FEBRUARY 27, 2015

Throw open the gates to the Associates

Samir Chopra: Keeping them in the World Cup will inspire their countrymen to dream bigger and also prevent the game from being monopolised by a small club
Afghanistan's win was good for cricket in general. If only the sport's bosses woke up to their potential © AFP
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FEBRUARY 10, 2015

ODI cricket

Cricket and semantic satiation

In his piece for the Guardian's Spin, Andy Bull analyses how Twenty20 cricket and rule changes have made traditional ODI strategies redundant and have disempowered fielding sides.

You may say it's made the game good to watch. It's certainly more unpredictable. In the scramble onwards, who knows what a par score is, or a winning total? But as Finch said, there should be a place for the tight contests too. "From a player's point of view, I think the most exciting games are the low-scoring ones, when you're defending 180 and you've got nothing to lose, they can be really exciting games." One thing is clear: if the ICC is serious about trying to redress the balance of the game, bat-size can wait - it's its own meddling with the regulations that has tipped it out of kilter. It has chosen to disempower the fielding side at the very moment the game was already evolving in favour of the batsmen.

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 26, 2015

Who is the BBL aimed at?

Michael Jeh: There's nothing wrong with the quality of the cricket on offer, but the bells and whistles surrounding it are intrusive and overwhelming
DECEMBER 14, 2014

All Sehwag's children

Jon Hotten: Batsmen like David Warner will lead the game into the next generation. One man heralded the trend
NOVEMBER 23, 2014

English cricket

A battle for English club survival

Last week's figures about the decline in participation in English club cricket set alarm bells ringing although they were only confirmation of what many had been saying for years. The ECB has promised to take action to reverse the decline, but for some clubs - often with rich histories dating back decades - it may already be too late. In the Sunday Telegraph, Nick Hoult looks at the stories of various village and town sides that have hit hard times and speaks to those trying to balance the books and keep a vital part of the game alive.

Close geographically to Thixendale but a world away in terms of cricket is the Lancashire League, which once could rival county cricket for crowds and star overseas players. Now many clubs are faced with big debts and the days of signing overseas stars such as Allan Donald (Rishton), Learie Constantine (Nelson) and a young Shane Warne (Accrington) are long gone.
"It is in the league's rules that you have to sign an overseas player but you have to pay them a salary of over £5,000 for the summer, an air fare, you can't get car insurance for the summer for less than £1,500 and then you have their accommodation costs. Overall it is about £10,000 which could easily pay for three level three coaches doing 100 sessions a year with the kids," Michael Brown, the chairman of Burnley Cricket Club, said.

OCTOBER 30, 2014

Cricket's humanity resists specialisation

Jon Hotten: While major sports across the world are driving their competitors towards homogenous physical ideals, cricket seems to celebrate diversity
OCTOBER 19, 2014

Broadcasting

Has cricket hit the roof?

Cricket's dominance in India might not be fading just yet, but the team's performance has not been as compelling as the last decade and high-profile retirements since have also had an impact on viewership. Ashok Malik, in Asian Age, wonders if a saturation has been reached, especially with other sports enticing the average fan.

Cricket viewership, even Indian Premier League viewership, is not growing. It has either reached a ceiling (IPL) or a floor (Test cricket). Even limited-overs cricket (the Fifty50) game, the mainstay of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is showing a worrying pattern. On-ground presence is lower than previously. The BCCI is masking it by hosting matches mainly in smaller cities and towns, where the novelty may still be there. As for television, a comparison between the India-West Indies limited-overs series of 2011 and 2013 would be telling. Both series were played in India. The first was played in the aftermath of India's World Cup victory and showed a TRP of 3.4 (male/15-34/Sec A, B and C). By the 2013 series, the TRP number had fallen to 2.2. TRP figures for the just-concluded (October 2014) India-West Indies series were not immediately available.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

What will cricket be like 50 or 100 years from now?

Jon Hotten: It's a daunting thought because it feels like the game has already completed its evolution, leaving little wriggle room
JUNE 27, 2014

ICC annual conference 2014

Cricket makes 'a fool of itself'

The doubts over N Srinivasan's status in the BCCI and the investigations against his IPL franchise and son-in-law for allegations of corruption did not hinder his appointment as the ICC's first chairman after a restructure of the world governing body. Chloe Saltau, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, says the support Srinivasan has received from other ICC members does not help improve the game's image when it comes to fighting corruption.

Even if, as Srinivasan says, he is proven to have done nothing wrong, the fact that other members of the ICC endorsed him for the chairmanship hardly inspires confidence in their collective desire to stamp out corruption from the sport.

JUNE 11, 2014

What's more important: participating or getting better?

Michael Jeh: If clubs in junior cricket focus solely on retaining players year after year, there is bound to be a dilution in talent and the level of competition
MAY 14, 2014

England and the IPL: a thaw will come

Jon Hotten: It's clear now that T20 cricket will not exist in isolation from the rest of the game, and the sooner the ECB realises it, the better
MAY 07, 2014

Caribbean national sides, anyone?

Martin Jones: Why dissolving West Indies might be the best option for West Indies cricket
APRIL 18, 2014

Why India are not cricket's Brazil yet

Samir Chopra: The numbers might be in their favour, but they can neither boast sustained excellence or a distinctive playing style
APRIL 15, 2014

You can't control talent, only channel it

Jon Hotten: Cricket runs the risk of going down the route of over-coaching, like in some other sports - which is not ideal in a game that is as much about art as about science
APRIL 08, 2014

Australian cricket

Chasing the men down

Women's cricket has been gaining acclaim in recent times and Australia's efficient defence of their World T20 title was another advertisement of their catching up with the men's game. It was set up by an attractive brand of play that has diverted attention squarely on their skills on the field and Greg Baum, in the Age, believes this is only the beginning.

Australia's women cricketers are under the same umbrella as the men, are paid more handsomely than ever before and in recent seasons have played some of their short-form internationals on the same grounds and days as the men. This was the case in Bangladesh, and in the previous women's World T20 in Sri Lanka. Presently, this coupling gives the women's matches the status and appearance of curtain-raisers. In time, they might be seen as authentic double-headers.

APRIL 08, 2014

Why T20 is about cricket's natural evolution

Ahmer Naqvi: The shortest format is but a logical extension of cricket's bias towards batsmen, and our changing ideas about time
MARCH 27, 2014

Things baseball teaches us

Matt Cleary: American sport at the SCG - blasphemy or opportunity to learn?
MARCH 14, 2014

Thinking pink

Russell Jackson: The jury's still out on the pros and cons of lighter-coloured balls and how they may or may not work in day-night Test cricket
MARCH 12, 2014

Test cricket's dodo problem

Andrew Hughes: Fans of the five-day stuff think it will last forever, even if nobody is watching
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