARY 27, 2015

Indian cricket

BCCI monopoly and judicial review

By controlling competitive cricket in India, with minimal regulation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has enabled itself to encroach upon constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties, writes Suhrith Parthasarathy in the Hindu.

Some fear that this decision of the Supreme Court would open up the floodgates, bringing a number of societies and other such private associations within the courts' powers of judicial review. But, as the English barrister Michael Beloff once wrote, "It is an argument, which intellectually has little to commend it… For it is often the case that once the courts have shown the willingness to intervene, the standards of the bodies at risk of their intervention tend to improve."

Common law has historically imposed a duty on those exercising powers of monopoly -- whether self-arrogated or through governmental intervention -- to act fairly and reasonably. Our courts must now extend this rationale to hold not only the BCCI accountable, but also other such private associations, which in exercise of monopolistic powers, impinge upon the citizenry's most basic civil liberties

JANUARY 27, 2015

All about KP's new tattoo

Andrew Hughes: And why teams ought not to be allowed to spend on players as they like
JANUARY 26, 2015

A letter from Bradman

Vaibhav Verma: How I unearthed a precious gem while shifting stuff from one room to another in my house
JANUARY 26, 2015

In-form New Zealand 6/1 for World Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff: New Zealand enjoyed a stellar 2014 and have carried that momentum into the new year. They now have their sights on the World Cup and are live contenders on home soil at 6/1.