APRIL 01, 2015

Offbeat

Tendulkar plays Santa to small village

ESPNcricinfo staff

Raghuvir Srinivasan, writing in Business Line, brings out the story of how Sachin Tendulkar, in his role as a Member of Parliament, adopted a village, approximately 450 km from Hyderabad in South India, and is helping bring the facilities it needs.

The residents of Puttamraju Kandriga owe their modern infrastructure to a chance encounter that Joint Collector Rekha Rani had with Tendulkar on a flight to New York last September.

While construction of stormwater drains, underground sewage network and treatment plant and solid waste disposal site are nearing completion along with the roads, work has just begun on the community centre building and playground. These, along with a burial ground which is under development, will form part of the first phase of the project likely to be completed by November.

APRIL 01, 2015

Never lose your captain for a duck

Andy Zaltzman: And other lessons from the World Cup - specifically from the final
APRIL 01, 2015

The big losers at this World Cup

Andrew Hughes: Step forward Mustafa Kamal and Anuskha Sharma
APRIL 01, 2015

The freakish delight that is AB de Villiers

Krishna Kumar: When he displays his outlandish repertoire of manufactured strokes, dumbfounded bowlers and captains are left questioning their own skills
MARCH 31, 2015

World Cup 2015: Australia

Starc tops the new-gen class

Andy Bull, in his column, The Spin, writes that Mitchell Starc shone brightest among the bunch of youngsters who took the World Cup by storm.

Starc finished the World Cup as the No1 ranked bowler in ODI cricket, and the player of the tournament, with 22 wickets at an average of 10.18, a strike rate of 17.4, and an economy of 3.5. No bowler has ever had a better World Cup. No bowler, in fact, has come close to matching those figures. To find the last time the leading wicket-taker in the tournament finished with such a low average and strike rate, you have to go back to 1975 when Gary Gilmour took 11 wickets at 5.6 each in the two games he played.

MARCH 30, 2015

England news

Father Time takes a knock at Lord's

It has been a fixture of Lord's since 1926 but on Monday morning there was a different look to English cricket HQ with the famous Father Time weathervane bent back almost 90 degrees. Stiff winds in St John's Wood caused the damage and the MCC are working with specialists to restore an iconic item of Lord's.

Father Time has been damaged before - in 1992 it was struck by lightning and during the Second World War was tugged off it's perch by cables from a barrage balloon.

The weathervane - the Grim Reaper holding his scythe over his shoulder and one bail over the stumps in a skeletal hand - has stood over Lord's since 1926 when it was presented by architect Sir Herbert Baker as an apology for building work being delayed by the general strike

MARCH 30, 2015

Fifty-over cricket, I was wrong

Jon Hotten: This World Cup gave us driven, vibrant, electric ODI cricket, played at the limit of current ability, and it was magnificent
MARCH 30, 2015

World Cup 2015: Australia

Mind your tongue, Australia

Australia might have re-asserted their dominance by winning their fifth World Cup, but their boorish behaviour in the final is a blot "no amount of rubbing will ever remove," writes Greg Baum in the Sydney Morning Herald

It was the sort of ugliness the ICC had promised to crack down on in this tournament. Like footballers who used to run amok in grand finals until the penalties were doubled, Australia's cricketers seemed to take the attitude that in a World Cup final, as long as they won, no punishment - no matter how stringent -could hurt them.

No team in the World Cup played with more "passion, excitement, adrenalin" than New Zealand, but the Kiwis explicitly and scrupulously refrained from parlaying that into boorishness.

MARCH 30, 2015

ICC to help cricketers identify journalists who insulted them

R Rajkumar: Vital cricket news you may have missed because you were busy watching the confounded World Cup
MARCH 29, 2015

Afridi's return

Satish Acharya
MARCH 27, 2015

When defeats haunt

Nicholas Hogg: The losing team has much to ponder over the what-could-have-beens in close matches; in a one-sided game, the past is put to rest quickly
MARCH 26, 2015

West Indies cricket

The myth of Sylvester Clarke

In his piece for the Guardian, Jon Hotten explores the unpredictability of former West Indies pacer Sylvester Clarke, whose name resonated in the game much like Sonny Liston in boxing.

Whether he was the quickest of his time is a moot point. Geoffrey Boycott, who faced them all, thought that Jeff Thomson and Michael Holding at their peak were the fastest. What set Clarke apart were two things. The first was his attitude at the crease. He was in a way unknowable; wordless, dead-eyed. All that was clear of his personality was the way he bowled - with bad intentions. Once, challenged by an umpire for repeatedly pitching short, he turned around and said: "It ain't no ladies game, man." The second was that his pace was accompanied by steepling bounce, and worse than that, an action that made it unpredictable.

From a short, slow-ish run his natural line was towards the batsman. Dennis Amiss, who made a double hundred against Holding and Andy Roberts at the Oval in 1976, called it "the trapdoor ball", because it was hard to pick up and then it just kept zoning inwards at the throat. Any batsman will tell you that the worst kind of bouncer is the one that follows you. Sylvester's could be like a heat-seeking missile.

MARCH 26, 2015

What's the first thing you do when you win a World Cup semi?

Alex Bowden: Herewith the answer to that , and more Twitter wit and wisdom than you can shake a stick at
MARCH 26, 2015

Why ball-tracking can't be trusted

Russell Jackson: In the absence of information on how the technology works, it's hard for some of us to shake doubts about why what we're seeing with our eyes differs significantly from the reading of a computer
MARCH 26, 2015

Word Cup 2015

London to Melbourne...for the weekend

To support his team during the World Cup final, a New Zealand fan has decided to embark on a journey so long in terms of distance, yet so short in terms of time, that it will surely inspire a whole new generation of cricket followers. Peter Thompson of London has his trans-continental jaunt all neatly planned out: finish work on Friday, get on the plane to Melbourne, see McCullum's men lift the trophy hopefully, and be back at work on Tuesday morning.

All in all, that's a trip of almost 34000 kms but it will only last 55 hours door to door, for a roughly 18.5 hour Australian holiday. And he'll have to fork out more than 7000 dollars.

"After the semi-final and the emotion of the way that happened, there was no way I was going to miss out on the opportunity to go," Thompson told the New Zealand Herald.

However, a bigger challenge awaits Thompson. The match kicks off at 2.30 pm local time, and 3.30 am London time, probably well beyond his bed time. No wonder it's keeping him awake.

"If I fall asleep for 10 minutes or so when Brendon McCullum is batting, he will have scored 70 and got out. So I'll definitely make sure I am awake when he comes to the crease."

MARCH 25, 2015

The Buzz

Early photograph unearthed of cricket at Eton

One of the earliest cricket photographs ever recorded - and perhaps the earliest schools cricket picture ever - has been discovered in a box of books and ephemera about Eton, the public school where the British prime minister, David Cameron, and a fair proportion of his cabinet, were former pupils.

The image has been dated c1862 and is signed on the mount by Victor Prout, who was best known for his portraits of the River Thames. It shows 11 schoolboys in trousers and waistcoats and such is its sense of languor it is not immediately clear whether the match is in progress or they are waiting for it to begin.

It is expected to raise in the region of £500 when it is put under the hammer by Dominic Winter Auctioneers in Cirencester. The earliest cricket photo of all is thought to precede this photo by about five years.

MARCH 25, 2015

In defence of the stylist

Sankaran Krishna: It's something of a misconception that elegant batsmen like Rohit Sharma "throw" their wickets away
MARCH 25, 2015

Come now, Mr Faulkner

Andrew Hughes: The Australian allrounder would have us believe sledging is inevitable. Is it?
MARCH 24, 2015

Boom Boom Afridi: one of a kind

Uzair Rizvi: Shahid Afridi entertained us with his unique brand of cricket and surely left a lasting impression on the game. He was cricket's greatest entertainer. Boom Boom is irreplaceable
MARCH 24, 2015

We need crocodile pits at the boundary

Andy Zaltzman: And other lessons learned from the quarter-finals, including the fact that the waist is a philosophical concept
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